I am capable of obsession. I knew this when I turned 16. I thought of nothing but him. I sat next to him. We played the same instrument in the band and there were his beautiful, delicate fingers on the keys. His clarinet case was always neat and perfectly ordered. I threw my reeds in with unruly abandon they were split and stained and had chips knocked out of the finely shaved wood. He cleaned his metal keys until they shone. I hid the crusty verdigris under my sweaty fingers. I was a mess. His organisation underlined my disorder.
There was also the passion he had for his music. We sat in class and listened and I could see him following the rise and swell of the music with that intensity that still moves me in a lover. The kind of monofocus that plunges me into a book that I am reading, and obliterates the real world for the duration. There was also his shy humour, the delicate arrogance of youth. All this made him irresistible to me.
And then there was the weight of my virginity.
I'm not sure when my daydreaming tripped over from the thought of him leaning across my shoulders to help me with my fingering, to the thought of him naked, prising my virgin knickers down over my thighs. This was the pre-sex kind of sexual tension, ripe with possibilities that can never eventuate in any physical beginning. I stopped sleeping. Refused to eat. I lost eight dress sizes in six months. Sex rumbled in my belly like a tapeworm. By the time I asked him and he turned me down there was barely anything left of me at all.