by Linda (Pen)Gilley
Back at the guest house, in the second week we were joined by another family, this time from UP NORTH. Thinking back, their group consisted of parents, son Brian, and girlfriend, Sheila, and a younger son, Keith, my age. Almost certainly the elder brother saw me as a useful distraction for his brother from him and his lady. After eyeing each other for most of one very wet afternoon in the guest house lounge, elder brother asked if I would like to go with them to the pictures in the evening. Clearly, he was thinking ahead to shenanigans in the back row with Sheila.
We shared umbrellas, dodging puddles and drips walking into the walled town to go to an extremely ancient fleapit, showing Kirk Douglas in “Spartacus”. And naturally, we ended up in the back row. I had never had a boyfriend, never been kissed before, knew only as much about sex as Evelyn Home told me in Woman magazine. She mainly concentrated on advising strongly against something called “Heavy Petting” and “not going too far”. All of which was a mystery to me.
Keith was a bespectacled youth with fair floppy hair and no real looker. But he was landed with me and he made the best of it. His arm slowly made its way around my shoulders and eventually he turned my head awkwardly and kissed me. I do not remember this as anything remotely exciting. But over the next few days we struck up a sort of relationship, huddled under the umbrella, shivering in bus shelters and out on the headland. Later he wrote to me for several months. They were extraordinarily uninspiring letters from Preston, about school and playing his guitar. When I hear Carole King sing “It might as well rain until September”, in the hit parade that month, I remember The First Boyfriend, because, of course, at 15, it was important to have one of them for one’s own personal self-esteem.
© Copyright Linda (Pen)Gilley, THACS Writers Online 2020