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08 September 2011

Ullapool


Here
I am on the seafront in Brighton, in 1994.
I have just told my best friend that
we shouldn't go out with each other.
'We were meant to be just friends,'
I am saying.
I have read about love in novels and am sure
I know all about it. This is one of the cleverest things
I have ever done.
I am 18.
I exhale my cigarette, like a grown-up. Here
I am four years later, on the same stretch of seafront
with the same friend.
We are on a bench. My head is in his lap.
We are talking about what to call
our baby in my belly. My wedding dress is in a bag at
our feet.
We get married in three days. Since
we were last here,
I have learnt that
I knew nothing at the age of 18.
I know now that love can be a quiet, sure thing
– like the first April sun on
your arms – and not the pyroclastic blast
I was waiting for. In 19 hours,
we will find out that the baby
is dead. The grief that is coming for
us has five blades on each hand: it will fall on
us like a blizzard, and leave
us on the floor.
We will weep on
our honeymoon in Ullapool – so lost
I could not tell you if it did rain at all,
that time. At the time,
I thought the deep-sea pressure of sorrow was
so great, it would crush
my heart smaller, for ever.
I was sure I knew everything about it.




Taken from Caitlin Moran's column for the Saturday Times on 20th August, 2011. Submitted by Marika Rose.

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