Miss Joan Hester Fisher of No 9 Albert Road Woodstock hit me in-between the eyes like a ton of bricks. It was like that song of,” I was walking along, minding my business, when out of the orange colored sky, Flash, bam, alacazam, wonderful you came by. I was humming a tune, drinking in sunshine, when out of that orange colored view, Wham, bam, alacazam; I got a look at you. One look and I yelled timber, watch out for flying glass. Cause the ceiling fell in and the bottom fell out, I went into a spin and I started to shout I’ve been hit, this is it, this is it.”
Imagine this scenario. It’s my mate Gus van der Byl’s 21st held at his parents’ home in Boyd Avenue Athlone, and the rest of the gang, Dennis Scott, Fred Hendricks plus other new friends are there to celebrate it. Because Saturday night, which was that night, was always a boy’s night out without the girlfriends, which we could then chat up others, was no exception to the rule then. There were quite a few that we didn’t know because of his relative’s friends, so it suited us to the T. When seeing a bunch of the guys crowding around one particular young lady, it intrigued me because of not knowing her. I didn’t know why, which shouldn’t have been a mystery to me, but because they didn’t introduce me to her I stayed out of her company. The party that had been going along in full swing saw me chatting up a few young ladies there, but I also found my eyes following a young lady who seemed to be having a good time with my mates. She also seemed when having a break from dancing to go with one of my mates onto the front stoep. On one such an occasion she hurried back indoors after been outside with Derrick, another mate of mine, holding her hand over her mouth and looking very annoyed. The rest of my mates when flocking around her to find out what had occurred were shooed away. So seeing my chance of acting like a knight in shining armour to go to the rescue of the fair damsel in distress, I asked to have a dance with her, which was the first for the night with her. While dancing I noticed a slight cut on her lip that was new and open, and when asking very politely what had occurred to cause that, she told me to mine my own business, which really deflated my ego. Not dancing again with her and ignoring her after, seemed to have an effect on her because I caught her a few times slyly watching me. I left it like that until it seemed the party was ending and I asked her for another dance. That time though she related that my friend had gotten fresh and bitten her lip, which was then swollen. Offering sympathy and suggesting that I could kiss it better brought a smile that seemed to engulf me with its girlish charm, and when asking to walk her home she shyly accepted. The surprise on my mate’s faces was something to behold when seeing that I was the one walking her home instead of one of them. She was staying over at her sister, who was married to Pat van der Byl, Gus’s brother, and on the way there she confessed that I had aroused her curiosity by my behaviour of disregarding her in comparison to the pestering she had been receiving from my mates, yes it works every time when been the predator. We sat on a low wall outside her sister’s home, talked the night away, watched shooting stars, saw the moon drift across the sky, watched the sun rise and we didn’t even make a pass at each other nor did I make the offer again to kiss her lip better. A peck on her cheek biding her goodnight when leaving got a returned peck with a cheeky good morning. That same afternoon saw me back visiting again with my mates also turning up like bees to honey, but they soon got the message that they weren’t in the running when she asked me if I was seeing her home.
She was staying over at her sisters and on the way there she confessed that I had aroused her curiosity by my behaviour of disregarding her in comparison to the pestering she had been receiving from my mates. We sat on a low wall outside her sister’s home, talked the night away, watched shooting stars, saw the moon drift across the sky, watched the sun rise and we didn’t even make a pass at each other nor did I make the offer again to kiss her lip better. A peck on her cheek biding her goodnight when leaving got a returned peck with a cheeky good morning. That same afternoon saw me back visiting again with my mates also turning up as bees to honey, but they soon got the message that they weren’t in the running when she asked me if I was seeing her home. Meeting her mother and father for the first time wasn’t a hassle because they were down to earth people. Her mum made me welcome by dishing up a dinner of roast beef, roast potatoes, saffron rice, baked pumpkin, cottage pie, bean sauce, beetroot salad and vetkoek (a fried doughy mixture), and it was as delicious and delectable as Joan’s goodnight kiss that I received. Traveling home from Woodstock where she lived, which was the first train suburb out of Cape Town, meant either a ten minute walk to the station with a half hour train ride home or the taking of two buses and a fifteen minute walk to her home that made it difficult to visit as often as she wanted me to, so I fitted her into my weekends. Our first date was at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, which backed up against the eastern side of Table Mountain, and the well laid out forested gardens with its tranquil sublime view of the Cape Flats and False Bay was the perfect setting for our first tentative smooch. Getting to know about her was a revelation in comparison to the other girls and young women that I had known or knew, and on hearing that I was nineteen in comparison to her fifteen didn’t faze her or me. What really made our day was that we both confessed to still being virgins. Our other weekend outings were spent privately together and all we did was smooch like two African lovebirds with no parties in my pants or hers, which was very strange and bewildering to me. When with the other girls during the week it was like having a carnival in and out of our pants, with Joan though it was like she had a calming effect on my testosterone urges and my usual sexual inclinations. She had no airs or graces, and although sweet in nature her temper was something to be reckoned with. Also, her beauty without was as well within because of her kindness that was a pleasure to watch, and combined with her infectious girlish laughter it gave me pleasure just been with her.
