ONE 8 • ‘She’s My Dream Come True’: Polmont YOI Short Story Winner

She’s My Dream Come True

As part of ONE Magazine’s prison writing programme we hosted a creative writing competition throughout the young offenders institution. Entires came in from throughout the gaol, in all genres, and this piece of fictionalised autobiography emerged the winner. PJ Thompson’s delicate piece demonstrates that not all teenage men are the brutes that society likes to imagine, nor are all young offenders the one-track thugs that tabloids like to sell.

– Martin Belk, Writer-in-Residence, Her Majesty’s Young Offender’s Institution, Polmont.

One day when I was staying overnight at my friend Paul’s, he was telling me about his girlfriend and how much he loves her. He said to me, PJ, is there any girl that you fancy? I said no to him because I was a little bit embarrassed, but there was this girl that I have really, really liked for years.

She’s beautiful. She’s got lovely long blond hair, sparkling blue eyes and a Hollywood smile. She’s always been my dream-come-true girlfrend. I wanted to tell him about her, but I didn’t know if she had a boyfriend or not.

He kept saying to me, surely there’s got to be someone that you fancy, so I finally got the courage to tell him. But I said to him, before I tell you, promise that you won’t tell anyone. Promise, he said. So I told him all about her and the way I felt about her too.

Paul knew who she was because he’s best friends with her sister Carrie. Then I said to myself, wonder if he can tell me if she’s got a boyfriend or not. I said to him, Paul do you know if she’s got a boyfriend?

He looked straight into my eyes and said to me, PJ you really do like her, eh? — Yes, I said. He replied, no, she’s not got a boyfriend. I just felt brilliant after he said that to me.

The next morning we woke up and went to the baker’s for our breakfast. While in the baker’s Paul’s friend Carrie walked in the shop. Paul, she said, are you still coming to my party tonight? Paul replied, yes, I’ll be there. Carrie then said, you can bring one of your mates if you want. Paul turned around and winked at me. I thought to myself, Carrie’s sister Claire, the girl I really like is got to be there, so hopefully that wink means I’m taking you.

Carrie left the baker’s and Paul said to me, this could be your lucky night, PJ, because I want you to come with me. I was so excited and me and Paul had a little giggle together about what could happen at the party.

I left Paul at the baker’s and told him I would meet him at his house one hour before the party. I ran all the way; I was over the moon about seeing Claire at her sister’s party.

When I got home I ironed my best jeans and my best shirt — I wanted to look smart so I could catch Claire’s eye. I got washed and put all my clothes on and I took about thirty minutes gelling my hair. My Mum came in the bathroom and she said to me, why are you getting all dressed up? — I’m going to Paul’s friend’s party tonight. She looked at me, laughed and walked out. I went downstairs to ask my Dad if I could use some of his good aftershave.

As my Dad used to say to me, if you want to pull a decent bird, use this aftershave. As I asked him, he said to me, who are you trying to impress? — No- one, Dad, I replied. He and my Mum looked at each other, started laughing and said, I think our son has a girlfriend on the go. My face turned red and I ran out the living room. When I shouted, well that’s me going now, my Mum replied, mind not to be late coming home tonight.

While I was walking up to Paul’s house I was thinking about Claire and I said to myself, I’ve liked her for about two years now, but I’ve always been too shy to ask her out. What if she’s feels the same way about me?

When I got to Paul’s house, his Mum answered the door and said just go up, he’s in his room. While in Paul’s room his Mum came in with a couple of drinks for us.

Paul said to me, so then, PJ, are you going to ask Claire to go out with you? — You’ll just have to wait and see, I replied. Anyway, Paul’s Mum dropped us off at the party and as we walked in together someone caught my eye. It was Claire.

She looked absolutely gorgeous. I just wanted to go over to her and ask her out, but Paul said to me, well, let’s go and get a drink. I was gutted but I knew I had all night to chance my luck with her even though I didn’t want to take my eyes off her.

As me and Paul sat at the same table as Carrie, Claire’s sister, we gave her a birthday card and she asked us to go up and dance with her.

The night went on and Paul kept saying to me, are you going to ask Claire to dance with you? I looked at him. I was a little bit nervous because I felt a little lovelorn. Or so I thought. Carrie heard what Paul said and she said to me, do you want to dance with my sister? Before I could open my mouth, Carrie went to get Claire.

I looked at Paul and said to him, oh no, what am I going to do? In the background I saw Carrie coming over with Claire. My heart was pumping so fast, I kept saying to myself, take it easy, just take it easy, you can do it.

Claire walked up to me and asked if I would want to dance with her. I would love to, I said. I couldn’t believe my eyes; I finally got to dance with the girl I’d fancied for years. I felt brilliant! Looking into her stunning blue eyes, I just wanted to tell her how I felt about her, but I thought, I’ll leave it till near the end of the night, till the slow love songs come on. I was totally over the moon! I just couldn’t believe that I was dancing with her.

She smelt gorgeous with her perfume and I just wanted to ask her out but I didn’t just yet. Finally it came to the end of the night when that first love song came on. Claire, I said, do you want to slow dance with me? She looked at me and nodded with a big smile on her face.

I was a little bit emotional as I’ve waited for this moment for years. Paul looked over at me and he winked at me and I could read his lips saying go for it. I gave him the thumbs up. As I wrapped my arms around Claire, I said to her, you look gorgeous tonight. She replied,
oh thanks, PJ, so do you. I didn’t know how to ask a girl out because I’d never had a girlfriend before … I thought about what to say and all of a sudden I said to her, Claire, know when I first met you about two years ago? I fell in love with you. You’re beautiful, you would be my dream come true. She looked into my eyes while I was looking back into hers and I saw a tear running down her cheek. What’s wrong ,Claire? She replied, I’ve felt the same way about you.

It hurt me to see her cry so I cuddled her tight and said Claire, you can have me if you want. She looked at me and replied, really? — Yes, Claire, would you go out with me? She then asked me if I was being serious. I told her, yes. Claire grabbed me tight and replied, yes, I would love to go out with you.
I was so excited, I felt like I was going to faint, I couldn’t believe what she said. All this time I’ve waited and finally I got the girl of my dreams. And thanks to Paul for taking me to the party with him because if it weren’t for him my dream wouldn’t have come true. Well, not so soon as it did.
Two years later I’m still with her. She’s my beautiful princess and that’s got to be the best two years of my life. I’ve moved in with her and I’m working for her Dad. Life’s just been brilliant for me since that party. Claire’s my rock. She means the world to me. So that’s how I started going out with my gorgeous dream-come-true girlfriend.