The year does not matter. When one is fourteen, nothing much matters except being fourteen and enjoying to the full, those opportunities that life deems worthy of your participation in, at that precise moment in time.
So it was, that fate that morning should have tossed Marion clean across the footpath right in front of me on my way to school. Not that she was overweight in any way I stress, she simply slipped on the icy footpath, sprawling face-downwards into quite deep snow. The least I could do was pick her up.
Now when one loses one's footing, leading to the humiliation of falling over, and especially in the case of a female, this detracts totally from any sense of outer elegance, denting entirely the victim's dignity. In falling, her legs had splayed outwards and a momentary glimpse of some light-colored material beneath the gusset of her winter stockings had worked its unavoidable retinal magic. As I hooked my arm beneath hers in an effort to pull her to her feet, she reacted as one might expect a young school-girl to, thus affronted.
"It's OK, I'm fine thank you," she gritted, seemingly less than grateful for my intercession.
In falling, her satchel had slipped from her shoulders and now lay upturned in the snow which itself lay feet deep, drifted up against the school chain-wire fence. Dislodged from the confines of their leather protector, books, set squares, geometry equipment and her pencil-set were now strewn around her, their final resting places identified by multiple holes in the snow. In hindsight, the scene was not unlike the Titanic wreckage field. Retrieving her possessions in near silence, it was a case of neither of us knowing really what to say.
Handing over her protractor, the last escapee, Marion half smiled.
"Thanks," she said "Sorry I was a bit gruff just now, I was really embarrassed." I wondered for a moment if that included my up-skirt viewing option.
"Oh, that's alright," I replied. "I've never seen you at school, what class are you in?....I'm Noel by the way." I added.
Shaking gloved hands she told me her name and confided that it was in fact her first day there, having transferred from Dartford Grammar. I had to suppress a grin, our soccer team having crunched the ”Dartford invincibles" five-nil the previous weekend.
It wasn't until we actually had gotten to school and had stowed our gear in the lockers that I was privileged to catch a glimpse of the real Marion, sans her winter outerwear, gloves, scarf and hat. It was worth the wait.
Laughably inexperienced and with all the predatorial instincts of Bambi, I still could recognize a sexy young body when I saw one.....and right then, I was definitely looking at one. Slim-hipped but with curves in all the right places, those bright blue eyes looked across the hallway at me from the prettiest of heart-shaped faces. A flawless complexion and full "why-not-try-me-now?" lips certainly dropped my anchor. I think I was in love with her before recess. Judging by several other boys' double-takes however, I certainly wasn't going to be having this all my own way. I figured I would keep one step ahead of the herd though and asked her if she would like to see me at lunch time. I think I noticed the beginnings of a blush. At least, I like to think I did!
I couldn't tell you what I had to eat that day but I remember with undiminished recall every last detail of that lunch period.
Marion, having been billeted to 3B (British equivalent of 9th grade) whilst I was resident in 3A, meant that we were unable to sit at the same table. It didn't stop me from looking across at her in-between mouthfuls though. I was encouraged by the fact that she was sharing her table with seven other girls however, rather than mixed company.
Now the canteen in that school was colossal. One supposes that having to cater for almost seven hundred kids in two sittings, it had to be. We're not talking prison food either. Steaming hot Shepherd's pie, the width of the plate with vegetables, heated rolls with cheese followed by rhubarb or apple pie with as much fresh cream as you could take on board, together with just about any soft drink you care to name - and that was a bad day. You paid nothing for it either!
I think it had been a roast chicken Tuesday. Shuffling now the remnants of my dessert around the plate, I noticed Marion about to get up. Informing the dorky sixth-form prefect at the head of our table that I had some assignment to complete, he waved me free to leave.
I already had a spot picked out.
At the northern end of one of the three enormous playgrounds, right alongside the tennis courts, sat the largest of oak trees that had probably been there when Oliver Cromwell was a lad. Around its huge base someone had thoughtfully constructed a circular seating arrangement that could probably have housed twenty children shoulder to shoulder. As it was, there was rarely ever more than half a dozen school-kids clustered around that tree at any one time. On this day there was no-one.
The air freezing but invigorating, I see it all now as clearly as I did that day. The great tree denuded of its leaves but with snow piled-up thickly at the confluence of its upper boughs. Icicles hanging like stalactites from the roofs of the Assembly Hall and Science block away to our left. Someone had painted the most beautiful vanilla sky also, that hung over the distant playing fields while more snow clouds were obviously building up in the east.
As Marion talked I just looked at her. I could see the gentlest of curves beneath her woollen jumper and as she moved her arms to emphasize a point once in a while, their presence would be highlighted. I tried shifting my focus of concentration but at the back of my mind was the sexual awakening I had experienced with Ruth just eighteen months earlier and I simply wanted now to see Marion undressed. I think my hands betrayed my physical unrest and how sweet was the feeling when she took them in hers as she talked. So wide was the gulf at that moment between a young girl on the very fringes of maturity and a fourteen year old schoolboy with absolutely no control of either his emotions or his dictatorial hormonal urges.
