Big Boobs, A Buried Hatchet & Relationship Chaos (18-24 January)

Monday 18/1/88

A Life in Words

Palm Cove, with its view of Double Island

Well I was only just awake when Sharon rang. I got up & she wanted me to ride over, then we’d ride to Palm Cove. So I got ready & was just about to leave when mum got the mail: my QTAC stuff arrived. I’d gotten into Gatton – only the B. Tourism, tho’ (like Mark) so I’ve put down that I’ll defer, but I’d still like my higher preferences to be considered. Anyway, the ride was extremely hot and hard, and I nearly stacked it near Smithfield Shopping Centre. So I “collapsed” at Sharon’s and (as she was at Smithfield) when she came back I refused to get on my bike again. So Mrs Weeks dropped us at the beach (Palm Cove) and we lay for only a few minutes, on the beach (it was very hot – mum told me later it was 35°C at 10.30 this morning) then to Ramada for a swim. We saw Juliet’s Dad – Mr. P & Sharon talked to him. It’s so beautiful, that pool, that whole resort! The pool was very cool and the spa, although warm (hot!) was very “theraputic”! After that we lay for awhile in the sun, before “exploring” the hotel and then going down to the shop to get lunch. Back at Ramada, we swam again then hopped in the spa (talking to some English tourists) -couldn’t get  a word in edgewise!) out again, we packed up & went to the shop for last snacks, then tried to ring Sharon’s parents. Her dad took us home. I rang mum, chucked the bike in the ‘back’ [of the car] and at home, read my Gatton info properly. Got ready & went to TAFE – what a let-down: they don’t have a receptionist course at all. Great; so I’m going to have to get an ordinary job for this year. Huh. Well Mark rang around 6:00, 6.30 – and said he’d try to come over. I cleaned out my top drawers and watched TV. He rang saying he’d be late: and he arrived after 9.00. It was boring (especially & ‘extremely’ for him) We watched the Thorn Birds .. that was it: did nothing else, though I tried (well not really) then he wanted to leave straight after. I tried to stop him from going: he was joking around & I just got all choked up & started crying. I don’t really know why – I guess it was because he’s going soon, and we don’t, I think, seem to be spending enough time together. He got out & hugged (& kissed me) And he promised to ring me tomorrow. I need a good sleep.

Tuesday 19/1/88

Woke quite early (that’s becoming an annoying habit lately) but slept in. Was surprised when Mark rang at 9.30 (I thought it’d be 10:00 at the very earliest) We didn’t really decide on anything to do, but he said he’d come over. I thought ½hr…but he rolled up a little later: and I mean rolled: on a bike (he rode here) A Life in WordsWe had a really good day surprisingly enough – water/hose fights … annoying & tickling while watching cricket: was really fun! And when he was going to go, he rang his mum (to pick up the bike) and asked if I could stay, so we mucked around till his dad came, then I hurriedly packed a bag (forgetting the bloody meds & pill) At Mark’s, we mucked around; didn’t really do much: did a lot of kissing, tho’…. most kissing we’ve ever done in one day …YUMMY! Watched cricket … exciting Aust. win! We went to bed at 10.00 or so, and well, talked & kissed till 12.30. Talked about us: not the ordinary relationship stuff, but the sexual side …communication! [privacy omission] I couldn’t believe that: I always thought they [my boobs] were average but he said he always thought they were big. He said [privacy omission] Anyway it was about 12.30, when I climbed back into my bed….

