Do You Remember The First Time?

I was deflowered, lost my innocence, lost my virginity, my maidenhood, first got laid, popped my cherry, however you want to say it, on a brightly coloured, long pile, synthetic shag fur rug on the floor of my boyfriends lounge.  The mood was set with Up Around The Bend by Hanoi Rocks playing & recording on the stereo tape to tape deck ( I still have the tape) just loud enough so that you could still hear the birds and cars outside just above the melody of Michael Monroe’s overly feminine Finnish voice. It was a hot sultry August afternoon, sun high in the bright blue cloudless sky but we were inside, hiding, we had drawn the curtains to keep it and prying eyes out.
This day had been a short time coming, it was the culmination of months of chasing and weeks of foreplay and abstinence. I was primed, every copy of Just 17 I had eagerly read had told me what to expect, how best to do it, what an orgasm was (theres a plateau don’t you know.), the best colour lipstick to wear to attract a boy. Well apparently you don’t need to know all that , you just have to be a willing subject. He was eager, very, very eager. We started kissing & fumbling on the sofa and fell onto the floor, an emotional whirlwind roaming in my body, my skin magnetic, it was drawing him to touch me, to be in me, my mind swirling with the enormity of what we were doing, how far we were going. Then, surprised at how easy it was, how natural it felt but also how alien, up until then it had been all hands & fingers, lips on soft skin, now it was no hands, no fingers involved, then it was done, this was something else. This was fantastic, everything Just 17 had promised. Why had we waited so long? Why are you not allowed to do this all the time? Why is it not talked about more in school but in a good light rather than the ‘your genitals will curl up and fall off & you’ll have a baby if you look at each other the wrong way’ manner? Can we do this all day, all the time?? I was surprised how good it felt, how painless, how naughty and grown up we were. The euphoria of the moment mixed with bewilderment, shock and a smugness, pleased with myself at being so grown up, so sexually alluring, for not crying in pain but also guilty & ashamed at myself for relenting, giving in to his advances betraying my mothers words of keeping myself pure. But we were doing “it” I was doing “it” with “him” the boy everyone wanted to be with, a catch. We lay there holding each other, then had another go, our tight teenage bodies electric, hot, sticky, trembling.
The feelings of pleasure, achievement & joy didn’t last long, we were interrupted, by his Dad, coming home from work early, the Dad that didn’t like me, had expressed a notion that I was out to trap his son, (I wasn’t, although we probably, most definitely should have worn a condom). The distinct sound of his Dads works van engine cutting through our intimate bubble like a parental siren. The van door closing, the keys locking the door, the boots around the van, across the pavement, on the steps, the key in the front door, the walk through the passage to the lounge door, we had about 30 seconds to gather some kind of composure & clothing. He shot naked for the bathroom, which was luckily downstairs, while I dived for the sofa, skirt & T-shirt somehow on but askew, underwear crunched in a ball in my hand. The room was thick with teenage hormones and the smell of hot sticky fumbling first time sex, his father knew what had been going on as soon as he opened the lounge door, it must of hit him like a wet, hormone soaked towel slap to the face. My luminous glow would have given the game away anyway, I may as well of had a neon flashing sign above my head flashing “WHORE” in bright pink bold letters. Mike Monroe forebodingly sang ‘Tradgedy’ through the rattling old speakers of the stereo while I perched dizzily in shock. I couldn’t speak or look his Dad in the face, I just sat on the edge of the sofa gripping my g-string in a tight white fist, bra on but undone. I smiled as innocently as was possible staring at the ruffed patch on the fireplace synthetic fur rug, wishing his Dad would remember he’d left his jacket in his van or forgot to get milk, something, anything to make him leave and stop glaring at me with his paternal ‘I know exactly whats been going on here’ glare over his metal framed glasses. But he didn’t. He just tutted disapprovingly and looked at me as if I was dirt. My boyfriend came out of the bathroom just in time to stop me crying in fear and guilt and shame, a towel wrapped around his waist, water dripping off his pale, firm young man body that had so recently been on top of me, in me, gently rubbing me against the fibres of the synthetic coloured rug, creating static that had now made the back of my hair have a crackly life of its own. He was trying to look as if he’d just showered, it wasn’t very convincing. I urgently darted past him, my hair making a tune of tiny crackles as I walked & leaving him to deal with his very annoyed father, into the now empty bathroom to address my bits, check for the floods of blood I’d expected and reapply my knickers which had practically disappeared into my skin I’d been gripping them so tightly in my hand. There was very little blood to show for the huge momentous event, no telltale bloom, no Carrie-esque event Id been warned about by my God fearing Stephen King reading Mother. I looked at myself in the mirror, I was what you could call dishevelled, I was smiling a wry smile, I was looking to see if I looked any different, I didn’t, I just looked hot & ruffled like a girl that had just been caught with her knickers in her hand having just had sex for the first time on a fake fur brightly coloured shag pile rug in front of the fireplace in the house of the man shouting loudly outside the bathroom door (breathe). I could hear them arguing, they were arguing about me, us, what had been going on. We were turfed out of the house in a barrage of parental fury into the streaming, August afternoon, glorious sunlight.
We were both 15 (I know!). Euphoric we walked hand in hand to the Italian cafe on the square & bought cream cakes & cans of coke & sat on a wall devouring them as was had each other an hour earlier. My hair crackled with static as he put his hand through it to turn my face towards him to lick cream off my top lip.  Oh how I loved him, I was intoxicated by him, was totally enveloped by him, he was my first love, my first lover, I was addicted, obsessed.  I would have done anything for him, I loved him so much, that Friday Afternoon in August 1986…

