Josh Speech


Brilliant sunshine met our arrival at Luton Airport as we were beginning what was supposed to be the best holiday to have. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t. Combining the humour of Aman and my brother with my mum’s poor attempt of being serious, this promised whole-heartedly to be an unforgettable journey.

A 10-hour delay courtesy of Thomas Cook couldn’t deter us from the excitement.

When Aman agreed to come on holiday with us, I couldn’t contain my genuine hope that it was going to be an incredible and important part of our friendship. I admit that I wondered how he would react to our way of doing things. To say our lifestyles were ‘different’ was an understatement. I felt as if his family would expect to enrol on an outdoor pursuit activity when going on holiday. The closest I got to an outdoor pursuit in the eastern region of Alicante was riding the trolleys at the airport! So to say I was worried was fairly true; I wanted both of us to have a fantastic and memorable trip.

I needn’t have worried; the holiday was brilliant. We ventured from dodging wildlife in the Mediterranean to beating our previous ‘bat and ball’ record of 143. Things I know I will never forget.

My grandparents truly believed that the sun shone out of his arse. Of course I knew the real truth – it did. My Nan was, in fact, mesmerized with his linguistic skills and thought I should try to be more like him. I thought to myself for a while when I heard this; I knew I was close to Aman in the linguistic ability, but for me to be compared to him in other ways actually made me proud.
Anyone listening to this may find it difficult to understand what I am trying to say but I really was pleased to be associated with someone whom I looked up to.

After my grandparents’ gallant attempts at the correct pronunciation of his name, they eventually gave in and decided to call him ‘Peter’ and ‘Fred’. Of course I strived to hide my embarrassment but I found it extremely difficult.
“I’m so sorry mate; you know what old people are like.” He replied, as always in a calm but confident tone,
“Don’t worry, it’s fine”. Subsequently he’d release his cheeky grin that got him out of nearly everything.

Not nearly everything: everything!

I thought I would find it difficult to write about our adventures and escapades but as cheesy as it sounds, as I type it feels as if he is typing for me. This is what he would do for me; he generally carried me through year 7 and year 8 until we both hit that ‘cool’ period of our school career, when our parents believed we had turned to the ‘dark side’; we were now interested in our female companions a whole lot more.

Thinking back, I can’t believe I took advice from him. He used to tell me what to say to my girlfriend and how to treat her properly. Bearing in mind I had the girlfriend for double the time he did, this was really something. He used to tremble in his high-top Converses when Becky would walk past; he was so in awe of how beautiful she was and could talk and talk for hours about her.

At a close mate’s sleepover I asked him “have you bought anything to sleep on?” and he just looked at me and said, “Well, no.”

He was such a casual and relaxed human being that he must have felt a great sense of achievement when getting anything done! At this sleepover he kept doing that thing that all people seem to do. After finally getting to sleep at 4.32am, I get this poke in my back asking me that question... (everybody must know what’s coming next!).

“Are you awake?” he utters

“I am now!” Then I roll over slightly and reach a point when I couldn’t roll any more. “That’s funny” I thought to myself, “could have sworn I had more room than this?”

Then, as if out of nowhere, a lanky body pushed out from under the covers. Who could it be? Did I really need to guess? Sure enough, the Asian Persuasion was there, gleaming at me intensely.

For all the fun times that we had, it allows me to put things into some perspective and realise that anything can happen. After all the things he taught me, I didn’t think it would be him to tell me to make the most of myself. From now on, I vow to myself to do what he would have wanted as much as possible. Unless, of course, I think it’s another stupid, ridiculous idea. Not that he had many!

Miss you mate, wish you were here.

Josh xx

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