Hope its Lizzie. Please let it be Lizzie. I looked up and down the line of girls, desperately hoping I’d get Lizzie.
The boys and girls were in two lines facing each other across The Den, a big dark space in the heart of a massive wild rhododendron bush in the scrubby wasteland behind the estate, and we were about to have our first Sexual Education lesson.
Lizzie was standing with her head down, shoulders hunched forward, staring in fear at the empty space between the two lines. She was doing her best not to be noticed; she always tried not to be noticed. And it always worked: nobody ever noticed Lizzie.
Thinking about it, I only really remember just one episode of Lizzie joining in when we were younger, back when the boys and girls still played together: we played Cowboys and Indians and we’d tied Lizzie to a tree and everyone else had thought it really funny to leave her tided up when they went home for lunch. I was wracked by guilt and secretly ran back to untie her but she refused to believe that the game was over and refused to believe she’d been left by the others. I was a Cowboy, I was supposed to be guarding her not rescuing her, and she’d clung on to the two ends of the rope holding herself against the tree. I tried to reason with her but - away from the others - she was head-strong and clever. In the end I sat glumly nearby until, after ages of waiting, she gave in and asked dispiritedly “they really have left me, haven’t they?”
We raced back to the estate, late for lunch, and when we got to the edge of the wasteland we stopped, bent double, panting. When we’d caught our breath she straightened up and asked “why did you help me? Why didn’t you leave me too?” and I said “my mum told me to be nice to girls” which was the simpleton kind of thing I had in my head at that age. That was the only real memory I had of Lizzie. For such a small estate and for such a small group of kids, she really was invisible to all of us and always had been.
When puberty hit the girls stopped playing and went off to do their own thing. We lived on a new and isolated council estate built quite a way out on the edge of town and we were the oldest kids there, so the girls didn’t get to chase the older boys because there weren’t any. But they sure weren’t very interested in the boys their own age.
Eventually us boys stopped playing hide and seek too. Our games evolved. We spent a lot of time hanging out in The Den planning how to acquire booze, porn mags and cigarettes. We only really succeeded getting fags, but I was always too scared of my mum to dare come home smelling of smoke. I was the wimp in our gang. Oh, and we rated the girls. That was now our favourite game. Just because the girls weren’t interested in us didn’t mean we weren’t interested in them, and every hang-out ended with us fantasizing about fucking them.
My mind snapped back to now. I looked up the line. At its head was Maddie. She had a sweet face, golden locky hair to her shoulders and wide hips. But it was her boobies and the way she flaunted them to everyone all the time that made all the boys want to fuck her most. She was the ring leader of the girls, and to hear her talk she’d been sexually active since forever. Next to her was Emma, second in command and swearing every other word. Emma had even bigger breasts, massive jugs, but a plainer face and slightly plumper all over and was second in the boys fuck list. The girls were basically lined up in fuckability order. Next to Emma was Sarah and Cathy, Sarah being by far the prettiest with long straight perfect jet-black hair but dressing and acting more respectably and less obviously up for it, while Cathy seemed up for anything but was the plainest. After Cathy came Lizzie, last, trying to not get noticed. Us boys almost never even bothered to rate her, she was that invisible.
I was watching Lizzie intently now. I hadn’t ever really looked at her before. She was actually quite pretty. Pretty tall too, as tall as me if she would just stand upright. Her small delicately featured face with its tiny button nose was framed by her wavy mousy brown curly hair hanging like curtains all the way down to her shoulders. She had a very long neck but it looked elegant and delicate. She was slender. In fact she was skinny. She always wore baggy sweaters and, with her always bending forward with her shoulders hunched, there was no hint of breast. I was looking at her like I’d seen her for the first time ever. But I wasn’t rating her: I was feeling really sorry for her. Pit-of-the-stomach sorry for her. She didn’t want to be here, she didn’t want to do this, and I was hoping I’d get given her so I could protect her. I was scared of what the other boys would do with her, what the other boys would make her do, and she looked shit scared of all of us too.
