So, the obvious thing to do was share with you the stupidest thing I’ve done. I am hoping that, by hearing this, you will be reminded that whatever happens today, it won’t be as bad as this. Or at least it will be a helpful distraction from the panic rising in your stomach.

My brother is a couple of years younger than me. It was his A-Level results day and my first summer back from university. I’d been taking an intensive driving course. I was desperate to get my license. I wanted the freedom to travel at times beyond the rural bus timetable. Less than a week before his results day I passed my test! Puffed up with new-found pride, I offered to drive my brother and my grandparents the hour’s journey to school. We set off well and all was going fine, spirits were high, even if the tension was too. We stopped for petrol and I light-heartedly put the nozzle into my shiny new car.

Less than £10 in to filling up, I realised that the black label clearly marked ‘diesel’ was definitely not matching the petrol engine it was flowing in to. Panic hit. Should I tell my brother and grandparents that this vital journey may well be cut short by the engine blowing out of the car? Would that even happen? Like many teenagers without a clue what to do, I dialled my Dad’s work number. No answer. I sheepishly appeared back in the car and explained the situation. There was a communal eye roll. A Mexican wave of frustration across the faces of my grandparents and brother, all crammed into the back of my little vehicle.

“Have you called Dad?” my brother asked through gritted teeth. Luckily for me, our father is a mechanic with a deep understanding of what to do when some idiot like me does this. I dialled the number again and again. It took long enough that the owner of the garage we were waiting in emerged. His advice was unhelpful at best and our fears only rose further. Eventually Dad picked up, as my brother started to show visible signs of frustration. By this point he was running out of nails to bite.

“Hello, Em. How was results?”

“Yeah… Erm… Dad I – well we were on our way and I… Well I put the wrong fuel in the car.”

Silence. I frantically gave all the excuses I could think of. Heightened nerves, new car, different fuel type. None could justify this mess up.

“You idiot.”

After a justified litany of the many reasons this was so silly, he explained that the engine would be fine if I filled it with the correct fuel to the top, ran that down to the end and refilled again with the correct fuel. After many sighs of relief all round we did just that and were on our way.

The car was very quiet for most of the journey. The high spirits of before were gone and now, nothing but the tension remained.

We arrived at the school nearly an hour late. This had its benefits as there were no queues for envelopes. Everyone already had theirs.

It still amazes me how calm my brother was, considering the usual levels of apprehension were at alarming levels after such a long-winded journey. Of course, he got the grades he wanted and had a wonderful three years at Hull University. But, not once has this fateful topic come up in conversation. I’d like to think it’s because the whole mess-up has been forgiven and forgotten. We’ll go with that theory anyway, as it means I don’t have to relive the whole cringe-worthy experience. Until I publish it on the internet.