When she babysat for her sister we would spend the night doing it together. The brother in law who loved partying till the early hours of the morning caused her to retire when she got sleepy because of not able to wait up for their return. It being a one-bedroom unit she would lay under the covers of their bed while I stayed around to keep her company until she fell asleep, and I would leave on their return. After many babysitting sessions her shyness began to subside a bit. Becoming accustomed to me seeing her in her long nightdress she would allow me into the bedroom so as to recline on the bed while she slept. There were nights though when it would be stifling hot and she would fall asleep on top of the bedspread, and because she was a tossing and turning sleeper I would move off the bed at those times because of the cramped space. Finding her one night lying up against me with her leg swung across my hip, which she still does, when awakening after falling asleep myself, made me almost get the wrong idea. Not only were her well-endowed breast pressed firmly against me but also her knee that was wedged up against my groin. Lying there enjoying the moment because of her nightie that had ridden up and was exposing her shapely legs, I thought better of it and tried to move her off. She though wasn’t going anywhere because in her sleeping movements she swung her arm over me and her knee pressed firmly against my genitals. Not having been in a situation with her like that before and respecting her trust in me I pulled her nightie down reluctantly. Not wanting to disturb her for she was sound asleep, my gingerly lifting of her leg so that my legs could be spread wider to allow me to place her knee further down, only caused her sleeping movements to change to a position that shifted her half on top of me. My thoughts had turned to the sexual situations having been in with no thought at times given to the consequences, and there I was sweating with anxiety because she looked so innocent lying there and I couldn’t even get myself to take advantage of her. She felt cuddly, and my reaction of putting my arm around her, giving her a slight squeeze and kissing the top of her head caused a slight awakening and for her to turn her head and offer her lips. Our kissing and movements only then brought the realization to the position she had assumed when she felt me firmly pressed against her. We hadn’t been lying that close before because of not having any sexual designs on each other, and partly because she was sexually inexperienced too. She shot off me by pushing herself up with her hands and stared down with a shocked expression on her innocent face that made me think she was upset and angry, and I expected to be told off with marching orders. In that moment of gazing at her with conflicting thoughts and emotions, a feeling of euphoria that came over me made it feel like my heart was going to burst, and never having felt that way before and finding it difficult to contain my bewildered emotions, caused me uncontrollable trembling. I then became aware that she too was having some form of emotional and physical susceptibility, and although she was trembling too, her expression then changed to one of soft affection as she slowly lowered herself back down on me. Our straining bodies that seemed like it wanted to be closer wasn’t a sexual feeling, it was rather like an overwhelming wallowing in ecstatic rapture that made us just lay there contented with only kissing passionately.
Not for too long though, and I never moved that fast in my life on hearing her sister returning. I pushed her off unceremoniously, jumped off the bed, rearranged my clothing, put on my shoes, straightened myself, sleeked back my hair and just made it in time as they walked into the bedroom none the wiser, with Joan laying curled up under the covers. She thought we were very naughty for doing that and my agreement astounded me, and further romancing escapades by both of us really left me surprised by my conformity. With her I was the careful initiator and she was the inquisitive interested recipient, and for a change that made me the ultimate predator. There was only once though when she did the chasing according to my then becoming over protective and trying to control mother, who had at times embarrassed my brother and me by fetching us from girlfriend’s homes. That remark was passed when Joan turned up at our home uninvited and unannounced, and it didn’t really matter with my mother who the girl was because none were good enough for her son, as she put it. And even if I didn’t bring them home or if she didn’t know them, she would still find out from my tattletale sisters. Saturday mornings always found Marlene stop for a chat with me when on her way home from typing class when passing our house, and from there be escorted to the bus stop where we would arrange for our weekly meeting after her night typing class. Joan was expecting me to visit that night, she though had received a message to baby-sit that evening and not everyone owned a telephone, so she had come out early to notify me and to also pay a surprise visit. She surprised me all right, I was caught red handed not only talking to Mona but also fooling around with her. ‘Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned,’ and to be rejected as unworthy by Joan was strongly emphasised by her retaliation when slighted and taken for granted. Of course introducing Marlene as a good friend wasn’t a step in the right direction with Joan, which saw Marlene quick smart take off in the direction of the bus. Trying to steer Joan away from our home towards her sister’s so as to keep her away from my mother was wishful thinking. Her anger and stubbornness really showed then by her insistence of being introduced. That introduction seemed to go down a bit better with both of them, especially with my mother when hearing that Joan was Pat van der Byl’s sister-in-law, whose family were pillars of the church too. But having kept my mother in the dark about Joan and where she lived for obvious reasons, my trying to get her out of my mother’s company as quickly as possible only made her more determined to see me squirm by striking up a conversation with my mother. When eventually walking Joan to her sister’s home I received the full brunt of her displeasure by been called a Casanova, and that the information she had received from Freda van der Byl, Gus’s sister, concerning my flirty ways was true for she had seen it with her own eyes that I did have many girlfriends. Not wanting me around at her sister’s that night because of that, saw me jump on my bicycle and speed to the bus terminus to catch up with Marlene who wasn’t just one of my romancing girlfriends but a true friend. Having confided previously in her about Joan, she listened to my woes with a sympathetic ear of a friend and advised me go around the next day to try and patch things up. I took her advice but Joan being headstrong wasn’t in the mood to settle our differences; however, she did allow me to see her home but it was only as far as the front door with a huffy goodnight. On the train home doing soul searching with conflicting thoughts of why I was allowing a 15-year-old girl to rule my life when not even making a commitment to her, and how come she wasn’t appreciative of my respect for her by not even trying to get into her pants, brought me to the conclusion that it would be better all-round if our relationship ceased, and for me rather to get sexual gratification from my other girlfriends seeing that there was nothing happening as far as she was concerned.