This was all Maddie’s idea. Maddie had finally decided that, as there were no eligible older boys on the estate, the boys her age would have to do. Being fifth-years we’d all just had our first sex education lessons at school and whilst they’d gone into detail on how babies develop from an egg in the womb they hadn’t touched at all on how the sperm reached the egg in the first place. So Maddie had decided she’d lead the instruction in practical Sexual Education instead. It was Sunday, this was Maddie’s Sunday School, and the first lesson was to be french kissing.
I’d never kissed a girl before and here were the girls lined up in fuckability order. But actually I wasn’t feeling very randy right now, I was feeling nervous. Scared, even. Suddenly Maddie and Emma’s assets weren’t appealing at all - rather, their up-for-it attitude was a turn-off, intimidating, disgusting. Sarah of course had a very pretty face and perfect lips but she seemed bored, uninterested, unimpressed.
I wasn’t really listening to the instructions. I was too busy feeling awful on Lizzie’s behalf. Lizzie looked like she wanted the ground to swallow her up. I wanted to stick up for her but thatt was silly, I wasn’t going to dare do anything.
To my surprise - I should have been listening more - we weren’t paired up. Instead, Maddie wanted the first kiss from each boy so the girls were going to work their way along the boy line so every girl kissed every boy with Maddie leading.
I forgot about Lizzie as I turned with everyone else to watch Maddie kiss Jamie. The boys were also lined up in pecking order and I was on the end, the least willing bad boy. Jamie was the baddest boy and our ring leader and the most vocal in rating the girls and nicking fags, and I think he and Maddie kind of had a thing going. They had probably kissed before. They kissed for a long time, their mouths locked and tongues pushing out each others cheeks. But there was no hands, no other touching, no embrace.
Then Maddie moved on to Simon, our second in command. Again she stood in front of him and leaned in and kissed him and, after a few seconds, he started to push back. As their jaws worked the temperature in The Den seemed to be raising. The watchers started to giggle. Emmas keenness overwhelmed her and she quickly rushed to attack Jamie. And so they worked along the line. As Maddie got closer and closer to me, so another girl would go first to Jamie and then Simon and so on. As expected, Sarah gave an almost perfunctory peck on the lips, no tongues and no passion. Sarah had probably been pressured into being here. But Emma and Cathy mashed their faces lustfully into each boy and sucked their lips off.
Now Maddie broke from Dave and took one pace sideways to stop right in front of me. The dread in the pit of my stomach had been growing each time she got closer. We were just far enough apart that we’d both have to lean forwards slightly. She had a wild crazy needy look in her eyes and her mouth was gaping open, slobbered and glistening. She lunged quickly forward, her puckered lips colliding with mine and her tongue jabbing hard trying to violate me. I felt a swell of nervous bile pushing upwards into my throat.
Suddenly Maddie broke off. Jamie was cursing and we turned towards him to see what the matter was. He was looking straight past us imploring “come on Lizzie, my turn, you can’t chicken out now!” I looked back to where Lizzie had been earlier. She was in exactly the same place, rooted in exactly the same spot, staring at the same patch of dead ground, waiting for the earth to swallow her up.
Everyone had stopped snogging and was staring at Lizzie. Her head stayed tilted downwards but her eyes jerked up, scanning us all with scared wild eyes. Then she turned and ran.
There was stunned silence. Then Maddie said aggressively “that frigid bitch better not tell on us”.
I don’t know what happened next really, it wasn’t a conscious decision, my body just acted itself. I turned and legged it after Lizzie.
I caught up with Lizzie quickly. She wasn’t running any more, just walking very fast, striding homewards very determinedly. She heard my feet pounding the dirt track behind her and turned around, stood her ground, looking me straight in the face as I struggled to brake so as not run into her.
Her face was taunt, her eyes sparkling with aggression. I was shocked - I hadn’t actually really ever seen her face before, not full on, her sharp penetrating stare. “Sent to fetch me back, were you? I’m not going back. I’m not kissing the others.” she spat. Then her fists clenched and punched down towards the ground and stomped with both feet together as she shouted over my shoulder back towards The Den “I’m going home and you’re not going to fucking stop me you cunts”.
