It was about four years ago, or maybe five. Genuinely, I can’t remember. The sun was burning every inch of our sweaty bodies and the freezing cold cokes or beers weren’t much of a help. The beach was becoming unfeasible to step on due to the high temperature of the rather golden sand. And we were so not cool. We were about 15-16, you know, everyone thinks of anything else except what is important. But we were lucky enough to have found a place to rest our tents and pretend we were hippies, although we probably looked more like little wolves out of their pack (at least in the eyes of a 20-year-old), because back then we thought we were something more than kings, and less than gods. But I think, no one really paid so much attention to those details, it never actually crossed our minds. We were all so free, free from our parents, free from school, free from life. It was the first time we were allowed to go on holiday on our own. We had been longing for this moment, it was like our mission and each of us had a very distinct, albeit clear idea of what to expect (as every teenager, we had all watched thousands of cheesy movies, which make you believe that perfect holiday means huge sandy beaches, tons of booze and overly fit guys and gals). Booze, yeah, definitely lots of booze and maybe some other stuff too. The guys were dreaming of pretty, tanned girls in bikinis, drinking beer on the beach and running on longboards in the late afternoon hours just before the sun goes down, and us, not sure what we were expecting. I think we were still not as liberated as we thought. We had all heard tales from our older sisters or girlfriends about what happens on the camping site, but we weren’t going to expose this frivolous innocence. It hadn’t been long since Sarah, you know, with Iain.
He was a year older than us, which makes a hell of a difference when you are in your mid-teenage years, and a bit weird, or maybe he was just completely different from us. We never had a clue about where he was, he wouldn’t show up to our ‘meetings’ or pick up his phone; and this happened quite a lot. He was never really her boyfriend, if you were to ask me. Actually, he was never really our friend, he was just ‘around’. Sometimes he would bring ‘weed for ma peeps’ and it goes without saying that all the guys admired him, he had this something, a true leader, yeah, he did have this unique charm, I must say. Tequila sunrise, bloodshot eyes and then everyone knew what would follow. He would get into every sort of fight, just because, well, it’s never just because, there is always a reason behind every action, but we hardly knew who he was, let alone the fact that he wouldn’t say anything in regard to his life. ‘Leave me alone’, and we usually did, but this time it wasn’t like every other night, it was one of those nights that no one expects them to turn out like that, simply because this can’t happen to us, but it did. In the midst of warm beer and dancing smoke he sort of cracked up. Suddenly, his voice became acute and his pupils widened more than normal. We were looking at each other to see what was going on, we all had the same lost, questioning, empty look. He was staring at some skinny, blonde guy at the end of the room. Everyone immediately shifted their attention towards that side of the room. On the spur of a moment, Iain dropped his drink on the floor, which broke into many tiny pieces and splashed everyone around. He walked towards the guy.
– You! He said in his quivering, yet robust voice.
The skinny guy didn’t react. He just stared at him, as we all did, after all.
– What do you think you’re doing, huh? He said, and spat on the brownish carpet.
Once more, the other guy remained calm and silent. A second later Iain raised his fist with an abrupt movement of his slim arm and guided it towards his right cheekbone. Blood started dripping slowly all off his cheek and coloured the brownish carpet. It was probably what we had just seen or the sticky floors that impeded us from moving. Thick and fierce silence. Our innocent and joyful bodies, as if something had dragged them violently through a path of thorny roses, shivered bluntly. I could feel an unfamiliar numbness around me. We didn’t recognise ourselves for a moment there. It wasn’t so much what had happened or Iain or the guy, but we somehow all sensed what was to follow.
He turned his back relentlessly, pushed everyone who was on his way, including Sarah, and left through the back door. No one saw him, no one knew where he went. Neither the next day, nor the day after. Our holiday had turned into something… or nothing. Few chats here and there were interrupting the unbearable aura that was surrounding us. Many things were being said as to what had happened. Some said he went off with an astonishingly pretty gal and they both disappeared to live every teenager’s dream. Others said that while being out of his mind, he run, he run so fast that he didn’t see a car that was coming from the opposite direction, which had, beyond any doubt, exceeded the speed rate and bfkgkm… Nothing of what was being said could be less or more certain than anything else. We later found out that the skinny guy was sleeping with one of Iain’s ex’s, and she, although he would never admit it, was more important to him than what he claimed. Anyway, this doesn’t make any difference, and we were still there, this time counting the days to go back and Iain and the skinny guy and the bloody carpet. What a lad.