With Joan seeming to have become a figment of my imagination, Marlene my chum was the one that I was seeing more of than the other girlfriends then. Attending weekend parties and club dances also got me back in circulation, and when my mates who played for Saint Raphael’s Cricket Club extended an invitation to attend their club dance it was like old times again. Going alone was no problem as there were always single women on their own who would gladly accept me walking them home. Dancing away as was my custom with all the women that didn’t seem to have partners, which was appreciated and it didn’t matter to me if they were young, middle aged or old, and I only got a knock back if they were danced out. Noticing my mates arrive made me go over to greet them and amongst them was Joan. Our eyes met, and from a surprised look from both of us hers became forlorn. My heart went out to her but my ego wouldn’t allow any inquiry to her well-being, so by excusing myself to continue my dancing it let me out of her company. I passed Joan and her dancing partners many times that night. Every time our eyes met the sadness was not only on her face but also in her eyes even though she was trying to smile through it, and it had caused me to feel guilty. That feeling eventuated into me becoming aware that she was dancing more consistently with the same partner, and my emotions changed to one of animosity. That resentment then turned into a burning sensation in my chest, a knotted stomach and clenched teeth, which was something unbeknown to me, and in that state I missed quite a few dance steps that resulted in profuse apologies from me when stumbling with my partners.
My attention was then riveted on her and her partner for some unfathomable reason even though there didn’t seem to be any relationship. On seeing her sitting out a dance all alone and forlorn made me feel a real cad, so by purchasing two cool drinks and offering one to her we sat and chatted. Making her laugh was always easy and her girlish laughter was music to my ears, it stopped though when the dancing ended and her partner sat down. He then took the cool drink from her without asking and sipped it through the straw. My utter indignation must have shown because she slightly shook her head to let it be, and still being respectful of her made me bight my tongue, but his staring at me made my ire rise though. As my luck would have it the band struck up another dance number as I was vacating my seat for the rest of the returning dancers, and just before excusing myself to leave I saw a look in her eyes that pleaded for me to dance with her. He had already taken hold of her arm as if to indicate that he was going to dance with her; however, my contempt at his ongoing ungentle manly behaviour made me ignore his gesture and extended my hand towards her to ask for a dance. Her eager smile and both outstretched hands that gripped mine with a squeeze left no doubt to her partner who sat scowling at me. We took to the floor with the old comfortable ease of before, and it elated me holding her close in my arms while gliding over the floor with her dance frock billowing. The dance number played was ‘Sweet Sixteen’, which was appropriate at that time because she was then that age, and with her head nestling on my shoulder while squeezing hands and me singing softly in her ear she kissed me on the cheek. The feeling felt on the night we almost got caught while babysitting flooded back and I stopped dancing to kiss her full on the lips amidst a little cheering from the dancers around us. Her eyes sparkled, cheeks blushed and her smile lit up my heart. My pangs of jealousy that coming to terms with had subsided, and on telling her about it as a first time experience, she also confided that it was the same way she felt on seeing me with Marlene.
