Hey metal head.

I know that this is probably a surprise, and hell I don't even know if it's the right address, but I wanted to tell you something. I know you probably hate me for leaving Alo, and I shouldn't even ask you for a favour, but don't let him know in any way the contents of this email.

Not long after I left… I got pregnant. With a guy who wasn't even that interested in me. I've had a kid, Rich. A baby girl. And I decided to call her Grace. She's the most perfect thing ever, you would never be able to understand how much I love her.

Like I said, don't tell Alo. I just wanted you to know that I'm never going to forget about Grace. And if Grace can end up with a guy that made her half as happy as you made our Grace… well I'll be content.

I hope Cambridge is going good for you, maybe I'll see you soon – whenever my mum actually decides to set a date for the wedding!

Lotsa love, Mini and little Gracie.

Rich realised that, over the course of reading the email, his mouth had fallen open and he now had that horrible dry feeling, like his tongue was made out of sandpaper. Mini McGuinness, who had upped and left over 2 years ago, had got into contact with Rich of all people, to tell him that she was a mum. She was 19, and a mother. With a girl. It obviously wasn't Alo's, so Rich wouldn't have brought his best friend down like that even if Mini had asked him to.

He couldn't quite comprehend why Mini felt the need to tell him. Of course it was incredibly lovely that the baby was called Grace – a way of carrying on her legacy or something, but… wait, did Liv know? It had been months since the metal head had spoken to any of the Bristol gang, and he was supposed to be returning in a month, after he'd packed up all of his stuff. He was currently looking to get a first, and every so often he would stop and smile, thinking of Grace looking down on him and being proud.

But back to the matter in hand. Mini, who had always never been able to understand why her own mother had kept her when she was still just a child herself, was a mum. Mini, who had proven that night that she didn't give a shit about Alo (at least, from what the ginger had told him through a tearful and frankly girly phone call), then left him without as much as a goodbye. Then left all of them.

She'd left behind Grace, too. Not looking back or making any effort to visit or keep in contact. She could've been dead for the past 2 years and nobody would've known. Rich had never particularly liked Mini. She'd treated Alo and him like shit, treated everyone like they were beneath her, and then fucked with Alo's heart. She wasn't an idiot, she knew that the ginger would fall for her in about three seconds if she offered him sex, and yet she still did it.

But even though he hated her, he wanted to know why she had done it. Got in contact now, rather than when she got pregnant, or when she had the baby… and there was two ways he could find out. Either reply to the Queen Bitch, or…

L – I just got an email from Mini. – R

Liv's phone buzzed just as she left for work. Well, does it count as work if she wasn't getting paid? She got accommodation and food and friendship and the overwhelming feeling that she was making a difference in the world, and knowing that she was slowly ending up qualified to be a social worker… that was better than any proper job. She expected the text to be her daily update from Alex, who had buggered off since they'd had their gap year together.

He'd been there for her when nobody else was. He'd helped her through the grieving process, either by being a shoulder to cry on or a way to let off steam in the form of the whore wars. So when he decided to leave for Thailand, it was a no brainer. Sure, universities had given her offers, but what was the point when she didn't know what she wanted to really do, didn't know who she really was? She was the slut of the Bristol gang, and nobody would see her as anything other.

When Mini left… well, it had all changed. Alex was still there, but nobody else really wanted to put up with her. She'd tried to drink the pain away, but after that cancer scare, she knew that she had to calm down. So she started making arrangements for their gap year, determined that it wouldn't just be a 365 day long booze up.

Mini left her a letter after she left. For the first time in a while, Mini had let Liv in… but it was too late. Not too late for their friendship, but too late for all to be forgotten. Mini had fucked off and that would make it impossible for the nightly phone calls, for the cocaine taking and the drinking and the general reckless behaviour. But Liv knew. About the baby. And she guessed straight away that was what Rich was texting her about.

R – omg she told u didn't she? She said she was going 2, but i didn't think she would. – L


I love you. First and foremost, I want to say that. I know that losing Grace tore us apart, but I still love you. You're my best friend and I don't want that to change, even though I know that it's inevitable. This letter is important for you to keep secret. If anyone finds out… I'm screwed.

I've gone to Australia with Gregory. You probably won't understand why. It's not because of you, or Gracie, or Frankie, or… well, it's not his fault but I'm leaving because he wants me to. Alo and I have been fucking since Morocco. And he fucking got me pregnant. I'm 17 years old and pregnant, and fucking terrified. I thought Gregory was going to fuck off but he didn't. He's made it clear that I'm going to have to sort it all out on my own, but he's given me accommodation and a bit of starter cash.

I'm pregnant, Liv. And because of that I hurt Alo. And because I hurt Alo, I don't want to force him to have me in his life forever. So don't tell him. Don't tell anyone.

Lotsa love, Mins x

Liv had watched Gracie grow up, through pictures and Skype chats and it had been wonderful. Gracie was the spitting image of Mini, except with the reddest hair she had ever seen. Anyone who saw her would just be able to tell that it was Alo's. Probably the nostrils, too… But when Mini had told her that she was going to contact Rich to let him know, Liv had promised to go along with the lie that the baby was in no way, shape, or form, Alo's.

