Her grin, cheshire cat in the moonlight, was the first thing we saw. She was a sweet sixteen sex kitten, glowing with a painful half innocence; looking up at us like she didn't know what we wanted. Her sugar-coated lips left marks on the filters of our cigarettes, and we liked it. We liked her sad dark eyes and her naughty smile. We liked the way her dress flashed her knickers when she walked.
She moved like she was pulled by the tides, let the waves have their way. Left no footprints, just bruises like fingerprints on our hearts. There is something oddly fascinating about a girl like Claire, like watching a car crash in slow-motion. Our train wreck, our brightly burning star.
The path to the front door was her catwalk, she used it well. Perfect balance, head high, disinterested look, finished with a sultry smirk. She was a state-schooled stranger to our middle-class comfort, tapped cigarette-ash onto our parents' three-piece suite, drank our cabinets dry. After she arrived in our midst on that cold September Saturday, a friend of a friend of a friend, the music was louder, the dancing dirtier and the damage more extensive. Over the short time we knew her, we learnt to want, to love in ways we had never understood before, but never with half the ferocity she did.