Suddenly, at that precise moment, the heavens opened and there was an instant torrential downpour. The sun was shining brightly but right over us there was a massive charcoal cloud and, just like that, it was instantly pouring down rain. Lizzie jerked skywards, the rain streaming down her upturned face and without missing a beat shouted “and fuck you too God you cunt”.
There was a pause. She looked back down at me, grinning. Then the grin faded. We looked warily at each other. “Sorry”, I said. Then “I wasn’t sent to get you. I came to say sorry”. She looked surprised, she looked confused. “What have you, of all people, got to be sorry for Will?”
I paused. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing chasing after her. “Our mum says...” I reverted to form. “That you should be nice to girls?” she finished, smiling bemused. So she remembered Cowboys and Indians too!
“Are you my knight in shining armour, Will?” she giggled. The transformation to her face was total. I’d only ever seen the shy Lizzie before, and now I’d seen the angry fight-not-flee Lizzie and the happy smiley Lizzie in the space of just a few seconds.
It really was pouring with rain. She turned back towards the estate and said “great, now we’re soaked”. She started to walk slowly resignedly back home. A few seconds later I followed, single-file as the path was narrow. It was raining and I was looking where I was going but mostly I was staring at Lizzie’s skinny but wide little wiggly bottom as she walked, her long legs and the wide gap between her thighs which I’d never noticed before.
Suddenly my head kicked in and I shouted “wait! Its always dry under that tree”. I pointed to a leaning tree just on the edge of the path level with Lizzie. She looked over her shoulder back towards me, looked back at the path home, and then looked at the tree. “Ok” was all she said. We pushed through the undergrowth and took shelter under the tree.
We sat hunched in silence under the leaning trunk. We were wet but we were sheltered. She was hugging her knees and staring at the ground, looking shy again. Her hair was damp and limp, wisps stuck to her face by the wetness. I didn’t know how to strike up a conversation. Suddenly she shivered. My brain shook back to life. “Here, take my coat” I said, hurriedly taking off my thin jacket and putting it around her shoulders. She looked up and transfixed me with a piecing giggly stare “You sure you’re not my knight, Will?”. She shuffled closer and lifted the coat up over my shoulder too and said “We can share”.
We sat hunched up beside each other under that tree while it rained. The rain hammered on the leaves above us. Some spatters of rain got through and hit us. I didn’t know what to say again. We were both staring at the ground ahead of us.
Suddenly Lizzie broke the silence and asked, in a mild curious conversational tone “so who was the best kisser?”. “I only kissed Maddie, or rather she kissed me and I didn’t like it” I said. I said it without thinking. I realise now as I write this that Lizzie somehow bypasses my conscious brain, that voice in my head that examines everything I say before I say it, filtering out anything shocking. With Lizzie I just blurt out what I’m thinking, somehow before I’ve even had a chance to think it.
“Do you want to?” she asked. I looked up. She was watching me intently. “Do I want to what?” I asked stupidly. “Practice kissing” she clarified really quietly, as though she couldn’t quite believe she was saying it. She was looking down again, but not away; her eyes were locked on my lips. I suddenly noticed her hair. The sun playing through the leaves and the rain was making her hair glow. And I could smell her, the clean smell of shampoo and soap. I was still. She lent forward and just as her little button nose pressed past mine I lurched forward locking our lips together. I had instinctively closed my eyes and focused on the sweet sensation of our touching lips.
It was just lips, that first kiss, but it was magic. She broke off for breath, and we looked into each others eyes and smiled like we were sharing a guilty secret. Then, without thinking, I reached quickly but gently for her neck, holding her head still as I lent in for a second kiss. I ran my tongue over her lips and they parted slightly and her tongue slipped out too, tracing my lips. Our tongues touched for the first time and it felt like we got an electric shock. Then our tongues tentatively found each other again and our wide gaping mouths pressed together, our tongues explored and cuddling for ages.
That second kiss went on and on, time passing without thinking. Lizzie’s hands reached around under my arms and pulled my shoulders so our mouths pressed tightly, the coat falling off our shoulders.
