I knew it was wrong. It nagged me like a tickle at the back of my head; like a scolding, like shame. But I still did it, because Mickey grinned and was nudging me and whispering through a stretching smile that just looked wrong. His eyes were round and shining, hungry in his thin face.
“Go on!” he said, urgent. Out of breath and jiggling knees tight and white. Jerking up and down so fast, it made me feel sick and excited both at once. I couldn’t speak, hot, thick tongue jammed against my teeth. My heart was going so fast, it pounded like Mickey’s knees and there was a smell like burning in my nose mixing with the taste of blood.
“Go on!” he said again, giggles caught in his gasping breaths. Answering giggles rose like bubbles in my chest; pains as if I’d swallowed something too big and it was coming back up.
I wanted to do it suddenly; like when you know you’ve done wrong. When you know you’ve been caught and there’s a moment when you feel as if you might as well go all the way, because how can things get any worse? You get carried by that feeling. You get swept up by it and along and there’s nothing you can do.
So I pushed the window open a little wider, and slipped into the rankness and silence of Mrs Timmins’ house.