It had been an awful forty-eight hours, but those of us who were “disappointed” were in the minority.
Jonny said to me, I’ve never seen someone on the verge of tears for so long, but in truth I just felt numb. There were tears at the top of my throat, but it was anger which exploded, when anything exploded.
The night before we had set up the tents in the darkness and the rain, and it had been good. To be productive and complete the task despite the conditions, to make our own shelter from the storm. When we were dry again – dry, but not warm – we sat in the bright glow of the torches and sang. Build Me Up Buttercup and Hey Mr Tambourine Man and Mrs Robinson. Before the torches went out, Jonny played Here Comes the Sun, but instead of optimism there was just the bitter taste of irony on my tongue.
The next day we put our bags under the table in Costa and said goodbye to Naomi for forty minutes or so. It was hot and the windows were bright. I ordered an iced tea with lemon. It had been an awful forty-eight hours and I had only escaped consciousness for three, and I was desperate to, but couldn’t, cry.
I didn’t want the conversation to remind me how, out of all our friends, it had been the two of us who failed to get into our first-choice universities. Jonny sat down next to me with an iced latte and we were silent. And then, over the sound system, ever so gently, came this song.
It has to be one of the most extraordinary moments of my life. Everything in that moment was going to be ok.