Or – Lessons for Young Lovers
They walk together hand in hand by the pale light of a silvery moon.
He had anxiously waited and waited until almost the last dance before plucking up enough courage to ask her. The band played a slow number and he held her hands; she moved in closer and they were soon pressed together. He could feel the softness of her breasts through his shirt. He was fifteen, she a year older. The music stopped and before the lights went up in the youth club hall they had drifted outside and were heading for the small park.
The trees are silent sentries guarding the pathway. The moon struggles to free itself from a hazy shawl of clouds. She half trots ahead and pulls him to her, her back against a large tree trunk. She stares intensely into his eyes and leans her face in sideways. They kiss, gently at first but then harder, he leans against her and she takes his hand and places it on her chest.
He is terrified.
“It’s okay” she whispers, “You can put your hand in under my blouse.”
He slips his hand between two buttons and tentatively touches her. He had seen pictures of breasts behind the bike shed but never touched one before. She was the first girl he had really kissed. “Here, let me help you” as she undoes her blouse and pulls the straps of her tiny bra down. His hand slides over her body, feeling the soft yet firm flesh. They kiss again, harder this time – her lips grinding in to his. She reaches down and touches him through his jeans.
Shock. The thrill and the shock of it. Nobody had ever touched him there before. But he is scared. Scared of touching her; but wanting to all the same. Scared of what they might do next. So scared and yet so excited. Suddenly he realises he should be getting back home. “Ten O’Clock” his mother had said “and not a minute later.” He glances at his wristwatch. Ten to.
“I have to go now,” he stumbles an apology. “I have to be in by ten.”
And he runs like the wind all the way home, elated and relieved. He had forgotten to ask her out again. All he knows is her name – Janet. But he had held her tiny breasts in his bare hands. He had felt her breathing, he had kissed, really kissed a girl and she had touched him there.
But the next time he sees her at youth club, he avoids her eyes. He slouches off, hands deep in his pockets, too scared to dare to be alone with her again.
They giggle as they creep into their father’s study. Mum and Dad are out, and the babysitter is in the lounge watching TV and eating the cake and lemonade they left her. In the dark and by the faint light of a silvery moon they sit side by side in Daddy’s office chair. Megan reaches over and switches the computer on. She knows the icon for the internet because her father had let her do some research for a project at school. Megan is thirteen and her sister eleven and just started at the big school. And in the playground joshing and giggling she had heard an older girl talk about sex. “Oh yeah, sex” a couple of the others nodded in agreement. But really none of them knew much at all, even her big sister was quite vague on the details. Somehow the sex-education lessons a year earlier had all seemed a touch remote; the line drawings just a bit too complicated, the Latin names almost incomprehensible.
The screen lights up, and Megan turns to her sister Rebecca. “What shall I type in?”
“I dunno. ‘Sex’ I suppose.” They click on the first website that appears. And suddenly the screen is full of naked grown-ups, with big breasts and men with huge ‘you-know-whats’. “Oh my God, switch it off quick.” Rebecca gasps out loud, hands in front of her disbelieving eyes. But somehow they are transfixed, unable to move as the images flicker on the screen and only after a few minutes does Megan break the silence and switch off the computer.
“What’s all this noise?” asks 17 year old Julie, the babysitter, switching on the light as the girls shriek in horror. The screen has already thankfully gone blank. “Come on you two rascals, I thought you had gone to bed.”
“We did, but I forgot something” Megan lies.
“What in here? In your Dad’s study?” queries Julie. “Come on, up to bed the pair of you. If your Mum and Dad come home early we’ll all get into trouble.”
Later in their bedroom Megan calls out. “Rebecca. Are you awake?”
“Of course I am Megan. How can I sleep after seeing all that stuff. How disgusting. I mean, it’s just revolting, isn’t it?”
“Well, I suppose so – but then all grown-ups must be doing that, even Mummy and Daddy. And at least you know what Sex means now Becky.”
“Well, I don’t want to ever grow up, if I have to do that.” Indignantly from Rebecca.
“No….I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?” Megan replies.
As the moon shines its silvery light through the gap in their curtains, Megan sighs contentedly and turns over. “Night-night Becky”
By the light of a silvery moon Sir Cheriton Cholmondley-Brown creeps quietly forward, dressed in faded tweed plus-fours and deerstalker hat. “Scrotum” he mutters, “hand me the shotgun. Did you fill it with pellets as I ordered?”
“Ah yes, Master Cherry – I’se done that orl-ready.”
“Well hand me the blessed thing now.” Old Scrotum, the wrinkled retainer, passes the blunderbuss to his lord and master as onward they creep down to the trees by the lake.
Meanwhile his wife Felicity, fragrant, fragile and flowerlike, feathery, frothy and flighty as thrupence, is talking to her sixteen year-old daughter Jenny. “and where is your twin sister Gwenny at this time of night?”
“Really Mummy, you are so old-fashioned. She is just walking in the park with the Major’s son, Raiph. It is such a lovely moon-lit night they decided to wander down through the trees by the lake.”
“Oh, I suppose so.” mutters Felicity, her mind wandering back to her student days in Paris; moules et frites, mouton cadet and dark moustachioed men in striped shirts and berets, smoking Sobranie and sweeping her off her feet. No such action nowadays, of course. Sir Cheriton is permanently sozzled and about as useful as a chocolate soldier in bed. Still…she had her memories. Ah, such sweet memories.
“Look” whispers Sir Cherry “just there in that clearing, something moving.”
“I can’t see nothing not nowhere.”
“Over there, see. It must be a small deer, I can just see the white tuft of his rear moving around.”
“Oh yes.” Scrotum replies. ”But that be no deer Sir. That be a human bum a bouncin’. He be havin it away all right. A bit of old rumpy-pumpy, oh yes…give it some for me, my son.”
“Shhh..you fool.” As Sir Cherry whacks him with the wooden stock of the shotgun. “In my wood? By God’s tiffin and turban, the filthy buggers, I’ll give ‘em rumpy-pumpy. How dare they? If I can’t get it up, I don’t see why anyone else should.”
“Oh let ‘em be master – they’s only ‘aving a bit of fun. Wish I still could.”
“Shhhh…pass me my hip flask – I need to steady myself as I take aim.” And swigging down a mixture of un-distilled rum and prune juice he lifts the gun and lets go with both barrels. But at that very moment Scrotum trips on a branch and the gun twitches high in the air.
“My God, what was that?” cries Raiph, rearing up suddenly.
“Whatever it was, give it to me again Raiphy baby, that was wonderful.”
“Damn…missed the buggers.” Sir Cheriton scowls. Sorely disappointed, he wearily trudges home, Scrotum whistling merrily behind him.
“Been Out Darling?” Felicity greets him.
“Yes, just scaring off a couple of damn…er…foxes – sneaky things, foxes, always doing something they shouldn’t. But I’ll get the buggers yet.”
“Ah, here’s Gwenny.” Felicity says as her daughter waltzes in, a big smile on her face. “Had a nice walk with young Raiph”
“Yes, Mummy – we saw lots of pretty flowers and then it suddenly got dark so I came home like a good girl.”
“Ha…I don‘t know what you see in that stupid boy, he hasn’t a clue about anything, you know” Sir Cheriton scoffs a couple of curried quails eggs hoping to clear a slight blockage in his nether regions, and raises a small tankard of gin to his lips “Daft as a brush that boy is.”
“Oh, I don’t know Daddy – I reckon I could teach him a thing or two.” says Gwenny.
“I think you probably already have.” smirks her sister Jenny.