For about a year, around the year 10 or 11 mark (I forget which, but I think it was year 10), I had a huge crush on one of the girls in my year. This shouldn't have come as a surprise - of course I had a crush; people do in their teens - what did come as surprise was the fact that the girl I liked was relatively famous (outside of our school), and apparently had a sixteen-year-old boyfriend (I was fifteen) outside of the confines of school. She had a career path planned, and couldn't wait to leave.
I told Einstein and Music Man, and later on another friend, which was a mistake, in hindsight. My bully, who by then had turned ally, read my lips in a reflection and worked out who it was. He then shouted it into a corridor. I denied it, but it was too late. For the next few months, her life was hell. I tried to avoid her, but since we rarely talked anyway, that wasn't difficult. Betrayed by someone I almost trusted, I spent my days trying to get a glance at her, then going home to cry and write emotional poetry. Quite a lot of poetry, in fact.
What I surprised myself with, however, was how - now that it was public knowledge and she was hating it - I was more willing to share. Even if the news hadn't travelled that far (and even my German teacher knew, so...), it hadn't escaped the whole year's attention that I had a crush. Even the girl two years below who had a crush on Lightsinthesky knew. Lightsinthesky knew too, of course, but then he knew everything.
Someone I didn't know very much and didn't like very much once cornered me on the bridge above the main road which I used to cross to get to school and demanded to know who I fancied.
"I'm surprised you don't know," I shrugged. And I told him her name.
"The girl in the green coat?" he suggested.
"Uhm... sure, why not?" I replied.
It took me a few minutes to work out what he had said. The silver girl I liked didn't wear a green coat, but one of my friends did. This was a female friend who had taken it upon herself to teach me how to flirt. I wasn't very good at it, but she was. I wasn't sure how she felt about me, but I doubt nowadays that she was at all interested past friendship. I had now told someone, inadvertently, that I had a crush on someone I didn't... but who I used to hang out with a lot, and flirt. It wouldn't have seemed inconceivable to an outsider that she was the object of my affections.
Things got stranger and weirder by the day. According to me, and my collection of poetry The Pleasure of Anthology, I was passionately and hopelessly in love with the silver girl. By the time I got around to compiling my second collection It's a Farmyard Out There!, I was passionately and hopelessly in love with the girl in the green coat. I was later interested, of course, in Moaner Lisa, plus the girl-I-used-to-have-a-crush-on, and then Soldiergirl, all in succession. None of them had a particularly good time being fancied by me, and the worst thing is, I couldn't actually do anything about it. I felt like I needed to apologise.
In the end, I did what any sane person would have done, and drew a diagram.
By the time I'd sorted everything out, the silver girl (with whom I had become friends) had left school, the girl in the green coat (who had since abandoned the green coat) had advanced to the sixth form with me and was now dating (and possibly shagging) the older guy who was a bit of a computer genius, the whole debacle with Soldiergirl had passed by, and everyone had moved on with their lives. I was still, of course, a little confused... but I wouldn't let on.
The last person I had a crush on while still at school also had a crush on me. She didn't go to my school and, later, became my first girlfriend. So this time I didn't feel guilty telling anyone who it was.
She was a little afraid of the colour green, though, so wouldn't be wearing any such coat.