Suddenly Lizzie broke off and looked wildly into my eyes. I heard it too. We had been too wrapped up in each other to notice that it had stopped raining and now the others were making their way home from The Den. They were talking loudly, comparing notes. Lizzie and I were crouched, nervous, embracing, on the lee of a tree right by the path as they walked past. If they’d looked to the side they’d have surely seen us. But they didn’t - they just walked straight past, discussing the snogging lesson. Maddie and Emma seemed to be the most elated, and Cathy the most indiscreet. Emma was telling them that they really had to go further the next lesson, whatever that meant. Cathy was complaining that next Sunday was too far away and it ought be an After School club instead. The boys looked elated too but were quiet, and Sarah went past with her head high like she was just accidentally walking in the same direction, not actually part of the group of childish teens she was amongst.
After they’d passed Lizzie and I giggled quietly, still holding each other tight. Lizzie snapped forward and gave me a quick peck on the lips. “Come on Will, its stopped raining, we’d better get home, its soon dark.”
That night I lay in bed, the hormones racing, re-living that long passionate kiss again and again. The smell of her hair, the softness of her lips and her long neck. I wasn’t sure if I was hard when we kissed, but I was definitely rock hard as I thought about Lizzie now. And wracked with doubt - did she really like me, or was it all just practice? I didn’t think for a second about the shy ignored Lizzie, I just thought about the hot beautiful wonderful perfect happy Lizzie I had snogged under the tree. The Lizzie I had never ever seen before.
The After School Club
The next day at school the whole year was abuzz with what had happened in The Den. Us kids who live on the council estate are the rough lot and we like to brag and give the impression we’re harder and badder than we really are, so soon everyone knew. We all go to a big school and its so big that we aren’t all in the same class. That’s another reason I’ve never noticed Lizzie - she’s not in any of my classes at all.
Nobody paid much attention to the fact that Lizzie chickened out or that I left early. They were far too interested in what the next lesson would be. There was a lot of speculation that we’d ‘do it’, and Maddie was basking in the attention, telling everyone conspiratorially to wait and see.
That evening after school there was a knock on my door, as there usually is when Jamie or Simon gather up some boys to hang out. Tonight, though, there’s the whole gang from yesterday, both boys and girls. Everyone is looking up at me on the top step as I step out, even Lizzie. But as I skip down to the street level and we turn to head off to the wasteland she has her head down again. I wonder if she likes me. Perhaps the kiss was just practice? I daren’t stare or try to walk next to her.
We hurriedly silently to The Den. Again, we form two lines, girls and boys facing each other in the same pecking order. Maddie takes charge but there is long negotiation on what we’re going to do tonight, with Emma particularly upping the ante. In the end, it is agreed that the boys will show their dicks whilst the girls will flash their boobs.
Lizzie is on the end of the line again, opposite me, head down and shoulders hunched, staring at the ground like she’s hoping it will swallow her up. She seems even sicker looking than yesterday. My heart is crying for her.
After much conjuring and teasing by the girls, the boys drop our trousers and pants round our ankles. The girls hoot and giggle. I look along the line of boys. None of us look happy or excited, our little flaccid penises shrunken, shy, scared.
Then the girls, in unison, open their blouses. They are a lot less nervous of this than the boys and Emma tugs her top up so quickly she hits herself in the face with her hand. Cathy might well have pinged a button off in her haste. Suddenly, I am staring at a line of teen tits in bras. Maddies are big but separate, pointing out way from her chest with lots of space between them. Emmas are massive balloons that are squashed together in a particularly frilly bra with lots of almost-see-through netting. Sarah breasts are much smaller but much more pointy and pert rather than saggy, in a nice sheen satin bra that doesn’t need any frilly icing. Sarah has such a flat belly and perfect skin.
I get a sharp kick from the back of my brain. My eyes snap back to Lizzie. She is still staring at the ground, dead. She hasn’t moved, she hasn’t taken up her top.
I watched her, time standing still. Suddenly, without moving her head, her eyes look upwards and lock into mine. Looking me in the eye now she suddenly doesn’t look so scared after all. And then a slight smile. Not a friendly greeting smile, but rather a naughty smirk of a smile!