Wednesday 20/1/88

Woke early, around 7.30, again, but managed to doze awhile …Mark was very sleepy. He finally had to get up around 10.00 when Steven arrived. A Life in WordsI lay and listened to some tapes (he wouldn’t let me listen to the Hungry4Hits+1 [privacy omission]) then had a shower. After toast (& an uncomfortable ‘hello’ to Steven) [I’m not entirely sure why I felt uncomfortable? But then, I think he was someone I’d never truly felt comfortable around…] I watched TV, then because Mark wanted to go with Steven to Earlville, he drove me home [privacy omission] Said he’d ring me about what he’s doing tonight. So I unpacked & watched TV, and listened to music for most of the day. Theresa Lauren & Christie were at home when I got there (Julia was babysitting) Julia is being very badly affected by [privacy omission]: very cranky – snaps at you for no reason. Of course, I snap back because it annoys me. Fiona & Joannah (long lost friends!) rang me today. Fiona wanted to go out, and asked me to ring her back when I’d decided. Watching cricket, I fell asleep then Mark rang about 6.30 (earlier? Yeah, 5.30, sorry) and said he was going out, but to Scandals, instead. So I rang around to try to find out who else would be going out. It looked grim. But Fi said she’d come at 9.00. I got ready & we went & picked up Trevor, Matt & Steven G. Up there, Nigel was outside & Keith said they were being really strict on I.D. Fi & I waited awhile then she walked in with Willie & I on my own, totally ‘unhassled’. Was a bit empty inside I stood talking to Tania. Did a fair bit of dancing, before Mark turned up: I was by the airconditioner. with, get this: Nicole, Juliet & Jude, when he walked up & gave me some big passionate kisses… A Life in Wordsthey all walked off! Ha! I didn’t see him much; he got drunker & drunker & seemed to have less & less interest in me. Steven left, but Chris & Mark stayed. I was ‘lost’ … running around either Jude, Juliet, [privacy omission] or Megan. Fiona danced with Trevor nearly all night. Everytime I saw Mark he said he was going. Was he trying to get rid of me? Then this girl came up & dragged him to dance with ..ugh… Belinda K and he danced for ages then, he went to the toilet & I greeted him & we danced, found $2 & got a drink each. [Hmm, clearly still ‘Dollar Nights’ were still happening, not yet ‘illegal’…] [Privacy omission] also talked to me: He said sorry & I said “NO!” I was sorry for not talking last week. Anyhow – we buried the hatchet. Mark kept going to talk to Belinda & her friends. I was a bit hurt & annoyed – talked to Tania. Then he, Chris & Keith went outside. So, did it seem, did the whole of Smithy’s. Outside with Fi I saw [privacy omission] fighting someone, then further down the carpark – [privacy omission] they got into someone’s car & left. I felt so exhausted: bored, tired and annoyed, hurt & depressed about Mark. Finally Fi took me .. well, Matt first, then Trevor, but we had to go back to see if Steven G. was still there. He wasn’t & when Trev. got out again, I lay down & dozed off. Woke hearing [privacy omission] interrogating Fiona. I pretended to be asleep. Then, when she dropped me home – we talked. Then, I got into bed at 3.40.

Thursday 21/1/88

[Last night] I talked to heaps of people: Steven S, Stewart P, Richard O’S, Wayne C & Kel B, Tania (of course): people I wouldn’t (well except Tania, Kel & Wayne) normally talk to. Anyway, [today] I woke before 9.00 & couldn’t get back to sleep so did ‘nothing’ (listened to Bruce Springsteen) while waiting for Mark’s call. I was going to give him until 11.30 to ring & when he hadn’t, I tried – but the phone was engaged. I got through at 11.45 and he told me he was sore (ribs & ear) and that he went to Casualty at the hospital, last night, to check his wounds. A Life in WordsHe head-butted the guy, [privacy omission]. He thought he might’ve had cracked ribs so they went to hospital. I felt really sorry for him & said I’d be over ‘soon’. Got there during DAYS OF OUR LIVES, sometime and we just watched TV all night (I mean, afternoon) I went before he went to the dentist (or just as he was leaving) and he said he’d ring me when he got home. At home, I rang, who was it? CB & [privacy omission]! (I ‘christened’ their new phone) and talked for ages! Then Mark rang soon after & we decided I’d go to his place. On the way there I remembered I forgot meds, so we went to the shop… Julia saw Mark, so he saw us (he waved, she said) so we went back again (he saw us again, though) and got chocolate & lolly-gobble-bliss-bombs.A Life in Words Mark was waiting on the steps when I arrived and asked why we kept driving around. I produced the “goods” and he said silly girl! We watched TV all night (well, till after Moonlighting) when Mark wanted me to ask him Trivial Pursuit Q’s… but ended up watching Dallas, instead. Went to bed without kissing or talking (he didn’t seem to be talking to me)….

