What happened?

I looked you up on Faceweb. You used to be the first pick on Kiss Chase. When we were 8. All the girlies swooned when you caught them. You were the dark-eyed lothario of Mrs O’Brien’s Class. And she always seemed to like you more than the rest of us. I remember you as a beautiful boy. Now you are bald, podgy, wrinkled and live in Australia with your second wife who appears to smoke more than you do.

I looked you up on Faceweb. You were my best mate for a few years. A change of school did for our friendship. We used to look at your dodgy mag collection in the park. Our dads got on too ( I wonder if they had a similar arrangement? ) Now you look like Captain Birdseye and appear to have several grandchildren but no grandma to share the joy. I missed you for ages but I don’t think we’d get on now. I like to remember your straightforward, openly lustful and incredibly practical younger self.

I looked you up on Faceweb. I didn’t really know you at school very well but we were in the same circles. You always struck me as slightly psychopathic – an air of menace surrounded you. Now you are an eighteen stone bodybuilder with a boyfriend who works as a fashion buyer for a department store. You look good in speedos. Sadly you appear to know this because all of your Faceweb photos are of you in speedos. Apart from the one of your poodle.

I looked you up on Faceweb. You are Faceweb Friends with my former housemate. And my former best mate – the one with all the money and the semi-fame. He is Faceweb friends with all of you – our gang, apart from me. You fancied me like mad and I think we might have ended up together. Now you live in Australia with your husband and children and appear to have created the perfect Aussie suburban lifestyle. You look the same as when I last saw you twenty years ago. I do not.

I looked you up on Faceweb. You were my former housemate. You appear to have pursued the politically correct pathway you craved. You were damaged when I knew you. It ended badly. You resented me somehow, even though I did my best to help you. You took liberties with our friendship. I did not like that. You probably knew. You shut down and moved out. Now you look happy. Well done.

I looked you up on Faceweb. You were posing with your wife, both of you dressed to the nines ready for a night out at the casino. You appear to live in a thirties semi with artexed walls and a fishpond in the garden about 3 miles from where you used to live. When we were 10. Your wife looks much younger than you but it is clear that she looks after herself. You seem very happy. You are a grandad. You look like you could be my grandad. What happened? I hope you are OK – you were always a nice chap and you appear still to be so. Well done.

I looked you up on Faceweb. When I knew you, you were what I would now describe as a sleazy sex-obsessed nutter. You were pretty thick and used to threaten me and my mates quite a lot. We kept our distance but you always seemed to turn up. At the next desk. In the queue for dinner. Sitting behind us at assembly. So you could kick our arses through the canvas chair seats. We loathed you. Now you are a dead spit for Les Battersby. You even have orange hair, even though you used to be blond. What happened?

I looked you up on Faceweb. You are not on Faceweb. You are, though, on Google. You are dead. You were a disturbed boy. Many of us were pretty scared of you. I hope you are at peace.

I looked you up on Faceweb. You are not on Faceweb. You are, though, on Google. You have a flashy website. You are fat and much uglier, even than you used to be. You have a lot of money and live in Canada. Your website is full of bragging self-aggrandisements. It is clear what happened. You carried on doing what you always did and now you are rich, fat and ugly in Canada.

I looked you up on Faceweb. You are not on Faceweb – well not in a full blown Faceweb; you are sort of there but there is very little of you there. People might search for you but they would be hard-pressed to know whether it was you given that three other people with the same name and details matching some of yours live in the same town. That’s probably the best we can hope for – if ‘Les Battersby’ should come a’looking when he finds out about the real reason he got arrested.

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