Love - Existentially

by John Teller

Part 10

Book Six - When Englishmen were boys

Stuart Begbie.

Monday morning. I watch Michael organising 'his' boys. Then he sends them into school. Just before he disappears, he looks at me and then turns away. I spend most of the day thinking about him, but during breaks I stay well clear of him. I'll be seeing him by the church tomorrow. I can wait.

Tuesday, and it's an absolutely awful day; cold, and it never stops raining. At lunchtime, I'm outside with my chums, sheltering under the lee of the Main Hall when I see Michael walking up the school drive. He walks directly to the group I'm with and tells us to go inside out of the rain. He comes to me, adjusts my cap, and says, "Begbie, you silly boy! Keep your cap on properly! You'll catch your death of cold waiting around outside in the rain. When I see you tomorrow, you'd better be properly dressed! And if it's still raining, I don't want you hanging around anywhere outside. Do you understand me?"

I look at him, and nod. "Yes Johnson." I'm not miserable when I go into the school. Michael has just told me not to wait for him tonight, and if it's still raining tomorrow, not then either.

And it's Thursday before the weather is decent enough for me to wait for him. I'm almost hidden by the gate to the church when I see Michael exit the school gates and walk towards me, and then I step out and wait for him. He smiles that beautiful smile of his, and I grin at him when I say, "I thought I was never going to see you again."

He looks at me; teasingly. "Would that upset you?"

My face is not amused when I answer him. "You know it would. Have you made plans for Saturday?"

"For us, you mean?"


"Would you like to go to the cinema? The Gaumont is showing The Colditz Story. John Mills is in it. It should be good, and there's no problem you getting in. Can you swing it with your parents?"

I like the idea. Sitting in the dark with Michael is exactly what I'd like. "I'll ask them tonight and let you know tomorrow. Will that be okay?"

"Super. I looked in the paper last night. The first film begins at two. The main film ends at five. That should get you home early so that they're not worried about you. You'll be home about five-thirty if we can get a bus connection to Brooklands."

"Sounds fine. I'll nod to you at school tomorrow if they say 'yes'. Shall I meet you outside The Gaumont?"

"Yes. I'll be waiting for you. Was everything alright with them about the swimming?"

I laugh. "Yes, but I didn't tell them I'd dived off the top stage. They would have grounded me for a month if they knew I'd done that."

Michael laughs. "I'll ground you for a month, and put you on detention if you do that again. I nearly died when I saw you do it."

"It served its purpose, didn't it?"

Immediately, Michael goes shy on me again. Very softly, with his head down, he answers me. "Yes, but don't do anything foolish like that again."

I need to use every bit of this situation to make more progress with Michael, so I ask him, "Would it bother you if I hurt myself?"

Still he has his head down. "You know it would."

Now I have the opportunity to really push him. "Because you love me? Do you love me, Michael? I've told you that I love you. I never stop thinking about you. Do you think about me when we're apart?"

"Yes. All the time. Day and night."

"Because you love me?"

Michael's voice is soft and almost inaudible when he says "Because I love you", and I'm elated, but I also know that it took an almighty effort from Michael to admit it through his barrier of shyness. I need to reward him, not by words, because that will complicate things, so I reach for his hand and lock my own with his, and squeeze it. He squeezes back. There, it's done. We've both declared our love for each other. And Michael rewards me for helping him say what he had difficulty saying. Just as I'm about to board the bus, he calls to me. I turn. His face is serious. "Play my record tonight... but this time the words are from me."

I stare at him, as serious as he is, and I nod. "I will. I promise."

It's raining again as I get off the bus in the City Centre, and after I've adjusted my clothing, I race down to the cinema. The bus was late. I'm late. It's almost a quarter past two when I get to the cinema and see Michael in the foyer. He looks relieved when I open the door and go to him. "Sorry I'm late. The bus was late."

He smiles. "It's okay. The first film has started, but we haven't missed much of it. It's not that good, anyway."

"What is it?"

Michael laughs. "Tarza – Son of Cochise."

