A Drug Bust Hoax & An Extremely Intimate Embarrassment (11-17 January)

Monday 11/1/88A Life in Words

Had wierd dream about muppets before I woke this morning: not ordinary ones: the ones (monsters) like out of LABYRINTH [see pic on the right] & THE DARK CRYSTAL. It was really wierd, but good! Well I got up after 8:00 some time, closer to 9.00. I rang Fiona & she said she had to work, but (’cause she rides now) I said I’d ride with her to town at 10:00 and do “nothing” till she had to work. She mentioned on the phone that Steven had said to her “I can’t believe she did that. Mark has finally committed himself to her.” [If you haven’t been following this blog, I highly recommend you read the previous post to understand this statement and grasp the continuing story, in this post.] Great Lissa; he commits himself & finds out this… he won’t ever trust me will he? I really struck out there (well… he didn’t ring me today either) [That sounds like you’ve resigned yourself to an end to the relationship?] So after that I rang Jo, then got ready. It was so windy! I couldn’t believe it… so hard to pedal… I felt totally immobile!! Boring in town: quick glances thru’ shops before riding back to Fi’s Newsagency. I decided (even though the wind was behind me) to catch the (12.30) bus because my bottom was very sore(!!) (Saw Crabbie & Kel too – didn’t recognise them in the car at first!) Listened to BAD on headphones while watching TV at home. A Life in WordsThen nearly fell asleep, so went in to bedroom and slept for about an hour… came out for dinner but could not finish it- felt sick again (see, last night I was feeling extremely nauseous.. very sick, but nothing would happen & I’d still feel horrible: I ended up going to bed with a bucket – moaning. Mum & Julia thought it was because of Mark) [….stress-induced nausea as opposed to an actual stomach bug or other physical health issue…] Thorn Birds is on again, so another late night … have to be at Mike’s work by 8.00 tomorrow: SHIT! I won’t even get to see if there’s any (hate) mail from Mark. I want to send him a bunch of roses & ask him to give me a second chance. See, I’ll have to make the first move, as usual. […so if it’s always the same and you’re not happy with it, change it…] Well, I’ll probably get to bed around 10:30, so goodnight.

Tuesday 12/1/88

I had great difficulty getting to sleep last night. After Thorn Birds, I listened to George Michael & also Terence Trent D’Arby [their entire albums, I would’ve meant] ..before crashing. [Stress-induced insomnia now too…] But I woke early … around 7:00 actually, to a phone call from Mike. I got ready, piled all my art stuff into a bag & got to GERNI around 8:15. About 8 phonecalls all day, one visitor, and mum popping in and out [to check I was coping alright]. I wrote a letter to Mark in the morning (wrote roughly twice before the good copy) and mum got the roses (ordered them) just after lunch, [again, my mother was so good to me… I wouldn’t’ve paid for those roses; it would have come out of her pocket and her only reason would’ve been to try to make me feel better …because I’m quite certain (although I am putting words in her mouth, herewith) that my relationship was a source of concern for her, since she’d (helplessly) witnessed the emotional rollercoaster that it was …for almost a year…] so he would’ve gotten them late this afternoon. The letter detailled my side of the story – how I didn’t intend or want it … and how he should give me a second chance. However, no phonecall [from him] tonight. (Except from CB- good long talk to her) I rang Jo today; she was just going for a job interview at Crocodilliacs. After her, ‘Don Power’ from the Aust. Federal Police called saying there was going to be a drug bust. A Life in WordsI was shocked – Mike & drugs(?) when mum came, she rang Cynthia, who rang this guy she knew, not from A.F.P., but Ray White Real Estate. (It was a joke!) [yep, gullibility is one of my weak points!] so I did my scrapbook for the rest of the day – left around 3.45. Watched TV at home. Am so bored- Fi’s working & Jo may soon be too. What should I do? [Um, maybe YOU should get a job too?] I have no idea. [To be fair to myself, I was thinking ‘bigger picture’: that is, whether I should study or get a job. Study would most likely have been undertaken in another town or city so I was probably thinking there was no point in getting a job there for one month…] Oh I wish Mark would contact me. What shall I do tomorrow, huh? Well, to be sure, I want an earlier night tonight. No later than 10:00 (12:00 or 12:30 or so last night -ugh!) So Mike paid me only $20: that’s disappointing, [hmm, twenty bucks for seven hours: that’s just under three dollars an hour. Mind you, it was hardly taxing work…and it was the 80’s…] but I’ve got to try and make it last (awhile)

Wednesday 13/1/88

No mail from him: no call in the morning. But I had a strong feeling he’d be out tonight. Anyway, this morning Sharon rang around 10:00 or so (a little earlier) and we decided, at 1:00 she’d ride here & we’d ride to crystals. Well, mum took me to the D’s newsagency [I’d left my bike there after riding in on Monday] & I rode home (really good ride!) and at home, did my scrapbook (lauren & tiggy & ‘the tribe’ [some younger girls in our ‘hood] came up & watched me for awhile- a bit annoying). [Not fussed on an audience, Liss?] When Sharon came, we didn’t know whether to go to crystals or not: she was pooped & I thought it was too hot (I was too lazy!) But we decided to ride to the Rocks & see if we’d have enough energy to go on to crystals. Huh! The ride took us more than ¾hr, but we made it (& the ink of pens on my school bag ran with body sweat so my shorts, shirt, towel, all stained.) We enjoyed our swim immensely. A Life in WordsThe ride back was much faster: 20-25mins (& we were dying of thirst so [privacy omission] a can of coke from the Redlynch shop!!) At home I rang Fi and CB. Had to throw all my stuff in a bag quickly & go to Mike’s (to give him his b’day present) Dougie was being very rude & moody & I had one glass of Westcoast [a popular brand of ‘wine cooler’ in the 1980’s]. At [privacy omission]‘s around 6:30, we talked, & I had a shower. Sharon came & so did [privacy omission] (←she’s really nice -hates [privacy omission] too!) Tasha couldn’t stay. We got ready really slowly. I wore my black dress, even though I felt like a real slut [I was ‘conservative’ enough to feel like a ‘slut’ wearing a slim fitting black satin dress… thank god I didn’t grow up in this century, wearing the stuff that girls do today…] (no one else thought so) […because, of course, it wasn’t slutty at all. I think I was feeling more ‘over-dressed’ than vampish. It was actually quite a sophisticated dress.] Sharon, Megan (we picked her up) & I went in the 1st load. Megan got asked for I.D. Keith & Nicole were there. I only had 3 or 4 drinks that night. I saw Mark & Chris & Steven & Cameron (who came up and talked to me – so glad!) [Privacy omission…but to understand this particular character’s relationship to me and the impact of our interaction herewith, read this post …especially if this is your first visit to this site.] came up to me when I was near the bar at one stage – tapped me on the arm & said “Thanks. Thanks a lot.” I said “OK” Freaked out a little after that, but was O.K. When we were dancing, he came on the floor & tried to lead me off. I said “what?” “I want to talk” “NO” “Just talk to you” “NO” I said again. A Life in Words“Well get fucked… fuck this!” (giving me the finger) I felt a bit drained [shocked: I’m non-confrontational and don’t cope with conflict very well] after this & went to talk to Megan. Found Sharon & I saw him dancing with Helen. I asked Sharon to see if he was dancing with anyone & she came back quite a while after saying “Mark’s coming over.” [Hmm, in hindsight I have to wonder if she actually told him to come and talk to me? It’s the kind of thing she might very well have done (and actually had in the past) because it’s the type of friend she was: she cared about me.] Great. I asked him how much he’d had to drink [not wishing to try to reason with an intoxicated person?] & I don’t know… we just started yelling. My voice was already giving way so we went into Smithy’s. It was long, very painful talk. He told me he hated those roses: they were an “insult” (he didn’t want roses, a letter or a phonecall… just me, to talk to him) he hated me & [privacy omission], but had forgiven us. .wanted to know what I wanted (second chance) He didn’t think it was worth it. He said how much he loved me ..how it hurt so much; he put everything to do with me away in a box. He couldn’t stop thinking about me though [privacy omission]. We talked about me & my affairs & he was very vicious. He didn’t want me to take blame, feel guilty, apologise – yet he said so many things which made me feel guilty. Finally ([privacy omission] had left & I was going to catch a taxi home with CB & Trevor (who insisted on waiting for me)) he said for me to go with my friends & forget, tonight, to apologize to Trevor (for snapping at him when he came to arrange going-home arrangements) and want tomorrow or Friday for him to ring & talk somewhere & tell his decision on our relationship. [God Elissa, this happens every time. Why was he always the one to decide the future of the relationship? Why was the ball always in his court? You let it be; you needed it there because you were addicted to and dependant upon him. So …oblivious.] So I went without saying goodbye (I must’ve cried so much – and he’d been wiping my tears away so tenderly, saying that it hurt him to see me cry)…