Friday 22/1/88

I remember waking briefly at 3.40am & wanting to wake Mark to wish him Happy Anniversary, but deciding against it. [Er, very good decision…] We woke quite early and the mucking around was a bit rougher. [privacy omission] I got a bit upset when he didn’t respond after that at all, & got up & walked out of the room. I heard him shower, then I got up, went to the loo & asked for a towel. I accidentally let Tippy [their dog] out and felt worse after that. I had a cry in the shower. Out, he was making breakfast & when he’d finished his, asked me if I wanted any. “NO.” I was watching TV. He sat down & mucked around with the Trivial Pursuit game, then asked if I’d like to play “Yeah”. So we did, and it was better after that. I asked for lunch, after Keith left [privacy omission]. Sandra made me a tunafish sandwich. I was shitty with Mark. [Here I have omitted details of his behaviour towards me]. So I did & it HURT. It hurt so much. I sat alone then Sandra & Mrs. W. went out. I watched cricket and cried. then I went in his room – [privacy omission] I asked what was wrong, why he was doing this to me – what did I do to deserve it? A Life in WordsHe said [privacy omission]. FUCK HIM. He got all shitty back last year when I joked about him leaving the hospital – he took that seriously – he overreacted and I wasn’t half as mean – [privacy omission]. He is a CONTRADICTORY PRICK. HE HURTS ME SO MUCH. I couldn’t believe this was happening. It was the first time he’d been like this since he’d been back – since we even broke up in September. WHY? I gathered I was suffocating him again … he was seeing too much of me. (We could never live together [well hello, glaring hint…] – it’d kill me – much as I’d’ve liked to) So I apologised, [WTF… why?] said I’d call him. [I’m not sure if you can fathom exactly how painful this is for me to witness and ‘re-live’: my blindness, weakness, (stupidity?) attachment (addiction) and tenacity is beyond mortifying. It’s glaringly obvious now how unhealthy the relationship was – for both of us – but it was an imperative life experience.] Mum came & I was only ‘silent’ at home for a little while. Rang Mima – she got back this morning! So mum dropped me round – I have no present for her yet, she didn’t give me anything, anyway. She (nor anyone) seemed not to have put on weight, [I obviously had it in my head that everyone who holidayed overseas should gain weight? I’d made similar comments about Mark upon his return as well…] though her face & hands were much paler. [Uh, der… Europe in Winter; not a lot of sunbaking going on…] She dropped me home after 6.00 & I rang CB. She wasn’t going out, was home on her own & asked if I’d like to come over. I said yes. There, around 8.00, we listened to music & talked & wrote in her Euroka [the Cairns High school magazine/yearbook], after I rang Mark. He seemed O.K. again… again we talked for awhile. I mentioned Cameron visited me, and he thought I meant at CB’s (Ha,ha!) No! Before I left for CB’s! (He’s going Thursday, to the Gold Coast)  A Life in WordsSo we got a delivery pizza & after 11.00, we watched RAGE although CB fell asleep.. I soon did too … kept dozing on & off (mostly off) At 2.30 I woke her (well she kinda woke at the same time I sat up) & we got ready for bed. Then she started talking again..

