Seriously... That fringe though! It's almost as tragic as the pout and the dead natural-looking skin tone... 🤦🏻♀️🤣 2011's finest right there! (And yes, I think that is an Olly Murs poster in the background...)
Me (29) follows the sound of sobbing up to my childhood bedroom.
Me (18) is in there slumped over her laptop, wearing a fake Juicy Couture tracksuit. Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong With Me’ is blaring out of the speakers.
Three empty bags of Tesco fizzy rainbow belts litter the floor, alongside a pair of discarded, alarmingly small hot-pants. The light pink carpet is covered in splodges of fake-tan and mascara. The entire room beholds the overpowering musk of So...? Kiss Me.
Hundreds of photos line the walls; blu-tac destroying the paintwork. Most of the photos depict Me (18) on various nights out with a big group of friends. One photo has been ripped from the middle of the display and lies in tatters by the bin.
Me (29) notes that this destroyed image is of Me (18) clinging desperately to a very uncomfortable-looking Jase, the boy she’s been obsessed with for a year. He hates her.
Me (29) peers at the laptop screen, which is open on Facebook.
Me (18) has posted a status update that solely consists of 15 crying emojis. Four people have commented to ask if Me (18) is alright. The response from Me (18) reads ‘Don’t wanna talk about it xox’
Me (29): Babe... Oh my God, babe – are you okay?
Me (18) raises a mascara-stained face: No, I am NOT okay! I hate my life!!!!
Me (29): What on earth’s happened? Oh God, you’ve not failed GCSE maths again, have you?
Me (18) - glares at Me (29) ferociously: I WISH it was something as trivial as failing a maths exam! Middle-aged people like you think teenagers have nothing to worry about, but you JUST DON’T GET IT!! No-one understands! I have the worst life in the WHOLE WORLD!!!!
Me (29): Middle-aged? Wow. If I’m middle-aged at 29, that means I’ll be dead at what, 58?
Me (18) – sniffing: I wish I was dead now.
Me (29): So are you going to tell me what’s wrong? Have Superdrug banned you for crimes against fake tan?
Me (18): Ha ha. It’s Jase. He liked Harriet’s picture on Facebook.
Me (29) waits patiently for Me (18) to expand on this information.
Me (18) doesn’t expand on this information.
Me (29) stares at Me (18).
Me (18) stares back at Me (29).
Me (29): ... Is that it?!
Me (18): WTF do you mean ‘is that it?’
Me (29): Well... A guy who you’re not even with liking another girl’s photo on social media is hardly the end of the world, is it? No offence, but I’m dealing with worse. Try juggling an eating disorder, a job, the rising cost of living, a national shortage of pasta, the unreliable services of Northern Rail, and the threat of a nuclear war.
Me (18) - looks at Me (29) blankly: What’s a nuclear war? That all sounds so boring. I’d take your problems over mine any day. People like you don’t even know you’re born. You can roll your eyes all you want, but my generation are the reason BBM, Tinie Tempah and Paul's Boutique exist! So yeah, you’re welcome. Respect your youngers.
Me (29) almost has to leave the room to avoid throttling Me (18).
Is this kid actually for real?!
Me (18): It’s not just Jase that’s getting on my tits.
Me (29) cringes at the crass choice of words by Me (18).
Me (18): Mum has banned me from having my house party on Saturday night.
Me (29): Okay... But there must be a reason for that? Mum’s usually pretty cool.
Me (18): No she isn’t! She hates me! She’s trying to ruin my life!! You know what - I bet I was adopted!! I hope I was, because then I can get out of this dump and move back in with my real Mum. I bet she’d let me have house parties!!
Me (29) – stifling a sigh: You are not adopted – stop being melodramatic. I thought you told me that you were planning to move to Chelsea in a few months anyway?
Me (18) - brightens slightly, totally oblivious to the sarcasm in the voice of Me (29): Oh yeah. I’ve applied to a few modelling agencies, and then I’ll meet a footballer and we’ll move to Chelsea. I’ll well miss Molly because she’s going to marry a Spanish footballer and live in Barcelona, but we can always meet up at the penthouses in Miami.
Me (29) just about resists informing Me (18) that at five-foot-one, her modelling-career might be a bit of a non-starter, much like her ambition to marry a footballer...
Side Note: Me (29) also realises with a smile that Me (18) will never have to miss Molly, because Me (29) and Molly now live less than five minutes away from each other! 🥺❤️ And for the record, neither of us married footballers...
Me (29) – trying to keep the patronising tone from my voice: Exactly hun. See – lot’s to look forward to...! So, why aren’t you allowed your house party? To be honest, I’m surprised Mum even agreed to another one after last time... Did you ever manage to get the watering can off next door’s roof?
