Wednesday, 10 September 2014

My first kiss?

"I dare you" Philip whispered. It was very early in the morning just after dawn. He should have been facing the other way in his bed, but he was not used to talking out of the back of his head, so he preferred to break the school rule:

All boys  must go to sleep facing the far end of the dormitory lying on the right side of their bodies ( a posture that endures with me to this day- the one I am most comfortable with).

This rule was intended to deter chatting amongst the thirty  - three rows of ten- boys in this long room with its five large windows left open whenever possible with their wooden shutters that could be closed in poor weather. We were sleeping, after all, in one of the four dormitories of Hunters Hill Open Air School, Blackwell, just to the south of Birmingham, near Bromsgrove. I was ten, preparing to move back home and enter if at all possible King Edward VI Five Ways Grammar School.

Miss Maguire had her small bedroom immediately next to the dormitory so that she was handy to deal with any misbehaviour from her 30 charges.

" Dare you" Philip whispered again." I dare you to go and kiss Miss Maguire."

My what a challenge for me, a well behaved ten year old to kiss Miss Maguire, my favourite teacher, while she slept in a room next to ours: one I'd never been in before, so had no idea where in the room she slept.

"You're on" I stated nervously.

I got out of bed in my pyjamas and crept gingerly to her bedroom door. It was a terrifying challenge . But then I really liked Miss Maguire. She gave me extra tuition after school in Maths, a subject that was to become my best subject throughout my life. Fist at school and then on after that at university.

After what must have seemed hours to Philip, I summoned up the courage to turn the door handle and enter forbidden territory. It would be a very gentle kiss - my lips just touching her cheek and my teacher would never notice as she slept so would never know . Then, I would have complete my dare without waking her and being discovered. 
I was in. I could hear her regular breathing  so I could tell where she slept. Her head was just discernible  on her pillow in the very early morning light.

Panic: I had a big unexpected problem. Only the top of her head was visible- her face was under her blankets and sheet.This wasn't going to be easy at all. By my definition. a kiss involved my lips touching skin and not just hair.  I'd come this far I wasn't returning to admit defeat.

Nothing for it but to very slowly draw back the covers so that some skin would eventually appear. I worked very slowly to achieve my goal a fraction of an inch at a time.

Suddenly, the sleeping body reared up. Time to achieve a quick exit as the bedroom light flashed on.

"Come back immediately" was the demand. I stopped dead in my tracks and considered. No name had been used.

"Come back who ever you are". Yes I could escape unknown. Trouble was: I was honest to the core and would get found out anyway. Best to go back and face the limelight. I re-entered into the now  blinding light - I was at the mercy of my teacher.

"So Dellow. What did you want? What were you doing ?'

A very sheepish quiet voice replied very hesitantly "I, I , I,  was just trying to kiss you Miss."

 Silence -while Miss Maguire took in the situation.

"Go back to bed".

 I left wondering what would happen to me in the morning.

Philip awaited my return wide eyed "You were a long time: I thought you'd chickened out" I had failed my bet - never-the- less there was obviously admiration in his voice.

I returned to the safety of my bed and took up my correct position on me right side ready for sleep. Thinking what will happen next . . .I quickly dozed off. Miss Maguire hadn't appeared too upset after all.

Next day school continued as normal : not a word was said about what had happened. Philip kept the story to himself. We were mates after all.

Miss Maguire took no action.

Did I get get some rather curious looks from the other teachers? I asked myself. Or was Miss Maguire keeping her little story to herself?

Thanks to the tuition from my favourite teacher I went on to do well at my grammar school. Sadly a school devoid of any female teachers. It was a boy's grammar school after all.


Gladys said...

A charming story.

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant tale .....

the words carried you through wanting to know the outcome, another string to the bow .... story teller ..... when are you going to get published?

When is the next instalment??


Geoff Dellow said...

I've set myself a challenge now.

Matching your expectations, Julie, will require more inspiration.

I guess I need to read more books to pick up from others how to keep tell tales well. At least your encouragment will spur me on.