As you know I have never written to you, emailed you or texted you. We are not acquaintances or friends. Until recently, I knew so little about you and now you are dead I know so much more. How daft is that?
The other night when tired and clicking away on the Internet, I came across a list of deceased people from our college. I was not really taking much notice at all. There were deaths of old people born many decades ago.
You will remember that we were always identified by college by our matriculation year. 1987 – the year leapt out at me from the screen. That is your year and mine. I recognised a first name but not the surname but then again women often marry so names change. Mine has after all.
Within a couple of minutes I had confirmed what I had suspected. It was you and you are dead.
So what is the point of this post?
Shall I tell you what I remember about you? I recall a stunningly pretty girl with blond hair and a stylish air about her. Inevitably, I found that daunting always identifying then as the fat and ugly one. Add to that that you were from the South, seemingly had gone to a posh school and had a double-barrelled name and you were out of my league. So we would pass in front court and say “Hi” and that was I think all we ever said to each other.
Who is to say that you did not find me challenging too with my Northern accent, single-barrelled name and working class roots? I guess I will never know.
And that’s the point of this post really. I read your obituary in the Times. It struck me that we would have probably got on quite well. You are a writer and I do my best to be so too. You enjoyed a band that is seen as embarrassing these days but I love them too. You had done charity work so we could have bonded on experiences of volunteering and trying to help good causes.
Ironically you died with a single-barrelled name and I will die with a double-barrelled one. I have lived in the South many times now and some people would find me posh whilst some would find me the opposite. You married a man from the North. Life is indeed strange with its twists and turns.
I wish I had got to known you. How easily we reject others based on things that ultimately really don’t matter at all.
Rest peacefully and perhaps one day we can be shining stars up there together and say more that “Hi”.
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