L – you knew and you didn't tell anyone? She fucked off and left us all and you're still keeping secrets for her. – R

R – don't be a dick, u don't care that she left. u only care cause Alo was upset. nd it's been good 4 him. With Mins around he probs wudn't b where he is now. Besides, you can sort it out w/ Mins when shes here nxt month. – L

Alo groaned as his alarm went off. Now he was officially in charge of the farm he had to wake up before even the cock crowed. He did his daily routine, which obviously included the compulsory wank over the memory of Mini riding him, before staring at his phone for 5 minutes, as if a text from her would replace all the messages from his current sort-of girlfriend, Poppy.

Since he'd had his heart ripped out and trampled on by the girl in the red dress, he threw himself into making the farm a viable future. Making him a viable man for a girl like Mini, someone who she wouldn't be ashamed of. He hadn't dropped out of college, he'd finished his A-Levels with a solid BBB, seeing as without Mini he had no distractions. He then took an Open University Business degree, working out how to make the farm more money. He'd failed to get loans, over and over, but eventually he'd succeeded.

The farm now turned a steady profit, and he'd managed to employ several people to do the crappy jobs, along with gaining sponsors and buyers. All in all, Mini breaking his heart was a good thing (or at least, that's what he told himself). His mother had never been more proud of him, and he'd never been more proud of himself. As soon as Mini came back, she was going to realise what a fool she'd been to let him go.

There would be the small issue of how to break the news to Poppy… who wasn't even really his girlfriend. In the few years they were apart she'd grown up, becoming not such a teeny bopper. And there was nobody really left in Bristol to judge him, so when she'd kissed him… he'd let her. She was just… simple. Like she had been at the beginning. But Alo had a feeling that Poppy was more than a little bit infatuated with him, and that she wouldn't take it well.

Alo's alarm buzzed again, reminding him that he should be heading into town for his monthly meeting with the main buyer. If he was honest, there was no way he wasn't going to be late for this one, but the guy was easy to wrap around the ginger's little finger, so he wouldn't worry. He sent a quick reply to his sort-of girlfriend, making sure to include the right amount of x's so she wouldn't get freaked out (girls), turned off his personal mobile and knotted the tie around his neck.

Time for another day of work.

Who would've thought it, Alo Creevey, 20 years old, and manager of an agricultural business?

L – what? She's coming back? – R

R – of course she is – its her mums wedding. I think i'm invited and Frankie is too. – L

Frankie rolled over on her mattress on the floor of her apartment. She'd gone to university, like Rich (though not as prestigious a university as him), to study psychology. She knew that the things she'd done that last year of school weren't normal, even before she started grieving Grace. It turned out she had an undiagnosed mental disorder, and had spent a far bit of her time in therapy. Unfortunately the therapy hadn't happened before she'd managed to screw up all of her friendships in the meantime. Matty, Nick, Liv… they'd all been torn down in the process.

Strangely enough it was Grace who made her see straight. To see that fucking with both Matty and Nick wasn't what she wanted, it wasn't her. Of course she didn't know what she wanted, so over the past few years she'd done a bit of soul searching. She wanted Nick. Sure, he probably wouldn't be interested in her now that she didn't need saving, but being with him had been easy. Simple, even though there were major complications.

The Matty thing had been… misguided. She thought she was doing what she was supposed to. He was the first guy who wanted her, and she'd felt pressured. The sex was average because Matty was selfish. Or maybe he wasn't selfish enough. Either way, Frankie had ended all of their encounters by faking an orgasm. The Luke thing had been a way of fucking away the pain, the blame, the guilt.

She was to blame for Grace dying. Not just her, but mostly her. And that had taken a lot of therapy to get over. But now she was content with herself. She was ready to give herself to Nick… the only problem being that he was unreachable.

L – when? – R

R – I dunno, middle of the month. I gotz to go, work. Don't be a tosser. – L

Nick stepped through the front doors of his brother's abode. Prison. He hadn't realised, when he'd convinced his brother to hand himself in, what exactly that would entail. A prison sentence. A fucking prison sentence. Every time he visited he got silence from his brother's end, because this was his fault.

Not that Matty helped himself, lashing out on a monthly basis. Lashing out so bad that Nick almost wasn't allowed to visit. Every time the sentence just got longer and longer until it was obvious that Matty wasn't getting out anytime soon. Nick's life got better from that day, and Matty's just got worse.

Nick was a professional rugby player now (though he had to work incredibly hard to make up for the lost years), earning a decent amount of money and having an endless supply of girls to sleep with. Not that he ever did sleep with them, that wasn't his scene anymore. He was just desperately trying to find out what had happened to the girl with the short hair that had stolen his heart.

Alo, my main man. Mini's going to be back in town next month. Her mum's wedding. Just thought you should know. LOVE YOU, R xOxO

Mini smiled as she brought out her suitcase. It was bright pink and incredibly old Mini. Things had changed incredibly since that night, and she was happy with everything. She had a beautiful daughter, who was currently walking around the room, giggling at everything. She had a job as a makeup artist (I guess all those years of sleepovers paid off) and, although her love life was nonexistent, why would she want a boyfriend when she had a beautiful girl in her life?

Returning to Bristol would be weird. There was the fact that she hadn't spoken to any of her friends in 2 years (except Liv, obviously), there was the Alo situation, and above all… she had a kid who looked more and more like him every day. There was no way that Alo wouldn't look at the kid and know exactly who her father was.

All she had to do was avoid ginger minge and all would be fine.


Though, as she packed up enough clothes and baby shit to last a lifetime (because she couldn't help being a little bit hopeful for this trip), Mini let her mind wander… to year 13, and the time it all changed for her.