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Dear Miffy (extract)

by John Marsden

Dear Miffy,

This is pretty weird—I just suddenly felt like writing to you, don’t know why. Suddenly wanted to talk to you, got this strange feeling. It’s not like I never think of you. It’s the opposite. I think of you every day, every hour. Sometimes more than that even. Things change though, don’t they Miff? We both know that. WHAM! Makes me kind of nervous if you really want to know.

I look over my shoulder a lot now. Never used to do that, hey? Remember when I did my balancing act on that concrete wall above the freeway? Good trick, hey? Makes me sweat thinking about it. I can’t believe I did that. Give me a million bucks right now and I still wouldn’t do it, couldn’t anyway, so what’s the use?

You know where I am right now, Miffy? I guess you wouldn’t. I’m in the back of the TV room. I’m watching the others while they watch the movie. To tell you the truth, that’s what gave me the idea of writing to you. The movie—I don’t even know its name—that’s what set me off thinking about you and me again. See, in the movie, it was just like us. It’s crap, but it’s just like us. This boy meets this girl at school see, when they’re both in trouble with the Principal. They’re outside his office waiting to see him. They’re there for two different things but—she’s got an ‘attitude problem’, he’s been nicking off from school.

‘Attitude problem.’ Doesn’t that crack you up? I love it how they call it an ‘attitude problem’ just because you don’t want to spend the best years of your life sitting in a straight line, talking in a straight line, walking in a straight line. Just because you don’t want to do what they want you to do. And then they try to tell you that you’re the one who’s sick.

I don’t think so.


So, back to the movie, there they are sitting outside the office waiting to see the Principal and of course they start talking and little sparkles come out of their mouth and away they go... like, love at first sight and all that crap.

OK, I know the last part’s not like us, but how about that first bit, hey?

I thought you were such a stuck-up bitch, Miffy. I thought you were bloody good looking, I admit that, but I thought you were that stuck-up I didn’t care what you looked like.

You know the first words you said to me? Ever? I asked you once and you couldn’t remember. But geez, I remember.

It was outside Hammond’s office that day, of course. I tried to get in between you and his door, so I could go first, and I was being all polite to you and I said, ‘Hey, do you mind if I go in first cos I’ve got to see Fishbum after this,’ and you said, ‘Hey, do you mind if I shove my docs up your arse?’

Nice! Before I could think of anything to say back, the door opened and Hammond was standing there saying, ‘Well, well, well, all the usual suspects. And Miss Simmons, you’ve come along to make up the numbers, I suppose.’

Sarcastic bastard.

You gave him a note and he read it and then he said to you: ‘Who was the boy involved?’ and you said, ‘Nick Tremayne,’ and he said, ‘I should have guessed,’ then he said to Mrs McVeigh, ‘Right, get Nick Tremayne from 10W, would you please?’ and he went back into his office and shut the door and I said to you, ‘You lagging bitch,’ because Nick was a mate of mine in those days, then you picked up the Rock Eisteddfod trophy and hit me across the head with it, as hard as you could.

Geez, it bloody hurt. I didn’t see it coming till too late, so I didn’t get my hand up fast enough, otherwise I would have stopped it. The next thing I’m against the wall trying not to fall over and there’s blood pouring down my face and when I realise what’s happened I try to get across to where you are because I want to kill you, that’s all I want to do, but Mrs McVeigh’s screaming and Hammond and Fishbum and even Paspaley are all pouring out of their offices, so I’ve got as much chance as a stray cat at KFC.

Anyway they had to call my aunt and I had to go down to the hospital and get my head X-rayed and I got a day off, so that was cool. You got a week off, suspension, good one, hey? Must have been a big thrill for your parents.

I was waiting for you to get back so I could beat the total crap out of you, but before you did, Nick told me the full story: how you’d all agreed Nick’d take the rap so Sam and Georgie and Dino wouldn’t get busted. So that left me up the creek a bit.

I still had a go at you but, in the gym, and I know you remember that. You were coming out as I was going in and I took a look around to make sure no teachers were watching, then I got you up against the wall and said, ‘Listen you moll, touch me again and I’ll kick your fucking head in.’

You just looked at me like I was some scum that had overflowed out of the sewerage. Then I heard Ellis’ door open so I had to let you go.

They were our first two dates. Pretty good, hey?

Love at first sight? I don’t think so.

I’m being hassled to go to bed so I’d better stop. I don’t want them to read this, that’s the main thing.

See ya,