4 Jan


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It wasn’t far to the corner of the street, but Michael didn’t make it. He might have done, after all he was young and vigorous enough, but no match for the van that careered apparently out-of-control towards him.

He needed to get to that corner. Last night he’d been on the phone to Anita, and she’d as good as seduced him to the point of him promising that he’d be there, on the dot of seven, on the corner where their streets met. She’d said it would be worth it and he knew that damned well it would. It would be worth it just looking at her for a fleeting moment before she dissolved away like visions can, but she promised a darned sight more than that!

She said she’d let him kiss her. She said they could hold hands and if he was really good she’d let him feel her bosom. She said it like that! Brazen, like a whore might, but Anita was no whore. She was the angel who lived in the next street, and anyway there was no mention of expecting any payment.

Then she’d said she’d really like to get to know him better. She said he was the best looking boy in the neighbourhood, maybe even the best looking lad in the whole world, and she really, really wanted to get to know him better.

“We could go to the park,” she’d said, her throaty voice filled with seduction, “I know a special place there where nobody would be able to see us … and nobody would be able to see what we did, Michael!”

The implication was clear, and it excited him. There was nothing he wanted to do more in the whole world than go to the park with Anita and do whatever she wanted to do, in a secret spot hidden from the eyes of others. It gave him an erection, just thinking about it as the words spilled down the telephone wires and into his ear.

Then she hung up. With the promise still in his ears, with her breath still singeing his brain and echoing in his ears. He was to meet Anita on the corner of the street, at the junction where his street and hers met, and he was going to do a darned sight more than just look at her! Maybe (his heart sang) she’d have condoms…

He’d known of her for ages. They’d caught the same bus to school, and to tease her (because teasing her meant he might touch her without any of the other lads thinking he fancied her, he didn’t want that, he didn’t want anyone to think he fancied her because, well, you didn’t fancy the Anitas of this world, nobody did, it wasn’t the done thing) he tugged at her pigtails and grinned. Oafishly, maybe, and he felt ashamed, but that’s what he’d done. Tugged her pig-tails and said “boo”, and she’d scowled at him in the superior way girls have when they’re sorting out boys.

He’d done other things, too, little touchy-feely things, like brush purposefully against her in the school corridor so that he could feel the warmth of her, like gaze up her skirt when she was on the stairs and he wasn’t, like go out of his way to echo the names the other kids called her. And they did call her names. He supposed they might be offensive names, but it didn’t really matter, did it? Sticks and stones, and all that. And she probably didn’t know that his voice was loudest of all…

And all the time when he’d been on the edge of persecuting her he’d known how much he liked her.

Anita was different, and he adored the difference. It wasn’t her slightly crossed eyes or fuller-than-average lips. Nor was it the scruffy house she lived in, nor the creatures she called her parents. Nobody liked those! They were famous in the neighbourhood for their scruffiness and it was said that Anita’s dad had drunk many a pub dry, though he had seen them out and about and rather liked the casual way they went here and there in the district. There wasn’t anything pretentious about them, and there wasn’t anything pretentious about Anita.

He supposed it was little differences that made her perfect. Even her school uniform … it was superficially the same as all the other girls’ uniforms, but different and he wasn’t sure why. Her skirt might have been an inch shorter, but you didn’t really notice that unless you had an urge to stare at her legs. Her blazer might have been the least bit lighter shade of grey than anyone else’s and probably came from a jumble sale. Her socks … they were white, all right, but somehow a different white to everyone else’s. And if you added those things up together with her eyes (was one blue and the other brown?) you got the perfect, most loveable girl.

Now he was going to meet her on the corner of the street. Michael’s heart was singing as he skipped along, loud like Queen in the operatic bit of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and he was oblivious to the van racing up behind him until it struck him in the back, and knocked him dead and flying.

But in that last fleeting instant between life and death he did register the figure behind the steering wheel of that van.

It was Anita, and he loved her.

© Peter Rogerson 04.01.15



  1. pambrittain January 11, 2015 at 7:45 pm #


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