Thursday 14/1/88

At [privacy omission]‘s, Dean was flaked out on the lounge room floor & Sharon & Cara were sitting talking. [Privacy omission] went to bed & I did soon as I could, too. CB & I had a bed each, and talked (I was so tired) till about 3.30 or so, then bombed. Sharon woke me at 6.50 wanting to know if I was coming… [where to?] I said “I don’t know” and went back to sleep. She came in again at 7:25 & I said “NO!” but ended up getting up almost straight after, anyway. [Privacy omission] & Sharon left & I waited round after packing up (my white turtleneck strangely disappeared) white turtleneck top[Dang, I loved that top. But I’m fairly sure it turned up again: someone would’ve just borrowed without asking…] till mum came. At home, I nearly fell asleep on the lounge when a phonecall at 10:55 woke me. It was Mark. I said there was no way I could get there so he said he’d ring back, but mum came home about 30 mins after, so I rang & said I was coming around. On McManus St, the beginning of Faith was heard on the radio: an omen? Well, our talk was much less continuous: he couldn’t see the point of getting back together (like Fi said: it took him to get hurt to make him realize) basically he was afraid I’d do it again (Now he knows how I feel (felt)) in other words. he won’t be able to trust me too well. Anyway, we decided another go, but this, definitely the last. We are going to remain faithful to each other, even while apart (ie: we’re still “going out” while he’s at college) [oooh, long distance relationships are really hard work. This’ll be interesting, considering the two of you can barely sustain it whilst living in the same area…] so, I could tell he was nervous to touch me & I was, naturally, to him. But, lying on his bed, we eventually kissed: he was extremely passionate. But then it stopped (I was sure it had something to do with thoughts of the past ie. [privacy omission]) [privacy omission] soon made love.. .Sandra getting a shirt just before it and …SHIT… his mum WALKED IN (just after it) [privacy omission] she saw everything. HOW MUCH SHAME! A Life in WordsWhen she went out (she’d hidden her- inevitable -surprise & shock really well – expression did not change as she asked if I was staying for tea) [Kudos to her – I was so impressed by her composure, I’ll never be able to forget it…] Mark said [privacy omission] and laughed. I could not believe it, I was so stunned & WORRIED “Never coming here again” She didn’t know “well, she does now”, Mark said. He laughed – it was a big joke to him. Oh god, we stayed there for about 10 mins – him laughing at my worrying. Outside, Mr W made me stay for tea: oh the shame of it. [What’s that saying? “…I wish the ground would open up and swallow me…”] Although I tried to forget it & we did talk ..about Gatton I felt really bad [entirely uncomfortable] when Mark was out of the room. He drove me home (Paul came, too & I asked him to ring me tomorrow) I told mum & I knew she was shocked, [and possibly a little embarrassed …even for herself: the potential discomfort that may be present then next time she and his mother met…] but she laughed with me. So then I rang Fi, then Jo, then CB & [privacy omission], telling them all the great news (us being back together, that is) My voice was really bad then …Mrs W, Sandra & esp. Paul had laughed nearly all day at it! Watching cricket when Fi came down (830) and stayed, talking, till about 10.00 or so – I had a shower etc & got into bed at 11:00. So tired.

Friday 15/1/88

Well, I was woken at 9.00 (feeling extremely tired) by mum saying to take $50 out for her to borrow. I got up after she left & waited till 9.15 or so before ringing Mark. Thank God Sandra answered (!) […as opposed to his mother…] Mark was woken up  & it was obvious we wouldn’t do anything today.. I said I’d ring later this arvy. Then I proceeded to ring everyone else. Fi said we’d catch the 10.00 bus. Well it was 9.30 so I rang Jo: busy today said to ring back this arvy. And CB & Cara said we could meet them at 11.00 at the mall, but as I thought, they missed the bus (Mum took Fi & I in anyway or we would’ve missed it, too) so we walked around looking mainly for an Xmas present for mima. Saw mum at 11.45 – she took my card to the hospital [I had an appointment there later in the day with the orthopaedic surgeon who attended to me during my hospitalisation after the bus accident] so I stayed in town for lunch with Tasha, CB & Cara. CB & Cara didn’t show up so Fi, Tasha & I got sandwiches & sat in the mall. I went to the hospital at, just after, 1.00 and finally got out around 3.15. Dr Clarke was saying how they might be able to, in the future (far future) stitch up the scars on the inside, to pull the sagging skin together & give it shape. [And this was pretty much what the revisive surgeon did in Brisbane in 1990 (not really the ‘far future’)…] At home I watched TV and got quite a few phonecalls (well Sharon & Jo, anyway) before I rang Mark. Mr W answered (!?!??!) and he wasn’t home. So I watched TV and waited. A Life in WordsAnd waited. And waited. I swore I’d kill him (or punch him) the next time I saw him. Then at 9.30 I got a call. We talked until 10.45. It was a really good call (hated the bit about Nicole[?]: god I hate her)([privacy omission] was telling me today how much she hates her too) So I didn’t get to see him & he tells me now they might be staying over [at Fitzroy Island] Monday night, no, sorry, Sunday night, as well. Why is he not spending all the remaining time with me? Oh well; I guess I’ll have to get used to it. It’s almost 11.00 now. Am very tired. Goodnight.

Saturday 16/1/88

Restless sleep this morning, so I eventually got up around 8.00, to watch RAGE TOP 50 (was up to about no.25, that I saw) rang Jo’s place from 8.45 till 9.30 – no one answering. By then I had to leave. At TAFE, we only just walked in the administration block (seeing a large queue) when a lady asked if she could help us. I asked about reception courses & she said “They’re Monday, 5.30” so we went straight back to the car, and on to KMart to do grocery shopping, all the time I was picturing me & Jo shopping for our flat or house. Wouldn’t it be FUN?! I can’t wait to get working & get responsibilities!! [ha ha ha ha ha ha. Oh this is hilarious. And seriously, seriously naive…] I was thinking (mum suggested) reception for WOODWARD & THOMPSON (for Mrs R!) but I was after Hotel reception, even though it is shiftwork. At home, just got home & Jo arrived. We went back to my place to get her “BAD” tape (I drove – can you call it that? – up our street … ha ha, ha!) Then to shop for pies. I didn’t want to swim so lay dozing in the TV room. They took me home around 1.30, before Jo went to work. At home did nothing …scrapbook, watch cricket. Couldn’t get in touch with Fiona. Tasha & Cara were the only ones at [privacy omission]‘s – told me [privacy omission], Sharon & CB caught the 4:00 boat to Fitzroy. That hurt cause I’d seen CB on the way home this morning and had said I’d ring her at 3.30 to arrange the trip & she’d already gone. And when I rang Tasha back, it sounded much like she wouldn’t be able to go tomorrow (& was definitely not allowed out tonight) So I depended totally upon Fiona, who, I found out, after ringing Stuart, Mr D, Mrs D. & finally Mrs B, was at a wedding. I left an “urgent” message with each of them. A Life in WordsIt’s 9.00 now & she hasn’t called yet. If Tasha can’t go & Fiona can’t go tomorrow then I can’t for sure (not with [privacy omission] on the same boat) ITS NOT FAIR. How can they do this to me? Everyone left me totally out (except Tasha – but she couldn’t help being not allowed out) I can just see me not going tomorrow, then Mark staying Sunday night as well. Well, it’s 9.35, and I’ve given up hope. I’m going to bed (we’ve been minding Dougie & Thomas – Julia’s at Amanda’s – so I’m really glad they’ve gone) I feel so depressed & “BETRAYED”

Sunday 17/1/88

Woke at 6.50 and decided I’d better get up. I had no calls till 7.25, so started ringing others: [panic station!] D’s, then B’s, then (Fi couldn’t come) Amanda’s (but Julia, Manda & Cherie didn’t want to come, either) Jude’s (was working) & eventually Tasha’s. She was allowed and had been trying to ring me! [See? It all works out in the end…] So I got to the terminal at 8.05 and bought my ticket. At 8.20 (after seeing Chris & Glyn; ooh) decided I’d better get on the boat. It was 8.25 when Tasha & Cara turned up (I was so relieved!) We lay on the floor for the (long, boring) trip. [I’m quite sure the big old wooden ferries were still operating back then, even though newer catamarans had been added to the fleet. The old ferry rides took longer and were less luxurious so were cheaper, especially with a student ID – which I still had even though I was technically no longer a student. (It didn’t expire until 28 February ’88) Lucky me.] Once there, CB & [privacy omission] met us & we took our stuff to the camping grounds. I saw Mark but he didn’t seem to want to talk, so we ([privacy omission] CB, Tasha, Cara & I) went on the pontoon- water was full of lice! A Life in WordsWe all just got out, when a huge jellyfish was dragged out of the water. It was monstrous! [Although I didn’t specify whether or not it actually was a box jellyfish, it could very well have been because Fitzroy Island was much closer to the mainland than Green Island, and box jellyfish only dwell around the mainland because they prefer shallower waters, and breed in river mouths, estuaries and creeks.] Then, by the pool, sat & swam (Mark at the table on the other side) Nicole (with Keith, Greg & [privacy omission] Rachel (or Wendy C??)) at the table near the end too. We left & went back to get food money & shoes… had lunch (2nd time Mark talked to me – of his own accord, too – told me I could have some of their lunch & told me he was going surfing) [….which I find laughable. The Barrier Reef ensure no swell makes it to our shores (which also makes the box jellies happy) unless driven by cyclonic conditions. Having said that, if someone had a boat and took them to the outer reef, there they might find surf…] then we sat again by the pool .. Cara & Tasha  went for a long walk & [privacy omission] & CB were associating with Nicole in the pool, so I  sat out with Trevor, Jason & Nigel. Then I got in when CB, [privacy omission] & them left on the 2.30 boat (Cara & Tasha were back) Mark got in & we were barely talking – he was really cranky & it annoyed me – he could at least have tried to be nice – just put me down & whinged about about how hot/cold/tired/sore he was. Then, he said he wanted to get out. I said “goodbye” He said “are you going now?” I said “yes” & I got out & packed up & noticed he was in the pool again with his mates. Great. So I left, got very annoyed & hurt at him for not saying a nicer goodbye, especially as he was staying over again. The trip home was, seemed, shorter…. we were on the front dozing & later singing songs. Just before docking, Glyn threw a towel at Tasha; she ducked, and it went straight over into the water!! He laughed so much! We got off & I rang mum. Tasha, Cara, Steven S left & I waited 10 or so minutes for mum. Lazy at home – am so tired … stuffed myself full of ham/pineapple/cheese on toast, for dinner. A Life in WordsRang [privacy omission] & them at 8.30 or so … may go to the movies tomorrow night. SOMEWHERE IN TIME is on now – that beautiful story.. I love it. Well, I’ll sleep in tomorrow & hopefully be able to ‘punish’ Mark for his rudeness. Nah, I’ll forget it in a flash! [I don’t know about ‘punishment’ but I’m also not down with forgetting about how someone important to you has treated you…]

