Nat lifted me onto his lap and supported my back with his arm. His hands clasped together at my side. I relaxed in his arms and placed my head on his chest. He rested his head on mine.
“What’s Zoe said?” he whispered.
“She’s said something. She thinks it’s her responsibility to mention something and not release the important details. What did she say?” he asked.
“She said you’ve got more of a reputation than a serial killer and most of it’s not good,” I told him.
“Ah. She likes to bring that up.”
“Earlier she also said that you once went through four girls in five days. She said that I was the new conquest and if I wasn’t careful I’d end up in your pile of cast-offs,” I said.
“Do you know what she meant by that?”
“I don’t think I want to.”
“I think you should know.” I looked up at him. “If you ask anyone in this school, in this town even, they’ll tell you I’m a stud and a jerk. They’re probably right. But there’s something they’d tell you that isn’t true: that I’m only trying to get you in my bed.”
I looked away but he took my chin gently in his hand and made me look at him again.
“No matter how many people say it, that isn’t true. And it never will be. I’d never force you to do anything you don’t want to. I’d never seduce you; I’d never force you to... Unless you wanted to of course.” He released my chin.
“Speaking of that,” I whispered to him, “I’m a virgin.”
“That makes it even better,” he whispered back.
He kissed me and all thoughts of the people watching us vanished from my mind. He pulled back and the thoughts returned like a crashing wave. He moved to kiss me again but I stopped him.
“Not with all these people around,” I whispered. “I’d embarrass myself.”
“You’re worried about what people think?” he asked.
I shook my head. “No, I’m worried about what I’d do.”
He smiled knowingly. He knew the feelings I had for him. He probably also knew that I wanted to do more with him than just kiss.
I had no idea why I felt so strongly for him, I hadn’t even known him that long. But the feelings were there and I somehow knew that no amount of time apart would lessen them. I think I love him. But I couldn’t tell him at that time, what if it turned out he really was like everyone said he was? A user, skipping from girl to girl, taking what he wanted and leaving her behind. He can’t be... Can he? I sighed.
“Nat!” shouted some of the boys behind us.
“You should probably get back to them,” I said.
“I’ll be fine, go.”
I shuffled off his lap, back onto the bench. He stood, bent to kiss me and ran to carry on playing football with his friends, leaving me with the worried thoughts that threatened to crush me if I let them.