Now we're both giggling. I look at the prices and give Michael the money for my half-price ticket, and we go to the kiosk and he gets one adult and one under sixteen tickets. Well, they're not tickets; they're metal discs that shoot noisily from a chute-type dispenser. We're seated downstairs, so we walk to the entrance to the auditorium. A lady takes our 'tickets' and takes us in. It's dark, and we follow her flashlight. I was hoping that we could get a place at the back, up the corner, but she leads us down the aisle and flashes her light along a row of empty seats about halfway down the auditorium. Well, at least we're pretty much alone. Michael lets me go first, so I make my way almost to the middle of the row and sit down. Michael sits beside me... to my left. With a bit of a struggle I take off my Burberry and turn it inside out so the dry side is on my lap. Michael does the same and we sit staring at the screen. I'm nervous, but I'm also excited. I have been since Mother and Father said I could go to the cinema with my chums.

I stare at the screen, but I'm not watching the film. The only thing on my mind is that Michael, the young man I love, is sitting beside me and we're in the dark and I want sex with him. He fiddles in his coat, takes out a bag of boiled sweets, and offers one to me. I take one and smile at him. He smiles back. Because his smile is a shy one, I'm pleased. It tells me that he's very much aware of the intimacy of the moment, but I know that if we sit in the cinema for a month and I don't make the first move, nothing will happen. So I begin to enact the plotting I'd done last night while I was in bed.

We've been in the cinema for about twenty minutes when, very slowly, I open my legs so that my knee touches Michael's. He doesn't move it away. I press harder. The fact that his leg isn't moving tells me that he's applying an opposite force. His arm is on the seat rest between us, and I place my arm and hand over his. He turns his hand palm up, and we hold hands. After we've been squeezing each other's hands for a while, I drag his hand off the seat rest and down the side of my seat, and slip our hands under my folded raincoat. Now, the back of his hand is touching the outside of my leg. He squeezes my hand. There, it's done, and we sit holding hands for a while. I can feel the warmth of his hand on my thigh. I whisper to him that the film is silly. He giggles. It gives me a chance to, minutely, with exaggerated body movements, move our hands as I turn to talk to him. I now have both our hands on the top of my thigh. I make a joke about one of the characters on the screen, and he giggles and pushes my shoulder with his and whispers to me to be quiet. All these small movements have given me the opportunity to pull Michael's hand further over my thigh. I turn around to look at the back of the auditorium, and when I do, I pull our hands right up to the top of my thigh. Almost there. All I need to do now is pull our hands down between my legs, and I'm trembling and my heart is thumping like the Red Indian drum beats on the film.

Damn! I'm inwardly furious as the film ends right when I didn't want it to and the lights go up for the intermission. Michael withdraws his hand and we act as if nothing has happened. And then he asks, "Would you like an ice-cream?"

I grin at him. "I'll get them. You got the tea and biscuits at the baths."

Michael Johnson.

Stuart gets up to get the ice-creams and I watch him walk down to the front of the auditorium and stand at the back of the small queue, waiting to be served by the lady with her tray full of goodies. I can't take my eyes off him. He's gorgeous, and he's just had my hand almost to Paradise. If I had any doubts before about what sort of 'Special Friendship' this was going to be, I have very few now. I'm certain that Stuart wants me to touch him 'there'. And so do I. Although I never actually got to touch it, just knowing that my hand was no more than fraction away was amazingly sexual, and my pants are damp with the seminal fluid that escaped from me because of the sensuality of the situation of feeling the warmth and softness of the creamy thighs that I want to kiss so badly. God! I hate my shyness! I can't help it, and I know that I'll have to wait for Stuart to make things happen.

Stuart comes back, smiling at me and he hands me a tub of ice cream and a small wooden spoon. We open our ice creams and eat them, and then we chat about how he wangled going to the cinema. I laugh when he tells me that he used the 'chums' excuse again.

I look around the auditorium. There are not many people in here. Probably the bad weather has put them off going. I wouldn't be here myself unless I was going to see the boy I love.

The boy I love: he's beside me, and I take every opportunity to observe him. He's dressed in brown corduroy trousers, a check sports jacket over a dark green pullover, and now he's taken off his scarf and raincoat, I can see that he's not wearing a tie and his shirt is open, and he's got a gold chain around his neck. His jacket is open and I can see everything below his pullover. I know what his legs are like under his trousers. I couldn't take my eyes off them last week at the swimming baths. I couldn't keep my hands off them either. They're superb and soft and supple when he's relaxed, but what's right at the top of them is a mystery to me. I wonder if he's got hairs yet, and if he's reached the stage when he's capable of a proper ejaculation? I could when I was his age. Stuart's voice is half broken, so I'm assuming he's got there. The thought arouses me.