Saturday 23/1/88

We woke a little after 7.00. I rang mum at 7.35 (sat watching RAGE TOP 50, while CB got ready for work, before mum picked me up) At home, continued watching Rage & Jo rang during INXS “Need You Tonight” A Life in Wordsto say how stunningly similar Mark was to the drummer, Andrew Farriss; [we had previously noticed and marvelled at this apparent coincidence back in August 1987 (see here) whilst attending their ‘Kick’ concert at the showgrounds] we didn’t really have much else to say to each other, otherwise. Watched the last of it (Faith is no# 1 again – yay!) and spent the day listening to music, doing scrapbook but mostly NOTHING. Rang Fiona after 4.00- talked about Mark: then rang CB – she said she’d ring [privacy omission]. I rang Mark after 5.00 & he wasn’t extremely friendly. Said he’d watched videos today – went to Keith’s and they went to Nicole’s. [Privacy omission]. Then he refused my offer of the movies, saying he might go with Keith to the Drive-In. Didn’t invite me [privacy omission] BASTARD. I hung up & tried hardest to ring Fi (engaged for ages) Then I bauled on the phone. She says I should forget him: [privacy omission]. I rang [privacy omission] & she rang Nicole who told her she was going to the Drive In. Great. “Liar”, I thought. I rang him up, using the excuse that [privacy omission] was going to pick up the Trivial Pursuit. He wasn’t going. Oh. So I watched TV & eventually rang him again. This time he was going. HURT. Anyway, he said he’d ring me tomorrow. so we’ll wait & see if he remembers. It’s only 8.35 – there’s nothing on TV tonight – I’m alone. Seems everyone’s out – Mum & Julia at movies with Cynthia, mima, Fi & Sue, Brent etc at the movies, Mark at movies and CB, [privacy omission] etc at 21st party. So I’m going to have an early night – maybe wake later to watch some Rage (on my TV) [Wha…? ‘My’ TV? We must have bought our new little Sony telly so I inherited the old 1970’s Rank Arena set …that still required knob-tuning to change channels, volume, etc!] Mum just rang to say she’s coming soon. I’d like to be asleep by then. A Life in WordsPretty bloody horrible day today, but I might go to the beach tomorrow & definitely to Beach Party Nite at the Playpen at night. Oh, and Mark’s ringing …(?!?)

Sunday 24/1/88

Well, I woke around 8.30 and thought immediately of Mark (of course) Decided to wait to ring Fi and watched cricket, but 9.30 was too late as I found out: she’d just left for mima’s. I waited (must’ve been longer than I thought) to ring mima & there was no answer cricket was off due to rain. I rang again round lunch time, but still no answer. “Great”, I thought. So much for sympathy for Elissa. So I watched TV all day. (yeah, cricket came back on) & was just finishing writing to Gatton about deferment when Mike & Cynthia came. Luckily was not long till [privacy omission] & CB (& Pol & Peter) dropped by & said “we’re going to Crystals”. I grabbed a towel & with a short singlet dress & no shoes, felt like a big dag. Picked up Sharon, then at Crystals walked right up to near the top & eventually only stayed for about ½hr (it was cold). On way home, stopped in.. CB, [privacy omission] & Sharon looked at photo albums & school magazines & my scrapbook while (& after I’d finished) packing. Then we went to withdraw money for Sharon, but she’d left her cashcard at home, so [privacy omission] drew some of hers. FOOD from Kentucky Fried, then muck around back at [privacy omission]‘s. Tasha & Lisa C came up, as well as Matt & Trevor. I rang mum & found out Mark apparently said “Where is she?” and Julia said “I don’t know, but she won’t be coming home tonight.” So. What was I to do? I felt sick thinking about it – CB said yes, [privacy omission] said no – what should I do? I left it too late anyway: We were running late as it was. Got to Double Vision just before 9.00 – Megan was there, but not alone – with Ashley & ..Jo! Yay! But Ashley & Jo went home. At first, Sharon, CB & I went up, but CB & I were rejected. I produced false school I.D. & she just accepted it. CB luckily got in on a change of bouncers. then she & Sharon had a really ‘hot’ cocktail [called a ‘Zombie’ and “hot” in that it was – like the ‘Explosion’s we drank at the House on the Hill nightclub – consumed while alight] & were blown away. Guess who we saw? And who went up to talk to? A Life in Words(CB & Sharon) DANNY ROBERTS! From Sons & Daughters! – Andy Greene!! [Who? Until I found a photo (right) I was coming up blank…] But I stayed with [privacy omission] & Megan cos’ they weren’t ‘chasing’ him [I’ve always despised the ‘groupie’ thing; hanging around people for their fame seemed so shallow to me.] – I got bored instead because they were after this other guy. Remember Tyler N? He was there and god, is he hot?! YUMMY. When it ended (well, you should’ve seen the wet Tshirt competition- this horrid guy was standing near me coaxing me to go in it, saying, “you’ll make a killing. If you’ve got it, flaunt it.” Stupid shit.) [Creep.] We went to a 24hr & [privacy omission] stole 2 blocks of chocolate. I was smoking & spinning out!! CB & Matt (W) had a big chocolate fight & [privacy omission] was not impressed. We dropped Megan home and got ready for bed at [privacy omission]‘s. Then I was writing my diary when CB started reading it, cause she was trying to ignore [privacy omission] – it really scared us for awhile – he was scraping a rake against the windows, then hiding. It’s 2.00 and I’m finally finished! Yay! But I’m not even real tired. Guess I’ll have to ring Mark soon (tomorrow) Mph! God I hate Nicole! [Nah, you’re just intimidated by her.] I guess CB & I’ll be talking for awhile now…. G’nite!