She subtly turns her hips slightly away from the others. I think she’s moving quite fast, but my brain is in slow-mo, seeing every single move as though it takes forever. Her far hand grabs the bottom of her jumper and, quickly, yanks up just the side furthest away from the others. My eyes follow the hand, glued to the hand. I see her tight pale tummy exposed and her hand travels upwards, and then I see a big dark round spot. Her nipple! I’m not sure if she had a bra she’d pulled up or if she wasn’t wearing a bra at all, but she’s just flashed me her nipple! It was the most erotic thing that has ever happened to me, and its Lizzie’s nipple and she must like me after all! My mind is frozen, trying to process what I’ve just seen.
Suddenly Cathy hooted out “look at Will!”. All eyes swivel to me, except they aren’t looking at my face: they’re ogling my groin. Only Lizzie is looking at my face, with a cross between shyness and a smirk. I look down at my penis, which has lept to attention, pulsing and swinging and hitting my tummy with every racing heartbeat. I’d completely forgotten the others were there and, forgetting my naked embarrassment, I’ve got very very hard just for Lizzie’s nipple.
A quick glance along the boys line shows me that I’m the only one who has got it up at all!
Suddenly the awed silence was broken by Jamie shouting “come on Lizzie, get your tits out!”. All eyes snap from my dick to Lizzie, who is now standing head down staring at the dirt with her sweater firmly down as though she’d never moved, although she’d never flashed me. Emma says nastily “hey Jamie, that little bitch doesn’t have anything to show you!”
Lizzie looked stricken and about to cry. Without meeting anyone’s gaze she turned and fled again. I struggled to pull my trousers up, but they got caught in my underwear which I had forgotten to pull up first so there was an almighty struggle to get myself ready to take off after her. As I wriggled and tugged at my legs Emma asked brazenly “so whose tits got you you hard, then, Will?” and she lifted her humungous boobs up in her bra and jiggled them for me “you like them?”. Maddie didn’t want to be outdone and quickly squashed hers together and leaned forward towards me in a Marilyn Monroe impression with puckered lips. I stared down at the ground and said “Lizzies”. I don’t know why I said it. I know why I thought it, but I don’t know why that little voice in my head didn’t intercept it and stop me saying it out loud. Recovering, I turned angrily to the others and said “why are you always bullying her? Leave her alone!”.
My trousers up, my cock caught uncomfortably against my tummy and waistband, I ran after Lizzie. I didn’t find her; I didn’t catch her.
At school the next day I was something of an infamous celebrity. The other boys were a bit quiet, ashamed of their poor showing. The girls, on the other hand, wanted to tell everyone just how big I was. I don’t think I’m particularly big, I just got hard in front of them and that is probably the first real hard dick they’ve ever seen. Even Sarah grinned, winked and said “nice cock” when we passed between lessons.
It seemed silly but I didn’t actually like the attention. I wanted to seek out Lizzie at lunch break but it felt like she was avoiding me. She was always avoiding everyone at school.
As I got off the school bus home, being patted on the shoulder by the lads who didn’t live on the estate and therefore weren’t ashamed, some girl - not sure who - even pinched my arse. I turned around defensively and everyone hooted with laughter. I walked home from the bus slowly, realizing I couldn’t run after Lizzie who always hurries home without drawing attention. I could take the flak, but I couldn’t bear to shine the lamp onto Lizzie. She was still invisible to everyone but me and she wanted to keep it that way.
As soon as I got through the front door the phone was ringing. As soon as I picked it up a quiet but bossy female voice said “We’ve gotta talk. Meet me at the rainy tree in 10 minutes?”. It had to be Lizzie.
My heart pounding, I walked out towards The Den until I got to the tree where we’d sheltered from the rain. Lizzie was already there, still in her school uniform. As I crept under the overhang, crouching down beside her, her eyes scanned the path back behind me. “Nobody saw you?” she fired quickly. I shook my head, “I don’t think so”. “Good” she said, and then she jumped me. She collided with me so hard I almost tumbled over backwards. We kissed passionately.