I have no idea whether the afternoon's concluding periods included, Latin, Chemistry or French...all I remember are successive teachers shouting out "Pay Attention Noel," their pleas falling on majorly distracted ears.
When the final bell sounded at 4.10 p.m. darkness had fallen and I walked Marion to her bus stop, pointing out on the way my own home, not so very distant. I asked if she would like to come over at the weekend maybe. Her reply of "I'll have to ask my dad," was all I needed to hear. Obviously she wanted to.
In contrast to the laissez-faire if not fully unhinged social dictates of the new millennium, fathers of small children and especially young girls in those days, had a keen interest in "sizing up" the family environment whenever any offer was made for a son or daughter to "come over" for a while. Before relinquishing the reins in any shape or form, at the very least, a phone call would be made to determine the family's suitability to host their child for even the shortest of periods.
Despite passing the preliminaries, Mr. Cardiff was adamant he wanted to "meet" me before granting his daughter leave to visit. Accordingly my father agreed to pick her up the following Saturday morning at which time I might be "evaluated."
I had never been so well behaved.
At the point I heard Marion's mother whisper to her husband, "He's such a nice boy Arthur," I figured I was on easy street. If only she could have known some of the thoughts I was having, looking at her daughter standing there in those figure hugging jeans. More than likely Mr. Cardiff already knew. He was staring at me, such as one might ponder a squashed ant.
"We want her back no later than 9 p.m. sharp, alright?" he barked. Dad assured him he would have her home on time.
I was luckier than most.
Our home, being adjacent to a huge park had meant that never in all my childhood had their ever been a shortage of options when friends came over. Every holiday the enormous fairground set-up camp just a ten-minute walk from our rear fence, straight through the forest. Miniature train rides, large well-equipped playground, tennis courts, the Mansion House with its tea-rooms and lavish museum of middle-age weaponry. In Summer, firework displays and the motor boats and skiffs on the lake. Beautiful Olde English gardens to walk through and of course the enormous public swimming center with four separate pools and a refreshment kiosk that doubled as a ball room.
Mid-winter and with the great lake frozen over, kids would spend hours ice skating. It was to this very venue that I took Marion after she had dumped her stuff in our hallway and following our ingestion of a few ham, cheese and cress sandwiches that my parents had kindly provided.
Rugged-up to the max, we could probably have made a decent assault on Everest. One of so many pairs and family groups there that afternoon, just being with her was all I wanted. She clung to my coat-sleeve as I pulled her relentlessly towards the tiny island now ice-locked center lake, which in summer so many young couples would row out to, for a brief romantic interlude.
As my pace quickened, I unfortunately discovered that my co-ordination skills were not on a par with my directional inertia, resulting in a folding of my lower limbs and the direct placement of my rear-end on the ice. It was also brought to bear that I had no ready-made braking system to hand and was otherwise still travelling at a healthy rate of knots. Marion, in attempting to avoid my ankles, orchestrated her second collapse of the week and lying atop me now was laughing and giggling hysterically. With those wonderfully soft and pliant lips but inches from mine, I kissed her. She stopped laughing!
At the conclusion of a late supper, there was time for little more than a TV show before we had to take her home. Sitting in the back seat, I caught my father's smile in the rear-vision mirror, as I captured one further kiss just as we negotiated Marion's driveway. It was 9 p.m. on the dot.
It was to be a further fortnight before she was able to come over again and had Mr. and Mrs. Cardiff been forewarned of the circumstances to be played-out that afternoon, I would have been welcomed at their front door with an electric cattle prod, if not a double-gauge shotgun. Probably both!
Dad should never have bequeathed me that bedroom - by far the largest room in the house. Now in normal circumstances, the least responsible of parents would think twice about allowing their son to take a fourteen-year old girl upstairs alone to his bedroom for hours un-supervised. Like I would have ever permitted such license towards any of my three daughters? The fact is though, it was rather more than a bedroom. More of a lounge/study really, with a fold-out day and night. The room contained my work desk, and with its own television and stereo system, doubled as an entertainment center, even a small museum of sorts with glass cabinets all around the room, containing artifacts and treasures I had collected since early childhood. With its own intimate gas-heating also, It was always hard getting friends and acquaintances to go home!
The Saturday in question, Marion and I had walked up to the High Street, but eight minutes distant, checking out the record stores, having sodas in the ice-cream parlor and just strolling around the shops. Not five minutes after we returned home, some friends of the family turned up unexpectedly and forthwith commandeered the main lounge which left us with little or no privacy.
"Would you mind if we go up to my room for a while dad?" I asked hopefully. Never for one moment expecting him to agree, I was staggered when he replied, "Sure kid, I'm sure you two have something better to do with yourselves than hang around us adults." My mother however, more alert to the ways of the young male evidently, shot me a glance. "Just behave yourselves up there." I think I noticed out of the corner of one eye, a smile playing around dad's lips and a blush forming near Marion's. Inside, I was performing high fives.
