I once had a friend in university. The first I went to, so this would have been Derby. I lived on the top floor and pretty much was scared out of my wits. I mean I had never been away from home and there I was in a flat surrounded by strangers, sharing a bathroom and kitchen. It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.
The top floor was made up of all girls, the middle floor mixed and the ground floor were all boys. Of course it happened that most of us on the top floor got to spend time on the ground floor.
There was one guy… the first room. He was a big man, or almost man. He had long blond hair, think Thor, and he was overweight. Except that it didn’t matter. When this guy walked into a room everyone sat up and took note. I can easily say that most of us girls fancied him. It helped that he was a whiz with a guitar. I mean he could really play a tune. I would listen to him practice for hours.
As with everything though people move on. We finished our first year and he decided that he wasn’t coming back. University wasn’t for him. It was the last time I saw him. In the second year I hung out with the others from our dorm but even here we drifted apart. There were arguments and splits. People moved on and my third year I found myself back in the same accommodation at the first year. It wasn’t the same. I worked to get my degree. I managed.
It was the last day of my university. I was walking through the main campus. A friend from that first year stopped me.
“Did you hear?” she asked, and I could tell she had some gossip.
“The guy on the ground floor? The one who played his guitar all the time? You remember him?”
“Yes,” I said and I smiled. He was a good memory.
“Well, he’s dead. He was crossing at a zebra crossing and he was hit by a drunk driver.”
I must have said more but I can’t remember. All I could see was this guys smile as his fingers danced over the strings. He was gone…
Even now I think about him. Would he have made it? Would he have become a musician? On good days I like to think he would.