Diary -- 12/07/1993 -- The night before my 21st birthday

I think I cried a week’s worth of tears when I heard you’d been thrown from your bike as I waited for you at a small station in Bristol. I cried for the teacher who gave me so much, who waits in the hospice to die. I cried for my best friend who found out her new guy hadn’t quite broken up with his girlfriend. I cried for the night that a guy turned me down, and the day that a friend stood me up. I cried for the people my existence hurts, and for tomorrow, my birthday, which I intended to spend with you. But mostly I cried because I realised how human you really are. How all my love can’t save you from a sudden drop down a ravine or a nuclear explosion or being thrown from your bike.

Afterwards, I walked through the village. Passers-by stared at my puffed-up eyes and the tears that still lined them like glasses. I chain-smoked in the park and watched a couple on the grass. They kissed and giggled like children, and I wondered if they knew how readily it could end. I wonder if they know how human they are.

View this story's 6 comments.