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TE Scores, Life Purpose & A Line is Crossed (21-27 December)

Monday 21/12/87

[This post carries over from my previous post: I’d attended a party on the Sunday night, so continued diarising into Monday’s allotted space] [I was] extremely blind drunk. I don’t know why it happened- why I went to Freshwater School with [privacy omission]; I didn’t know what was happening, but the fact was, it did. A Life in WordsI remember crying after it. saying “what am I going to do?” He said “nobody can know about this”. I really don’t remember very much. [But I did recover ‘snippets’ of memory perhaps after the alcohol – or shock? – wore off…] He escorted me home I vaguely remember showering before jumping into bed totally naked. Woke this morning- Julia said “Chris & Cameron are here” & they came in the room. (I lay under the doona) SO EMBARRASSING! [um, yes…] They stayed for awhile: cooked their own brekkys. Watched TV ..Brent rang & the mailman came at the same time. I got 870!! [TE (tertiary entrance) score] Cool! [Privacy omission: here I’d listed some friends’ scores…] Then they left & I did nothing all day – except get extremely hyper [worked up] about the events of last nite. I rang Jo to talk & she helped me a bit. I feel terrible I regret the whole night so much & I feel sick when I think about it. So I tried to think of Jim. [What? Why?] Fi came round & I told her. I hope [privacy omission] doesn’t tell anyone: [well if you had to talk about it – and it IS essential for emotional health – you can’t expect him to remain silent. That’s the pot calling the kettle black.] it’ll be bad enough facing mark about just getting with [privacy omission] to start with let alone him discovering what “else” happened. Fiona sympathized: you just can’t trust your friends even, these days. But, oh shit, she left & I had tea & a bath & [then she came back and collected me and] we went driving for 2 hours: was good – has gotten my mind quite off it now (I WANT JIM C) [This sentiment was a product of my immediate state of mental health: desperate for distraction. KurandaI couldn’t want Mark under the current circumstances… I ‘needed’ something/someone unrelated…] we even went to Kuranda NITE.

[I didn’t realise at the time – nor for very many years after – that what happened to me on that night constituted rape. Back in those days rape was commonly defined by violence, not simply ‘non-consensual’ relations. So, for a long time, I simply considered what happened a breach of trust: a friend taking advantage of me. But I was torn, because I didn’t feel entirely innocent: I had kissed him first, earlier in the night. I had led him on, hadn’t I? Did I invite it? Did I deserve it? Absolutely not …because I didn’t ask for it; I wasn’t given a choice. There was no consensus, let alone consent. I was in a completely defenseless state. We know these days – it’s understood and accepted – that ‘provocative’ behaviour (like clothing) does not – not ever – constitute an excuse to ‘proceed’. It is not an ‘unconditional’ green light. I had only ever kissed the guys I “got with” – I’d never gone any further with anyone, other than my boyfriend. When fragments of my memory returned, I recalled crying silent tears as it happened (not just afterwards, as I’d diarised) and the word “no” scrolling through my mind …but does “No mean No” if it’s a mere thought, not spoken word? Of course it does. I didn’t want it to happen. I didn’t enjoy it. A Life in WordsBut I was too legless to resist, to even realise fully what was happening. The fact that I felt betrayed, that someone I thought was a friend had taken advantage of me in my compromised state, affirms a line was crossed. Whilst I have long since processed the incident, freeing myself from any negative mental or emotional consequences and forgiving the individual concerned, I will never condone his actions nor attitude in this ordeal and fully support the desperate need for change in societal gender issues.]

Tuesday 22/12/87

Well I slept right in today: even past the mailman’s delivery (early today!) Got papa’s Xmas prezzy $20. An electrician was here, putting in a ceiling fan in our living room – Uncle Mike’s present to us for Xmas!! It’s so unreal – cools right down. [I can’t believe we’d lived in that house for three (?) years previously without any fans. These days airconditioning is pretty much standard in FNQ dwellings…] So I bludged all morning – T.V. till went shopping with mum and julia. A Life in WordsBut of course, I didn’t get any personal Xmas shopping done. We got home before 5:00 & I read Dolly all arvy & nite: [privacy omission] rang after dinner. .around 8:00, said he’d come over [privacy omission]– after 10:00. I got nervous sounded like, well, I thought he sounded like he wanted a relationship to arise…[?] thank god it wasn’t that. At first (he came round 10:30) we only talked generally. Actually, that’s all we did, besides slotting in the subject now & then. [Uh, yes, because …it was an extremely uncomfortable, difficult topic for both of us to broach…] He said he doesn’t want me to tell him [my boyfriend] – if he has to know, he wants to be the one to tell him. I don’t know. [Yep, back then I sure didn’t know …didn’t know much at all. I didn’t know that this uncertainty was my Gut trying futilely to override my fearful Mind, to insist that I be the one to tell him. Because, in the adult world, the responsibility lies with the partner – not the ‘buddy’ – due to a thing called Intimacy. In a normal, healthy relationship, there shouldn’t be anyone closer to your partner than you. I had to be the one to open up because I was (or should have been) closer to Mark than his friend. There’s also the fact that whomever doesn’t own up, potentially appears more guilty…] I’m just glad it’s over. [oh Liss, it so isn’t over..] He won’t tell anybody & neither will I. Depending on how Mark & I are when he gets back .. speaking of whom […and here I mentioned his and yet more others’ TE scores…] It’s 1:20!!

Wednesday 23/12/87

I went to town with Jo on the 11:00 bus. Before-hand, Mr B rang and told me Mark was accepted into the B. Business [privacy omission] so that’s good, I guess. I barely got anything done: Joannah did. Saw Jeffrey M & hid. [Wuss] Saw Fi, too! I got Julia’s, Fi’s & Jo’s [christmas presents]. Didn’t get mum’s. Found out Jo’s sister’s best friend bought the shoes I wanted to buy mum. So we caught the 5:20 bus home : and after a long time, got to Ingrid’s (CAD I & II) party just before 8:00. A Life in WordsWas O.K. Not great. Had to borrow $10 from Jude (Mars) to get taxi home. Got ready (pretty drunk) and Fi took us there. No q’s getting in. Just got in the door & stopped there – so many people! Jim included. I thought ‘WOW!’ cause he was talking to Fi & kind of hanging around as a group. But it wore on. Phillip C was there. And Jim told Fiona he likes me (So Peter H told me too) I got to talk to Jim, but he went off with (??) outside Smithy’s & I heard he was talking to Fiona. Great. He likes her. I was kinda down→

Thursday 24/12/87

→for the rest of the night (seemed quite a few people knew I liked Jim) so we left around 2:30, 3:00. Fiona said he liked Belinda, (K). Dean had said to me “he dumped Fiona for Belinda”. Great. That virtually proved it (that it was Fiona above me, anyway, disregarding Belinda) [Ego, Ego, Ego…] Fiona verbally didn’t agree. Anyway, I woke rather late. . . spent the day worrying about what to do for the rest of my life. I have no idea. [This feeling/issue has pervaded my life ever since. It morphed into the larger, more intimidating fear – lack of purpose. A Life  in WordsThis has been the bedrock of my life’s depressions and I am only now – in my mid forties – learning that Life Purpose is a construct: it’s not necessary …and in fact, is not necessarily real.] SHIT Fiona came down. Then mum & I went to town – I got Sharon & Nigel’s prezzy’s; met Jo & took her home – Fiona, me & her all gave each other our prezzies & Nigel came over & gave us his. When everyone left, I got ready. Fi came around 8:30 – Sharon late. After KFC, picked up Sue. The party was full of rev-heads. So went with Wade & Co to Coppelode (I felt so down – out of place) Back to the party to check it out – none other than Jim (& Trevor & Robert M…) & NIGEL! so a convoy of us raced out to Holloways (no party as they said) Jim talking to Fiona. I felt down again. All drove (actually just got Jim’s & Fi’s cars – lost Nigel & Wade) around dropping people home. There ended up Robert Jim & David (J)

Friday 25/12/87 XMAS DAY

A Life in Words
my spunky drop-waisted acid-wash denim skirt

→In jim’s car & Sharon, Fi & I in her car. We decided on swimming at Freshwater Creek. As soon as we got there – Richard O’S & Stewart & Co turned up. Swimming was beautifully cool (cold!) + scary! Got out & all mucked round (laughed so much!) dropped Sharon home around 3:00. And at Holloways, we played Hide’n’seek. Jim & Robert against Fi & I, Stewart & Praybon against Richard & David So I got home 4:45. I had a great time, but I was down inside: Fiona. god she irritated me. I made [tried to make?] her guilty saying things, […which only makes you look like a miserable sook…] but she still stood near him, flirted with him (maybe she didn’t know it, but it hurt me) So I was down. Mum woke me at 8:30. Jodie & Mike gave me a cute denim skirt! [See right. Cute maybe in the 80’s… but downright ugly now.] (At dad’s I got $100 voucher for GOOD TIME) Home again- I nearly fell asleep before Mike & Cynthia came. Ate so much today (Piggy) Fell asleep in afternoon. Rang Fi, Sharon & Jo . . . none of them were home. Uneventful Christmas day really although I’ve made some good (well, pleasing or interesting to me) career decisions And I’ve decided on newspaper or TV (maybe radio?!) primarily Cairns, then Brisbane. Also get a folio of photos – send to a photographic modeling agency!! [Well well well. I didn’t know I’d considered modelling at this point in my life… other than as one of the tools we’d tried (unsuccessfully) to utilise in my compensations claim after the bus accident…]

