Back in primary school I had a friend who we used to refer to (although not to her face) as "the Loch Ness Monster". Not because she was particularly monstrous or anything - she was a friend, after all - but because when her name was written out bits of it looked like humps rising out of the water. Since it's St. Andrew's Day today, I was reminded of her by her name, at least.
Although there have been - over time - various attempts to reconnect with the LNM through various means (my mum tried to get me to ask her out once), it's not really a friendship either of us sought to rekindle, although we once had a full-on discussion about how difficult it was to stop having sex once you'd started... as you do, y'know. Some of my other friends - Robinson, Mane and my friend-who-is-a-midwife, to name false names - were also relatively close to her, and even to them the LNM appears to have vanished into the ether. Last I heard, she was doing well. All the best to her.
Robinson arrived at Woodcraft one evening in a slightly amused state with the news that the LNM had a boyfriend. We were 11 at this point, having been out of primary for less than a year and having seen neither hide nor hair of the LNM since (apart from bumping into her at an Indian restaurant once...), but neither Robinson nor I was surprised that, out of our little circle, the LNM was the first one to gain what could be vaguely termed an "other half". She'd had one in primary too...
...er, kind of.
I don't know what their relationship was, probably as a result of the fact that she didn't know what it was either. She was in Year 5 and spent most of her time swapping POGs and playing Cops and Robbers with the rest of us in the senior playground; he was in Year 6 (such a mature man!) and seemed to spend every waking minute playing football, just like every other boy in the entire school (myself and Robinson excepted); despite this frankly massive age gap, they had managed to engender something approaching a relationship.
My friend-who-is-a-midwife eventually came up with some sort of plan to garner more information about the LNM's relationship with her much older beau - some sort of plan which actually entailed going up to him with a notepad, asking him direct questions and writing the answers down verbatim - which worked surprisingly well. We got a declaration of love from both sides, plus an admission that they had, at least once, kissed; the entire thing was brought to a head by the fact that they danced together as reindeer in the Christmas pantomime that year ("Father Christmas meets the Dragon", or something - I was, also, a reindeer).
On account of the fact that this was the height of romance and that the LNM was very upset when they broke up, although she cheered up considerably when I sang her Forget About Love from Disney's Return of Jafar and never mentioned him again, she was - by the age of 11 and her first boyfriend - seasoned, and knew everything there was to know about this "being in love" thing. And that is why neither of us was surprised that evening at Woodcraft.
Oh yes, and I married her at one point, when we were about 5. Good times.