I was 6 years old when I first met Jude. I had just changed schools and didn’t know anyone. On the first day I was introduced to my class and asked to sit down next to a boy. The class giggled. I was painfully shy and didn’t say a word. ‘Hi Sophie’ he beamed. I smiled. He was a mass of long blonde ringlets and had big blue eyes, ‘My name is Jude. And this is my sister Louise’. I had never met twins before. They were almost identical. ‘And I’m Katie’ blurted another blonde girl, ‘I’m the leader! But you can be our friend’ and that was it. From that moment onwards we were all inseparable, especially me and Jude. We’d stay round each other’s houses and go on adventures; even our parents became close friends.
4 years passed. We were 10 going on 11 years old. Jude and I went on a bike ride in Kenilworth. ‘Will you go out with me Sophie?’ he asked. I blushed and nodded. Still astride our bikes Jude leant in to kiss me. I leant in too. Our lips brushed for a brief moment. It was the sweetest thing, until he lost his balance, our bikes collided and we were a heap on the floor. He kissed my leg better and rushed me home. I knew even then that Jude was special and I thought we’d always be together.
It was a Monday in May. I waited at my house for Louise and Jude to arrive. We had always walked to school together but they were twenty minutes late. It was unusual. I walked to Katie’s house, ‘Perhaps their ill, I’m sure it’s all ok’ she assured me. We rushed off to school just in time for our Monday assembly. There was still no sign of Jude or Louise. ‘I’m afraid we have some very sad news to announce this morning’ the head mistress said. Everyone looked confused. ‘Jude Robinson tragically died last night’. I grabbed Katie’s hand and burst into tears. I didn’t stop for almost a week.
Jude had been playing with his action figures in his bedroom and had tied electrical cord from one bed to another to form a slope for his figures to swing down. He had asked his older brother Patrick to play with him but Patrick told him to leave him alone. Jude scurried to his bedroom. He was in socks and had a vinyl floor. Whilst playing he slipped and landed on the tight electrical cord. It broke his neck. He died instantly.
Even though nearly ten years have passed I’ll always remember that little boy with bouncing hair and big eyes: my best friend, my first love and my first kiss. Little Jude Robinson.