You could always tell it was summer in the steelworks because you only had to press the button once on the hand-dryer. I sometimes used to wonder if the one in the men’s loos was the same. I dunno. Never went in there on account of it being snided with blokes.
Oh, I’m sure they wouldn’t have minded. I was really fit back then. I was called ‘the one with the big boobs.’ Never to my face. I saw it on a forum a long time after. It was like seeing graffiti about me in the toilets – kinda weird, but a bit titillating (haha) at the same time, you know?
I guess they didn’t say nuffink to my face because I was a bit gobby back in them days. Even me manager used to tell me that.
‘Lisa,’ he’d say. ‘You’re a bit of a gobshite you are.’
There was stuff I could have said back to him. But it was a cushy little number was that job – just sitting in an office mostly – some computer work, a bit of filing. So I kept stum.
But the guys – maybe they didn’t say squat because they wanted me. Like, wanted to go out with me. That makes some of them shy. But the rest? Who knows. Nice polite lads I would imagine. You get them in the steelworks. Sometimes.
There was this one chap … I knew used to fancy me. He used to stalk me a bit. He’d come into our office all the time on errands. Made-up stuff most of the time. But I never encouraged him.
Well, only the once.
We used to catch the same bus together – after work. And we just used to chat about everything and anything. He was sweet. He never told me that he liked me. Not even once. But, you know – it was the way he looked at me. Straight in the eyes. Or maybe he did that because I had these really pale blue ones. Cornflower blue.
I don’t know what made me invite me to the baths with me. I mean, I had a boyfriend and all of that, and I know that he’d have gone barmy if he’d have known I went swimming with someone from work. But like I say – this lad was sweet. That, and he looked a bit fit under them baggy clothes. Maybe I was curious to see what he looked like underneath. Nearest I could get to stripping him off without … you know.
So we went swimming. I told him that he looked like Jesus Christ. I don’t know why I said that. Well, I do really. It’s because he did. He was like that skinny Christ you get on the cross – all his ribs showing and all of that. And there was his hair – all long and wavy. So I said it. He just kinda smiled. He had a nice smile. Nice teeth.
I wish I’d have kissed him. He had lips that looked like they would have been good to kiss.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter now. None of it matters. He moved on and I moved on. Married the boyfriend and had three little brats – one of each.
And besides that – I’m dead.
I saw him see it in the papers. He stopped walking and he just stood there for ages. Front page it was – police still investigating and all of that.
I’m glad they used that picture. Respectful it was. It showed my eyes off really well. He recognised ’em straight away – I could see it in his face. He just stared and stared at the photo, but it was like he wasn’t really seeing the paper. It was as if he was just looking straight through.
I like to think he was seeing me as I was back then. Before the stretch marks, before the bitterness set into my face. Back when I was just a girl in a pool, water streaming from my body as I got out, feeling his eyes on me. Just feeling, you know, nice.
And then he turned to the sports page and started walking again.