Yesterday I walked through Old Trafford and found that door again.
I remember the night we decided to get through that door. A 2am pilgrimage in January 1994, swigging cheap Rosso Di Puglia from the bottle as we walked down White City Way. We were going to do it. I had a screwdriver in my backpack. You, always impulsive, always reckless, carried a hammer.
I asked you what you thought we’d find once we got inside but you didn’t care. Even then, it wasn’t your way to think ahead. You didn’t like to think about consequences. Nothing mattered apart from right now.
You put all your force behind that first blow. The shock of the noise made you drop the hammer and that started me laughing, which started you laughing, and then we were both holding our sides and gasping for breath. I picked up the hammer and tried again but you pushed me at the last moment and I hit the brick instead. I pushed you back and we both fell over in a tangled heap.
We were going to sit there all night and watch the sunrise like real lovers do but it was January and I was freezing. I think I lasted an hour before I wanted to go home. You teased me for being a soft lass and when that didn’t work, you picked up the hammer and said you were going to get the job done.
You hit and hit like a madman with your eyes streaming from the cold and a jagged red wine stain across your lips and it wasn’t funny any more. I didn’t want people to hear the noise or see us like this, me saying no, you with that look you get when you’ve really lost it. I was ashamed.
I should have known then. I should have walked away on my own and never looked back, not even once. I should have run.
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