Not wanting to cause animosity because by then her partner was staring daggers at me, we devised other means to have more dancers. She went to powder her nose more often after that where on meeting outside we would have more dances. That seemed to agitate him even further, and when dancing past he would deliberately bump into us without an apology but we ignored him. We arranged to definitely have the last dance together and for me to walk her to her sister’s home, which was a street behind the parish hall, especially after hearing that she had paid for her own admission and like me she had come without a partner too. The last dance for the night was the clincher for him. When the band struck up the tune ‘They tried to tell us we’re to young’ I walk across the dance floor to Joan. Her partner although seeing me coming gripped her arm to persuade her to dance with him, but she brush him off on seeing me approaching and broke away to meet me halfway. A slow tune was always played for the last dance with dimmed lights and everyone singing along, and as we cuddled real close without a care to whom was watching we kissed constantly, and those two songs became our love songs. By first doing my obligations of saying goodbye to my other dancing partners I found him on my return to Joan trying to steer her out of the hall with his arm around her shoulder. With my Irish temper and Portuguese aggression it was difficult to curb myself from taking him apart then and there, she though restrained that by slipping out from under his arm on seeing me and hooked me in. That disconcerted him for he grabbed and pulled on her other arm. Not wanting to create a disturbance I simply swept his legs from out under him and as he toppled placed my foot against his chest and heaved. Once again my wrestling skills had come in handy and it sent him back onto the seats where he stayed. Joan and I left with our arms around each other and leisurely strolled through the church grounds to a revolving type gate that separated it from a thoroughfare. That gate served the purpose of disallowing cyclists and pram pushers from using the grounds as a main thoroughfare because it only allowed one person at a time to pass through. Playing at silly buggers we wouldn’t let go of each other and we got stuck halfway through. We found that very amusing, and amidst our laughing and kissing we heard a few ‘a hem’s’ from other people returning from the dance who also wanted to pass through. Disentangling we crossed the road to her sister’s home where we awaited her return from the hall that they first had to clear and clean up. In a more intimate position on the wall then than the first time we aired our differences and opinions. There was no argument that I had been self-centered, undisputedly a flirt, which I still am a wee bit, a bit of a Casanova and that had to end right then if I was a one woman man as I professed if ever falling in love. Then she gave me an ultimatum that it was time for me to make the decision if it was either going to be her or the other girlfriends. Something I didn’t think would come so quite suddenly out of the blue was my independence, and for her to be my permanent and only girlfriend over my numerous other girlfriends, and for trying to add Joan to that list as a stopgap for the weekends, just didn’t go to plan. There wasn’t very much I could fault her on except to diminish her obstinacy and to cool her fiery temper, but it resulted in us declaring our love to one another.
Then it rained. Seeing that she didn’t have the key to get into the house nor was there any shelter on the outside and the baby-sitting was done at a relative’s home, we had no other alternative but to seek shelter in an outside flush toilet at the back of the house. Standing up against the wall wrapped up in each other’s arms kissing passionately with the open door letting in the dim moonlight was one way of passing time together in the pelting rain. Our legs though began to feel the strain of all the dancing and standing, on the other hand, my suggesting of sitting down on the closed toilet seat with her on my lap, which she did, caused my hands to wander. Since our meeting of the first time she hadn’t once allowed me to touch her breast, which was very frustrating, and she wasn’t allowing it then. Thinking that changing to a different position would get us closer for me to succeed, my teasing about her weight so that we could shift positions only got me a cheeky retort about my other girlfriends being big and fat, and she stood up. What relieved that though was in hearing her sister and husband running up the pathway to get out of the rain. We froze, but had the presence of mind to quickly close the toilet door that threw us into complete darkness as we heard them go indoors. Not knowing if one of them might want to use the toilet caused Joan to tremble again. To combat that by standing her up to hold, hug and suggest my going to sneak a look to ascertain if the coast was clear got her pacified. When trying the door, which was locked, I went around peering through the sliver of gaps in the curtains. I saw nothing until coming to their bedroom window where my eyes went squint from peering through another curtain gap at them making love. There was no wondering then why they had the door locked or to speculate how long they would be. On relating what was occurring made her blush profusely, which was something unusual for me to see in a girl, and she reluctantly agreed to my convincing reasoning to resume our seating arrangement for the long wait we might have. Contemplating our sitting position of before but been wary if I got to close to her again, made me just sit and kiss her. She though became concerned about her evening dressed that was rucked up between us and getting creased. Jokingly when telling her to remove it she surprised me in her innocents again by lifting it herself so that it was spread out up against me, which to my lecherous mind was a invitation for better things to come. When slowly drawing her towards me she tensed a bit, but because it was more beguiling in the dark for not knowing where my hands were going to be or what they were going to do, it became a teasing game that made our movements pleasurably sensual. The totally new sensation for her that was subdued to a certain extent brought about by a hesitant but slow response, soon increased to an intense passion that merged us together. Although we were both in a state of smouldering arousal with my body saying yes, my mind was saying no. It was the first time when with a woman that I had a compelling an uncontrollable urge to have sex without lust been the precursor. However, my thinking only along my concept of that if we loved each other she should consent, only brought my knocking on the door to an abrupt end. I had taken it a bit too far due to me not even considering what her thoughts and feelings were concerning having sex. I had only thought along a male’s logic with my passion ruling my penis instead of also respecting her female emotions that she had shown previously as an indication of no. Her further soft whispering that if a truly loved her I should respect her wishes of remaining virginal until we were married, and my assurance and reassurance that we wouldn’t have sex unless she instigated or sanctioned it reconciled her; all the same it had spoiled the moment. The house door was unlocked when trying it again and we arranged for me to call around the following day.
