Things you have to understand before Gareth makes you decide that I'm a complete idiot:
1)My family is massively female dominated. I've got three sisters, for Christ sake, two aunties and my Mum, as well as Delphine the French au pair, so I kind of expected I wouldn't be like any other teenage guy when faced with, like, say, a life sized poster of Jessica Alba in a bikini. In the summer my older sister always wanders round like that (and apparently she's pretty hot), so I figured I was sort of immune, you know? Like chicken pox. Girls are no big deal if you've already been exposed.
2)Nobody actually ever bothers to tell you that what you think is a crush on Kelly Pringle in the year above, really isn't. Even though that would be massively helpful, because a crush is supposed to be more than just thinking she's alright and that if it got to it, then you guess you'd snog her rather than Tamsin Green, even though Tam's breasts are the size of a small child's head. But no – see, they never tell you that what you mean by 'Kelly Pringle's alright,' is in no way the same as what Tyrone Mitchell means when he says that. The words are pretty much the same, but nobody mentions the bit where you're supposed to feel like you've been hit by a nuclear weapon every time she comes close, so I didn't even know that's what I was missing.
3) My hormones are really picky; they waited until I was sixteen and a half to let me experience the humiliating joy of my first crush. I thought all that heart fluttering in your chest, sweaty palms, stumbling over your words rubbish was for girls, and that you only ever hear about is so much 'cos of all the chick-flicks you can't get away from at my house. I thought it was all a big, fat, female-driven conspiracy to make them all want to have babies and keep repopulating the planet. Like that thing where their memory wipes out the true pain of childbirth so they think they want to do it more than once. I didn't know I just hadn't had one yet, because when you're sixteen and a half, you kind of think you must have done.
4)Not to be crude, but owning a porn stash in my house is kind of impossible. Our family computer is sitting in the middle of the living room and the laptop is shared between me and my two younger sisters. And – I think this needs to be said, so no one thinks I'm an asexual weirdo - I tend to go for a more sensation-based approach – you know, like lying on your arm until your hand goes to sleep and then racing through the burning pins and needles, or with lots of soap in the shower – and I'm more thinking about getting to the end when I do that, than any specific other person, or parts of a person. My dirty thoughts just weren't very directed, until I had someone to direct them at.
5)When I met him, I was too busy trying to avoid failing my GCSEs to actually take a real interest in anyone, because I'm a bit slow at schoolwork sometimes. I'm a year back already. Which doesn't mean I'm thick. Alright? It just means stuff takes me longer because the words get muddled up unless I go really slowly. Dyslexia sucks balls, but anyway – what I'm saying is, it's not like I was hit by some giant thunderbolt of lust. I actually kind of didn't notice it happening.
6)I kind of assumed – the way you do – that everybody else was the same – sort of indifferent and just making a better go of it than me because they had less stressful lives, or whatever. The G word didn't even cross my mind until he came into it.
7)When I did get the giant thunderbolt of lust, it was because he was in drag. He does drag really, really well for someone with a name like Gareth Pedder and I thought that I thought he was a girl, because he looked so bloody good he could have been. Except, he totally didn't look like a girl at all - he's just looked sexy as fcuk; before that, I don't think I even knew what sexy was.
And all of those reasons are why I am completely justified in failing to realise that I actually fancied the pants off him. But now he's going to tell it his way, and make out that I'm an absolute spesh.