A little past 17 Anna sets out with a goal. To improve her life and find the man of her dreams.
I've sat huddled on this bench, shivering for the best part of 3 hours. Slowly I uncurl my legs and make to stand up; it's time to go home. I need to pick up the shopping that mum and her boyfriend order me to buy at least once a day. Vodka for her and Whiskey for him. My 3 part time jobs can support this habit, and buy basic things like bread, milk and toiletries. I’m not sure what happens to their benefits. I suppose it’s how we come to have top quality TVs and kitchen appliances.
My walk home isn’t too dull, I watch cars and buses go buy and daydream about how the love of my life will jump out in front of me and cry “My darling, you are the most beautiful little thing I’ve ever seen, run away with me?” before pulling me into a passionate embrace and whisking me away to Hawaii or Dubai. Somewhere nice. Skegness would do.
I call in at Sam’s paper shop on the way home, he knows me well enough as his most reliable papergirl, willing to drop what she’s doing in the hope of earning another £2. I’ve already done my two rounds for today and it’s getting dark, so I walk up to the counter to find Sam’s wife Jean placing my two bottles into a bag. “Thanks” I smile weakly as she passes them over to me. She doesn’t return my smile; she’s seen the way Sam looks at me, like he’s undressing me with his eyes. I can’t really stop him; a pair of faded black trousers and a grey coat leave a lot to the imagination. His must be very overactive to find something attractive about me. I set out of the shop with my bottles clinking softly against my shins, heading for mums tiny council flat, right in the middle of one of the scummiest estates around.
I take a deep breath as I turn my key in the lock, I don’t know why I’m nervous, any situation I find inside can be immediately calmed with the glass bottles I hold in my aching left hand. I close the door behind me and take of my shoes and coat quietly. Stepping out of the hall, I hear mums voice pipe up harshly “Where the hell have you been?” I’m not surprised by the lack of love in her voice. She says I ruined her figure and made my Dad leave us. I used to come back with a smart reply about how many calories there are in a 70cl bottle of Vodka, until I grew fed up of having to stay home from school to allow my bruises to fade away. I sigh inwardly and rattle the bottles together as I step towards the settee, two hunched forms are curled up and unmoving. The dark haired male is Jay, mums boyfriend, he grunts at me “Table.” I slowly place the bottles in front of their respective owners and remove the two empty ones. Next I go over to the kitchen cupboard and retrieve two tumblers and set them down on the coffee table as well. “Shall I pour…?” “Yes” comes the harsh answer. Clink-glug-glug-clink-glug-glug. With the accuracy of a bar maid I pour 2 generous quadruple measures.
Looking at the clock I see that it’s 8pm, time to pop over to Kats’ house. It’s only across the hall but it feels a million miles away from my dreary home. Bright colours, laughter and delicious food give me something I can’t find anywhere else. Even the family cat shows me affection. Tonight its rice and chicken, with a homemade tomato sauce. Feeding an extra mouth must cost them a fortune each year, but they now know to bulk buy things in packets of 4, Kat, her mother, Eleanor and her gran, Gram, all treat me like one of the family. We play cards together and watch the soaps on TV, like every night this monotony of playing family keeps me happy, happier than it makes them. Three female generations all living together results in many arguments, none lasting more than half an hour.
As the time ticks on and Eleanor and Gram head off to their bedrooms I help Kat set up her sofa bed and we chant about her boyfriend, Mike, who plays basketball on the courts near us and has been seeing Kat now for 3 weeks. She loves him to bits and as usual, our chitchat leads to a bit of girly gossip….
“Honestly Anna I don’t see why you won’t just go out and do it, you need to get it over with before people start thinking there’s something the matter with you.”
“Yeah… But its too much effort and it’ll hurt… And mum would probably throw me out.”
“She had you by the time she was 16, you’re 17, there’s nothing wrong with it. Anyway, who reckons it hurts? School? Mikes this big and I’m fine” Kat holds her hands out a good 7 inches apart. I shudder, I can’t think of anything worse than having yourself invaded like that. I can’t say this though, Kat will think I don’t like boys, well I don’t have many as friends, but I find them attractive and things. Its not like I prefer girls. “Nah” I say shaking my head “its not for me yet”
“Fine” she laughs “More cock for me!”
“Feel free to have my share Kat, you’re obsessed”
“Am not!” She cries thumping me over the head with a settee pillow.
I try to stay at Kats longer but when she starts to discuss things like sex positions, I decide to leave. I know she’s just trying to put my mind at ease, but it hasn’t worked at all in the year she’s lived opposite me. Heading back home I’m happy to see that mum and Jay have gone to bed, I can’t hear anything which makes me think they’re asleep, 12.30 is very early for them. I go into the bathroom to use the loo, do my teeth and wash my face. I need to wash my hair tomorrow. Softly I pad into my bedroom and undress, peeling off my clothes and underwear before pulling my too small nightie over my head and climbing into bed. I’m not tired just yet.
My mind is racing with meaningless thoughts and to shut them up I slowly slide my hand down under my duvet. I rest my hand on my leg, allowing it to warm up after flinching from the coldness at first. I daydream, thinking about the love of my life again, a man careful enough to understand that I want to be touched. I don’t want to be fucked and I don’t want to be forced into sucking him (I’ve had the same reviews from all my female friends about giving oral sex – it isn’t worth the effort and it’s not very nice). I work my hand up my leg, just tickling past the downy hair on my pussy, then move it slightly down again to my clit, and make slow careful circles, concentrating hard on the man of my dreams, he changes daily but today he is tall, dark and painfully handsome, well built with a soft deep voice, which sounds better than any real man I’ve ever heard, he starts to whisper sweet nothings in my ear as I move my hand even further down and place 2 fingers again the entrance to my very wet pussy and push them inside as deep as they will go. Slow movements are now abandoned as I push my fingers in and out harshly and quickly, my muscles contract I feel my body shudder over and over until I’m still again, breathing heavily, I brush my fringe from my eyes and wipe my wet fingers on a tissue from the packet in my handbag. Suddenly I want to cry out of loneliness. Tomorrow will be different. I’m going looking for a boyfriend.