While there, Joan’s brother-in-law who played Sunday league cricket and was getting himself ready while the two of us were chatting with her sister, my friends who also played came around to pick him up, and with them was the ungentlemanly mannered bloke from the dance. He didn’t play cricket though, but had just tagged along so that he could have a chance to chat up Joan. He stopped dead in his tracks on seeing me and his put on smile vanished from his face. Joan though seized the situation up in her cool and calm way and defused it by getting up, putting her hands on my shoulders to keep me down, kissed me on the cheek and indicated that she was ready to go home. Watching him through all of that gave me a lot of satisfaction, and everyone else could see how defeated and deflated he was. After having lunch at her home, Joan’s two married brothers and their wives turned up for a game of darts that was played regularly on most Sundays as a family get together. Our inclusion and with the game continuing again after dinner late into the night kept us apart, so that our late lingering goodbye’s almost made me miss the last train. That happened one Saturday night after when attending a movie and the goodbyes were a bit too long. Bolted to the station but got there at 11.05pm and missed the last 11.02pm train. In a quandary because of never having slept over and because sleeping over at a 16 year old girl’s parent’s home was unheard of, got me to curl up on the station bench until the first 6am train arrived, and suffered my mother’s tongue. When telling Joan about it she cheekily told me to knock on her bedroom window the next time so that we could sleep together. Taking her up on that when it did occur again, saw her steer me around to the front door, and after explain to her parents what had occurred she let me in, and then smilingly made up the couch in the lounge. Missing the train became a good excuse over the weekends; the weekdays though were a different matter not only on account of work but also because it was somewhat curbed due to traveling expenses and because my mother wouldn’t increase my allowance. She did though increase her constant nagging of my sleeping over; Joan’s parent’s encouragement of it, her character, and that my other girlfriends were friendlier and nicer became part of her tirade. To solve part of the problem my bicycle became the solution to travel the one hour to and fro to visit Joan some of the weeknights.
On one of my sleepovers the creaking backdoor awoke me to notice her bedroom door open, and sneaking a peek found her not there because she had gone to the backyard toilet. With her being the youngest in a family of eight children, the only one still single, and the apple of her parent’s eyes, left me very aware of their protectiveness and that I was really being trusted all round. By feigning sleep, my sudden grabbing and pulling her down onto the couch as she stopped to kiss me on my forehead on her way back caused a squeal of fright, and cuddling her closer caused her to become petrified in case we would be heard and discovered. Although knowing that her parents slept with a closed door and used a chamber pot for urinating in at night instead of going out into the cold backyard toilet, it still wouldn’t encourage her to sneak back to me and make out, nor would she allow me to do the same. Letting her go but following close behind in the dark without her knowledge got me into her bedroom before she could close the door. Not expecting that and my closing of the door caused her a great deal of anxiety, and my gesturing for her to keep quiet and calm down only made her scamper to her bed where she dived under the covers and drew them over her head. My efforts to dislodge them were in vain as she hung onto it as if her life depended on it. Seeing another alternative with a result that could change her mind and at the same time accomplishing what she always had been opposing, I tugged at the top of the covers with one hand and reached under the side of it with the other. I had been craving to touch and fondle her breast, which with other girls had been so easy, and although it was through her nightie my hand still got pushed away. She was though also getting a bit braver and daring where her parents were concerned because it became a regular occurrence of sneaking into her room but by her rules. It caused my testes to manufacture and stock spermatozoa to full capacity, my penis to believe that it was only for urinating and masturbation, and at its highest level were my testosterone urges.
My employer of G. H. Stark Furniture also contracted for office renovations, and that saw me going direct from my home to Cape Town for two and a half weeks to work doing a company boardroom. The circumstances surrounding that caused my mother to go hysterical though. On telling her that those days would be spent at Joan’s parents place because of the close proximity and no traveling expenses, Joan was called a slut and money grabber. Getting really jacked off by my mother’s attitude, accusations and unfounded unreasonable presumption that the reason of my stay there was that Joan and I were having sex made me go there a few days earlier. The weeks completely together there was sheer bliss, and the couch swooping became poetry in motion. On the other hand, the last weekend together was sheer hell for both of us because of knowing that my mother would make both our lives miserable, and it made Joan and me moody and despondent. Going out to celebrate the end of our unconsummated honeymoon as we called it, we returned back late to find her parents in bed behind closed doors. Joan retired after making up the couch, just in case, and I followed after making sure that they were well asleep. Going into her darkened bedroom I played by her rules that at times I couldn’t believe of my adhering to, which was I could only remove my outer garments. Be that as it may, when wanting to cover myself with the other top covering that was also covering her, she flipped back both coverings for me to join her underneath it. My astonishment turned to pleasure and excitement because it was her of trying to aid me with a memory that would make it a little bit easier when at home with my protagonist mother. Just the sensuous sensual exploration of each other’s bodies was enough to make us oblivious of time or me thinking of trying to have sex, and that was the way we fell sublimely asleep until movement in the kitchen awoke us. First we were unresponsive, then as Joan struggled with her nightie and with me frantically replacing my shirt while sitting on the edge of the bed we heard the door handle being turned. Instinctively by grabbing my trousers in one swoop to thrust them under the bed and by diving under the covers face down with my arms extended over them in only my half buttoned shirt I feigned sleep. Her mother had slightly opened the door to allow herself to pick up two cups of coffee that she then brought into the room. The embarrassment, guilt and anxiety I felt was tactfully pacified by Joan when telling her that while we sat talking in her room I had passed out because of my excessive drinking on our night out, and that she had removed my shoes and covered me over. We thought her mother had bought that until she put the cups down and told Joan that her father was still asleep and would only be getting his coffee after she had hers, and her mother when leaving, smilingly closed the door.
