had my friends - Owen ‘Sting’ Carter, Erin ‘Barb’ Ellis, Ross ‘Bolt’ Emmerson, and I was always just ‘Starr’. My friends had chosen their names for gaming and somehow they just stuck in real life too. We spent our evenings cramming for exams or gaming. We even had a nickname for our little gang SSBB or ‘Same Shit Bloody Brilliant’, which was a reference that we all played the same games. Sting also did motocross with his dad of a weekend, so we didn’t see him at all until about ten o’clock on Sunday night from straight after school on Friday.
When we were kids Tyler and I had always promised each other that no matter what happened we’d go to prom together. Well, Tyler went with Issy Jacobs and I didn’t go. I felt bad for my mum after she spent so much money on the dress and although Barb and Bolt said I could go with them, I really didn’t feel like it. Sting was a year older so I couldn’t even go with him. I sold the dress on ebay to get some of my mum's money back.
So the summer break arrived, and on the first Friday after prom at about eleven at night my bedroom door opened and Tyler walked in. He was holding Trixie's lead. “She’s gone,” he said and we just sat, held each other and cried.
Trixie was ‘our’ dog, mine and Tyler's. Admittedly I hadn’t seen that much of her over the past few years unless she came over with Aunty Jane and the older Trixie got the less frequent her visits had become.
Aunty Jane’s house backed onto one side of the park and ours onto the other so Tyler and I spent some of our time playing there where our mothers could see us. We had found Trixie in the park when we were about five, she was in bad shape so we took her back to Aunty Jane's. Trixie was our childhood, and suddenly she was gone and with horror I think we both realised right there July twenty third, that at sixteen years of age our childhood had gone too.
We cried ourselves to sleep, over the dog we lost and the childhood we lost. Tyler had actually probably lost his when he was about twelve or something but now it was really gone. Tyler had always had a key to my house and I to his so I didn’t know my mum didn’t know he was there. Mum and I had never really had ‘boundaries’ as such because it was just the two of us; she didn’t knock to come into my room, I never knocked to come into hers. Aunty Jane had come over to tell mum about Trixie and mum had come straight up the stairs to tell me. She hadn’t seen that it was Tyler in my bed and started hollering,‘OH MY GOD’ and ran back out of my room slamming the door behind her.
“MUM! MUM! It’s OK it’s just Tyler!” I yelled after her. Mum reopened the door.
“Hi, Aunty Jackie sorry if I gave you a fright.” Tyler said sheepishly.
“Oh, thank God its you! I thought Starr had a boy in her room!” Mum said causing Tyler and I to give each other ‘The Look’, you know ‘The Look’ the one which says, ‘Did she actually just say that?’
“No, Aunty Jackie it’s just me,” Tyler said hoarsely.
“You two didn’t???!” Mum suddenly looked mortified.