Tuesday, 7 December 2010

All change

I looked at the clock above me. The light overhead hummed in tune with the vending machine stuffed with chocolate and crisps. I reshuffled a pile of order forms in case anyone was watching and tapped away in what I hoped was an industrious fashion. 4.30pm finally ticked over. I tripped over the bin in my rush to leave the brown office.

Looking back I have a strong memory of driving home from Blackburn after work. My little Ford Fiesta hurtled towards Lytham in the rainy dark of a November afternoon and I turned up the volume to sing along with Rui da Silva. I was filled with glee and excitement at the thought of leaping up and down in a dark club to the warm bass and moving vocals on the coming weekend.

Pulling into our driveway I saw Rachel admiring Wiz's new motorbike. Having only passed his test a week earlier Wiz was keen to show it off. In the warmth of our terraced house he gave Rachel and I a mug each which he had bought on an excursion during the day. We were touched. He put Becky's up on the sideboard for her return from work then presented me with a spare helmet. "Come on, let's go for a ride before dinner."

I put on the brand new jacket my mum had bought me for next week's skiing holiday. It was bloody freezing out and motorbikes are not known for their cosiness. Rachel watched from the living room window as I wiggled the helmet on. She came outside and readjusted the strap as I couldn't work out how to tighten it properly. It felt odd, sitting on the back of the bike with my arms wrapped round my friend. I wondered why we were doing this if we didn't need to go anywhere.

"Put your feet on there. Make sure they don't go here. Loosen your grip round my waist." My heartbeat sped up as we rolled out of our driveway.

"You won't go too fast, will you?"

"Dont worry I won't. Don't be nervous. I won't do anything to make you frightened."

At the end of our road Wiz put his foot down on the road to steady the bike while we waited for a gap to pull out into the moving traffic. I fiddled around trying to make sure my feet weren't in the 'make sure they don't go here' place.

The night air was fuzzily orange with drizzle and street lights. We followed the headlights in front as the queue of cars snaked their way towards the outskirts of Lytham. We started to chat but I gave up as the helmet and noise took up too much valuable concentration. A mini roundabout gave way to a stretch of road where Wiz indicated right to overtake the car in front of us. As the middle of the road widened into an empty lane he pulled out. As we curved round the car into the lane another bike did the same thing coming towards us.

"Oh shit" said my sweet, handsome, cheeky nineteen year old friend ten years ago today.

1 comment:

  1. Even though you have shared this with me before I still choked up, RIP Whizz...


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