The gold chain sparkles in the lights, and I touch it and ask, "Is that gold?"

Stuart lifts it from his neck and looks down at it. "Yes. 24 carat. It was one of my gifts for my thirteenth birthday." He looks into my eyes, and giggles. "For becoming a teenager. Do you like it?"

I reach across and take it in my hand and examine it, and I make sure my fingers are in contact with the skin of his upper chest when I do. And then I tell him, "It's beautiful, like your golden hair."

I realise the moment I say it that I'm letting out my inner thoughts, and I drop the chain back onto Stuart's neck and turn away, but before I do, I see the gleam in his eyes and I know he knows that I was thinking out loud. I get out my boiled sweets to try and avert our conversation, but I'm too late.

"Your hair is beautiful, too, Michael. What style is it?"

I squirm inwardly with embarrassment, and grin. "I wanted to look like James Dean."

Stuart laughs, and then, with his head on one side, he studies my face. "Actually, you do look like James Dean. How strange, I never realised it before! You should be a film star."

Now I am embarrassed! "Rubbish!"

Stuart is giggling at my embarrassment. "It's not rubbish. You're the best-looking boy in school. Why else do you think I wanted to be special friends with you?"

Now we're both giggling, and I decide to match his witticism. "For my wealth?"

Stuart gurgles with laughter and his gorgeous face is alight with amusement. And then he stops giggling and stares into my eyes. "Money couldn't buy what I see."

I cock my head to one side and give him a quizzical look. "And what do you see?"

Our eyes are locked, and I can't unlock them. The blue eyes that are staring into mine have a hold on me... on my inner self. It seems an eternity, and then the moment is broken as the lights dim for the end of the intermission, and the question remains unanswered as I turn and watch the curtains draw back to reveal the screen.

Stuart Begbie.

The film begins. I'm still trembling because I was about to tell Michael that I was seeing the most beautiful person I've ever seen, and that I love him more than anything in the world. It had been the perfect moment, but when the lights went out he had turned away. I glance sideways, and down, and I notice that Michael has not put his coat on his knee. It's on the chair beside him. I'm not pleased. I want to discover as much of Michael as I want him to discover of me. But his left arm is on the seat arm, and I know he's waiting for me to make a move to take it back to where we were before the intermission. I decide to wait and see what he will do, so I just let my own arm rest on my leg. At some point, Michael has to start and learn to do things himself. I'm his if he wants me. He knows that by now. After fifteen minutes of watching the film, Michael leans over and whispers in my ear. "Can we hold hands again?"

I'm elated. That had taken courage. In different circumstances and with somebody else, it would be like them asking if they could remove my trousers. The thought makes me giggle inwardly. But this is not 'somebody else', this is my ultra-shy Michael. However, because he's helped himself, I will help him, so I pick up my own coat, which is on the seat beside me, and pretend to get something out of my pocket and then I fold it and place it across my lap, and with my left hand I manipulate things so that it's available and not tucked away. The moment I've done it, Michael lets his arm slip over the armrest and he shoves his hand under my coat. My own hand is waiting for him, and we grip hands tightly. I squeeze his hand, and he squeezes back.

The first half was about subtlety, but now I can get on with things, and I turn his hand so that it's on my leg, and I press it onto my inner thigh and stroke the back of his hand. He responds by stroking me with his fingers and thumb. Oh, God! This is fantastic!

I'm thinking now. What will happen if I take things too far? Will it be too soon? Will Michael think I'm a pervert? Mixed thoughts, and the one thing I don't want to do is spoil what's happening. Michael seems content with what we're doing. If he wants to do more he could easily do it. But he hasn't. Why? Not yet. Michael isn't ready for that yet. But I'm so worked up that I can't let this opportunity pass. I can't. It's what I've been dreaming about. So I slip my left hand into my trouser pocket and fiddle about until I'm holding myself. This is classroom stuff... and I'm an expert at it. Michael must know what I'm doing, but I decide that if he doesn't take his hand away, I know he's okay with it. But, ideally, to make this really special, I want Michael's hand at least touching part of me. So, while I'm doing classroom stuff, I open my legs slightly and manipulate his hand until it's right between my thighs and as far up as I can get it. Yippee! Movement... from Michael! I think it's his little finger doing the stroking. Whatever it is, the sensations of his caresses matching my own movements are sensational, and they take me over the top, and trying desperately to stifle the animalistic noises I usually make when I climax, I lock my legs onto Michael's hand and experience the most fantastic sexual moment I've ever had, and because it's so fantastic, I soak my underpants.