Saturday 26/12/87

Well what a day! I spent most of the morning in bed – got up round 10:00. Rang Fiona – she said at Sue’s last nite, Geoffrey, Dean & Trevor rang them & asked them to come out. She said to me that they didn’t. A Life in WordsI did ironing after that (previously swimming in the Fishers pool & etc) & Jo came & we went to see her off. She [Fiona?] was there (of course) and told me that the Xmas Eve party was PRIVATE. Back to Jo’s saw Jim & his car was in a deep ditch. Philip N, Trevor & Dean were in a crash. We stayed round Jeffrey’s, talking to them all arvy found out they’d been at Fiona’s beforehand- I feel so betrayed (by her) & sue (cos’ I asked about the Xmas Eve party & Phil & Jim said “No! It’s open!”) WHY? Why did they do it to me? What’ve I ever done to Fiona? […apart from being a whingey bitch?] Let alone Sue? Anyway, Philip seemed to be taking an interest in me (ha, ha!) & he’s going to beach nite! I got home round 6:00→ Sharon & I went to town→got

Sunday 27/12/87

→Bailey’s & milk then went to Playpen. I am still pretty drunk (may tell by the writing) […actually, my handwriting wasn’t nearly as bad as it had been at other times…] Was unreal. Cute Clinton & I talked to Jeffrey M’s friend Heiffer for ages, just before we left. He’s so nice!!!! Now it’s 2:30. Don’t forget Sharon owes me $12.00. [That equated to three or four drinks back then…] Ok? Nite! ∏ Well I woke to the phone, before 10:00. (Angela M – wanting to know if I wanted to go to Magnetic Island on Mon. Tues & Wed) and wasted the whole day. I really wanted to sleep, but couldn’t. A Life in WordsWatched TV (cricket) and finally slept in the afternoon, Sharon ringing at 5:30 to say she didn’t want to go out (sore throat) I didn’t mind (I just hope Philip didn’t go .. cause of me) Fat chance, huh?! Jo & I had a long phone talk during the day (’bout Jim, Fiona & everything else) Otherwise – it was sleep & TV. Boring!! So hot! (But rained all day) Just realized there’s just over one week till Mark gets back … And I haven’t changed one bit like I said I would→ I’m fatter than I was when he left, my wonderful tan has faded (& the rain won’t help me get it back) oh dear! Cannot wait till New Years!! What’ll I do tomorrow? I think I should clean out my bedroom it’s 10:10

 

Mood Swings, Errant Incisors & The Jody Keen Memorial Trophy (31 August-6 September)

Monday 31/8/87

Well it’s 10:30: I have only ½ my english assignment done (if I don’t hand it in before school tomorrow I get 0/20) and I have ASAT (Australian Scholastic Aptitude test) tomorrow, which I haven’t even looked at the booklet, for. [See this post from a fortnight ago if you want a little more detail about the ASAT] Great, huh? I really felt conscious today about my schoolwork .. I’m going to work harder to get everything right for my exams – maths, chem & biol. next week. [Yeah yeah, heard it all before…] MUST do well. Got my art mark Got 16/20- I was disappointed: a few people got 20’s -about 5. But I made her [my teacher] ‘up’ my mark by one, so I’m a V.H now, at least. [Well …that’s interesting. I don’t remember that, and can’t believe I was that …”assertive”. Some assertiveness in other areas of my life would’ve been helpful…] God, I’m tired & I know I’ll stuff up the ASAT tests. SHIT. I won’t even get my english assignment done. God help me. I barely talked to Mark at all today. He’s really getting me down – he is so bored with me & that really does nothing for my ego. A Life in Words[And I was way too young to realise that Ego IS the problem…] Wrote a letter – not sure if I’ll send it yet. I’ll get Fi to read over it & tell me if it’d make him react wrongly (ie: MAD) [LOL, a ‘wrong reaction’?!] mucked around in biol. though I actually was a bit more bold & felt really relaxed around him. could tell he was still bored with me tho’. Please change back Mark – be romantic again. [Wanting or expecting someone (anyone!) to Change = nothing but Pain]

Tuesday 1/9/87

I arrived later than usual trying to get my english done (I didn’t) went up to do ASAT tests . . were hard, generally, although some parts were easier than others. . at little lunch I left straight away: finished my assignment at home then went to see the orthopaedic surgeon (Dr Bottoms) he talked a lot went in late, of course; came out around 1:35. . […and the result was? I can’t recall, or even guess, whether this appointment was actually for my personal ‘benefit’ or related to the building of my Third Party compensation claim from the bus accident…] got back to school near start of 6th period. Boring in art; did little in chemistry (Cameron distracting me a lot) after school, I went up to talk to Mark, for the first time of the day: “What’s wrong?” I said cheerfully. No answer “OK” I said & sat next to him. He said “Don’t ever say that to me again.” I was just shocked. “What?” “What’s wrong?” I sat really bewildered & depressed & upset – I moved over to Fi & tears sprang up. What the fuck had I done wrong? I was very upset. At home rang Fi – she said ring him – wasn’t home, so rang me back – seemed cheerful enough – said “I just hate people saying that – giving me sympathy when I don’t need or want it.” SHIT. OK. I fucking got the message. A Life in WordsWrote another letter -told him about them & I’ll let him read them tomorrow

Wednesday 2/9/87

Fucked up day. Pissed off cause stupid bitch wouldn’t let me go for my learners cos I only had I.D. no birth certificate. Then I went to courthouse to get it & found out I have to send away to Brisbane (will take ages) then I get home this arvy & mum finds out I’ve got it after all. & tonight I’m really shitty about my teeth The fucking gap is growing bigger, still. soon it’s going to be just the same as it was – fucking mile wide. [For those who haven’t been following my ‘story’, I’d grown up with an impressive sized gap between my teeth – as well as a decent overbite – which I hated (see my post Welcome to My Life for more detail & a picture) but had to wait until I was about fourteen to receive the quite complex & lengthy corrective (orthodontic) treatment I desperately desired. Once I was permitted to ditch the final piece of oral apparatus – my plate – I didn’t realise the stubborn gap would slowly, sneakily open up again. It certainly didn’t return to its original size, and I don’t recall being overly conscious of it, but years later I finally discovered the cause: my ‘frenum’ – the tissue connecting my top lip to my gum – was so thick and large that it forced my teeth to separate again. A Life in Words(My sister had the same problem: thanks for those genes, mum and/or dad!) Needless to say, my dentist at the time performed a ‘frenectomy’ (ASAP!) to remove the offending tissue and my incisors slowly shifted toward each other again. Yay!] ASAT finished thank god. Saw Mark’s photo’s from (before) the formal. He got my letters but hasn’t read them yet. Bet he did tonight & I’ll bet he’s shitty tomorrow or something. [That’s positive thinking!] He’ll probably say “stuff you bitch – I won’t go out with you anymore then.” PISS OFF. I’m in the worst mood. [No?!] He was rather nice today tho’. Made an effort, kind of (Are you sure you didn’t already read those letters??) Wierd. Hot weather – but still cool at nights & in early morning (to about 9:00) Don’t be angry Mark – I love you too much. [Illogical reasoning! The act of loving someone bears little influence on their moods.]

Thursday 3/9/87

Well we had a parade this morning – Mr McKenzie received a certificate for the crash (or something) [I can’t recall this, but I am certain it would have been for his amazing conduct, leadership & compassion during and after the bus accident] and, Mark seemed O.K. today. He gave me the formal photos from his dad’s camera. This arvy I got upset a bit because he resorted to the usual “I don’t like you & I’m never going to talk to you again…” routine I’m sick of it [again; you DO have a  choice…].. and I hate, detest hearing it from him. Jesus. My english exam I found pretty easy- I know I’ll pass, but don’t know how “well” I’ll do. My appointment with Ms Forbes [our school counsellor] was a waste: she was busy so I had to see that guy Mr Inskip & I forgot all my material anyway so it was a waste. […of time. And we know how much I hate ‘Waste’…] A Life in WordsI was rude, I think – it was so tired. Finally finished copying out M’s & C’s letters. [Mark gave me these to read the week before. I must’ve found them so entertaining that I wanted to make copies. Go back to Thursday’s entry in my previous post if you want to know a bit more about them.] It’s 10:37. I’m dead! Wonder if Mark’ll talk to me tomorrow. God that hurts. I’m so sorry I’m a sook.

Friday 4/9/87

A Life in Words
Jody at our leadership camp, just a few hours before the bus crash that took his life.

