“So, guess what.”
“I’m coming home, baby!”
“I’m on my way home. Like right now.”
“Yeah! So I was thinking, y’know if you were free, I could pop round for a bit? And we could just hang out.”
“Um, okay. Let me sort some things out and I’ll call you back, yeah?”
“Sure thing. Just let me know.”
James and I bombed it along the Cornish roads, cranking up the volume on the music and listening to some really camp, and really gangster tunes in the same hour. We felt really cool. Matt quickly phoned me back and told me that he had cleared his day for me and he’d be waiting when I got home. I beamed to myself. I could finally see him!
When I did get to his house, having made a brief stop at Asda to get my sister a birthday present, I stood in his doorway and phone him from outside.
“Are you going to let me in or what? It’s freezing out here!”
“Where are you?”
“On your doorstep.”
He opened the door and there I was. I stepped up and wrapped my arms around him. He was mine. Once again, he was mine. That day was another day which I will never forget. We took a trip to Bristol. My hair needed cutting, so we decided we would try and find a hair salon. Having travelled to Clifton Village and tried three different salons there, we grabbed coffee from Starbucks and headed over to the Mall at Cribbs. Grabbed coffee. Not only did we grab coffee, it was also my first introduction to Starbucks. Until this point, I had only ever been a Costa person and stuck firmly to my Medio Mocha – with a flake if I was eating in. But no, this was Starbucks and I was introduced to Peppermint Mocha. It was a new vice. I didn’t have many; good hair, clothes (especially the Topman variety), Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut and Mocha. But Peppermint Mocha? This was something altogether new. I was becoming a convert! I had always sworn I would never let anybody change me, but it was happening so subtly that I could barely even notice it. But the coffee was SO GOOD!
We headed up Park Street, chatting about this and that and he asked me to sing to him again. I think we were talking about Joe Brooks and how hehadto discover his music, so I gave a half-hearted rendition of Hello Mr Sun before I forgot the words. C’mon, cut me some slack. The album was new! I wasn’t sure how we ended up at Cribbs Causeway from Park Street, but nonetheless we arrived and pulled up in front of a car that I’m sure had the exact same number plate as Shoniqua, Rosie’s beat up old Ford Escort. It was the same car as well, which was weird. A different colour and in considerably better nick, but otherwise the same car.
Hand in hand we walked into the Mall and made a beeline for Supercuts, who informed us that they were fully booked until closing time. What a wasted journey. Matt said that he wanted to go to HMV and look around so we made a stop there next. I wandered around by myself for a bit while he played Need for Speed; Hot Pursuit on the gaming consoles in store. I clocked up what albums I wanted to get myself and what I could practically afford. Once I had compiled an adequate list, I wandered off to find Matt and suggest we made a move. He commented how he would quite like Josh Grobans ‘Illuminations’ album. I said that I would get it for him for free. It was better than paying for it, especially as he said he only wanted a couple of tracks. What was the point in paying for an entire album if you weren’t sure you were going to like all of it? It would turn out, that in the process of recording the album for Matt, I would, myself, turn into a self-proclaimed Josh Groban fan.
We mutually agreed that as it was still quite early, and, thus far, the day had proven less that productive, we would head over the road to the Vue and watch Harry Potter which either of us had yet to see. We jumped back in the car and drove over the road – it was a dual carriageway, so driving was permitted in this instance. I insisted on paying for the tickets, so he insisted on paying for the popcorn and food. I was certain he deliberately made the food more expensive so as not to be outdone. That was a point for him, and I was not happy about it. We made our way into the theatre and took our places up at the very back. I liked the back, there was something about it that made you feel a little like god. Plus, it was easier to see the whole picture without having to move your eyes too much.
Matt got up then, and said he was going to the toilet. Either that, or going to get some nachos. I can’t remember which. I placed some of my clothes in his seat so as to save it and began to munch on the salted popcorn. Always salted, I couldn’t stand sweet. He was gone a very long time and I began to wonder if he was actually coming back. It wouldn’t have surprised me. I was surprised he had lasted this long to be honest. The only thing that was consoling me that he was, in fact, going to return was the small pile of accessories he had also left on the seat to my right. Time passed and the lights got darker. The adverts rolled over and over and they began to screen the video adverts and he still wasn’t back. I settled down into my seat and prepared for the film to begin, when I saw him come back in the screen and hurry up the stairs. I smiled; mostly relief. At least I still had a lift home!
Visually, the film was very good. This is what we talked most about on the journey home. Matt had already told me that the main reason he loved film was because of the visual aesthetics of the piece. The way it was constructed and shot and it hung together as a film. I was similar, I liked the beauty and intricacy of the set and the way the costume reflected what kind of a person a character played as well as the situation they may be in. I liked the way the camera moved and was positioned to construct meaning and get the best out of a shot. Repeatedly, I remember mentioning how much I liked Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge for this; he agreed with me. In terms of film fanatics, we were almost identical. The only difference was that he couldn’t watch horrors, particularly psychological or slashers like ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ or ‘Saw’ because he got too engrossed in it and believed it to be real. I, on the other hand, loved that kind of thing because I had learned to detach myself from what I saw on the screen. I guessed having a background in acting helped with this somewhat.
I learned a lot about Matt in a short space of time. I knew what his background was, what his family was like and what he was like as a person. I thought I knew him really well, but as I should well know. Everyone has their secrets… Everyone has a dark mark…