After we sat up and straightened our clothes and brushed off the twigs and leaves Lizzie wanted to know all about the last meeting. “So what happened after I left?”, she asked. I told her. I didn’t quite let on that I’d told everyone I liked Lizzie’s tits best. I artfully made it seem like I hadn’t answered Emma’s question, but rather just told them to leave Lizzie alone. So after a pause Lizzie stared intently down at the ground and asked “So whose boobs did you like the best then, Will?”. I was stunned. I didn’t know what to reply. Was this is a trick question? “Yours” I eventually said quietly. Lizzie laughed incredulously- “mine? But I haven’t got any! Really, whose do you like?”. She looked up at me and I stared right into her eyes and time stood still. She broke the silence “oh my god, you’re serious aren’t you?” and I nodded glumly like it was a bad thing. He face broke into a radiating smile and I lent into her and we kissed passionately, our tongues dancing and our hands wrapped around each other, pulling each close and tight.
“Yours was the biggest, you know” she said. My brain wasn’t working. “What?” I asked confused. “Your willy, silly” Lizzie said with a giggle. Even her sparkling eyes seemed to be giggling. “Want to see it again?” I asked elatedly. She giggled some more, than glanced hurriedly up and down the path. “Not here” she said and, getting up slightly but still crouching, she grabbed my hand and led me stealthily through the undergrowth away from the path.
We paused in a clearing by a tree. I was about to drop my trousers, all shyness gone, when suddenly she swung around and said “You know what tree this is, don’t you? Its the Cowboy and Indians tree!”. She ran up to it and, pressed her back to the tree and wrapped her hands and legs back around the trunk as though tied to it. “Oh brave knight, save me! Oh the nasty cowboys have left me all tied up! Why are there no knights in shining armour when I need one?” she called shrilly but ever so quietly. Her face was radiatingly beautiful and I could only think about the light through her hair and long to smell her shampoo and soapy scent. I pranced sideways towards her, one hand held like it was holding reins. Lizzie burst into a clear loud laugh as I tugged on the reins and caused my horse to stop right by her tree. “Climb on to my trusty steed, I will carry you to safety!” I cried, one hand raised as though holding up a sword. Still laughing, she asked it was safest to sit in front or behind me. I wasn’t thinking again, I was just saying stuff without that safe little voice in my brain filtering what I said. I said hopefully that she might be stabbed by my sword if she sat in front of me, but she dashed those hopes by hopping on behind me, her hands hugging around my waist as we cantered off to the edge of the clearing with our bodies touching all over, her laughing and giggling filling the air with happiness.
Once we got to the edge Lizzie collapsed in the tall rushes, fighting for breath. I collapsed beside her. Slowly my hand crept towards hers. She watched it intently as my fingers walked across the flattened rushes towards her. When I reached her outstretched hand we gently entwined and our fingers meshed. “A bird in the hand is worth two in The Den” I quipped. “Hope you think I’m worth more than the whole damn lot of them” she muttered aggressively.
Her breath back, Lizzie straightened out. “You know why we are here, don’t you?” she asked. My mind jumped. She must have seen my face light up. She burst into giggles and rolled over to lay on her chest with her head hovering right in front of my groin. She slowly deliberately reached out and started to unbuckle my belt. Then she gently undid my button and pulled my fly down. I lifted up my bottom from the ground slightly and she pulled my trousers down. My cock was fully hard already and had been for ages, making a big aching tent in my y-fronts. She giggled “someone is pleased to see me”. She then looked thoughtful and studious. She reached carefully through the pocket of the y-fronts and her fingernails gently scratched the hair on my balls. Then she said “I think these pants had better come off too” and she started tugging my underwear down. I lifted my arse again to help her and as my pants inched downward my cock was released and jumped up so suddenly it slapped my tummy with a loud clap. Lizzie jumped in surprise and giggled again. She gingerly reached out and held my cock head between her thumb and index finger and lifted it off my tummy. She moved her head around to see it from every angle. Lizzie put her free hand to her chin, her index finger pointing to the corner of her mouth in the classic pondering pose. “Hmm, is that big?” she asked sweetly, innocently. “Drat, if I had my school bag with me we could measure it!”.