Well, we talked a bit, but after school we had a big talk. It lasted about 45 mins and, had I not been out picking Julia & Cherie up from the movies, and doing quick grocery shopping with mum, he would’ve rung & we would’ve talked more. He doesn’t know what to do about our relationship: he, oh, I don’t know (either does he) [hmmm, I’m not sure about that…] Boring day. My appointment was another waste of time today – Mr Inskip hopeless. Did QTAC forms this morning period one (the day’s timetable was totally rearranged) [The Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) is the organisation that manages student course applications for pretty much all tertiary education centres in the state. You can imagine it’d be a pretty complex task…] God I’m tired. We lost the Rugby Union Final. Brothers (Saints) defeated us 14-4 & took the (new) Jody Keen Memorial Trophy. [Jody being one of our fellows killed in the bus crash. I remember feeling a bit disappointed that our CHS union team failed to claim a trophy dedicated to one of its own students, in its premier year.] P.N. spent lunch CH M,M!!! Said Hi this arv. too! [Crush, much?] Need to get to sleep soon: mima & fi & I going to town tomorrow, then Mark’ll ring or visit (he left a message on machine tonite). We’ll do something tomorrow night (He & Keith are moving into David’s (Keith’s brother’s) house for 2 weeks while he’s away) → (has no phone on) we still need to talk a lot.

Saturday 5/9/87

I slept very badly last night (Waking frequently) Woke around 7:00 this morning unable to fall asleep again, I got up. Around 8:45 mima & fi picked me up- we went to Earlville first (PN not work.) then into town.. not really exciting, but a good way to start off the weekend; just wish I had money to buy some clothes. At home, did chem, as well as resting a bit. Mark & Keith came around 3:00, we went for a drive (hockey fields) took Glyn (B.) home & then me. Jo rang tonite, after Mark; they came around 8:30 & we went to the House on the Hill. EMPTY!! Glyn came down; she had to be home by 10:00- Mark drove her. (Played pretty cool music, towards 11:00) When he came back ($ drinks) sat in Smithy’s till 11:45. (Mark was being really nice – that stuff I said about romance & chivalry might’ve got thru’ to him, because he was so sweet .. and I laughed a lot- couldn’t help smiling – even tho’ we didn’t dance (much), it was probly one of the best nights, up there .. music & Mark – the way he was!) Picked Glyn up [continued next page:]

Sunday 6/9/87

→again and back at David’s, we tried (supposedly) to sleep, but mucked around. I could never get bored with the ‘foreplay’ Glyn left around 3:00 – came in, & let us know she was going (!!!) […hmmm…] Slept – so tired. I woke around 6:00. . couldn’t sleep again for a while (wanted M. to wake but he wouldn’t) so eventually I dozed off. around 9:00 we were both wide awake & mucking around again. Keith “chucked a fit” around 10:00 (“Get up – make a move”) A Lfe in WordsAfter one crumpet, they took me home, where I dozed & slept till about 2:00 . . Mark rang, mid afternoon – sweet! I was surprised he rang “for no reason” – just to talk. And that we did (not a long phone call- I don’t like long calls anymore after that arguement he had with his folks that time) so I did chem. before going to dad’s. [Aha… Father’s Day] We sat for ¾hr waiting before going home again (where I tried to do maths) He rang about 8:30- said he only just got home. Too bad – he’s coming ‘fore school 2morrow to get his prezzy. It’s almost 10:00 now, I must get some more sleep!!! I ♥ MARK.

A Gas Explosion, ASAT Rehearsals & Something is Up (17-23 August)

Monday 17/8/87

Had a really good sleep last night – long! I woke around 9:30 today. (and spent nearly all day in bed anyway). [Still ‘off sick’ from school?] Still didn’t do any of my english assignment ..nor any study for my biology exam. But I’m taking tomorrow off, too: Nana’s funeral is at 10:00 – then at home I’ll have to get myself into gear & really work. [Uh-huh…] I did feel much better today – the chest region is much less blocked & I’m coughing a lot less. I only feel “off-colour” now & then, esp. when I eat, although I do have some sort of appetite back (I’ve lost 2kgs since I got sick!) [Yep, reducing caloric inatke will usually do that…] still can’t believe Mark was “worried” about me. He said that Sunday (after the Smithfield formal party) he couldn’t play baseball, because he was sick with grief at the thought that I’d leave him when I heard about him & Angela. I’m extremely flattered (for once!) [Oh my god.] In a way, it worries me, though. I don’t know if he’s over it yet. [You’re misreading your gut instinct…] BIG gas explosion in town today near Mike’s work – we heard it here!! A Life in Words[Freshwater (where we lived) is approximately 10 kilometres from the explosion site and there’s a mountain range separating them so that’s pretty impressive. (…but what do I know about explosions?) It was the result of an LPG storage unit catching fire and killed one person, injuring twenty-seven. Here’s a link to a public government record of the incident. There’s not a great deal of detail, but the comments provide some perspectives.]

Tuesday 18/8/87

Am feeling much better today. Eating is a bit easier – don’t feel as ill when I eat (ate a lot today!) I still cough – but only ’cause’ of the chest phlem. [Yep, I spelled it wrong] Still, I get very tired. I had to rest a number of times today & actually had a sleep. Nana’s funeral was at 10:00. It was quite short & I didn’t cry. I can’t. Because I’m happier that she’s gone – she’s not in pain ..she’s with grandpa at last, too. [I’d never known my maternal grandfather – he’d passed away during my mother’s childhood.] It’s a little sad thinking about how she was, knowing I won’t see her again, but I’m just glad she’s resting in peace. I just wish she didn’t go out the way she did..that’s the sad part. [I’m not exactly sure what I meant there – whether it was referring to the ‘humiliation’ of being a morphine ‘vegetable’ or the rheumatoid arthritic disease experience as a whole. Either way, the attitude I’d developed towards death is obvious: not afraid of Death itself, but the way in which we meet it. A Life in WordsPrior to the bus accident, I’d always believed the only way to ‘go’ was to pass peacefully in your sleep (being unconscious of it). After the accident, experiencing firsthand the power of Shock; the body’s incredible hormonal response to immense trauma, to ‘thwart’ the conscious Mind, I’ve come to realise that the death experience can be – if not ‘peaceful’ – at least ‘tolerable’ in wider range of scenarios. Nana effectively died peacefully because the morphine interfered (greatly) with her consciousness.] Mark didn’t ring again tonight. I’m sure now something’s still up. I have a strong feeling he’s letting me go (cos he thinks I don’t love him.) He is all I think about! [That ‘strong feeling’? Listen to it.] All the aunts (Joy, Nancy & Ruth) + Cynthia & Dougie stayed all day. Hilary is going home tomorrow: stopping in Brisbane to scatter Nana’s ashes (hopefully with grandpa’s) Is 9:43. Take tomorrow off [school – that’s been quite awhile, now…] to study biol & do my eng. assign. (I’m still too tired in the day to go back) [oh I see…]

Wednesday 19/8/87

What a waste! I’ve written 2 sentences on my assignment & done no biol. study, watsoever! [Surprise, surprise!] A Life in WordsI read Julius Caesar today, but that was about all I did. I’m going to die tomorrow- I’ll be so behind- this weekend I’ll really have to knuckle down & work (HA, HA) [Even I don’t believe myself!] Mr. G will kill me. Oh dear; that’s all I can think about. Auntie Hilary left today (I ate so much today) was rather hot, too. Auntie Joy’s going tomorrow. It looks like we’re off to Brisbane for xmas!! (Great! Hope I can go while mark’s out of town) Wish Fi could come, or something. She’s having trouble with Jemima (it’s got to do a bit with me & everyone really) she’s just sick of all the Grade 12’s. – sitting with Yr 11 girls. Fi came round this arvy to talk – she got her lisense today! Still no call from Mark. Am hesitant about seeing him tomorrow. Will everything be O.K.?? Will have to get up early, I suppose, to do my english. Great. SO DAMNED BEHIND!

Thursday 20/8/87

Got over my assignment hassle O.K (didn’t get it finished – just talked my way out) But was supposed to have it done for tomorrow’s double lesson- & of course just like me, I didn’t bother to do any (any HW for that matter) of it. Will have to wake early tomorrow again to finish it Have only just under one page to write. Barely saw mima or fi for that matter but I know they weren’t together. Had ASAT [Australian Scholastic Aptitude Test] practise tests today. [These national exams are meant to determine each Australian students’ achievement at the completion of secondary schooling. Their applicability is becoming a societal discussion of late.] I only got 15 questions answered, but of those, I got 11 right! (Hope I can do as well, or better in the real ones) [Duh…] Read my ’83 & 84 diaries this arvy – so funny some of the things. [….try reading them in 28 years later!] 10:35 – yet another late nite. I told Jo about Adam M’s friend that likes me & she said “Philip N” I said “WHAT?” she said “He works with Philip..” my god that would be totally incredible. [Obviously I misheard Jo and got excited… a little crush, ya think?] Barely saw Mark at all – talked even less. I’m sure something’s still wrong. A Life in WordsGot Cabaret [Cairns High’s musical for the year] tickets- will pay Nigel tomorrow. Had to do thing about Monique for the Euroka this arvy- (Got photos of my leg too) Nigel read my eng. assign. on her & cried (I got 19/20 for it) [I don’t remember that… jeez, I wish I still had it… as well as all those photos of my leg…] am worried about Mark.

Friday 21/8/87

It’s 11:00. Can’t wait for tomorrow night! Got my english done (not before school as I’d planned, but during my english lesson. OK. finish, not great tho’.) Barely talked to Mark again… I’m positive something’s up: the same something as we talked about? I don’t know, but it gives me the shits. Tried to ring tonight (for once) but he was at Keith’s – too bad! I watched the movie & am now “dead”!! Tomorrow night’ll be ace! Cameron & I fighting in chem – he kicked me in the same place (left shin) 2 times- now I have a very sore lump (egg) [My shins have always been super-sensitive. I bruise really easily everywhere and often don’t know how I get a lot of them, but my shin bones… there’s NO way I’d be clueless about any damage sustained to them…] went into town with Jo & Fi after school …stayed in there for ages- Mr C dropped me home. Looking at all the great clothes (& shoes) in there (drool, drool) P.C.supp. (car) [← but I have absolutely NO idea what this cryptic wording means. I’m wondering if it’s related to the other Phil I had an interest in; Phil C.? Maybe I glimpsed him in a car? Pfft, who knows?] Bludge day, really. Pretty cool weather (about 27ºC) fine (sunny) I eat too much (fattening stuff) Must do lotsa HW tomorrow. Think I know who/that “guy” is. yukky Year 11 CAD guy. (I think that might be him cause I’ve noticed he’s nearly always around) YUKKY Mark, please get over this “phase”… it’s awkward for me. [LOL.] TIRED!

