1965, the year that changed my life
Alone at last!Saturday 20th November 1965
1. I don’t remember how much I saw of Audrey in the next few days, but I do know that she came to see me in Thornton on the following Saturday. We went for a walk, and turning left into the playing field on Hawthorne Road, just before the old cottages, we sat on a bench.
"The old cottages" — now long-since demolished My perception was, that if you were going out with a girl, you kissed her; but here we were, three days later, and nothing had happened.
So I said to her, “Give us a kiss!”, but all she did was briefly press her lips to my cheek. That wasn’t what I meant, so I tilted her head round and kissed her on the mouth. Because I had to do that, it is evident to me that she had never kissed a boy before.
2. I felt a bit embarrassed sometimes because she was so young. Although she was eligible for half-fare on buses, I would pay the full fare for her. In church she wore dresses and looked quite mature — she would have passed for fifteen or sixteen — but when she was out she often wore a blue, quilted anorak and looked quite like the thirteen-year-old that she was.
3. One day, perhaps a Saturday again, I was walking with Audrey along Beechwood Drive, Thornton, past the shops, in the direction of Fleetwood Road and my house. We were on the left pavement [sidewalk], and Maxine Lang, a girl in either my year or the one below at Fleetwood Grammar School, appeared on the opposite side and beckoned me over.
“Who’s that?” she snapped at me, pointing at Audrey who was still on the other side. It was as if she considered that I had no right to be with her. “Bit young, isn’t she?” she added. After a pause, she concluded, equally curtly: “I don’t like her.”
Maxine Lang was freckle-faced and attractive. She had brown hair with perhaps just a reddish tinge, and cute little ears which stuck out slightly, poking through her hair. She was friendly in a tending-to-violent sort of way. The quilted anorak that she wore — red in her case — didn’t seem to reduce her years, as it did with Audrey.
I have since then derived pleasure from the memory of Maxine Lang’s ostensible indignation. If circumstances had been different, perhaps I could have gone out with her.
I encourage Audrey to serve the Lord
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