My mother never spoke to me for days after, which suited me fine, what upset me though was when my sisters started slighting me too, which made me feel rejected. Nevertheless, it was nearing Christmas and Joan and I were expecting to be spending it together for the first time, and also looking forward to it. What I didn’t expect though would be the feeling of more rejection. Joan had organized to spend the Christmas holidays at her sister’s, which would be convenient for us, but what we didn’t take into consideration was private family parties. It was well known by then that Joan and I was a couple, the only negative aspect was the jealousy amongst friends of both sexes and rumours abounded. Because of not having sex with my former girlfriends, and some were saying that I did, made the fellows think that Joan was an easy lay too. The parties unfortunately weren’t of Joan’s or my family, they were of business associates of her sister’s extended family and she was expected to attend as in former years. At those parties she was suddenly inundated with attention from other prospective would be suitors. They had well off business parents that were known and respected in the community and had more to offer Joan than with me still only an apprentice. They were open about their intentions and made it their business to find out about her movements, availability for dates, and her attendance at and to functions. Through circumstances beyond my control the private family only parties that I couldn’t attend had left her prey to them because of the full on partying over the holiday period. There were quite a few vying for her charms. Such as my uncle George, who was the one that cried in unison with me the day I was born, who boasted to her about his car, money and independence because of my grandmother’s property, and that because he was my uncle by only months thought he had priority over me. The parents of Sidney owned a hardware store, and he thought that because he was studying law his persuasive words could be convincing enough to win her over. Edmond whose parents owned a cooperative grocery store, which was where Joan was employed, use to invite us both to his parents’ home to impress her so that he could wile her away from me. There were also others who were not that discrete but brazen in their attempts. The shoe was on the other foot then and the green-eyed monster was playing havoc with my emotions again. Although Joan took all that attention, compliments and offers innocently and laughingly in her stride, I perceived that it was a huge boost to her ego. Although knowing how we felt about each other, I still had a guilt complex of our first time split, and with her receiving belated adoration that I knew she hadn’t experienced although maybe for the wrong intentions, I eased what I thought was my restraint on her. Going out of my way to give her more freedom so that she could have the chance to compare them to me and to be certain of her feelings, gave her the impression that my feelings towards her were cooling and that I was relishing my return to freedom by my not visiting her that often. Her complete turnaround to show me that she didn’t care was to flirt outrageously. Seeing her walk hooked in with other fellows, dancing cheek to cheek, holding hands and even cars pulling up to drop her off at her sister’s home or coming to look for her at her home, brought me to the end of my tether even if it was of my own doing. I was the one then feeling forlorn and rejected.
My mother then saw me more frequently at home and less at Joan’s. It motivated her to start inviting girls from the church around to be in my company, and she spared no complimentary comments about them for my benefit when they left. To keep the peace, my mother off my back, and her good girls that were coming on strong to me, I took the easy way out. Those good girls were so hot for it and some even had, but somehow they couldn’t entice me to have sex with them and the orgasmic sexual gratification received through excessive lustful foreplay sufficed. Another impediment was condoms, which were then called French letters and I hated the things, and they were not readily available to young fellows. They were also not supposed to be used by married Catholics who were supposed to use the rhythm method, which had nothing to do with humping movements, and although I was not having sexual intercourse they would have been safer than coming against those girls demanding insatiable fannies. Not that I didn’t try one once after pinching a condom, which weren’t lubricated then, from my dad’s supply to try it on and to see how it worked, and my hasty retreat to the backyard toilet found me trying to pull it over my excited erection. Pulling it on with the foreskin riding with the rubber rim got it only as far as over the glans with the rest of it dangling down, but by working it slowly down with my fingers it eventually covered. I was surprised to see a tiny balloon like sack at the end that also stood to attention to my further excitation because of the handling and the condom’s tightness that was holding the foreskin tightly bunched up against my scrotum. That in turn because of the pulled backed tightened foreskin made the glans extra bulbous, pulsate and ready me to try it out. My first forceful upward stroke was my last. The dry condom that sheathed my dryness also inflicted hurtful pain as it rolled up with the foreskin within it and then stopped abruptly at the glans because the condom rim had become entangled with my pubic hair. Both actions hurt like hell and caused instant flaccidness and drooping, and because of that I was able to disengage the one from the other by slow and gentle and careful handling, and that was what put me off condoms.