Mood Swings, Errant Incisors & The Jody Keen Memorial Trophy (31 August-6 September)

Monday 31/8/87

Well it’s 10:30: I have only ½ my english assignment done (if I don’t hand it in before school tomorrow I get 0/20) and I have ASAT (Australian Scholastic Aptitude test) tomorrow, which I haven’t even looked at the booklet, for. [See this post from a fortnight ago if you want a little more detail about the ASAT] Great, huh? I really felt conscious today about my schoolwork .. I’m going to work harder to get everything right for my exams – maths, chem & biol. next week. [Yeah yeah, heard it all before…] MUST do well. Got my art mark Got 16/20- I was disappointed: a few people got 20’s -about 5. But I made her [my teacher] ‘up’ my mark by one, so I’m a V.H now, at least. [Well …that’s interesting. I don’t remember that, and can’t believe I was that …”assertive”. Some assertiveness in other areas of my life would’ve been helpful…] God, I’m tired & I know I’ll stuff up the ASAT tests. SHIT. I won’t even get my english assignment done. God help me. I barely talked to Mark at all today. He’s really getting me down – he is so bored with me & that really does nothing for my ego. A Life in Words[And I was way too young to realise that Ego IS the problem…] Wrote a letter – not sure if I’ll send it yet. I’ll get Fi to read over it & tell me if it’d make him react wrongly (ie: MAD) [LOL, a ‘wrong reaction’?!] mucked around in biol. though I actually was a bit more bold & felt really relaxed around him. could tell he was still bored with me tho’. Please change back Mark – be romantic again. [Wanting or expecting someone (anyone!) to Change = nothing but Pain]

Tuesday 1/9/87

I arrived later than usual trying to get my english done (I didn’t) went up to do ASAT tests . . were hard, generally, although some parts were easier than others. . at little lunch I left straight away: finished my assignment at home then went to see the orthopaedic surgeon (Dr Bottoms) he talked a lot went in late, of course; came out around 1:35. . […and the result was? I can’t recall, or even guess, whether this appointment was actually for my personal ‘benefit’ or related to the building of my Third Party compensation claim from the bus accident…] got back to school near start of 6th period. Boring in art; did little in chemistry (Cameron distracting me a lot) after school, I went up to talk to Mark, for the first time of the day: “What’s wrong?” I said cheerfully. No answer “OK” I said & sat next to him. He said “Don’t ever say that to me again.” I was just shocked. “What?” “What’s wrong?” I sat really bewildered & depressed & upset – I moved over to Fi & tears sprang up. What the fuck had I done wrong? I was very upset. At home rang Fi – she said ring him – wasn’t home, so rang me back – seemed cheerful enough – said “I just hate people saying that – giving me sympathy when I don’t need or want it.” SHIT. OK. I fucking got the message. A Life in WordsWrote another letter -told him about them & I’ll let him read them tomorrow