Me (18): No, and we had to bin the cactus after Luke sat on it. Mum’s not really arsed about me having parties. It’s banter, innit? Well, it was, until she banned Saturday’s. I didn’t even do anything! GOD, life is SO UNFAIR!!
Me (29) raises her eyebrows at Me (18).
Me (18): Whaaaat?! It was nothing. I don’t even know why Matt – my STUPID sociology teacher – had to ring home like I’m in year 7 or something. I’m 18, FFS. It’s MY choice whether I want to still be in education or not, and he agreed with me. So I don’t know why he then had to be all sly and ring Mum to bitch about me!
Me (29): Go on. What did you do?
Me (18): Well, he was being a total knob and making fun of ‘dim, brain-dead girls who aspire to marry footballers’ so I had a go at him.
Me (29): Wait – you ‘had a go’ ... At a teacher?
Me (18): Yeah! He’s always telling us that sociology is all about, like, forming opinions and standing up for what you believe in, so I did. I said being a WAG pays more than being a sociology teacher, so who’s dim now? And then he went OFF on one, like ‘You sit there every lesson and turn the desk into a MAC make-up counter, how dare you think you’re entitled to talk to me like that’ BLAH BLAH BLAH. I was like, yeah well, it’s not my fault I have double-sociology before lunch with no free period in-between. When else does he expect me to do my make-up?! I need to be ON FLEEK for lunch. OMG honestly, he does my head in; he reckons he’s so cool letting us call him ‘Matt’ instead of ‘Mr Fisher,’ but he’s not cool AT ALL. I hate him!!
Me (29) genuinely has no words. There are no words disapproving enough to lecture this imbecile in-front of me on her idiocy. Besides, what would be the point? I can hardly hear myself think above the warbling din of Taylor Swift.
Me (18): And THEN, Mum was like, ‘If you behave like a child, I will treat you like one! You’re not having your house party on Saturday.’ So I was like, ‘Err, yes I am.’ And she was like, ‘Err, no, you’re not.’ I was like, ‘But I AM’ and she was like-
Me (29) – forced to interrupt so this tedium doesn’t go on all night: Right, I get the picture. So, no house party on Saturday, and Jase liked another girl’s photo. Still hardly seems on par with the Titanic in terms of catastrophe...?
Me (18): Oh, and Louis said that I looked like a chav in my Juicy tracksuit. I was fuuuuumin’!!! This cost me £20 from Select! Look – my joggers even say ‘JUICY’ across the bum like the real-deal.
Me (18) stands up and thrusts her velour-clad backside at me.
Me (18): I had to pay an extra pound for the matching scrunchie. Louis said wearing so much velour was a fire risk. I called him a prick and binned his Capri Sun straw.
P!nk's ‘F*cking Perfect’ sounds from the speakers.
Me (18) lets out another deafening sob.
Me (29): Oh Jesus... Listenig to these morbid tunes isn't going to help. Why don’t you put some Pitbull on? That’ll cheer you up.
Me (18) – shakes head sadly: Nothing can cheer me up. I’m depressed. I’ll never smile again. Ever.
Me (29) considers telling Me (18) that she almost definitely will smile again, for example when she goes off to work in Ibiza in three years’ time, and when she dances the night away in an Irish club with Molly on her hen-do...
Me (29) doesn’t get chance to say any of this, because the Blackberry Bold – belonging to Me (18) - starts ringing. It’s Molly.
Me (18) – speaking into the phone: Hey guuuurl! OMG I know!!! I KNOW!! I literally cannot stand her! She thinks she’s peng AF and it’s just like, no hun, you wear Jack Wills pretty much every day. I know!! OMG YOU’RE JOKING!!!! Shall we go? OMG HEHE!! He might know some footballers he can set us up with! OMG what are you gonna’ wear? I think I’m gonna’ skive off sociology tomorrow and go to town – hopefully Topshop will have something. And I wanna’ get some of that new scented Barry M nail varnish too. BYEEEE FELICIA!
Me (18) hangs up the phone and fiddles with the speakers. The song changes to Dev’s ‘Bass Down Low.’
Me (29) – practically yelling so as to be heard: You’ve perked up...?
Me (18): OBVS! Joey Essex is doing a guest appearance at Tiger Tiger on Tuesday night!! I’m gonna’ ask Mum if I can borrow an extra fiver to upgrade my entry to VIP! If you go VIP, you get a wristband instead of a tramp stamp. OMG, I am in THE best mood EVER!! I LIKE MY BEATS FAST AND. MY. BASS. DOWN. LOW!!!!!
Me (18) turns the volume up as loud as it will go. The whole house shakes under the intensity of the bass.
Me (18) starts twerking. She’s a horrifying vision in navy velour.
Cara Jasmine Bradley
Side Note: the most horrendous thing is, these little anecdotes are NOT embellished - I really was this much of a knobhead at 18! And there's plenty more where these came from...! 😬🤣
💕 Read Part One HERE: 💕