When I've fully recovered from the fabulous experience, I tell Michael that I need to go to the toilet. He nods, but doesn't say anything. I walk up the auditorium and follow the signs to the Gent's toilet. I have to pass the lady-with-the-lamp, and as I do, I'm sure she's looking at me in a funny way. She's got a view of everything in front of her, and I wonder if she was watching us. That thought scares me. What if she'd seen us and come and shone her light on us? We would have been in big trouble. I'm not so pleased with myself now.

I lock the door of the toilet and pull down my trousers and underpants. Only then do I remember that I've left my handkerchief in my raincoat pocket!

Izal toilet paper! The most useless, impervious rubbish ever invented! It's like greaseproof paper, and instead of wiping myself clean, I only manage to spread the stuff everywhere, and I almost fill the toilet bowl with paper before I'm satisfied that I can't do any better, and then I hitch my pants and trousers up and flush the toilet. Thankfully, it all disappears. I go out and wash my hands thoroughly, and then, feeling uncomfortable because my underpants and groin area are still sticky and matted, I go back to the auditorium. As I walk down the dark aisle, the lady-with-the-lamp shines her light to show me the way. It's as if I'm in a spotlight, and I'm massively relieved when I get to my seat and the light is extinguished and I can put my raincoat over my knee again.

Michael looks at me. "I thought you'd run away and left me."

Michael's comment is exactly what I need, and his sense of humour, at exactly the right moment, is perfect. It's the dividing line between what has happened and us being 'normal' again. And I giggle. "I had a poo."

Michael giggles. "I'm glad I didn't go with you then."

I sit, giggling for a while, and then we watch the film. It's as if nothing has happened, but Michael knows different.

He whispers out of the side of his mouth. "Are you okay?"

I turn and look up at him. He turns his head slightly so that we can see each other's eyes. I stare at him, and whisper, "Yes. Are you?"

The look on his face is a loving one, and he whispers, "Yes. Can I hold your hand again?"

I smile at him and lift my raincoat slightly. He slips his hand under it and grasps mine. I squeeze. He squeezes harder, and we stay like that until the film ends.

The rain has stopped and it's almost dark as we walk to the bus station. I look up at Michael. "Have you enjoyed today?"

Michael looks down at me. "Of course I have. I like being with you." He grins. "I'm surprised I hadn't noticed you before."

I give him a quizzical look. "Before?"

He laughs. "Yes. Before... before the Magic Cap landed by my feet. By the way, why haven't I seen you at school before then? Did you blow in with your cap?"

Michael's comment makes me giggle. "No. I only started at the beginning of January. My family moved here from Portsmouth. Father used to live in the city. He was educated at our school. It was the old school though. The one before our new school was built. I'm not very pleased with you though."

Michael looks puzzled. "Why?"

"I noticed you the first day I arrived, but you didn't notice me until the Magic Cap fell by your feet?"

Michael shrugs his shoulders. "I'm sorry. I'm surprised myself that you were under my nose and that I didn't notice you."

I smile. "But you have now."

"You're everywhere with me."

Our eyes are locked now. I pull a silly face. "In bed?"

Michael laughs. "Yes, you're my hot water bottle."

I laugh. "Do you love your hot water bottle?"

It's Michael's turn to pull a silly face. "Of course I do. Do you like being my hot water bottle?"

I grin. "I love being your hot water bottle." Then I decide to tease him. "Where do you put your hot water bottle?"

The innuendo isn't lost on Michael, but he's too clever for me. "By my feet. They stink, so perhaps it's better if you weren't my hot water bottle."

I have to retort. "Maybe you're right. I'll be your pyjamas then."

Michael laughs. "Maybe I don't wear any?"

I look up into his sparkling, amused eyes. "Then I'll be your pillow."

Michael nods. "I'd like that."

The verbal jousting and fun is over. Michael has just admitted that he wants me close to him in his most private moments, and I most certainly want to be with him in mine. We reach the bus station and make our way to my bus stop. A bus, with its engine ticking over, is waiting for the exact time to go. It could be at any moment and we don't have time to dwell. I look at Michael. "Thank you for today. I've loved it. I'll see you on Monday."

