In my second year of high school, I felt like I was beginning to fit in. My friends still teased me about my very uncool pigtails hairstyle, but still, we did stuff together on weekends and during the summer holidays, and we talked about which songs and which bands were groovy, and we made ourselves look glamorous with Mary Quant eyeshadow and Yardley Pot o’Gloss on our lips.
When we went back to school after the Christmas holidays, our science teacher handed out text books for the new school year. I told her that I didn’t need any because I was going to Papua New Guinea the next week. The teacher laughed and told me not to make up stories. The other kids told her I was telling the truth. She looked dumbfounded because she had never heard of anyone going to Papua New Guinea before.
I was looking forward to this new adventure, but I at the same time, I sort of realised that the fleeting moment of those few months with the cool girls had just slipped through my fingers.