I think I’m starting to like Ralph again – 16th March 1998

Monday 16th Oh heck, I think I’m starting to like Ralph again. Emma and I had a flute lesson after school and we had about an hour to spare so we walked to Emma’s house to pass the time. Ralph cycles home down the lane we were walking on and he caught up with us. Mostly he natters about nothing but eventually the conversation turned to Emma and Freddie’s long phone call. Then the conversation turned again and went summit like this:-

(T = me, E = Emma, R = Ralph)

E: Tess was going to ask you out at the weekend.
T: No I wasn’t.
R: Were you Tessa?
T: No.
R: Honestly, were you? Yes or no?
T: No! It was just Emma and Freddie messing about.
E: She was. She’s got a thing about tall, lanky people.
T: Yeah, Ferny.
R: And me.
T: My God, he’s psychic!
R: What, d’you find me attractive?!
T: Ooh, yeah! (Sarcastic. Very.)
R: Do you?
T: I couldn’t possibly tell you, it wouldn’t be fair.

It went on like that for a bit longer and then Emma mentioned the pack of 8 condoms Ralph’s mum had put in his bag for Austria, you know, just in case! He then said something about he could’ve used them with me and I sort of glanced at him thinking, “Yeah, right!” and he smiled and said, “I’m sorry Tessa”.

He kept calling me Tessa. I don’t mind really, it’s just he doesn’t usually. He kept smiling as well and went away looking happy. Oh no, what if he goes away and tells everyone I fancy him? Emma thinks he’s really pleased.

Right, we’ve got this dickhead in our year called David Nolan and I can’t help being a bitch to him. All along I’ve said he fancies Emma and today 2 people agreed with me. Ralph and Mr B. Thank you!


Dougie’s got a girlfriend – 8th December 1997

Monday 8th [MEGABOMBSHELL!!] It’s not fair! Dougie’s got a girlfriend.

She’s called Anna Collins and goes to this orchestra with him and people keep saying she’s really weird with the clothes she wears and stuff. Becky the Year 9 (who’s mates with her) said that Anna’s fancied Dougie for ages [Who hadn’t?] and he liked her and then on Friday night she asked Dougie to ask her out to see what she’d say. He did and she said yes. I’m sure he was one of the people who said she was weird!

I had to give him a Xmas card from Hayley today coz she was too scared to give it to him herself. So when he came up the stairs for registration, I gave it to him. He said thanks so I told him who it was from. He came over and stood really close next to me and told me to tell Mrs S that Theo Papadoukjkhvcfn (I can’t spell it!) would be late for form.

As he was talking, he sort of covered his face with the register he’d got for his form so no-one could see what he was saying to me. I got a funny look off Sarah. He was being really nice. I really wanted to ask him if it was true about Anna but I didn’t wanna sound interested so I didn’t bother. Maybe it won’t last long.

I had to give Ralph his card from Hayley too and he looked quite pleased when I first gave it to him until I told him it wasn’t from me. I s’pose Ralph’s still single but I don’t even know if he likes me anymore!

After school I had a flute lesson with Emma and we had to wait around for a bit so we decided to go to the shop. We passed Ralph getting his bike and he and Emma made a deal that they would give each other Xmas cards. We walked ahead and he set off. I could see him coming up behind us but when he started riding next to me, it scared Emma for some reason.

This is summit like the conversation until we went:-

Ralph: Hi.
Tess (me): Oh, hi.
Emma: AAARRGHH! Ralph don’t do that, you scared me!
Ralph: (To 1st Years) Move!
Tess: Kill ‘em! (I pushed his bike so he nearly hit one.) [Bit tight. 1st Years are people too!]
R: Careful!
(Emma and Ralph start talking about summit.)
E: I thought you’d be at Air Cadets.
R: No, I don’t go anymore.
E: Do the others?
R: It was only really me and Ferny. Oh, and Jade. I want a Christmas card off you too, Tess.
T: I’ll see.
E: She’s been trying to decide whether to give you one all day.
(I tried to make some excuse about not having all that many cards.)
R: D’you know what Hayley wrote in Freddie’s card?
T + E: No.
R: From Hayley!
(We got to the end of the road.)
R: I’m going now. (He said that to me.)
T: There was summit I had to tell you.
R: What?
T: I can’t remember. I’ll tell you tomorrow if I do.
R: Okay, bye.
T: Bye.

There wasn’t anything to tell him really. I dunno why I said that. [I know why I said that. I wanted to be near him for longer because I luuuuurved him – especially now Dougie was off the market.]

Oh yeah, I’ve just remembered summit else awful that’s happened. It was the draw for the 3rd round of the F.A. Cup at the weekend and out of all those bloody teams, Man Utd have ended up with Chelsea. I bet the Chelsea fans are shitting themselves but it’s a bad draw for United as well. Chelsea are only 2nd in the league, right behind Man U and if anyone’s going to beat ‘em, it’ll probably be Chelsea. Man U have the disadvantage of it being an away match too.


P.S. Geography and orchestra and stuff are going to be a bit more boring now that Dougie’s no longer single. Damn it!

