Let me take you back about 8 years; I was just a tot in short pants with a cartoon lunchbox and a sunny disposition. I lived in a comfortable home with my single mother and my grandparents; never did it matter to me that I didn't have a father. Not a jot. I was in a nice tree lined suburb with marbles, trading cards and bubblegum with temporary tattoos in my pockets; I had lots of good friends whom I would play games with, ride my bike with and argue about which was better: "Legends of the Hidden Temple" or "GUTS". That's all that mattered to me. Well that and my guinea pig Sniffs. Then my mum met him. He was a nice guy I guess, but the house we lived in, wasn't big enough for him and the rest of us. I was forced to leave my friends, my neighbourhood and -in short- my life behind to move into a small apartment ten minutes out of the heart of the city; a stark contrast to the semi-rural suburb I'd populated until recently. I was made to leave some of my stuff behind as well, my big wardrobe with slidy doors where I kept a lot of my possessions was one, meaning I had to leave the contents with my grandparents as well. Sniffs was left with them, as well as my three fish Snap, Crackle and Pop (Yes named after the Rice Bubbles mascots) and the family's two cats Muffin and Sooty.

And for what?

To move to somewhere I hated with a man I barely knew and a mother who was developing a tendency to ignore me more often because she was distracted by him all the time. All of this sounds superficial in retrospect, but when you're eight years old, everything you have means the world to you. This new apartment shoved me into an even tinier bedroom, difficult to comprehend considering my bedroom hadn't been massive to start with. I tried and failed to pass the hours with an old yo-yo mum had shoved into my hands to entertain me, a broken ghetto blaster that only played one radio station which was in Dutch or something because the tape player component was broken and the local 'playground' which had rusted swings, a collapsed slippery-dip, almost no grass and was surrounded by brick wallks convered in graffiti.

Needless to say I was miserable.

Now fastforward eight years to now. Up to speed? Glad to hear it. Now rewind three months again. It's mid February and I get to go visit my grandparents in the same house I grew up in for a while. In the eight years that have passed; he and mum have divorced and the two of us have moved into a new, only slightly larger apartment in a slightly better suburb. I'm now sixteen, cynical but still friendly and generally disappointed with my life.

This school holiday visit changed everything.

I was to stay for two weeks, an hour away from home and on walking through the door I was surprised to note the house hadn't changed an awful lot. Although mums bedroom was now a den (complete with TV, VCR, DVD and -much to my surprise- a computer and a PS2) while my bedroom now housed my grandfather's computer (The one in the den was for my nan). It was otherwise the same and it was truly incredible to be back. I spent the two weeks going through my old things and laughing at the memories. I went looking for old friends in the neighbourhood, only to find some had moved away, or didn't want anything to do with me, believing me to have left them without saying goodbye all those years ago. I tried to explain what had happened, usually to no avail, but some friendships were rekindled.

Then, three days before I was due to leave, I recieved an e-mail similar to the one at the link at the end of this article. It asked if the reader remembered stuff from the nineties and all of a sudden, memories came flooding back to me. The childhood innocence I had lost had been lying dormant the whole time; I'd never lost it! I spent the night with wide, staring, bloodshot hazel eyes staring at the computer screen, rekindling my memories. That's how I came to be here on RetroJunk, and that's how I came to tell the story of how I discovered who I truly am;

A nineties kid

P.S: Here's the link to the e-mail content: http://forum.quoteland.com/1/OpenTopic?a=tpc&f=2911947895&m=6511088231&r=6511088231