I don’t mind being told what to do – after all, that’s what it means to have a job – but I cannot stand people telling me who I should be. Don’t be a loud girl, don’t be an opinionated girl, don’t be a confident girl, don’t be a girl that thinks White Trash is a good style – honestly, it’s exhausting, and also, I’d like to believe White Trash suits me very well, thank you very much. I know this sounds like it’s going to be another ‘Queensland is sexist cry cry’ post, but trust me, you’re going to want to hear what happened on my last night as a Northern Nun.

I left the station after lunch, and it was actually really hard. When I first started, I thought by the end I’d be driving off 100m/h, music blasting, middle fingers up, but as is often the case, I was wrong. I hitched a lift with the postman to town, and felt sad, happy, but strangely indifferent to the whole thing at the same time. Actually leaving the property to go back to a more populated living situation seemed unreal, and I didn’t know what to expect. I was staying the night at Boss man’s sister’s property who had a backpacker work for her as well. I had met the girl once before, and we hit it off straight away. I promised her I’d come over before flying back to the city, because I wanted to spend a night with her and explore the town’s wild night life – i.e. two pubs, one of which decorated like it’s the cafeteria to the local pool.

We started our amazing pub crawl at the cafeteria-looking bar, where of course, Boss man’s entire extended family was having a drink (not the whole family, but you get my gist). Keeping in mind that Boss man once told me that he knows everything that happens in those pubs before you make it back to the station, I wasn’t too keen on getting my Wild Girl on there. Even if I thought I gave zero fucks about what they thought of me, I’d still feel bad ruining the carefully constructed Queensland-version of myself they had come to know. Or, you know, at least directly in front of them. My English Gal and I finished our drinks and set off to the next pub, ready for food, and bad decision making.

The pub was pretty busy for a Thursday night, and we had a great time eating, drinking, and talking shit. When the clock struck nine, we were scared they were closing, but everyone had just moved to the outside area for a smoke and some pool. We started a game, barely knowing what we were doing (okay, it was me, I didn’t know what I was doing), until two guys asked if they could join us for a doubles game. I’m talking guys who looked about 30, wore jeans and flip flops, and kept their hats on inside because #cowboys or whatever. If you ignored the inappropriate comments – whispered in the saddest attempt for a sexy voice ever, by the way – like “your turn, cowgirl” or “I like how you’re holding that thing”, it was actually pretty fun. The rest of their cowboy crew appeared soon after, and to my surprise, one of the boys was Boss man’s nephew. I had seen him twice before, very briefly, but remembered that I thought he was pretty cute. Unfortunately, I also remembered what I looked like the night we met, and thought the feeling couldn’t be mutual.

In those three months, I left the property only once, which was to go to Boss man’s brother’s Christmas party. As a girl with a generally sad wardrobe, the backpack version of my closet didn’t contain actual nice party clothes – except for my golden slip-on dress, which I had packed in case of a miracle, but knew would cause a collective stroke, and an inevitable request to go and change into something more appropriate. I wore the one black dress I had, and hoped it would do. Boss man, however, thought it was a bit short, and asked his wife’s sister who was visiting for the holidays if she didn’t have something I could borrow. I absolutely love the sister for bailing me out – honestly, I didn’t give many fucks about what I looked like, and who was going to be there anyway – but man, I felt like I was 45. It fit me pretty well, but it was colourful, retro, and below the knee. Me, the girl who wears black always and without exception, was wearing a retro, pink and red patterned dress. Add to that a pair of flat sandals, and you know I wasn’t going to impress anyone that night. Best part about it though, when we arrived, all the girls were wearing the shortest, cutest outfits. I felt like a nun who accidentally ended up on the Victoria’s Secret runway. The next day, Christmas Eve, the same crew came over to our place for a little barbeque, and even though I thought I’d redeemed myself a little bit by wearing the black dress, red lipstick, and my hair in two cute buns, there wasn’t much time for flirting as everyone left straight after dinner. So long, Nephew, I’ll probably never see you again – but let’s face it, you were probably only cute in my head because of the lack of attractive males I’d seen anyway.

I was wrong. It wasn’t the last time I’d see him. And he wàs cute – even though it might have been a case of cute in comparison. He was like the last tub of strawberry ice cream in a fridge full of vanilla – you know you actually want chocolate, but strawberry is still heaps better than plain, sad vanilla. Nah, I’m just being mean. That night, in that little town pub, he absolutely lived up to all my chocolaty expectations.

He came over to our pool table, and we drank, laughed, flirted, and drank some more. I don’t know what came over me that evening, but I had never felt so free and careless in my life. There was no one telling me what to do, what to wear, how to behave, and I just did whatever came to mind. I had a cigarette for the first time in years, and gazed at the incredibly starry night as the smoke filled my lungs. It’s bad, I know, but I didn’t care. It was a rebellion. He asked me where this girl had been at the Christmas parties, and I told him there was a big difference between who I made myself out to be on the station, and who I really was. He remembered the dress I wore when he first saw me. It was fine, he said. It was horrendous, I said. We went back inside and waltzed – must be that boarding school education – and he dipped me like in the movies. We were drunk and uncoordinated, and he almost banged my head on the pool table, so it was more like a teen comedy than an old-school romance, but whatever. He lifted me back up, and I dead-ass said – because romance is dead and I am the least subtle person in the world – “if only you hadn’t left so early on Christmas Eve, I would have let you bang me on the table there as well.” Long story short, we hooked up. It was great.

I’d like to think it was not some kind of revenge, nor a very loud fuck you and your idea of what a girl should be, but deep down, I know I feel a bit too proud about the fact that it is Boss man’s nephew. I reckon if they’d ever find out, they wouldn’t even care, though. We’re both adults, and we are allowed to do whatever and whoever we want, but for the sake of it, I’d like to think that along with taking off my dress, I took off the patriarchal straitjacket I’d been wearing for the last months, and that that in itself is a small victory for girls who feel they can’t be themselves. I know I’m making it sound more heroic than it is – for fuck’s sake, I fucked my boss’ nephew, not saved the fucking world – but you know me, I can’t help but be overly dramatic about little things. But then again, I reckon I’m allowed, there was nothing little about this thing.