Wednesday 2/9/87

Fucked up day. Pissed off cause stupid bitch wouldn’t let me go for my learners cos I only had I.D. no birth certificate. Then I went to courthouse to get it & found out I have to send away to Brisbane (will take ages) then I get home this arvy & mum finds out I’ve got it after all. & tonight I’m really shitty about my teeth The fucking gap is growing bigger, still. soon it’s going to be just the same as it was – fucking mile wide. [For those who haven’t been following my ‘story’, I’d grown up with an impressive sized gap between my teeth – as well as a decent overbite – which I hated (see my post Welcome to My Life for more detail & a picture) but had to wait until I was about fourteen to receive the quite complex & lengthy corrective (orthodontic) treatment I desperately desired. Once I was permitted to ditch the final piece of oral apparatus – my plate – I didn’t realise the stubborn gap would slowly, sneakily open up again. It certainly didn’t return to its original size, and I don’t recall being overly conscious of it, but years later I finally discovered the cause: my ‘frenum’ – the tissue connecting my top lip to my gum – was so thick and large that it forced my teeth to separate again. A Life in Words(My sister had the same problem: thanks for those genes, mum and/or dad!) Needless to say, my dentist at the time performed a ‘frenectomy’ (ASAP!) to remove the offending tissue and my incisors slowly shifted toward each other again. Yay!] ASAT finished thank god. Saw Mark’s photo’s from (before) the formal. He got my letters but hasn’t read them yet. Bet he did tonight & I’ll bet he’s shitty tomorrow or something. [That’s positive thinking!] He’ll probably say “stuff you bitch – I won’t go out with you anymore then.” PISS OFF. I’m in the worst mood. [No?!] He was rather nice today tho’. Made an effort, kind of (Are you sure you didn’t already read those letters??) Wierd. Hot weather – but still cool at nights & in early morning (to about 9:00) Don’t be angry Mark – I love you too much. [Illogical reasoning! The act of loving someone bears little influence on their moods.]

Thursday 3/9/87

Well we had a parade this morning – Mr McKenzie received a certificate for the crash (or something) [I can’t recall this, but I am certain it would have been for his amazing conduct, leadership & compassion during and after the bus accident] and, Mark seemed O.K. today. He gave me the formal photos from his dad’s camera. This arvy I got upset a bit because he resorted to the usual “I don’t like you & I’m never going to talk to you again…” routine I’m sick of it [again; you DO have a  choice…].. and I hate, detest hearing it from him. Jesus. My english exam I found pretty easy- I know I’ll pass, but don’t know how “well” I’ll do. My appointment with Ms Forbes [our school counsellor] was a waste: she was busy so I had to see that guy Mr Inskip & I forgot all my material anyway so it was a waste. […of time. And we know how much I hate ‘Waste’…] A Life in WordsI was rude, I think – it was so tired. Finally finished copying out M’s & C’s letters. [Mark gave me these to read the week before. I must’ve found them so entertaining that I wanted to make copies. Go back to Thursday’s entry in my previous post if you want to know a bit more about them.] It’s 10:37. I’m dead! Wonder if Mark’ll talk to me tomorrow. God that hurts. I’m so sorry I’m a sook.

Friday 4/9/87

A Life in Words

Jody at our leadership camp, just a few hours before the bus crash that took his life.

Well, we talked a bit, but after school we had a big talk. It lasted about 45 mins and, had I not been out picking Julia & Cherie up from the movies, and doing quick grocery shopping with mum, he would’ve rung & we would’ve talked more. He doesn’t know what to do about our relationship: he, oh, I don’t know (either does he) [hmmm, I’m not sure about that…] Boring day. My appointment was another waste of time today – Mr Inskip hopeless. Did QTAC forms this morning period one (the day’s timetable was totally rearranged) [The Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) is the organisation that manages student course applications for pretty much all tertiary education centres in the state. You can imagine it’d be a pretty complex task…] God I’m tired. We lost the Rugby Union Final. Brothers (Saints) defeated us 14-4 & took the (new) Jody Keen Memorial Trophy. [Jody being one of our fellows killed in the bus crash. I remember feeling a bit disappointed that our CHS union team failed to claim a trophy dedicated to one of its own students, in its premier year.] P.N. spent lunch CH M,M!!! Said Hi this arv. too! [Crush, much?] Need to get to sleep soon: mima & fi & I going to town tomorrow, then Mark’ll ring or visit (he left a message on machine tonite). We’ll do something tomorrow night (He & Keith are moving into David’s (Keith’s brother’s) house for 2 weeks while he’s away) → (has no phone on) we still need to talk a lot.