My awareness of how a few of my mates had been caught in the compromising position of a girl falling pregnant, which always ended up shot gun marriages, made me very wary of girls mothers who were also obviously elated to see me keeping their company. I also found myself comparing their mothers with Joan’s and mine, and her mother always scored the highest in my book. My thoughts would also drifted back to Joan, especially after having been with one of the other girls, and in my imagination would see her as the one that had been sexually stimulated by some other man. Knowing how sexually inexperienced she had been, how deceitful and conniving some men could be to obtain sexual favours, and how by then she could have succumbed, gave me no reason to believe that she had not lost her virginity, and that there was any rhyme or reason for us ever to be together again. My twenty-first birthday was approaching and I was still living at home with my family. With an over protective clutching mother who would be watching and commenting on the behaviour of the various girlfriends invited, and my having to curb my exuberant behaviour, and the expense incurred, gave me no reason to want to celebrate it. My uncle John thought different though and organized a party that was to be held at his home, which I appreciated because it would only consist of my friends. Bumping into Joan’s sister made me mention that, with the thought also in mind that maybe Joan would turn up. All our parties were happy affairs, and it became more so when my friends plied me with drinks although knowing my susceptibility to it and the high-spirited behavioural effect it had on me. In my element and highly intoxicated when a toast was proposed didn’t make me pay much attention to the person supporting me under my arm, attributed to thinking in my inebriated state that it was maybe one of my girlfriends who had sidled up to me. On feeling two hands gentle squeezing my biceps I reacted by raising my clenched hands in a body building demonstration pose and flexed it amidst the cheering and laughing of my friends. But imagine my surprise and delight on looking down to see Joan dangling on my arm. Knowing how close the two of us had been they had coaxed her to come along, kept her out of sight until the toast and had encouraged her to do that. When she wished and kissed me it wasn’t a peck, so I reciprocated with my heart doing handstands amidst the cheers and wolf whistles coming from all round. The twinkle in her eyes, the girlish smile, the blushing and the long drawn out sigh from both of us instantaneously snapped back into focus those magical romantic interludes we had shared. For the follow up kiss she didn’t have to wish me because it was an instant locking of lips and embrace. As we swayed locked together in the centre of the room as if dancing, my guests constant clapping, whistling and stomping showed their encouragement. The best birthday present was that like me she wasn’t going steady too, and because we both felt the effervescent feeling experienced when having been together before, nobody could prise us apart that night. The thoughts about her that I had contemplated seemed irrelevant then, and nothing else came into the equation except that we were together again. The jealousy felt I also came to terms with when realizing that an increased self-awareness and greater understanding by both of us in our relationship would diminish any perceived threat; real or imagined. We were dropped off at her sister’s home, and because of her brother-in-law then sharing the house, which then had an extension room, with his brother and wife and they were babysitting for the two of them, we waited outside and chatted until their return. On their return they filled me up with coffee to inflict some sobriety, and on their retiring we went outside for our goodbyes where our rekindled passion knew no bounds. Not wanting to over step our renewed relationship, my wanting to leave met with stiff opposition from Joan. Her holding and pleas were almost enough for me to stay, but what caused the proposition that settled that argument though was when on taking my hand she led me towards the backyard toilet. Remembering the disapproving results of our last episode there filled me not only with reluctance but also with complete surprise. To me it seemed that she had become brazen, lost her touch of innocence and was in control.
Her shutting of the door, which left us in complete darkness as before, sitting me down and removing my shirt left no doubt what her intentions were. The sound of her removing an article of clothing left me with an empty feeling of disappointment, and sitting down astride me she opened up my trousers and just sat there. My perplexity at those turn of events gave me a heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach, and it wasn’t because of the alcohol but the regret at my stupid compromise of letting her have a fling, and to all intents and purposes the blame was mine for her losing her virginity to someone else instead of me. Sitting there quietly in the darkness with my thoughts racing didn’t make me aware at first of her quite sobbing until feeling the tears that were trickling down her cheeks when placing my hands on her face to kiss her. Her guilt or my guilt brought our lips instantly together, and her questioning in between kissing that I never did really love her went unanswered, because saying that I did, would have belied my integrity at that moment. The very thought of having sex with her if that was her purpose to demonstrate her love and to procure mine then was immaterial, brought about that there would always be as there was then the implication of her former lovers. They would also eventually become part of my defense or attack on her if it came to that, and it wasn’t in her or my best interest if I committed myself. Her following declaration though that she still and would always love me made me feel as guilty as sin, brought about that during our split I could have been screwing myself silly without her knowledge and she was ready to accept me warts and all. A deep intense loving emotion came over me, and my reflection on all that had transpired between the two of us got me to decide that if I was going to loose my virginity it would definitely be with her because I truly loved her as she did me with an unconditional love. What she had removed had been her skirt, and the straining within my pants that mirrored hers was an indication for me to release what was so resolute in fulfilling both our desire, but on drawing her closer her hand stopped me. It threw me into utter confusion for maybe reading the singles wrong for the first time in my life; however, I hadn’t because she reminded me of our last encounter there and what I had said to her that we wouldn’t have sex unless she instigated or sanctioned it. But when she also continued with the disclosure that her supposed to be ex-boyfriends hadn’t stood a chance to get into her bra or panties, and what she had done sexually to entice me was what she had learned from me. She also went on adamantly that if she was going to have sex it was going to be with me only and that she didn’t want to go through that trial episode again as she loved only me and could be trusted. I was amazed at the womanly transformation in such a short period of time from the young girl that I had met, and the wisdom and maturity that had developed with it. Because of that and to show the respect that she was due for because of keeping herself for me only after all the heartache I must have caused her, I told her thank you but no thank you, and that I would wait until we got married. Writing and reliving all of this now makes me feel a bit of pride for been of the ‘old school’ where respect went a long way in relationships. It wasn’t like now of wham, bang, thank you mam, and don’t expect me to respect you in the morning. It was to the majority of my generation endearing love stories followed by marriages made in heaven that stood the test of time.
