This was for a prompt “Randomly find someone in your year book and create a story of their life today”
Diana Lovell was the queen of 89. She was the girl all the guys wanted and the girl we all wanted to be. She was perfection personified with her golden spun hair and eyes so blue you just wanted to jump right in and drown in the depths. There was always a collective sigh whenever she passed, like time itself took notice and held its breath.
Diana Lovell knew who she was. You could tell by the way that she walked, the way that she held up her head. She looked at the sky and said bring it on. She wore her own style and never followed the crowd, the crowd followed her. Whatever Diana wore yesterday was today’s favourite piece.
I didn’t know where she lived, I don’t think anybody did. She was a bright floating star that we worshipped from afar but never quite caught. We were in awe of the aura she created and never dared get too close. Perhaps we were frightened that she wasn’t real; that the dream of one day being like her could unravel and a shatter into a thousand tiny fragments of disappointment and loss.
I saw her one day, when I was coming home from town. I’d missed the bus and decided to walk. I took the short cut home, through the park off Richmond street taking the snicket that ran behind the Appolo. It was boarded up now and just the old neon sign, slightly off kilter, gave a glimpse of its glory days. Only the A and the P were left, I think someone had stolen the P O L O for a laugh. I never came this way usually. There was never any need, most of the shops had long since closed and tightly packed terraces of red brick houses had more boarded windows than those with glass. If ever there was an area in need of regeneration, this was it.
I wasn’t paying much attention, just keeping my head down low, walking a bit faster than normal. Then I saw her. She was sat on a step with her arms wrapped tightly round her knees, her chin was resting on top and she was staring at the floor. She looked up and our eyes locked. It could have been seconds or even an hour, I couldn’t tell. I froze, locked in the moment. I waited and watched for a smile or a hint of recognition. She smiled. I floated.
“Hi” she said, unwrapping her arms and getting up off the step. I smiled back.
She walked towards me and stopped. “Do you ever feel nobody really knows who you are?” I looked behind, was she talking to me? “Eh” was all I managed. She smiled again and turned back towards the house. She didn’t say anything else. I stood for a little bit longer and thought to myself “Well that was weird”. On the way home all I could think of was that Diana Lovell had spoken to me. That had been a very good day…
It was twenty years later when I saw her again. I’d dropped my car keys on the floor in the struggle to drop my folders, let go of the briefcase and not spill my non-fat café latte. I was cursing like a builder when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned and saw the familiar blonde tresses, shorter now and cropped close to her head. My fingers jerked and the coffee free falled to the floor. Diana Lovell held her head up high and smiled. Only Diana Lovell now had a well chiselled chin and a 6 o clock shadow. When I’d heard she’d had a sex change a few years ago, I’d been stunned. That was nothing to the shock I felt now seeing her, I mean him, in the flesh.
That question came back into my head “Do you ever feel nobody really knows who you are?” I’m still in awe of Diana Lovell……………………..