Then time turned. We were not expecting it. People expect one thing to follow another as they always have done. When they don’t, we are thrown into confusion and uncertainty.
She should have walked away, left me there, and gone back to the old life that was waiting for her.
She had family: husband and children and all the entangled relationships that entails; a web of responsibility that flowed from her, but also entangled her in its sticky bonds. It was that web she’d untangled herself from when she fell into my arms at that party.
I left the hall, the disco playing songs that I’d never heard of, feeling really drunk for the first time in my young life. ‘Sixteen is old enough for your first pint,’ my father had said, not knowing – or, at least, not admitting he knew – I’d been drinking in pubs for several months before that. Back in those days, it was up to the landlord to decide if he liked the look of you, not some law made by distant politicians, which decided these things. Consequently, there was hardly any of the binge drinking mayhem that my kids have to wade through these days if they want to go anywhere for an evening out.
Anyway, that first pint was not the last one that night.
She was outside, having a secret smoke – everyone thought she’d quit – not that it was a big deal in those days, everyone – more or less – smoked, even us kids. Deidre and her husband, Sam, had been friends with my parents for as long as I could remember, and going back long before I was born. She had been ‘Auntie Deidre’ up until I decided in a typically childish manner that as she was not a real auntie, not any relation at all, I was too old for such affectations.
Lately, though, I’d noticed a change in her manner towards me. She stood close, insisted on kissing me when ever we met and – on a couple of occasions at parties and so forth - she’d made a point of sitting on my lap… and she knew exactly where to sit, turning to smile at me in a rather knowing way as she ‘just making myself comfortable’ squirmed into my already keenly-stiffening erection.
She saw me coming and glanced down at the cigarette in her hand, its end bright with her lipstick. ‘It’s a fair cop,’ she said when she saw the look on my face.
I shrugged and she handed me the cigarette. I took a drag.
‘You look so much like your dad did when he was your age. I fancied him so much.’ She tottered forward and stumbled against me, obviously drunker than I was. I made to hand her the cigarette back, and then – somehow – we were kissing… and that was how it began.
It didn’t end until much later, but that and all that lay between that first kiss and that much later was another story.