Joan’s mother who thought the sun shown out of my backside welcomed me back with one of her slap up meals and genuine smiles, and my mother had become the fly in the ointment again on realizing that Joan and I had become an item again. My father on the other hand when approaching him about the whole situation gave me his advice that at 21 years-of-age nobody required anyone’s permission as long as it was legal. The only illegal problem in those years was that Joan at her age was still classified as a minor; jail bait in the eyes of the law. We were in love, committed, dying to live together, our sexual appetites were only being whetted and knew the termination of our still intact virgin days was a foregone conclusion until Joan turned eighteen when we could get married, which was what she had decided on, and that marriage was the only solution for people to stop pointing the finger at us. My insistence in having Joan around for meals at my home was at first an ordeal, but with perseverance, diplomacy, fortitude and pleasantry we eased the situation to a degree. My mother at times still slighted, ignored or rebuked Joan for no apparent reason though, which hurt and upset both of us. At any rate, with Joan able to combat my mother’s sarcasm with complete silence although she was forthright, which really annoyed the crap out of my mother, made my admiration grow. There was a down side to that though, for when Joan wasn’t around she was called rude, unmannerly, disrespectful, lazy, untidy, right through the whole range of unsavoury adjectives that turned into dingdong battles. To put an end to all those unpleasantness I made the decision to start the ball rolling by asking her father if I could keep her company, which in those days meant that you were engaged to be married. My parents, unfortunately, where told instead that I intended to move away from home so as to keep the peace all round.
Maybe it had been an inopportune time, particularly as Joan was with me at the time, and my mother accused her of being pregnant. Joan’s patience having run out and having come to the end of her tether lifted her dress and pulled down her panties to show and tell her that she was having her period’s and that she was still a virgin. My mother went hysterical, begged me to reconsider, told us we were too young and inexperienced, and that Joan’s parents were encouraging us. While I was packing my bags my mother was continuously snatching at my packed clothes and pulling it out while pleading with me not to leave, and my father was trying to intervene by pacifying and hushing her, but there was no way he could restrain her from mouthing off. By not giving any indication to my next abode and by further passing the false information around that my new place of residence was with a work mate kept them off the track and my back. Residing at her parent’s home wasn’t a problem for they accepted me as part of their family, and with me sleeping on the couch while we discreetly played at keeping house we planned marriage. It was still a legal problem in those times that we couldn’t overcome because of Joan only being 17-years-old. She had to be eighteen to get married and only through a magistrate’s written consent for that to occur. Although we were chomping at the bit for a while we both were proud of the decision made to wait until married. When she turned eighteen we declared our intention to get married after receiving permission from her father and the magistrate. We didn’t expect much aid from her parents because they weren’t well off, and thinking that since the age of fourteen my mother had received all my pay packets unopened with me accepting only pocket money I approached her.
All hell broke loose, with my grandmother, uncles, aunts and the family’s hypocritical friends all having their say and adding their five cents worth, but no financial assistance. My mother even went as far as to approach the parish priest to stop our bans of marriage that was a recurring three Sundays official reading from the pulpit to announce an intended marriage, and if there was any impediment to forbid the marriage it could be officially banned. He took sides with her even though we had a special license from a magistrate that didn’t require the banns to be read, and he also had the audacity to counsel and instruct us on the virtues of chastity, and wanted us to defer the marriage because we were too young. That came from a man who had taken vows of poverty, obedience and chastity that both Joan and I had suffered and endured long enough, and with him not able to see that my mother was the impediment we went elsewhere. With Joan of the Anglican faith we considered approaching her parish priest. We opted though to consult Reverend Banahan at Saint Agnes Catholic Church in Woodstock because of her knowing of my staunch Catholic leanings and commitments. He was not only sympathetic to our plight and sexual situation; he also married us on the 12 August 1955. That day fell on a Friday and we had only gone to see him on the Wednesday. But we were that desperate and eager to get married that the same night saw me asking my sister Mary, and Joan her friend Gerald to be our witnesses. After taking our marriage vows we walked to a photograph studio to have a group-wedding photo taken, and then back to Joan’s parents’ home with our two witnesses who partook of cake and tea with us, and then both of them returned to their place of employment by lunchtime. No fuss, no fanfare, no traditional wedding or reception, and best of all no mother or mother-in-law in Joan’s case.
Joan my 15 year old Girlfriend as a Bridesmaid at her best friends wedding.