Saturday 22/8/87

A Life in WordsThe day at home was boring .. I listened to records/tapes while doing my art (weaving) – no HW (set HW) done Beautiful weather. . a little cloudy. Fi visited me late this arvy (Mark rang and it wasn’t a good phone call seemed so bored.. I felt really down after it) to borrow my black shirt. My hair was tied in rags [to create the messy wavy-crinkly look that was so hot back then!] (looked funny) Ran late of course: dinner at 7:15 – they came when I was just taking the rags out. CABARET was cool! Mark didn’t seem impressed. In fact he didn’t seem anything. I really don’t know what to do. Anyway I felt sick during last part (after interval) right up until 1:00 or so.. I lay in Fi’s car, then in Peter’s room. [There must have been an after-party…] I’m sure I was just sick from worry about Mark. [That’d be no surprise…] Jason got him to come in & we talked a little.. he thinks nothing’s happening.. so he left the room & I came out soon after .. just as well I did when I did because we left for the St. Monica’s party (Deena B) soon after (& Fiona was gone somewhere…

Sunday 23/8/87

→ I saw her ages later at the party. It was just as boring really. .had to pay for drinks etc (I couldn’t be bothered) I hung around Mark a lot in an attempt to change what has been happening all last week & the week before : that is: nothing. But I still got the feeling he didn’t want me near him. [What a waste of energy] I was especially upset when I showed him some affection & he totally ignored it. I left with Fi, very confused & slightly angry. – very hurt. Got home around 5:30, after hearing about Jo’s, Fi’s, Brendan L’s & Jason’s “problem” [??] wasted the whole day – weeping & thinking about mark. He rung in mid-afternoon. We had a very long D&M (deep & meaningful) was it meaningful? Um, yeah I guess. [….and? what? Clearly no resolution…] Tania visited just a few minutes ago (holidays from uni …didn’t know what to say) […well your sociability would have been compromised by your emotional state…] mark’s going through a “nonchalant” phase: not caring about anything. A Life in WordsI’ll just have to sit it out .. be patient as always. & hope it’ll pass soon. We talked a lot about breaking up & that worries me. [It must have been my tenacity, my resolve to not be ‘the ‘bad guy’ – the one to call it quits. I mean, it’s as obvious as a punch in the face that he wanted out, surely? I was clearly gullible, but not stupid.] NITE.

The Bath Breakdown & A Thunderstorm Shock (2-8 March)

Monday 2/3/87A Life in Words

I AM HOME. It’s not quite as different as I thought it’d be. . . [a great example of the Mind’s potential to create “a mountain out of a molehill”…] but I don’t think I’ve had enough time to think about things etc. I was ‘lucky’ (in a way) to be allowed to come home- I’m not allowed to go anywhere.. I can walk on the crutches for 1 hour per day – the other 23 I have to spend with my leg “up”, relaxing. Great, huh?! Mark didn’t ring – I thought perhaps he might .. But, no. My leg gets funny feelings through it – some painful, some not. I had a shower this arvy (at hospital) – Went home around 3:15 – got home 3:30. Lots of visitors – Fishers, Mandy, mima & family & fi. Oh, now to sleep. I wish I’d seen or heard from Mark- I hope I get some mail from him or something… a letter I’d really like. Oh well. Next monday 1:30→ take off dressing! Until then – boredom at home (?!???!!) Rather ‘doubted’ leaving this morning but Kerri [the social worker whom I had adopted as my counsellor] “helped” me change my mind. Brewers gave us their video & TV. UNREAL!!

Tuesday 3/3/87

In the shower tonight –  I really cried. I think that was my “breakdown” or, maybe the start of it. [I’m a tad confused: I vividly remember suffering a breakdown (a crying ‘tantrum’) but my memory places me in the bath – not the shower – looking down at, and bawling over, my ugly, deformed, scarred thigh (and all the death wishes that went with it)… but I just mentioned that my dressing wasn’t being removed (by the hospital doctor/s) for another week yet. Hmmm. Strange.] Boring-ish day. A Life in WordsSpent my morning hours (alone- mum at work) doing thank-you letters. [It was an etiquette our mother – via our grandmother – had instilled in us] When mum came home, we watched Norman Gunston tapes (on video) – Brewers gave their video to us, with a TV!! Julia came home & the Brewers- Mrs B. Polly & mima and fi came over. Watched Zapped on video. TV watching tonight. Toilet’s easy to go to Mrs McI also came over- Donald [her son] is so tall & skinny (& cute!) [Just to clarify, he was a child so this ‘cute’ definitely did not relate to physical attraction…] No letter, phone call (let alone a visit) from Mark. Hope he does get in (some form of) contact must go to the loo again. Rather warm day, rain & thunderstorm tonight. More visitors (& boring hrs) tomorrow? . . . Who knows. Slept alright last night. . hope so again 2nite.

Wednesday 4/3/87

Got a little upset in the shower again tonight but nowhere (I think) near as bad as last night. Delanie rang!! [Privacy omission] Short talk – she said she’d ring back in a couple of weeks (when I’m able to walk, I gather)→ when I’m back at school. Got a (monstrous) letter from Tania & (small one) Mrs M. Wrote to Tania 10 pages! Watched “Lampoon’s VACATION” on video today & “YOUNG ONES” & “D Generation”. A Life in WordsBig sore zit near my right eye. Jacque also rang – big thunder storm – had to hang up – I saw a spark & heard a “pop” on the line. [That gave me a bit of a fright… our parents had warned us about using the phone during thunderstorms: the danger of receiving an electric shock. Turns out it’s definitely not an Old Wives Tale either: the Mythbusters have tested it (see here) so I guess I was “very lucky” this time…] Oh, wish Mark’d call … or come over. (at least write a letter) Missing him already. Damn it. Hope I can save heaps of money (or win the lotto) so I can go to USA with Mark next year (if he wants me to) – HOPE SO! HOT!

Thursday 5/3/87

Mark rang this arvy – we had a long phone call .. about 1½-2hrs (??) at least (??) NO! about 1 hr at the least. And it started off usual ‘bickering’ but then a kind of “arguement” or disagreement – all about my trusting him & mainly, my ‘attitudes’. [Doesn’t it take two to Tango?] But it ended not so bad. Also, Crabbe rang. Good old talk to him Too (Fi came over this arvy – stayed for quite awhile) Delanie’s coming over Saturday, but so’s Mark. Oh! Boring day today. Watched music video. I missed the Last Starfighter cos’ I was talking to Mark. Another big thunderstorm. Mum was worried – see yesterday, on the phone to Jacque during a storm, I heard a “pop” on the line & it scared me to death- you’re not s’posed to be on the phone during a storm – could get electrocuted – [Uh-huh. So why did you repeat the experiment? I clearly wasn’t frightened enough by yesterday’s experience?] But it was alright – storm went away quickly. I do trust him now. I believe everything he tells me- it’s the truth. A Life in Words[Right. That sounds suspiciously like someone trying to convince herself…] I weighed myself. GUESS WHAT? 55KG WOW! I’m 55kg! shower wasn’t so bad 2nite. talked to Mark about the crash also. He doesn’t really like talking about it.

Friday 6/3/87

Fi came down again this arvy. I also saw Sandra H. I’m busting to go to the loo now! Guess what? Ngaire R is having a party tomorrow night &  it seems everybody’s going. NOT FAIR. Couldn’t they put it off one week? [Sure, JUST for YOU… I so hated “missing out” on things…] Not fair. (Still, I guess I’d look funny turning up to a party on crutches.) [People have turned up to parties looking a lot worse, I’m sure…] Did “nothing” again today (Mrs McI came down- got my [Speech & Drama] certificate – grade 5) besides watch 2 videos. In the morning, I read memorial programmes and had a little crying session over Monique. I even had a little talk to her. I feel guilty that I only think about Monique. [Compassionate to a fault? Am I really beating myself up for loving and missing one soul more than the other seven I didn’t have as strong a connection with? Apart from being too hard on myself it also demonstrates – on the upside – how ‘evenly’ I value all life…] She’s the one I ‘miss’ the most – the only one I think of & really cry over. [I think it’s excusable, Liss] I thought Mrs McI was her mum, this morning (similar car) Had a heart attack! Watched TV movie. Silly. No thunderstorm today. Fi said Mark said he’s playing golf with the other guys 2morrow & coming over sunday instead. No phone call from Mark. Fi said he said he doesn’t know if he’ll go to the party- but thinks yes maybe. Wonder if he will – if so, what he’ll do?