“I will remember your small room, the feel of you, the light in the window, your records, your books, our morning coffee, our noons, our nights, our bodies spilled together, sleeping, the tiny flowing currents, immediate and forever. Your leg, my leg, your arm, my arm, your smile and the warmth of you who made me laugh again.”
― Chales Bukowski

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As one door closes another door opens.

I was drunk, he was more drunk. It was my intention to go out that night and drown my sorrows, I did. There was a band playing in a local club, we both went, not together, we ignored each other all night as usual, men & women rarely mixed in my social circle, keeping separate, old engrained ideas from the days of the working men’s clubs and just tended to meet back at the house, a house, any house, wherever they were invited or ended up. He left the club before me, he said he had an interview in the morning for a job he had no intention of getting, he’d been unemployed for months & had no intention of finding anything to contribute to the bills but didn’t mind drinking & smoking away our money as much as possible, so this interview was just a way of placating me and his Mum and the DWP into thinking he was trying, oh he was very trying. I got in an hour later, I’d walked home alone, the cold December air sobering me up with icy fingers, he was in bed, my bed, how dare he be in my bed, it was my bed, my space, he’d slept on the sofa for the past few months, why did he think it would be ok to come into my bed tonight? Invade my sanctuary, tonight of all nights. I really needed to sleep alone tonight. 

Earlier I’d had a phone call, a phone call off the man that was supposed to be taking me away from him, wanted to run away with me, the man that made me feel good about myself, made me feel attractive, sexy, wanted, confident, I’d forgotten how that felt feeling confident, sexy, he met me at a time when I felt trapped, unloved, under valued, hungover. He was ringing me from Bali, 15 mins after his wedding ceremony to tell me he’s made a mistake, he shouldn’t have gone, wishes he was here with me, he’s 2years too late, I’m already married, to the monster, the thing that won’t let me go. He thing in my bed.  He told me over this crackly phone line he loved me, asked me if I was ok, told me he loved me again as if pleading with me to reach through the phone line and pull him through it. I told him “no, no you don’t love me, but thank you, go and be with your new wife”. I hung up. We’d started the affair 2 months earlier & 6 months after I had last bared to be touched by the monster, I didn’t see it as being unfaithful but it was. I felt sorry for his wife, the new bride that had no idea about me, us, no idea her new husband was only 15 mins into their marriage and was betraying her, no idea the whole time she was planning their marriage he was planning how to get out of it. We had sex in her spare room because I couldn’t allow myself to lay in another woman’s bed, but didn’t seem to mind laying with her man, in her home, in her guest bedding with her old uni photo laid face down on the bedside table so we didn’t have her looking at us. No idea her husbands late evening call outs were actually liaisons in cars in remote hillside forests in the dark. His afternoons & mornings off spent with me. No idea her new husband loved me. I felt guilty, ashamed, but at the time, when I was with him, bloody great, he made me feel happy, made me feel alive, made life exciting and gave me a glimpse of other opportunities beyond my current life.

