Earlier this week I had two dental appointments, on two different days, with two different dentists at two different practices. I even had to rush out of work in order to make them – either by cajoling my dad into giving me a lift or making creative use of the North London bus network – but make them I did.

As a result, I now have a repaired filling on the top row of teeth, and a still-open wound on the bottom row, which feels okay most of the time but occasionally starts bleeding.

Kiss me if you want; my mouth is fascinating.

The week before last, in preparation for the same, I went to the dentist for a five-minute “sure, come back in a week” conversation that could have really happened via text…

…and bumped into “Chanel”, someone who, I suddenly remembered with a start, everyone had wanted to fuck.

Multiple warboys posing on top of... some vehicle or another, I'm not sure.
Basically a representation of what the boys at my school were like.

I didn’t really know her at school – apart from her name and what she looked like. Our predefined social circles never crossed over, and the only time I heard her mentioned it was by one of her friends (in a complimentary way) or one of the rowdy boys I never liked (in a horny way). Despite not knowing her, I remember feeling sorry for her; in every conversation, she had been added to the end, as if she were an afterthought.

It was noticeable. There was an illicit party going on around my birthday one year (it wasn’t anything to do with me, but I heard the whispers). Everyone who was anyone who was going, from what I could tell, but Chanel was also mentioned last. Every time one of the popular clique would list her friends, in whatever order, Chanel always came at the end.

And, as I said before, a lot of the boys found Chanel desirable. Not that I ever asked how she felt about this, but after reeling off a list of girls he wanted to have sex with (he used a slightly more taboo word, but I’ll abstain from repeating that here), one boy paused a second before adding, “…oh… and Chanel.”

She was also the last on the register, although she shouldn’t have been.

Which is to say, I noticed that. I don’t know if anyone else did. Mostly what I remember was her being popular, slightly aloof, quiet and reserved, and somebody who a lot of the rowdy boys wanted to fuck.

I didn’t know anything about her otherwise. But I knew the name. And what do you say, exactly, to somebody of whom your overall memory is someone at the end of every list who some rowdy boys were entirely unsavoury about?

She remembered me. But then everyone does.

And, as it turns out, we work for exactly the same company.

And have been doing so for years.

Small world, really.