“I’ve shown you mine now you show me yours” I pleaded. She laughed nervously and, still holding my dick with her hand, rolled onto her back. Slowly with the other hand she pulled up her sweater. Her tummy was taunt. Her whole chest and tummy was rising and falling as her breathing quickened. Upwards her hand slowly slid. I was watching memorized, drinking in every newly exposed inch. Her skin was so light and tight and perfect. Her ribs showed slightly. Her hand was now up over her chest and my eyes zoomed in. She wasn’t waring a bra and, laying on her back, the breasts were flattened but there was a hint of podginess down the sides which looked extra soft and inviting. Suddenly a nipple burst into view. It was such a beautiful sight. The skin around the base of the nipple was pushed up the size of a ping-pong ball with the nipple as large as a thimble on top of that, like a tiny breast on top of a flat breast.
She was giggling at my awed face. “You’re drooling” she teased. I reached out tentatively, drawn to the nipple, wanting to squeeze and caress and explore. She giggled again and quickly pulled her jumper back down, holding the hem clamped to her waist and wriggling her hips and moving her legs like they were being tied up in knots.
Suddenly she looked stricken and sat bolt upright. She let go of my cock and it slapped my tummy with another thunder clap. She looked hurriedly around and then, jumping up, said we had better get back to tea. I pulled up my pants and trousers and we rushed home. We were late.
Mum watched me thoughtfully as I ate. She suspected we were up to something. There’s no way any of the parents had heard about The After School Club, but she had an inkling something was in the air. She was suspicious.
After tea there was the regular knock on the door. It was Tuesday and that meant film and chips night at Jamies. This was the boys routine. Jamie’s family had a VHS player and we’d all go round and watch a hired film every Tuesday evening. Jamie’s dad would always be down the pub and Jamie’s mum would go drive into town to buy everyone chips at 8pm, every Tuesday, regular as clockwork.
This time the girls were there too. Jamie’s mum didn’t seem fazed, didn’t seem miffed she’d have to buy even more bags of chips. We sat down in silence to watch Rambo, which was actually a good movie that everyone at school was talking about. The pecking order prevailed. Maddie and Jamie, Emma and Simon took the couch. Dave and Sarah took a chair, although Sarah seemed as above it all as always and I don’t think Dave was going to get anything. Cathy had Mike in the other armchair and she looked rather more pleased with this than poor Mike did. Lizzie and I were sitting on the floor, somewhat almost behind the sofa and chairs and almost out of sight. Lizzie liked being out of sight, out of mind.
The film was quite good. I didn’t really follow along, I was too busy drinking in the profile of Lizzie as she sat quite still hunched forward, her face looking slightly upwards towards the TV and her body hugging a cushion. Everyone else seemed to be really quiet too, which I guess means they were trying to secretly touch each other up. And then it was 8pm and Jamie’s mum did a quick head-count for chips and went out.
The moment Jamie’s mum left the house Maddie jumped up. I think Jamie and Maddie had been planning this. Maddie paused the film and stood in front of the telly, her hands on her hips. “Now the next lesson is a game called ‘7 minutes in heaven’. We have to be quick because we only have like 20 minutes tops. Everyone knows the rules, who is going first?”. She looked around. Emma immediately jumped up and rushed over to me and tried to tug me up off the floor by my cuff. “I’ll take Big Willy” she shrieked loudly, excitedly. I tried to fight her off, tried to sit back down.
“Wait a sec”, I said, my fear making me assert myself. “You all saw me last time, give these other boys a chance! We only have 20 minutes, right? How about we all pair up and do it at the same time, so everyone has 7 minutes in heaven?”. There was general agreement. “Right, now we only have 15 minutes so everyone pair off and I’ll keep watch and stall Mrs Mills if she gets back from the chippy early?”. Emma looked really disappointed that I was chickening out but Maddie smirked, enjoying seeing Emma cheated. And so everyone bustled out of the living room at the same time, in their normal pecking-order pairing, to go find somewhere private.
