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Feature writer Cat Hepburn - Poet

Her Nice’n Easy

brassy, yet


classy mane

flows almost

down to her bum,

straightened to within

an inch of its life

with an iron

borrowed from her mum.

The smell of Impulse ‘Why Not?’

and burning hair on brown paper

surrounds her in a potent haze.

She stays up late,

smokes B&H ciggies

out her window,

and when her mum

and stepdad go away

she has the sickest empties.

An open-minded

and sparky

only child,

she’s allowed

to go pretty wild.

She has two pet mice

she named them Britney and Christina.

Her belly button is pierced twice.

Every fourth-year girl

is desperate to be her.

His family is



sadly motherless;

his house is built

with bricks of


and denial.

His brothers spend

most of their time

pumping iron

and bragging about

pumping birds.

They are pure tough


a wee bit of rough


number 1

buzz cut,

knuckles cut up

from scrapping

at the weekends


He’s not like them;

he’s softer,


a decent boy

with his head screwed on.

He doesn’t get satisfaction

from headbutting

a random to

shut him up!

He thinks

girls are special,


skanky little sluts.


paints on her confidence

with lip-gloss ease;

the V

of her thong

sprouts from the back

of her tight black


like blooming lilacs

in summer.

But, best of all,

she’s not daft.

She answers questions

in class

with intelligence

and sass.

The very knowledge

of her presence makes

his blood pump faster

to places that he really

wished it wouldn’t.

It cuts through

paper aeroplanes

and laughter.

Sharing a maths


with her is

pain and pleasure

in equal measures.

He does not


about his feelings;

he’s learnt from the best

to internalise them.

He has


but there’s not a

word for it yet;

that will come way later,

in his thirties,

when he goes to therapy

every second Tuesday

like the rest of his arty

middle-class pals.

She’s the one

who asks him out

and he’s shocked;

he can’t believe his luck.

The prettiest girl in school

wants to hook up.

And in a few weeks

they go from messaging

every day

to kissing to s

econd base,

then S-E-X,

high on young love

and exploration,

every chance they get:

in her bottom bunk bed,

next to the flower beds

by Aldi,

back row of the cinema

watching that new film


He doesn’t wear a johnny

’cause his brother Jonjo


it’s like

showering wi’ a raincoat on.

Dinnae bother, mate;

it’s bareback or nothin’ at aw.

Then two

little blue


come along

and spoil

all the fun.

She’s fifteen

and has dreams

of going traveling

and then to uni,

so there’s no question

about what to do.

The word abortion

is on the tip

of both of their tongues.

She’s not ready to be a mum.

After the procedure,

he can’t find his words;

they appear to have

run away from home

with his feelings in tow.

All he needs to do is tell her

it’s all gonna be OK

but he remains


not knowing what to say.

It hurts

and she’s sensible


to know

that it was

the right thing,

whatever that means,

but the real sting

comes from his silence;

it screams out to her

like a void.

She feels

almost destroyed

by that boy.

His big-mouthed

bulldog wee brother finds out,

which means

so does everyone

at school;

she takes a few weeks off

to avoid the relentless

rumour mill.

Now he sees

what she’s up to

from the odd

social media post;

he muted her years ago

but he still clicks

on them

from time to time.

Her hair

is now a graduated bob

and light brown

but she has that same cheeky smile.

One day he sees a photo

of her on Instagram;

she’s beaming,

holding a picture

of her twelve-week scan.

By her side

is the soon-to-be-dad,

a tall,

sandy-coloured man

with a beard

and a beanie hat.

It makes him realise

that he hadn’t

treated her

in the way

that she deserved;

they were trying on


like ill-fitting

baggy suits

that didn’t suit them,


with no direction

and too much affection

and hormones

and he was a prick.


or could

she ever

forgive him?

He badly wants to

reach out to her,

to tell her that now

he is all grown up,

he has found his words,

and that his brothers

were a bunch of dafties,

and that he hopes

that she’s happy

and knows that she

was his true first love

and he thinks about her lots.

His thumbs are poised

like stalemate snakes

to write all of this out

in a DM

but he just gives the photo

a like instead.


Cat Hepburn's new book "Dating & Other Hobbies" is a collection of female-centred poetry and short stories. Screaming with authenticity and using toe-curlingly relatable observations on millennial culture, Cat's unashamed writing treats the reader with the honesty of a wine guzzling bestie on a night out, making it both gut-wrenching and spit-your-tea-out funny.

Confessional, uncomfortable and hilarious all at once, from regrettable one night stands, to ‘ghosting’, to extramarital affairs- no stone is left unturned.

Shining a light on the nuances of human connection and interaction in a world of digital dating and sexual exploration, Dating & Other Hobbies provides a truly unique celebration of early adulthood, and all the beautiful mess that comes with it.

"As engaging on page as she is on stage, Hepburn consistently outdoes herself with courage, grace and humour"

Darren 'Loki' McGarvey

"Hits like an espresso martini served in a library by a doctor of

philosophy dancing to Lady Gaga"

Phill Jupitus

"Witty, gorgeous, genital-warts-and-all" Kirstin Innes

+447949483790 | | @CatHepburnWrite | Rep'd by Sayle Screen

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