I wonder if Ralph does fancy me – 26th November 1997

Wednesday 26th I’ll update you on Ralph as I go thought the day coz quite a few things have happened boywise.

At registration, I noticed that Ralph hadn’t come up the stairs then I saw that his bike wasn’t there either. That’s coz he wasn’t in school today. (Duh, just state the obvious why don’t you, Tess!) I think it was probably a good job too coz at lunch, Emma decided she wanted to go to the chippy so we set off a bit earlier than we usually do. We ended up with all Ralph’s mates following us to the end of the road and if Ralph was in he would’ve been with ‘em. They went the other way when we got to the crossing. We met up with them again at the chippy.

A few days ago, Freddie told Emma he had some stalkers and Emma thought he meant us but then he told her it was Georgia Dean, Rachael Hollins and some other girl! Then, guess what, they turned up a few minutes later from the same direction as the lads had come from so I said to Freddie, “Here come your stalkers.” [I was the one that noticed Ralph hadn’t walked up the stairs at his usual time. I was in no position to go flinging stalker accusations around.] He turned round and went, “Oh God!” when he saw them walk in. It’s funny really. He’s got so big-headed though!

Then, after lunch, I had Geography and I did what I said I’d do to Lizzie and Dougie. This is something like the conversation:-

Tess (me) [Thanks for the clarification.]: Dougie, do you fancy Lizzie?
Dougie: (Looked embarrassed!) No! Ralph fancies you though.
T: No he doesn’t.
D: He does.
T: He doesn’t!
D: He does, honestly!
T: Oh, ok.
D: Do you fancy him?
[This didn’t going as planned then.]
T: Yeah. (I was joking [I wasn’t.] but I think I sounded serious.)
D: What, you really fancy him?
T: Yeah! He’s so fit! (Sarcastic)
D: I’ll have to phone him tonight and tell him.
T: Yeah, you do that.

I bet he bloody well goes and phones him now! I’m gonna have to tell Dougie I don’t really fancy Ralph but he’s probably already gone and told everyone! Whether Ralph finds out probably depends on if he’s in tomorrow or not. Emma reckons Dougie won’t phone him coz he’s scared of Ralph. I’m not so sure about that!

I wonder if Ralph does fancy me.

November 1997 - Heart stars bye

“It’s Dougie on the phone for you. No joking!” – 22nd November 1997

Saturday 22nd Hold on, I’m just going to change pens. This one’s annoying coz it keeps changing colours. I’m back.

I spent most of the day at Emma’s. We couldn’t go anywhere coz Dougie said he’d phone her this afternoon. [Gather round, kids, I’m going to tell you all about the olden days when your only phone was permanently plugged into a wall in your house…] We sat in her room for ages until she decided to phone him. He wasn’t even in! His dad said he’d gone shopping in town. We could’ve gone somewhere. That was a complete waste of time.

When my sister, Abby, got in from going to Warrington with her friends, she told me she’d seen Dougie in BHS with his mum and middle sister.

November 1997 - Space filler

Then, this evening, the phone rang and I was half expecting it to be Dougie coz Emma wasn’t in. I was right. Abby came rushing up the stairs and said, “It’s Dougie on the phone for you. No joking!” I ran along the landing into Mum’s room and picked up the phone. This is more or less how the conversation went:-

Me: Hello? Abby, I’ve got it! Sorry.
Dougie: Hi, it’s me.
Me: Oh, hi. [Feigning vague surprise?]
Dougie: Was that your sister?
M: Yeah, probably. [What?! It was definitely my sister! I think I was trying to be cool and it came out as weird.]
D: I saw her in Warrington today.
M: Yeah I know. She said she saw you. Are you coming tomorrow then?
D: No, I can’t.
M: Oh, okay. Why not?
D: (Mutters something about tennis lessons.)
M: Oh right. Never mind.
D: Is Freddie still going?
M: I think so.
D: Who’s going then?
M: Just me, Emma and Freddie, I think.
D: Is Ralph going?
M: I doubt it. He said he’s skint and he can’t skate.
D: (Laughs) I can’t skate very well either.
M: Freddie’s really good though.
D: Yeah, he goes every week.
M: I know. He got really big headed about it last time we went.
D: (Laughs again)
M: Look, I’d better go.
D: Oh ok. Tell your sister I love her! (I think that’s what he said!)
M: Why?!
D: Never mind.
M: Okay then, bye.
D: Bye.

I’d have liked to talk for longer but Abby was standing over me and I’d run out of things to say. I hope Freddie’s not going to mind being on his own. I mean, he might have asked someone else but if he thought Dougie was coming then he probably hasn’t. Oh well, I s’pose we’ll find out tomorrow.


P.S. Manchester United (I support them) beat Wimbledon 5-2 today away. Beckham scored 2, Scholes 1, Cole 1 and Butt 1 (I think). It’s great coz Barnsley beat Liverpool 1-0 and Arsenal lost 2-0 to Sheffield Wednesday. Man Utd are at the tip of the Premiership where they belong.