Saturday 5/9/87

I slept very badly last night (Waking frequently) Woke around 7:00 this morning unable to fall asleep again, I got up. Around 8:45 mima & fi picked me up- we went to Earlville first (PN not work.) then into town.. not really exciting, but a good way to start off the weekend; just wish I had money to buy some clothes. At home, did chem, as well as resting a bit. Mark & Keith came around 3:00, we went for a drive (hockey fields) took Glyn (B.) home & then me. Jo rang tonite, after Mark; they came around 8:30 & we went to the House on the Hill. EMPTY!! Glyn came down; she had to be home by 10:00- Mark drove her. (Played pretty cool music, towards 11:00) When he came back ($ drinks) sat in Smithy’s till 11:45. (Mark was being really nice – that stuff I said about romance & chivalry might’ve got thru’ to him, because he was so sweet .. and I laughed a lot- couldn’t help smiling – even tho’ we didn’t dance (much), it was probly one of the best nights, up there .. music & Mark – the way he was!) Picked Glyn up [continued next page:]

Sunday 6/9/87

→again and back at David’s, we tried (supposedly) to sleep, but mucked around. I could never get bored with the ‘foreplay’ Glyn left around 3:00 – came in, & let us know she was going (!!!) […hmmm…] Slept – so tired. I woke around 6:00. . couldn’t sleep again for a while (wanted M. to wake but he wouldn’t) so eventually I dozed off. around 9:00 we were both wide awake & mucking around again. Keith “chucked a fit” around 10:00 (“Get up – make a move”) A Lfe in WordsAfter one crumpet, they took me home, where I dozed & slept till about 2:00 . . Mark rang, mid afternoon – sweet! I was surprised he rang “for no reason” – just to talk. And that we did (not a long phone call- I don’t like long calls anymore after that arguement he had with his folks that time) so I did chem. before going to dad’s. [Aha… Father’s Day] We sat for ¾hr waiting before going home again (where I tried to do maths) He rang about 8:30- said he only just got home. Too bad – he’s coming ‘fore school 2morrow to get his prezzy. It’s almost 10:00 now, I must get some more sleep!!! I ♥ MARK.

The Day After: Heartbreak (5 February)

Thursday 5/2/87

8 died. Monique has gone. Erica too, Mark F, Mandy G, Judy F, Jody & Lee-anne & Liz. 7 of them were sitting up the back [but notably, all 8 were sitting on the left hand side of the bus; that which would have borne the weight of bodies & debris thrown from the right-side side at the first moment the ground fell away beneath us]. I can’t believe Monique is gone. It’s unbelievable. I know she is, but I can’t comprehend it. Today was very busy. Heaps of people came. I have a big “hunk” out of my left knee, a small crack in my left femur and a huge gash in the back of my right thigh, where the bus was on me. […almost correct…] Mark is in intensive care. I hope he’s alright. I got a letter tonight – note he wrote before the camp. [privacy omission] I cried a fair bit today. Esp. when dad told me about monique. No one knew about her [in that, whenever I asked after her they all answered that they didn’t know, or hadn’t heard. I can’t imagine how hard that would have been for them: to lie to the face of someone to whom they knew the truth would cause so much pain].. didn’t tell me so I was kind of guessing.A Life in Words Rather late night. Food is disgusting. My head and arms are badly bruised. Cameron, Jason P, and Yru are next door [there was an adjoining ward to ours]. Fi (broken collarbone) Kay & Ms Bowles were released at different times today.

[There are 6 pages dedicated to this day in the scrapbook but they are mostly filled with clippings from a variety of newspapers; mostly from the local ‘Cairns Post’.]

Woken quite early to have blood pressure and temperature taken, then no one (except Fiona, of course) could get back to sleep, so we talked. I was quite determined to find out as much as I could…so asked lots of questions. I remember only Jacque, Ms. Bowles and Kay being interested in the conversation…however not seeming (Ms. Bowles, anyway) too happy to recall the events she remembered.  Jacque said she knew 3 of the dead, but refused to tell me when I asked at first. Eventually she told me Mark, Mandy and…Erica. A Life in WordsI said I knew Erica died (but I hadn’t really, had I?) When the papers arrived we realised exactly how major the event had been (we’d all missed the TV news the night before and had been wondering if it was ‘national’) The headlines greeted us:

“Cairns High camp ends in tragedy: 8 Die in Smash”

The Cairns Post reports virtually dominated the complete paper: front page headlines, continuing on pages 3 and 7.