I nudged him, asked him to get out of my bed, please. Asked him why was he in there? Told him to get out, demanded he got out. He woke with a growl, a red flash in his eyes which were already clouded with mist. Tired I sat on the edge of the bed, a mistake, he sat up, turned to me and launched. He grabbed me with both hands by the throat and applied pressure, pushing me down on to the mattress, he was choking me and shouting in my face. His hand wrapped completely around my throat, I was panicking, he was not going to let go until I stopped breathing, all I could think about was the little hyoid bone in my throat, that little bone he now had his thumbs on, that with enough applied pressure can just break and choke you. Thats what he was trying to do, to me. I tried to get free, thrashing on the bed under him, hitting the wall as my arms flayed trying to hit him off me. I was pinned, his great size twice mine, I was trying to punch him. I couldn’t breathe, his grasp was getting tighter, everything was starting to go into slow motion, stars were whizzing before my eyes. His face a hissing grimace spitting words into my face as he tried to remove my head from my neck. I was trying to get him to release my throat. I connected a blow to the side of his head, it was a feeble attempt to make him let go, he did for a second, he let go with one hand and punched me back, the punch glanced off my forehead, his watch strap tearing a line across my brow. I managed to get my knee up and catch him right where I wanted to connect, hard. He let go and was enraged but I managed to squirm out of his grasp and got to my feet. Gasping for air I lurched towards the bedroom door, he lurched after me. He was on me on the landing, I was dizzy, trying to breathe, trying to get my balance, he grabbed my hair, caught me off balance causing me to trip and hit my face on a plant pot on the landing, I always hated that plant pot, the dog came to my aid snapping at him, but he kicked her down the stairs, I heard her yelp as she hit the floor. He stepped over me kicking me in the stomach as he went. He left me prone on the landing and ran down the stairs, he was shouting that he was going to kill me, that I was a bitch, slut, slag, whore, twat, that I deserved to die. I heard him in the kitchen, heard the cutlery drawer open. I got to my knees, wondering how I was going to get out of this. My throat hurt, my head hurt, my stomach hurt. There was no way out that wouldn’t mean passing him. I could climb out the landing window, it was the fire escape window so opened wide and the drop wasn’t too far but I didn’t have time. 

This wasn’t the first time he’d beaten me, for our first wedding anniversary he broke my nose and fractured my eye socket, I’d had to hide every time my Mum visited so she didn’t see the bruises, told work I’d fallen off my bike and hit my head on a tree. The New Year just gone he broke my collar bone by throwing me across the living room because I wanted to sleep on the sofa instead of going to bed with him, hed picked me up by my arm & leg as I slept and threw me, he wouldn’t let me go to the hospital & left me for a day in pain until my friend came and helped. I told everyone I’d fallen over drunk, what a clumsy oaf I am, what a fool, haha. But I’d stayed, too afraid to leave him, to ashamed to admit to the world that I was allowing this to happen, too ashamed to tell my family I was stupid, made a huge mistake, didn’t want to be married to this monster, didn’t even like him before I married him. Got myself in a mess I didn’t know how to get out of. The hospital was going to file a report the next time I went in. 

He was stood at the bottom of the stairs a bread knife in each hand, he was shouting how he was going to stab me, how I deserved it. At that point I looked at the knives and knew he was capable of carrying out his threat and at that point I welcomed it, an escape, a way out, an end. There was a knock at the front door, the sound broke through the situation, he stopped shouting, turned and walked towards the door, I thought this was weird, the way he just stopped, just went to answer the door as if resigned to being caught. He opened the door, still holding the knives. It was my neighbour, he heard banging and screaming and wondered if everything was ok? He knew what had been going on next door, hed heard me crying through the wall more than once. He had come to save me. He ushered him into the living room and shut the door behind them, I could hear them talking. I came downstairs, the living room door opened, I cringed expecting him, it was the neighbour. Behind him I could see the monster sat on the sofa, the knives on the floor by his feet, his head in his hands, he closed the door & looked at me. When he looked I knew I must have been in a state by the way he frowned, he asked me if I was ok, if I wanted to call the police, told me to go into his house where I would be safe. Told me to go now. I didn’t want to call the police, I was in shock, I just wanted to leave as soon as possible. I got out, knew this was the end, there was no more hiding what he was doing, finally I could leave him. This was my exit. It was over, I finally had the guts to file for divorce. I was shaking so badly I could hardly stand. I left with my handbag, the dog and my mobile phone, it told me I had 1 message, on it was a text message that said, “I love you, I wish I’d never got married”.  His anniversary will always be the date I escaped. As one door closes another door opens.