Michael looks into my eyes. "I'll see you Monday. Don't forget to play my song."

I grin, and turn away, but just before I get on the bus, I turn back. "Hundreds of times tonight."

I walk down the lower deck of the double-decker bus and take a seat on the side where Michael is. He's watching me. The conductor rings the bell. The driver revs the engine and the bus begins to draw away. I put my fingers to my lips and throw a secret kiss to Michael. He lifts his fingers to his mouth, and almost imperceptibly, does the same.

Michael Johnson.

The house is dark when I get in. I switch on the parlour light as Judy comes running excitedly to me through the middle door, and I scoop her into my arms as I walk into the living room. Coals are glowing in the grate, but no Dada and no Alex. They must have gone to the pub. I turn on the living room light and the parlour one off, and go and poke the fire. The coals flare into flame. I decide to take Judy for a walk before I have dinner, so I get her lead and take her out.

As I walk, I think about the wonderful afternoon I've spent with Stuart. I've never been so happy. Every time I see him I want to hold him and hug him to me. This small boy has turned my world upside down. He's funny, he's very loving, and as I've discovered today, he's a sexy little sod! What he did today, I wouldn't have dared do in a million years. He was right when he said that because he wasn't shy, he would make up for my shyness. He certainly did today. Perhaps he wanted me to do to him what he did to himself? But I just couldn't bring myself to make that final effort. I wish I had. I did want to do it. And I want be in bed with him, holding all of him and kissing him everywhere.

When I get back from the walk, I notice the note on the sideboard, and some cash with it.

Kiddo. Me and Dada have gone to the pub to celebrate Jim McGuire's 80th. We won't be back 'till late. Get something from the chippies, and don't spend the change! Alex. X

I draw the curtains and sit in Dada's chair, eating my fish and chips out of newspaper wrapping. The fire is blazing; Judy is waiting for some scraps. I'm extremely happy; as happy as I've ever been in my life. I wonder what Stuart is eating... probably smoked salmon or something like that. The thought makes me giggle. Later, when he goes to bed, he'll be thinking about me and playing my song. I wonder if he'll be sexy with me when he goes to bed? The thought arouses me and I slip my hand under the chip paper and fondle myself. I finish the fish and chips and put the paper on the floor for Judy to lick off the bits that are left. She'll murder the paper until even the smell has gone, and while she's doing it I get up and go to the kitchen and wash my greasy hands and dry them. Then I go back to the chair, taking a damp cloth with me.

I sit down and undo the buttons of my trousers. I think of Stuart and what he's done today, and I recall the beautiful, small, delicate body that I was drooling over in the swimming baths. I close my eyes and pretend he's with me now.

We're both naked. I stare into his beautiful eyes and look at the sexy lips that remind me of Bridget Bardot. I've never seen lips like his on a boy before. I caress his blond hair and place my hand at the back of his head, and draw his luscious lips to me. We kiss; a long, soft kiss. Ohhhhh yesssss!

I throw the cloth into the fire. It smoulders at first, and then begins to burn. I'm almost sad that what was meant for Stuart is burning away. But now, at least I've got rid of the lust that I'm feeling for my boy. My lovely Stuart. The boy I love so much that he's everywhere with me.

Judy has finished with the chip paper. It's in bits by the hearth. I collect it and throw that in the fire, too. It blazes immediately, and Judy lies down on the hearth rug and falls asleep.

Stuart Begbie.

I'm not playing my music tonight. Instead, I'm in bed, completely naked, and I'm feeling as sexy as hell. I run my hands over my body and pretend they're Michael's. Then I throw the bedclothes back and look down at my body. It's waiting for Michael. It wants Michael.

He's towering over me, his gorgeous, hazel eyes staring down into mine. I pull his head to me, and we kiss. He's shy when I try to push my tongue into his mouth, but after a while, he opens his mouth and my tongue goes deep into him. So, this is a French kiss! I've never had one before, but the boys at school who have, were not wrong. The kiss is making my senses reel. I break the kiss and push Michael's head down my body. He kisses his way down me and I feel the wetness of his mouth on the part of me that is aching for his loving. I push up at him and he slips his hands under me. I'm small and lightweight and Michael is tall and strong. I feel his strong fingers grip me and repeatedly pull me into him. I am helpless to stop him. I wouldn't dream of stopping him. Michael is only taking what I desire. I grasp his beautiful hair and wrap my small legs around his strong shoulders. Oh, Michael! Oh, Michael! Oh, Michael... I love you! I love you! I love you!