The Sydney Morning Herald’s reports were very similar to some of the articles printed in the Cairns Post. [I knew nothing of media ownership (eg, Murdoch) back then.]A Life in Words

After breakfast, bedpans and bed washes, people began arriving: lots of people, mostly school friends, came throughout the day. The Brewers were one of the first to visit.  Mum had come, but left Julia [with me] when she had to do some business calls. Dad came.

I remember having asked Mrs Brewer about Monique, and she replied, “we haven’t heard” or “we don’t know”.

Strange: everyone seemed to have been saying that. I thought she was either so okay that she’d gone home straight away, or…but I didn’t think it was that.

I remember the nurses drawing the curtains around me, but, talking to Jemima (Mrs B, Polly & Julia standing nearby) I didn’t take much notice, or wonder why. [assuming more blood pressure tests or something of the like…] Apparently the whole ward was cleared of other visitors. [People have since confirmed this: all visitors were ushered out of the wards into the corridor, and it was jam-packed] I’ll never forget when my Dad came through the curtain: his eyes were quite moist. He said (and an eerie silence fell over the place) “They’ve released the names of the dead…”

I knew it…I had to accept what I had subconsciously known all along….what I hadn’t wanted to have to believe…

“Monique..”

I said it at the same time, my eyes brimming…

“was one of them.”

A Life in Words

Ink portraits of Monique traced from photos, in my scrapbook

The suspense was too much for Jemima, who broke out in (those, oh, so familiar) sobs, and I could sense every other person silently crying. I took a deep breath and wailed for the world to hear –

“MONIQUE, NOOOOOO, MONIQUE, MONIQUE…”

I don’t recall how long I cried for, but apparently, I was sedated and slept for quite some time…

[I have to admit I’m disappointed that my father assumed the role of informer before my mother had returned from her business calls. Knowing my mum, I’m certain she would have desperately wished to be by my side in that moment of need. It feels unfair to me, that the news was broken in her absence. In his defence however, he said he had consulted with the medical staff and it was jointly agreed that I needed to be informed sooner rather than later because of the sheer number of visitors: they expected someone would ‘let slip’ and they clearly wanted to ‘control’ the situation for everyone’s ‘psychological’ sake… the question is, can anyone ‘control’ anything??]

The rest of the day, after I woke, was a blur of people (SO many!) tears (over Monique) and flowers (the first of many I was to receive).

I had not yet a clear understanding of the injuries I’d sustained, thinking I had “a big hunk out of my left knee, a small crack in my left femur, and a huge gash in the back of my right thigh (where the bus was on me)” [clearly I pulled this directly from my diary] It was clear however, that my head and arms were badly bruised, and chest, hips and legs. [I have always bruised easily so this came as no surprise. I ended up with numerous contusions, the largest of which were in the soft flesh above my elbows. The haematoma on my left arm actually left a scar (another physical affliction to which I’m naturally pre-disposed) in the form of stretched and slight ‘greying’ of the skin.]

Fiona, Kay and Ms. Bowles were released at different times during the day…Fiona still oblivious to anything going on around her (still in shock).

In fact, I would have been in a deeper shock over Monique. The tears flowed nearly the whole day…and to any visitors I kept repeating and stressing how I needed friends now, because Monique was gone. They all nodded, eyes watery, in sympathy. [I had just lost the only real best friend I’d ever had. My very own best friend, who’d considered me hers too. It’s all I’d ever wanted, what I felt I’d lacked in my life to date. I was keenly aware that I was the ‘third wheel’ in the friendship trio with Jemima & Fiona, so Monique’s departure not only ripped open a gaping hole but infused it with past feelings of loneliness and alienation.]

Again, most visitors left after the close of visitors hours, including my mother and sister, who then went to visit Mr & Mrs P. [Monique’s parents] for an hour or so afterwards.