Saturday 7/3/87

Boring! Nah! Justine F & Mr Paddy & Lainie & Leah (& Deborah & Mrs C. later) and Michael B & Amanda (staying the night) & mima & Mrs B. & Dad & Jenny. That’s about it (cherie for a few minutes, too!) for today. (I heard Mark got 4th (out of 4 people) in golf today! Cameron 1st, Glyn 2nd, Steven 3rd & him last!) Wonder if he’s at Ngairie’s party – it’s gonna be so BIG. BITCH that I can’t go. Bloody pain in the tit. [..as opposed to arse. I think ‘tit’ was my mum’s preferred word because it wasn’t as ‘crass’.] I think there’s some ‘discharge’ where the skin was taken from – it’s “weeping”. We rang hospital – said no worries – Dad’n’Jenny said not to worry too. Oh dear. A Life in WordsWasn’t noticeably too hot today. Bloody mozzies. Watched Zapped, Last Starfighter – Young Ones tape (½) & ½ of Singing in the Rain. Also, Robinsons gave us their VHS so we went (well, mum jules & Amanda went) & got out SPIES LIKE US. God, it’s good! One & ½ more days to go!! Yay!!

 Sunday 8/3/87

Mark came around 2:30 and (I didn’t think he was coming) left around 5:45. I think he was bored lots of the time – he did go to the party – left at 1:30, went home. The ambulance man came this arvy, while he was here & we were talking about our position on the bus- I know where we ended up now. [Partly helping to clear up the confusion I experienced while pinned under the bus, looking out a hole in the ‘undercarriage’ wondering how the trees I could see were still standing. I was completely disoriented. If you (somehow) missed it, this link will take you back to the full horrific tale on 4 February.] Mrs Strooper came this morning – talked pretty well! [This was the second time Erica’s mother had visited me; the first was while I was in hospital, and it hadn’t been a joyful meeting (possibly why I didn’t record it in my diary). She was naturally very distressed, her grief was so fresh; she needed answers. All I remember was her asking me lots of questions that started with “why?” …but they were unanswerable. Like, “why did Erica get on that bus?” Understandably, the encounter was very uncomfortable: apart from the natural compassion for her incredible suffering, I felt useless and depressed by my inability to answer her: I was too young and inexperienced to know that I wasn’t ‘responsible’ ..to supply the answers, that is.] (She gave me about 5 photos – most of myself – a ‘big’ one of Monique & Erica (really beautiful) & a beautiful (although blurred) photo of the 5 of us. Really nice. Mark was being rather (concealed) nice ‘fore he left… still no kiss. I think we both feel ‘afraid’ again. I dunno. Watched videos all day. Boring for Mark, I’m sure. I felt terrible (even when the ambulance man was here, talking ’bout the crash) Cameron & Glyn came in for a few secs before mark left. No conversation really. A little hot 2day Slept terribly last night – so restless. Hope it’s better tonight. Hospital tomorrow!!!

A Life in Words
This was the large photo of Monique & Erica that Erica’s mother gave to me. Such beautiful girls xx

Surgery, Seat Belts & the Birth of my Spiritual Belief System (16-22 February)

Monday 16/2/87

Feeling still very depressed. The doctors caught up with me today. (Dining room for breakfast & lunch. were late for brekky …squashy next to 2 black guys ..PAINFUL) [I’m quite certain this was a statement of discomfort rather than racist ‘slur’, for those who may be wondering…] After my shower they came back. Wasn’t too painful… they took out the drains. Redressed  my leg after a while. 2 dressings a day now… this arvy, mima was with me. Fi came in, too. Mark didn’t come today- I knew he wouldn’t. Probably won’t tomorrow, too. But he should come before 3 weeks. See, I’m going to surgery (skin graft for the big hole, stitch up the little hole) on Wed, then I’ll be in about a week after that. Then Drs say I have to spend at least 2 weeks at home. No I won’t. [Um, if the doctors say so…] I’m missing too much schoolwork. & friends. Dad told me yesterday: Jenny & him are getting married in May. I was shocked, but hid the surprise good as possible. Jacque visited. A Life in WordsBoring, depressed.. my  leg feels like no progress still hurts as much to stand now as it did when I first did – I’m not getting used to the blood rushing down, thru’ the sore. Painful, still. Tania gave me a big photo frame with photo of me, moni, fi, sharon &  mima taken end of last year, It’s beautiful. Monique is beautiful. ♥ her 4eva.

Tuesday 17/2/87

I went to the Valentine’s Dance! On crutches!! Tania drove me. I’d had painkillers – walking, sitting etc was a breeze!! [I found another notation elsewhere that also mentioned I got in for free!] Felt so good today… I mean tonight … walking, etc.. I’ve improved heaps – can lift my leg straight, in the air. Just finished dressing …did it when I came back.. (while after) about 9:00. surgery tomorrow. very few visitors. Oh, I’m tired. Sleep well. Ha! Mark wasn’t there tonight, but he’s going to the swim. carnival tomorrow – I won’t be allowed. Have to stay flat in bed for 3 days…will be murder getting on crutches again. The “report” on the bus accident on the Today Show was disappointing. Not much about the actual crash.

A Life in Words
How would seat belts have saved lives in this wreckage?

[Of course by this time there were preliminary investigations under way but very little had been published, since a formal inquiry was to be held at a future date. Naturally there was media & public speculation about the cause of the accident and associated discussions about prevention. The most prevalent opinion was that wearing seat belts would have saved lives. Absolute RUBBISH. One look at the bus wreckage should be totally explanatory. Interestingly enough, there was an article in the Cairns Post on this topic (not however in the manner of my specific argument) on Friday 20 (see below). I’m not against seat belts at all (if it’s even possible – per the article) but if WE had been strapped into our seats when that bus roof sheared off & seats were ripped from their places, the death toll would’ve been much higher…] Oh, I’m upset..Tania said to me tonight – talking to [privacy omission] he said something about Mark wanting to _ _ _ _ me She said they were pretty close… I’m upset; is that all Mark wants?? [Well, he’s a teenaged boy…?] I like him so much.. so very much… Oh, I’m so worried. . . . Too bad if I forgot anything – I’m so tired. Night. . . painful leg – skin graft oooh It’s 10:30

Wednesday 18/2/87

I was late – I mean THEY were [for surgery]. I was s’posed to go in at 8:00, but I got my pre-op(eration) needle at 8:30, and was taken up awhile after that. A Life in WordsI waited for ages, up there, dozing & finally around 10:00 I think I was rolled in & soon after, given the “knock-out” needle. When I woke, drowsy, really drowsy I was in heaps of pain. Finally got back down here around 11:45. Crying & whinging in pain. [I don’t seem to have diarised anything about this but sometimes the nurses would administer needles for pain relief, rather than just oral pills. I can’t recall the name of the drug, but I do remember asking for it on a few occasions. I can imagine this would be one of the moments they would not have denied me.] It soon settled. Spent the rest of the day lazing . . dozed a little around 5:00. Mark came up today – but to see Trina he reckoned. I think he’s shitty with me. (Oh, my leg’s so itchy) Doctor told me I didn’t have a skin graft after all – GREAT, HUH?! The flesh repairing was so elastic they could just stitch it up!! No major scars! Great! [Oh how the tables turned in just a few days’ time…and months later I begged my mother to try to recall whether she had signed any consent forms that specifically outlined the surgeons’ original intentions…] No major visitors (‘cept Mark) …I mean very few but the ones who came were nice. A case of quality, not quantity. [Of course ALL of my visitors were ‘nice’!] Another school kid’s bus crash in N.Z. about 5 people killed… not nearly as badly smashed as our bus, was their’s. [Competitive? Sheesh. Trying to source information about this accident was almost as difficult as it is to find information about ours on the net. This article celebrates the growth & success of one of the survivors of the Woodford House girl’s school bus accident which killed two students, two teachers & the driver. The victim doesn’t recall anything of the accident, waking up with  permanent paraplegia two weeks later in hospital.] It’s just after 9:00. I may be going home soon. Keep thinking about mark.. he wouldn’t be after “one thing”.. he writes too much caring stuff. He doesn’t intend to ever hurt me

A Life in Words
Before I was “reduced to square one -again”

Thursday 19/2/87

A “down’ Day, definitely: few visitors, pain in my leg. Hurts to walk: put it this way…I can’t anymore… I can’t straighten my leg and find it easier to ‘hop’ on my left leg, keeping the right foot totally off the ground. But tonight, after doing my teeth I kept up [stayed up] & went for exercise walk …keeping foot on floor, stretching & bending knee as much as possible. [In hindsight, this makes me cringe.] mima, Fi, Brent, Jason came up at lunchtime – Mark was at school. . he didn’t come up here. I think I should’ve written a note for mim to give to him for me. Of course I care that he doesn’t visit me… I care a lot. Am getting anxious… hope Trish doesn’t get hooks into him. (Tania visited this morning…had to work rest of the day.. BOOHOO! She’s leaving tomorrow-MISS HER! Hope I can get out to see her off – have a prezzy for her silver bracelet (sterling.)) My leg- how can it be – I walk fine Tues. & after an operation am reduced to square one -again: A veggie? Is 9:30. Try to get to sleep. Ate little (cos too lazy to go to dining room for meals – too sore.)

