Today the twins decided to open a box that had remained unopened for years, forgotten since the day we packed our things and moved. It was full of letters, school reports, library passes. And there it was. It was taken on a Monday morning, the morning after Easter Sunday. It was a tradition on such days to go on pilgrimage to a hill to eat and dance around a strangely shaped big granite rock. A pagan festival, dating back to pre-Christian times.
And there we were, a bunch of youngsters sitting cross-legged on the grass under the oaks, casually dressed in faded Levi´s and T- shirts, pullovers tied carelessly around our waists, with our bright young faces turned to the spring sun.
So gloriously young, so gloriously happy and carefree.
Andrew, the boy with the burning black eyes who was the first boy who ever tried to French kiss me. Henry and his girlfriend Lou, always so posh. Mick, with hs mane of curly brown hair and green eyes. Moses, the one standing up, who was my parent´s godson. Xavier, straw-haired Jara, who used to follow me everywhere when I was way out of hand to see that I was safe and come to no harm. Tony, who played the guitar so beautifully and who looked so much like Ringo Starr, nose and all. Ginny, with her long blonde hair and whose teats all the rest of us girls envied. Mary, the blue eyed freckled little one. John, always so serious. Angel, who was so sweet and kind, always laughing and always generous.
And I. The one half hidden behind Charlie, because I didn´t like to be photographed. The one who was to become a stranger, because she was terrified of needles.
I never consciously realised that all the friends of my youth are dead. That not one of them ever reached adulthood.
But how can they be dead, when I can still see Xavier running on the beach, trying to evade the waves. When Tony still plays The house of the rising sun under the moonlight, while I sing Oh, mother, tell your children not to do what I have done. When Titus and I still wade fully dressed across the sea, drinking vodka from the bottle and fishing conchies and kissing.
How alive we are, Titus and I. In the clear, warm, sweet afternoon, when time does not exist and future and past do not exist. The world does not exist, nothing is real outside us both kissing endlessly, holding our hands, oblivious of everything and everyone. Nothing exists outside his shining golden eyes locked with mine. Nothing exists outside our lips and our mouths, kisses sweeter than life, tasting of vodka and marijuana.
We were alive.
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