Saturday, 3 October 2009
The First Kiss
"Granddad, don't you hate it when girls kiss you?"
I looked up from trying to assemble the Lego pieces as we together attempted to make the required toy model from the instructions.
"Well, no, not usually"
My grandson then went on to explain about the pesky girls at school that tended to want ownership of one of the boys in class and he clearly had struck lucky. Or was that unlucky? He obviously thought so.
"Granddad, did girls kiss you at school?"
I tried to remember. It was long time ago. A very long time ago. No I couldn't think of one instance.
Or could I?
I think I was about ten at the time and had just changed schools. It was a bit difficult to fit in to the new school after moving house and setting up in a new town in the middle of term. However I found the schoolwork easy and some of the boys were interested in where I had come from.
It was the first music lesson that changed everything. I was not a singer and instead of sitting at our desks, we all had to stand up and being taller than most I had to stand at the back with the other tall children.
I was concerned that instead of standing with the boys I somehow was standing with a girl at my side. Tall like me she smiled sweetly at me and the singing lesson started. I mumbled away and hoped I was inconspicuous. I glanced to my side and saw that the girl by my side had very long hair that hung down her back. Her face was smooth and she had cute nose and dark brown eyes. Those eyes kept glancing my way. She then smiled at me and reached for my hand and held it in hers. It seemed so natural, so right that I didn't withdraw it from her grasp and we stayed like that until the end of the lesson.
We had not said a word.
I don't know what made me look for her as we were dismissed at the end of the day, but I did and she too seemed to be waiting for me. She said she lived only a short way from school. Her mother was housekeeper for the priest in a large vicarage she said.
"Would I like to see where I live?
I mumbled a yes and grabbing hold of my hand again she took me home.
Her mother was there waiting for her and said "Who is this?"
"Oh, this is Robin he is new at school" was her reply.
We we ushered into the house which was enormous by my standards and given glass of cordial and a biscuit and after being shown around I was escorted to the door.
Her mother had disappeared and as we said "Good bye" and "See you tomorrow" she bent over and kissed me on the lips. That was the very first time that I had ever been kissed by someone who I was not not related to. It was a moment of revelation. Something had happened that had never happened before. I had been changed forever.
I had been kissed!
By a girl!
All those years ago.
And don't even remember her name.
"Granddad? Why are you crying?"
"Because I can't even remember her name."
(Goody Goody postcard by Dinah c.1945)