If I could have sex tonight, I would.

To be perfectly frank, I had been thinking the same thing for a fair while. Every night, really. But this specific night felt a little different. There was more hope in the air… or, at least, that’s what I felt, as I stood there on the bridge, feeling my way along the LEDs lighting it up.

Of course, I wasn’t going to be having sex. There was a huge, raucous-sounding bar at the far end of the bridge (which I suppose is what I was subconsciously heading towards), but I wouldn’t be going in – for a start, I was 17 so wouldn’t be allowed in anyway. Also, what would I do if the impossible did happen and I randomly chanced upon someone who found this idiot sexually irresistable?

“So, do you want to come back with me to the room in the YHA I’m sharing with three other guys?”

I’d already called my parents, and I didn’t have anyone to text. I stood there on the middle of the bridge, staring down at the canal; I even considered walking off into Manchester on my own, before mentally shaking myself into the realisation that walking through Manchester, a city I didn’t know, on my own at the age of 17 probably wasn’t smart.

A giggle came from what I assumed to be the beautiful people who populated the first floor of the bar. A short while later, a happy-looking couple walked down the bridge, past me, arm in arm and enjoying the balmy spring air.

“Le sigh,” I said, and that’s right, I did say that out loud. “If I could have sex tonight, I would.” Perhaps I thought that saying it out loud would have made it come true. I wasn’t telling anyone except the Mancunian air, so it wouldn’t have had much of an effect.

I also probably wasn’t the only 17-year-old in Manchester to have been thinking that at that point. But then I didn’t know how to find them.

I hunched my shoulders and traipsed back to the YHA where I found my travelling companion and his dad watching Titanic in the lounge and discussing how it wouldn’t have won any awards had it come out a few years later.

I allowed myself a rueful smile at the assumption from half my sixth form that I was going to Manchester for Easter to meet someone for sex. As far as I was aware, that couldn’t have been further from the truth.