Friday 20/2/87

* Another down day. Still painful…worse to walk. Trina left this arvy, around 2:00 I think. This morning, the doctors came- but not all of them… thanks to the charge sister, Lisa, they decided to take my dressing off  On the way, he [one of them?] called me a sook. Bastard. It stuck a bit & it hurts so much. [I still cannot grasp the insensitivity of these medical ‘professionals’…] So, after, I waited about ½hr before someone redressed it, then, too late to have a shower, I dressed & mum took me to see Tania off. No tears shed. But I’ll miss her. Another friend gone. [Developing a life ‘theme’?] Showered after I got back (had lunch – a pie – got some food) Few visitors .. Mrs McI gave me a beautiful book (for end of 9 yrs of speech-huh? That’s not right…yep! it is!) Mr Paddy & Yru (came seperately, but) talked in depth about the crash..esp. Mr Paddy …he helped me understand/accept death etc .. It’s still scary to me…but I’m sure it’s  a big step to recovery of shock. [I’d never had anything to do with Mr ‘Paddy’ (I got his surname wrong) since he was a Music teacher, but this conversation had an incredibly massive impact upon me. I believe it was the catalyst for the development of my entire spiritual belief system, for life. All he did was offer his ideas about ‘what happens’ after we ‘pass over’ but it put me at ease by intimating that death is not ‘The End’. So I came to believe in reincarnation or at least, endurance of Spirit. One particular suggestion he made actually came to pass just a few months later; it was an indisputable experience and perhaps this is what irrevocably cemented my belief, and therefore eternal gratitude, love & respect for him.] Mark didn’t come. I’m really worried. [Privacy omission] mentioned something about sex today, too… it would absolutely break me if that’s all he wanted – I know it’s not ..I think …some little doubt in side …well, my mind’s made up.. he’s not going to get it, ever . . till I’m ready -and that’ll be ages. [He] told me he did to [privacy omission]..didnt really surprise me much 8:55

A Life in Words
In case you’re unable to decipher the fine print, the article basically discusses the impracticality of seat belt installation from an engineering point of view. While there is no reference to our bus’s detached roof, the displaced seats are mentioned.

Saturday 21/2/87

They told me I could go home today. But I didn’t. I wanted to stay in til Monday. Everyone probably thinks I’m crazy- I s’pose I am – but I’m smart; I’ll stay in just to be sure -no infections. [If there was ever a point in my life up till then that I should have respected myself for heeding my ‘Gut’, this was it…] And besides; my visitors have to be told!! [oh you Social Butterfly you!] On Monday I’d also like to see the physio & drs before I go They took out the drain this morning- my leg’s quite a bit better! Walking a bit easier!! Except for Mark’s visit, today was an “up” day.. he came – we got on alright…but he left the same way he did the  last 2 times..without saying goodbye…just walking off in a shit..I’d said something about him being mean to me [and then] “well you can leave” … [so he answered] “alright I will” ..he walked off & didn’t come back. That upset me. I really am worried about if he does like me. (God it’s hot.) he’s so moody; impatient I can’t understand him. We really need a good talk.. it’ll be a long time though.. you can’t really talk well in a hospital..or even at school. Oh, I’ve a headache… feel hot..feel terrible. Can’t sleep very well. Quite a few visitors..very lazy day.     Oh . . . I fell terrible. Must try to sleep.

Sunday 22/2/87

What a waste of a day. Here I was thinking I’d get hoardes of visitors:- mum, the McKenzies (principal), Justin F & Wayne C. That’s it. Leg’s O.K. I get pain “jabs” – throbbing now & then…but noticed walking is getting a bit better. Totally boring day… so sleepy, but couldn’t sleep. Thinking about mark…. I thought maybe that I’d changed & he’d changed (y’know – from the crash’n’everything) and we just don’t “click” anymore. Oh I wish everything was “normal” again.  home tomorrow – I have mixed feelings about that, too. . . good cos’ I’ll get work done (less visitors) & be able to exercise my leg – go for walks (crutches!) BUT – I’m apprehensive – haven’t been home since before the camp – before the crash that’s 3 weeks exactly…the memories – it’s going to be different – “overwhelming” is the word I think of. [Wow, well said.] Oh dear… Hot (-ish) today. Didn’t see Jules. Mike B went to see her this arvy, mum said. Wo, Jules!! ♥ mark – u poop! DAMN YOU

The Day After: Heartbreak (5 February)

Thursday 5/2/87

8 died. Monique has gone. Erica too, Mark F, Mandy G, Judy F, Jody & Lee-anne & Liz. 7 of them were sitting up the back [but notably, all 8 were sitting on the left hand side of the bus; that which would have borne the weight of bodies & debris thrown from the right-side side at the first moment the ground fell away beneath us]. I can’t believe Monique is gone. It’s unbelievable. I know she is, but I can’t comprehend it. Today was very busy. Heaps of people came. I have a big “hunk” out of my left knee, a small crack in my left femur and a huge gash in the back of my right thigh, where the bus was on me. […almost correct…] Mark is in intensive care. I hope he’s alright. I got a letter tonight – note he wrote before the camp. [privacy omission] I cried a fair bit today. Esp. when dad told me about monique. No one knew about her [in that, whenever I asked after her they all answered that they didn’t know, or hadn’t heard. I can’t imagine how hard that would have been for them: to lie to the face of someone to whom they knew the truth would cause so much pain].. didn’t tell me so I was kind of guessing.A Life in Words Rather late night. Food is disgusting. My head and arms are badly bruised. Cameron, Jason P, and Yru are next door [there was an adjoining ward to ours]. Fi (broken collarbone) Kay & Ms Bowles were released at different times today.

[There are 6 pages dedicated to this day in the scrapbook but they are mostly filled with clippings from a variety of newspapers; mostly from the local ‘Cairns Post’.]

Woken quite early to have blood pressure and temperature taken, then no one (except Fiona, of course) could get back to sleep, so we talked. I was quite determined to find out as much as I could…so asked lots of questions. I remember only Jacque, Ms. Bowles and Kay being interested in the conversation…however not seeming (Ms. Bowles, anyway) too happy to recall the events she remembered.  Jacque said she knew 3 of the dead, but refused to tell me when I asked at first. Eventually she told me Mark, Mandy and…Erica. A Life in WordsI said I knew Erica died (but I hadn’t really, had I?) When the papers arrived we realised exactly how major the event had been (we’d all missed the TV news the night before and had been wondering if it was ‘national’) The headlines greeted us:

“Cairns High camp ends in tragedy: 8 Die in Smash”

The Cairns Post reports virtually dominated the complete paper: front page headlines, continuing on pages 3 and 7.

The Sydney Morning Herald’s reports were very similar to some of the articles printed in the Cairns Post. [I knew nothing of media ownership (eg, Murdoch) back then.]A Life in Words

After breakfast, bedpans and bed washes, people began arriving: lots of people, mostly school friends, came throughout the day. The Brewers were one of the first to visit.  Mum had come, but left Julia [with me] when she had to do some business calls. Dad came.

I remember having asked Mrs Brewer about Monique, and she replied, “we haven’t heard” or “we don’t know”.

Strange: everyone seemed to have been saying that. I thought she was either so okay that she’d gone home straight away, or…but I didn’t think it was that.

I remember the nurses drawing the curtains around me, but, talking to Jemima (Mrs B, Polly & Julia standing nearby) I didn’t take much notice, or wonder why. [assuming more blood pressure tests or something of the like…] Apparently the whole ward was cleared of other visitors. [People have since confirmed this: all visitors were ushered out of the wards into the corridor, and it was jam-packed] I’ll never forget when my Dad came through the curtain: his eyes were quite moist. He said (and an eerie silence fell over the place) “They’ve released the names of the dead…”

I knew it…I had to accept what I had subconsciously known all along….what I hadn’t wanted to have to believe…

“Monique..”

I said it at the same time, my eyes brimming…

“was one of them.”

A Life in Words
Ink portraits of Monique traced from photos, in my scrapbook

The suspense was too much for Jemima, who broke out in (those, oh, so familiar) sobs, and I could sense every other person silently crying. I took a deep breath and wailed for the world to hear –

“MONIQUE, NOOOOOO, MONIQUE, MONIQUE…”

I don’t recall how long I cried for, but apparently, I was sedated and slept for quite some time…

[I have to admit I’m disappointed that my father assumed the role of informer before my mother had returned from her business calls. Knowing my mum, I’m certain she would have desperately wished to be by my side in that moment of need. It feels unfair to me, that the news was broken in her absence. In his defence however, he said he had consulted with the medical staff and it was jointly agreed that I needed to be informed sooner rather than later because of the sheer number of visitors: they expected someone would ‘let slip’ and they clearly wanted to ‘control’ the situation for everyone’s ‘psychological’ sake… the question is, can anyone ‘control’ anything??]

The rest of the day, after I woke, was a blur of people (SO many!) tears (over Monique) and flowers (the first of many I was to receive).

I had not yet a clear understanding of the injuries I’d sustained, thinking I had “a big hunk out of my left knee, a small crack in my left femur, and a huge gash in the back of my right thigh (where the bus was on me)” [clearly I pulled this directly from my diary] It was clear however, that my head and arms were badly bruised, and chest, hips and legs. [I have always bruised easily so this came as no surprise. I ended up with numerous contusions, the largest of which were in the soft flesh above my elbows. The haematoma on my left arm actually left a scar (another physical affliction to which I’m naturally pre-disposed) in the form of stretched and slight ‘greying’ of the skin.]

Fiona, Kay and Ms. Bowles were released at different times during the day…Fiona still oblivious to anything going on around her (still in shock).

In fact, I would have been in a deeper shock over Monique. The tears flowed nearly the whole day…and to any visitors I kept repeating and stressing how I needed friends now, because Monique was gone. They all nodded, eyes watery, in sympathy. [I had just lost the only real best friend I’d ever had. My very own best friend, who’d considered me hers too. It’s all I’d ever wanted, what I felt I’d lacked in my life to date. I was keenly aware that I was the ‘third wheel’ in the friendship trio with Jemima & Fiona, so Monique’s departure not only ripped open a gaping hole but infused it with past feelings of loneliness and alienation.]

Again, most visitors left after the close of visitors hours, including my mother and sister, who then went to visit Mr & Mrs P. [Monique’s parents] for an hour or so afterwards.