I'm not one to allow tears to flow freely, but my love for Michael is becoming so difficult to contain that it's moving me to places that didn't exist before I met him. Places within my consciousness that is. I'm in love with Michael and not all of those feelings are good ones. Not being with him is beginning to hurt me, and I am depressed at the situation. The next time I see him seems to be such a long time away. I am impatient to be in his presence... impatient to again look into his beautiful eyes that move my spirit. I want the sexual side of what we can become, but I also need... yes, need the emotional part that is now bringing me to tears. In fact, now I've released the sexual desires that are important to me, I need the emotional contact with him. Oh, Michael, I really love you! I really do! I want you in bed with me, Michael. I want you to hold me and kiss me. I want to be your very special boyfriend. I'm going to write you a letter. I need to tell you how I feel, Michael.

Michael Johnson.

Stuart looked really serious when he bumped into me in the schoolyard and slipped the note into my pocket. And then he scarpered, almost as if he was frightened of me. As soon as assembly was over, the first thing I did was to go to the toilets to read the letter.

My Dearest Michael,

I really enjoyed being with you at the pictures. It was special. I hope it was for you as well. I've never stopped thinking about you since we met. I know I've told you that I love you, but just telling you doesn't really say what I mean. When I'm in class, I'm thinking about you. When I'm at home, I'm thinking about you. When I'm in bed, I'm thinking you're with me, holding me tightly, and I'm really snuggled into you, warm and safe in your strong arms. I'm in bed now, writing this letter, and you're my pillow. I kiss my pillow. You said that you wanted me to be yours. Do you kiss your pillow? Do you kiss me? Do you want me to be with you in your bed like I want you to be in mine, holding me and kissing me? I've played your song tonight. I really feel what the words say. Do you really love me Michael? Sometimes, I think it isn't possible that you do. Please keep saying that you do Michael. I want to be your very special friend. I want us to be together as often as we can, because I'm always missing you. I'm sorry for being so soppy, but I love you so much that I can't help it.

I wanted to go to the pictures with you next weekend, but I can't. My family are going to stay with my aunt in Swindon, and I won't be able to see you. I'm really angry about it, because I wanted to be alone with you again. I love being alone with you so we can talk properly and hold hands. I love holding your hands, and I know you like holding mine.

I'll try to slip this letter to you on Monday. I hope you won't be angry at me for being soppy.

I love you with all my heart.

Stuart. XXX

Tears are escaping from my eyes as I read it. He's said in his letter everything I'm feeling. The part about being in bed with him is the most exciting. He wants to lie in bed with me, and kiss me. I want to do the same; and more, and I know Stuart wants more. He wouldn't have done in the pictures what he had done without that was part of the way he thinks about me. He wants sexy stuff, like I do. I have a free period this morning after Geography. I'll write him a letter then, and try to get it to him.

Stuart Begbie.

I'm in my bedroom, and I'm excited. Michael slipped me the letter just as afternoon break was ending and I've only been able to skim through it since then. The smile on his face when he slipped it to me told me that he wasn't angry with my letter to him, which brought to an end the anxious feelings I'd been having since I gave it to him. I was so relieved that he smiled and didn't scowl at me. Mother is making dinner, and Father hasn't got home yet. I can read it properly now though, so I lie on my bed and unwrap the many folds that Michael had done to make it as small as possible so nobody would know he was giving me a letter. It's on school writing paper.

My dear Stuart,

Thank you for the letter. I've never been so happy as when I read it. You say all the things I feel too. You're everywhere with me. You are my pillow, and I kiss you every night, dozens of times. I wish I could kiss you for real, but we never get the chance. Somehow, we've got to arrange for us to be alone, away from everyone, because we can't let other people know how we think. Even the cinema isn't private enough. I want it to be just you and me, where nobody can see or hear us. It's important that we keep it a secret. I've never told anyone how I feel about you. I hope you haven't, either. I do love you, Stuart. I really do. I'll see you by the church on Tuesday if the weather is decent enough for you to hang around. If it's not, wait for me the first night that it is.