“That was shrewd” Lizzie said, still staring intently at the flickering paused film. It was just her and I, sitting on the floor of the living room almost hidden between the sofa and armchairs. My brain stopped working. I didn’t know what to say. She turned her face to me and said “have you been staring at me the whole time?”. My brain really wasn’t working at all now. I just dumbly nodded. “I knew” she giggled and swung out at me with the pillow. It hit me with a thud, she hadn’t pulled the punch and it was a pretty hard lumpy cushion. I dived towards her and tickled her sides and she giggled even more and then, still holding the cushion in her hand, put it over my shoulder and pulled me in for a kiss. It was electrifying. It was a short kiss, but knowing we could be discovered heightened the sensation. And then we sat there with our foreheads touching and focusing on each others racing hearts and hurried breathing.
“Nobody can know. Not yet.” she declared in a contemplative voice. Then, after a pause, she added is a sweet innocent voice “Won’t Emma be upset, if she ever finds out that Big Willy belongs to me...” Still not able to speak, I just nodded dazed.
I glanced vacantly up at the clock, saw the time, jumped up, and ran out into the hall. I shouted to the others and they all rushed back to the front room. Everyone was asking everyone else “did you? did you do it?”. I think the could only have been time for some looking and touching. Nobody asked Lizzie nor I what we’d done together. Everyone just assumed we weren’t joining in their game.
The film playing loudly again, Mrs Mills came in the front door with all the chips. We were allowed to eat them straight from the paper while we watched the telly. Lizzie and I were sitting every so slightly closer and, as the second half of the film rolled on and everyone had finished eating Lizzie shifted, let go of the cushion and splayed out her hands behind her and leaned back. I tentatively touched her hand with mine. She turned quickly and smiled at me and then, as she watched the end of the film, I drank in her profile and button nose in the flashing glow of the telly.
The next day at school the pressure was off me. Everyone was hanging on every word as The After School Club girls explained what they had done in their 7 minutes in heaven. Emma told everyone how Simon had got hard and rubbed his stiffy on her tits. Kids from town were asking to join the club too. I quietly told Maddie that Lizzie and I weren’t wanting to join in any more, and she seemed ok with that. This Club was so much bigger than the estate now, and Maddie was quite simply too busy talking herself up with the whole rest of the school to bully Lizzie and me.
I still couldn’t find Lizzie anywhere at lunchtime. I wondered where she went and hid. I guess she’d been hiding so long that she had lots of good hiding places. The shy hiding Lizzie wasn’t my Lizzie, wasn’t the Lizzie I saw alone in private.
On the bus ride home to the estate everyone was nervous in anticipation. Maddie was promising another lesson, although she wouldn’t divulge exactly what the subject was going to be. Lots of other kids were egging her on to go ‘all the way’.
Maddie got up and moved down the bus towards where Lizzie was sitting alone. I hadn’t dared show any affection for Lizzie in public; I hadn’t even dared sit next to her on the bus, and I don’t think she’d have wanted me to either. Everyone strained to hear Maddie. Maddie simply said “Will says you don’t want to be in our After School Club any more. Is that right?”. Lizzie stared dead ahead and, not looking at Maddie in the aisle, nodded. Maddie asked with a snigger “So how are you going to get yourself off tonight, then, Lizzie?”. I was watching carefully, afraid. Lizzie’s eyes were staring hard ahead, no blinking; this was the fight-not-flee Lizzy asserting herself. Lizzie replied in a hard aggressive tone through clenched teeth “homework”.
The bus erupted in laughter. I didn’t laugh. I felt awful. But I figured we’d heard the end of it.
As we walked from the bus stop up onto the estate Lizzie rushed off ahead again. I went glumly home, but as I got in the front door the phone was ringing. Excitedly, I bounded over to it. Of course it was Lizzie. She simply said “I’ll be round yours in five minutes”.
I waited, watching through the frosted glass by the front door, waiting for the shadow outline of Lizzie. But she didn’t come to the front door: she rapped on the glass of the back door instead. She had come around mine via the alleyway that connected all the back gardens along the row.
I let her in. She was still wearing school uniform and still had her school bag over her shoulder. But she wasn’t hunched forward; she looked different. She was walking proudly upright, strutting almost. She sailed past me and went straight through to the formal front room where normally nobody goes. I followed her, swept along involuntarily in her wake. She plonked herself down on little wooden stall at the writing desk. I don’t think anyone had ever used that writing desk before. She was only half sitting on the chair, and she patted the exposed side of the seat impatiently.