A tale of life the way I lived it. - Anna. E. Ashton
So it began. Unwittingly I awoke on the 9th of March, an ordinary day. The sullen clouds loomed overhead as I drew back my tasteless pink curtains and peered out of rain speckled windows. For fourteen years I had grown up in this room, through various rearrangements of furniture it was never re-decorated.
Like every morning my droll routine began. Wearily stumbling downstairs I warmed my 'pan au chocolate', thirteen sweet seconds exactly on full heat.
Changing into my school uniform I began to burn my lion mane style hair into a dehydrated straight submission.
How the school day passed was trivial and unimportant for now, it was that night that would be an unexpected pivot.
As my friend, Juliana and I packed into the back of the small red car sighing hushed complaints. Neither of us remembered quite what possessed me to agree to do the diving for Red house in tonight’s swimming gala. Well I recalled my reason rather well but I would not let that on. Stood smiling as he recited his “Why you should help out” speech at the front of our group meeting had been the Angel of death to me. An ideal of what every man should be. I long gave up dreams and whims of a romance for many reasons. The four year age gap and other difficulties would not have boded well. Still there he had stood, perfect in his imperfection. The template for what I would always want in a man.
His command was absolute but at this current moment I was not too pleased with my own decision. She was of course duty bound to come with me for the night.
An hour or two later I sat on the swimmers side, hideously self conscious of myself. Looking across at the pitiful excuse for the male I was lonely enough to consider. It had been a horrible mistake. Not only did he have a girlfriend but my first real kiss as I see it was ruined by the taste of fags and mint. An unpleasant combination at the best of times.
My event was not for a long time yet. Boding my time I ran my thumbs along the tacky and knobbly surface of the cheap yellow bench. Whoever had been sat by me, for I do not recall, had gone to do an event when on the bench next to me in the previous occupant’s stead sat a boy. Looking up I found a smile directed my way.
His name was Elliot. I vaguely knew him from talking a day or two previous. On which occasion he had stolen my phone and run with it to see the photos of a sleepover Juliana and I had once had. He laughed as I had not a chance of retrieving it. I recognised he was kind of cute in his own way, but the thought of him as an interest of that kind just never went through my mind. He had come for the simple request of borrowing my embarrassing and childish purple goggles, for neither of us had the handy ability of sight under water. He was also in my house, I again recall him in one of the meetings. He hadn’t meant to come tonight but had ended up filling in the absence of another ill team member. He wore rugby shorts as make shift swimming trunks; luckily you would not have been able to tell the difference apart from a small piece of mud on one of the deep blue legs.
We began to talk. He was a new kid, arrived at this place around half a term ago. It had been a weird time for arrival we all knew but I was quite unaware of his story. The speech just flowed, as free as a running stream we took any turn in the conversational path we so felt and laughed at small comments.
Soon the next event rolled up and the past custodian of the seat he currently occupied squeezed back into the bench, bringing us closer. My event came around and I drew myself out of the pool after coming in third place. Any former room on the bench had now vanished and I found myself looking for a new place to seat my rather cold and wet body.
“There’s room.” He said and sat me on half of his lap finding enough room on the bench for the rest of me. The room made an immature chorus of ‘Twit-twoo’s’ to which we both simultaneously raised our fingers. It seemed the room however did realise it was only for purposes of space economy. I found myself sliding further into his lap and his hands moved across until they linked across my stomach.
For a mere second of ecstasy I thought I felt his warm lips brush across my bare neck. It sent me into a strange mental frenzy I was not expecting. Eventually the evening ended. We all released a sighing breath and rubbed our ears after the un-intelligible screeching when Green house (as I recall) had been announced as the winner. We walked together until the changing rooms separated into male and female.
“I’ll wait for you outside, ok?” I had no time to answer as I was pushed along by the throng of people all intent of getting through, changed and home in time enough to catch X-Factor.
I excitedly darted in and out of the much needed steaming shower and out into the long and brightly lit main corridor of the swimming hall. Unsure of if it was just a friendly wait for me or a flirting one. Even more absurdly I felt a tantalising closeness to him again unsure whether it was just the beginnings of a good friendship or something deeper. There he leant against the wall. His I-pod in, stood as the image I would long know him as. It was stupid to find myself interested in him, I didn’t particularly know him in truth, but I felt I did and what I did not know I wanted to uncover.
Conversation followed. I can re-run through every single movement of that walk across the road back to our own school.
We took the left way across the swimming facility’s car park. It was in front of the new music block he asked for my phone number, which I all too blushingly obliged him with. I was lucky it was dark. The evening was mild, not too cold, although I doubt I would have noticed if it was. The wind stayed low for us and the sky was clear as we began to walk over the road.
Unfortunately the water had rehydrated my hair causing it to frizz and swirl wildly like a climbing vine ending at the roots. I had been forced to throw it into a scruffy ponytail which I hate. We ran across the silent road and the stone school gate way sat ahead.
“You look beautiful like that.” He shone his bright phone light onto my hair. One hand dropped down and gently curled itself around my waist pulling me close to him sending electric shivers through my spine. We walked only a few slow steps more before we again stopped. He gently turned me towards him and as a natural magnetism we both drew closer. Elliot’s eyes shone in the moonlight almost bewitching me.
If I think back enough I can still feel him pressed against me, the moments slowed as I drew up and he slowly moved in to a kiss which I was all too happy to partake in. It was soft and tempting; we kissed for an undefined amount of time in my mind. Possibly because I have spent so much time reflecting in those sweet moments or perhaps because I was far more engrossed in the kiss to realise time.
The air around me fizzed and the second I touched his lips I felt the rest of my body melt away the only sensation came from his mouth and tongue. I felt weightless as I slid my tiny hands delicately up onto his wide shoulders. I don’t think my heart has ever beaten with such ferocity or heat. The sheer build up to this life changing second had left me in awe, to me nothing else mattered for that moment. A true feeling of being free.
We walked hand in hand grinning like the idiots we were; silently he whispered light as air as the words hung in the air around my ears, filling my mind with an uncontrollable sense of hope and joy.
“Go out with me?” He suggested.
I grinned once more nodding. Oblivious to the world or any shocked onlookers we kissed one more time before parting ways. I still have the first text he sent me moments before I collapsed into my car, over come with the adrenaline of what had just happened.
News spread like wildfire and within an hour I had received several shocked and congratulating texts.
Thus it began almost eight months ago, changing forever the course of the next year possibly even longer for me.