I really love you. A thousand times!

Michael. XXX

Michael Johnson.

This lousy weather! I hate it with a passion. It's been stopping me from meeting Stuart, and only today, Thursday, is the weather reasonable enough for him to be waiting for me by the church.

We've exchanged sly grins during the week, and Stuart even managed to brush his hand against mine this lunchtime when we passed in the schoolyard as I was walking back from seeing to Dada, who is not at all well.

But now he's here, in front of me, and he's got a grin on his face from ear to ear. I grin back at him and tell him, "You look like a cat that's swallowed the cream."

He giggles. "Considering I haven't been alone with you for five whole days, I'm entitled to look like a cat that's swallowed the cream! Why aren't you doing the same? Have you gone off me?"

I turn away and begin to walk down the hill. Stuart is soon by my side. I look at him. His cap is at an angle, so I adjust it and make it straight. "I'll put you on detention if you don't keep your cap on straight."

Stuart pulls his cap at an angle again, and then looks into my eyes. "Put me on detention then. You can make me write out one hundred lines: I love Michael Johnson."

His candidness throws me, and I don't reply other than to scuff him on the side of his head, which knocks his cap off. We both go to retrieve it at the same time and end up laughing, and he's got a cheeky grin on his face when we continue to walk down the hill. We're halfway down the hill before I ask him, "Were you okay with my letter?"

Immediately, Stuart's hand finds mine, and he grips it tightly. "Yes. It was lovely. I cried myself to sleep over it. Was mine okay?"

I look down at him. He looks up at me. I nod. "Yes. It's the most beautiful thing I've ever had. Thank you. I wish you weren't going to Swindon this weekend."

"Me too. In fact, I'm angry. I wanted to go to the pictures again. Mother told me off because I was really miserable when she told me we were going. Can we go the weekend after this one?"

"Of course we can. I wish it was summer. I could catch a bus up to your place and we could go for a walk somewhere. Somewhere where we could be alone properly. It's March now. It won't be too long before we can. It's infuriating that we have to spend so much time apart."

Stuart is still holding my hand, and he squeezes it again. Then he lets go because we are approaching some houses on our left. "I know how you feel. There's Gorleston Woods near where I live. We could go there."

I grin. "To the woods!"

Stuart giggles. "To the woods! I could kiss you there."

I look at him. "I'd kiss you first."

Stuart thumps me in the ribs. "Shut up! It makes me mad that we can't."

We come to a large field between two sets of houses, and on the other side of the road is a tall airfield fence. A car has just passed us, and no other is approaching from either direction, so I stop and pull Stuart to a halt. Then I bend down, take his head in my hands, and plant a small, soft kiss on his lips, and then carry on walking. Stuart is giggling like mad when he catches me up. I glance at him. "Our first kiss. Did you like it?"

His eyes are alight. "I want better than that."

I laugh. "So do I, but that will have to keep us going for a while, you greedy sod."

"Until we get to the woods?"

"Yes. Then we can do it properly."

"Like a really gooey one?"

"Like a really gooey one."

"That one made my tummy turn over."

I pull a face at him. "If that made your tummy turn over, then what would a really gooey one do to you?"

Stuart laughs, and gives me a really cheeky grin. "I daren't tell you."

I laugh. "I can guess."

Now, we're both giggling uncontrollably at our flirting, and we hardly say another thing until we get to the bus stop and lean against the cinema wall.

Stuart's eyes are sad when he looks up into mine and tells me, "I won't be able to wait for you tomorrow. Father says he wants to motor down as soon as I get home. I'm going to miss you awfully."

"I'm going to miss you too."

Stuart's bus pulls out of my road and stops at the bus stop. He takes my hand. "I love you Michael."

I look into his beautiful blue eyes that are now sad. "I love you, Stuart Begbie. I'll see you on Monday. Have a good weekend. I'll be thinking about you."

Stuart nods, and walks away and gets on the bus. He stares out of the window at me. I stare back at him. I feel empty, and I know by the look on his face that he's feeling the same. The bus pulls away, and I watch it until it goes out of sight.

I'm really, really sad, but there is a glimmer of light, because I know that this meeting has sown the seeds of what is to come. We shall now, probably, have to wait until the warmth of summer before we can accomplish what we both want so much. That's if Stuart still wants me then.

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