This is the third and final part of my chronicling of all the people I felt, in some way or another, erotically towards between the ages of 4 and 18. This list is conclusive and factually accurate. Names have been changed for “legal reasons”.

When Part Two ended, I was just ditched by my sixth form formal date, Georgie. She had gone and hooked up with an Argentinean exchange student.

GEORGIE STYLER (Part Two)

The morning after the formal, I woke up hungover, feeling awful, and spent the day crying. The only time I left the house was to travel to the supermarket. I bought a bottle of Coca-Cola and some Crunchie Bar ice creams. The whole way there and back, I listened to Oasis’s “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” and quietly, tenderly, sung it to myself under my breath. I genuinely thought it would look like a beautifully tragic/poetic/romantic image for anyone who saw or heard me. Like something from a movie.

That night, it rained and I remember going out because I wanted to do the same thing in the rain.

I thought it would make it even more tragic/poetic/beautiful. I got really wet and didn’t see anyone while I was walking. Water got into my MP3 player and it broke. When I woke up the next morning, there was a letter from Georgie in my mailbox and I immediately fell in love with her again. Things got to be the same as they were before and we spent all of our time together.

I never mentioned the hurt I felt from when she hooked up with the Argentinean but I held onto it in case we ever went out then broke up and I needed things to use against her. Things eventually got to the same pseudo-romantic state again. Once, we were at her house and we were watching a film in her living room with her family and we were holding hands and I put my hand on her thigh (under her skirt) and rubbed her thigh. It was tense.

That night we were in bed (in a tent, in separate sleeping bags) and we were talking. We were saying things like “it feels right” and “but I don’t want to lose what we have” and I somehow lost self-control and kissed her. It was really bad. I didn’t know how to kiss and was afraid to move my mouth or tongue in case that only happened in movies. She didn’t do anything either. We just had our lips pressed together for about a minute.

Afterwards, it was really depressing. That was my first real kiss. It was horrible. For a while after that we were in this awkward limbo, we would still spend all our time together but it was really tense. One day it was really hot. We were sitting on her couch (leather) and no one else was home and it was too tense so I tried to kiss her again. This time I decided to try and kiss like in a movie, even if it made me seem stupid. It was really amazing and I was touching her face and hair and everything like when Tim kisses Dawn at the end of The Office.

We went around and kissed in every room of her house. After that, we were boyfriend and girlfriend. That was the only time I was happy at high school. One time we kissed in the music department’s storage closet. At first, Georgie didn’t want other people to know about us, so we had to kiss in places like that. We went on a trip to Arthur’s Pass together. We took the train and went on long walks in the bush and wore thermals.

We were both virgins and talked about having intercourse. We went to the Arthur’s Pass General Store to buy condoms, just in case, but I was too embarrassed to buy them. I think if we bought them, we would have had intercourse. On that trip, I gave her oral sex for the first time. I didn’t know what to do, but I tried my best. I think it went well. At one point I put a breath mint in my mouth because I read that that was a good thing to do.

We were together for almost a year. Sometimes Georgie would get angry with me and call me a “gormless puppy” or would get mad at me for being “morose”. We were pretty happy together. I wrote poetry for her (honestly). At one point, my family had to move house and there was about a month between us moving out of our old house and into our new one. I spent three weeks living at Georgie’s while my family stayed with various relatives.

Then her mum had this weird mental breakdown thing while driving home and squirted her water bottle at Georgie and her sister Carin. Georgie’s Mum and Dad were constantly on the fritz. I convinced my mum to let Georgie stay with us at my Auntie Susan’s house for a bit. Georgie and I slept in the conservatory on separate bedrolls. My Dad said there was to be “no funny business” which sounds fake but is actually what he said. We talked till really late at night and decided to have intercourse. It was pretty tense and went on for a long time. I was worried Auntie Susan would walk in. In the morning we went for a walk and smiled and called each other “lover”.

But towards the end of the year, things got bad. Georgie was going to be moving away the next year. She thought we might as well break-up sooner rather than later. Around this time my band won the Canterbury Rock Quest and Georgie came and was being weird. She was weird all night. I really wanted to hold her that night. Normally I like to sleep by myself on my side of the bed (otherwise the other person sticks to you and their hair gets in your face). But that night I was really happy and wanted Georgie to be happy too. She rolled away from me, though.

I was dropping her at work in the morning when she told me she had planned to break up with me after the show. She told me she had developed feelings for a guy named Jackson, who she met when she was a leader at a YMCA camp. She broke up with me in the car park of Postie Plus. I listened to Radio Hauraki on the way home.

JOANNE TAN

I didn’t think about anyone at my school romantically after or during Georgie. But Joanne was in my Japanese class throughout high school. I always thought she was really pretty and I always had a stupid stereotypical fantasy about having an Asian girlfriend. Joanne was really beautiful, shy and intelligent. I think I only talked to her once. It was in Japanese class and was about Japanese.

KIM ELLIOT

Everyone at my school had a crush on Kim Elliot. She was “the hottest girl in school”. The main part of the attraction for me however, was that she was related to a legendary Canterbury and New Zealand pace bowler. Physically, I wasn’t that attracted to her. I thought she had really hairy arms and an evil face, but I imagined being her boyfriend and becoming friends with her Uncle.

ERIKA WILKIE

Erika was the only other girl of major romantic importance in my life. She was really beautiful. Possibly the most beautiful girl I’ve ever had the remotest of romantic attachments to. She had this small gap in her front teeth that made her smile really great and also had eyes that were small but incredibly warm. I fell in love with Erika. She had a boyfriend. He was this cool guy who played in cool bands and did graphic design, named Neil. Erika and he had been together for years and she wasn’t happy with him anymore by the time we met.

We used to email each other a ridiculous amount. She would finish all her text messages “- E”. We got on really well. I went to the Avonside Girls High afterformal party at her house. Her boyfriend left, but I stayed and helped her clean up. Erika used to text me to come pick her up from parties (at which she got really drunk) and drive her home. One time she was so drunk she could hardly breathe. I got out of bed at two in the morning to go get her from the other side of town and take her home (also the other side of town).

We sat in my car that night for three hours. She held my hand incredibly tight and kept saying she appreciated me while I stroked her hair. She asked me to walk her inside because she couldn’t walk properly. I’m pretty sure she was coming on to me but I didn’t want anything to happen because she had a boyfriend and was really drunk. But really, I did want something to happen. We had this really long/knowing hug.

A week later we both tried marijuana for the first time. It was awful. Erika reacted badly to it and went white and was throwing up. It seemed like she was going to die. It was horrible and scary but, even when she was vomiting into a bucket, she looked beautiful. I got so scared that I left and drove home. On the way home I thought about her and decided I couldn’t keep seeing her because she had a boyfriend. Even though I thought we were in love with each other. I thought I was being noble, but I think really, I was being stupid. I literally didn’t see Erika again or speak to her for another three years.

THE END. I HOPE YOU ENJOYED MY LIFE.

Words by Joseph Harper.