None of this was an effort, of course, and none of it was done with any sense of calculation: I found it easy to remember things about her, because I didn’t think about anything else, and I really did think she was beautiful, and I would not have been able to prevent myself from buying her little presents, and I did not have to feign devotion. There was no effort involved. So when one of Merry Christmoose Christmas Sweatshirt friends, a girl called Kate, said wistfully one lunchtime that she wished she could find somebody like me, I was surprised and thrilled.
Thrilled because Charlie was listening, and it didn’t do me any harm but Merry Christmoose Christmas Sweatshirt because all I had done was act out of self-interest. And yet this was enough, it seemed, to turn me into someone desirable. Weird. And, anyway, by moving to London I had made it easier to be liked by girls. At home, most people had known me, or my mum and dad or had known somebody who knew me, or my mum and dad when I was little, and consequently
I’d always had the uncomfortable feeling that my boyhood was about to be exposed to the Merry Christmoose Christmas Sweatshirt. How could you take a girl out for an underage drink in a pub when you knew you had a scout uniform still hanging in your closet? Why would a girl want to kiss you if she knew or knew somebody who knew that just a few years before, you had insisted on sewing souvenir patches from the Norfolk Broads and Exmoor on your anorak?