I had no choice but to behave myself as it turned out. So interested was Marion in all my treasures and collectables, I spent the first three-quarters of an hour answering questions and showing her various exhibits. Then she wanted to play records, I was beginning to think this hadn't been such a hot idea after all. By the time "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" dropped for its fourth play I was beginning to wish Elvis had never been born. I figured I would break the monotony and asked her if she'd like a Coke.
When I got back to my room, Marion was standing over at the huge bay window, which offered up a panoramic vista of the rear garden, the dense forest beyond and the gentle undulations of the parkland east of our fenced border. Most of the snow had melted and though still freezing cold, everything was picturesque in its wintry solitude.
"You are so lucky," she whispered, "No one else has anything like this to look out at. My little bedroom just looks over other people's boring rear gardens."
She was right of course, I had known that since I could first see over my high-chair. She was standing there hands free at her side, her hair just curling softly at the nape of her neck. I stood behind her, simply encircled her waist with my arms. I knew she could feel my breath on her neck because she put her hands on top of mine and hugged them tighter. A fair bit shorter than me, I could see over her shoulder the curve of her young breasts clearly now and it would have been so easy to cup them and then squeeze them softly but I was little more than a child myself....my technique would doubtless have amounted to little more than an indelicate mauling. Anything more forward than a kiss was going to have to be at her own instigation.
I let her go so we could drink our Cokes. We sat on the ‘day and night’ and I seem to remember having so much trouble with my hands - trying to control them that is. At the point she turned her pretty face towards me I just kissed her and for the longest time, I just allowed myself the luxury of contact with those wonderfully soft lips. I think my motor sensory systems were shutting down one by one - I wouldn't even have fancied my chances if the entire ground-floor had been alight.
"Are You Lonesome Tonight?" was long finished and with no likelihood of being replayed for quite a while. At the point I realized Marion had a hold of my hand and was holding it flat up against her left breast I needed little further encouragement. So yielding and warm there, I squeezed the softness enclosed in my palm which only served to make her kiss me more passionately. I shifted my hand to the other side and began fondling her with quite some dexterous passion of my own. During this phase both of us had slipped further down the couch and Marion was almost on her back. Slipping my hand up beneath her jumper took us both to the next level.
She emitted a couple of "Ohhs" as my hands sought to cross the borderline between soft curvy skin and what lay beneath the edge of that flimsy little bra. I knew little about erect nipples but those that I found that afternoon were the catalysts for the most exciting and arousing of times I had ever known. With growing confidence, I began pulling her nipples gently and the effect on Marion was dynamic. A truck-load of moans of (as I know now of course) pleasure and the onset of some serious hip wriggling.
Almost supine now and with a healthy few inches of midriff visible, Marion presented as teasing a profile as any fourteen-year old boy has likely encountered. Pausing only for breath, we were still kissing in anything but moderation and with an enticing "tunnel" now visible between her jeans and her lower abdomen, I slipped my hand down inside the forbidden zone. This did cause a reaction!
"Noo, not there," she pleaded, tugging my hand out. Obviously she hadn't heard of the old maxim, "If at first you don't succeed...." Thinking to launch a major counter offensive, I kissed her for a bit more, fondling her breasts until she was nudging white-line fever, then recommenced my lower-abdominal activities. On a trajectory that took me beneath the elastic of her panties on my first incursion, I found my hand in a world of downy softness before Marion could react.
More cries of "Noo, please not inside my knickers," but so half-hearted were they, her grip on my arm was lessening even as my fingers reached her hot little pussy.
Now this really was education plus! Eighteen months ago I had learned the ins and outs as it were with Ruth, but eighteen months makes for a remarkable difference. I knew what I was doing this time. Pushing two fingers inside, I felt her shudder partly because of her obviously intact hymen and partly because I suspect this was her first ever penetration.
"Just be careful...please," she whispered, nuzzling up to me and obviously clearing the playing board for a completely new game.
"What if we just unfold my bed?" I asked her...well, she didn't say no at least"
I had the thing pulled apart in milliseconds. I had her under the coverlet even quicker.
Covered, she let me undress her just as quickly as I could ...well all but her panties that is. It fascinated me watching her undo that tiny bra. Like most young girls they don't mind so much showing off their new and developing breasts but anything south of the belly button is not for easy display. Didn't bother me I have to say, so long as I had digital access, I wasn't complaining.
We must have spent more than forty minutes 'experimenting.' Her breasts she let me do most anything with. Pulling them, rubbing them and best of all, suckling them until my mouth ran dry with excitement. Marion was not even averse to tugging down the covers and letting me just look at her topless and believe me, that in itself beat the hell out of playing Monopoly.
Things were not exactly in remission over on the Western front either. More than aware quite obviously, of the biggest erection I had ever had, I was somewhat keen you might understand to address the problem. Whilst trying to pull her panties down a few minutes later, as she giggled seductively, my erection brushed up against her hips. I heard her gasp "That's naughty!!' I had every intention of being naughtier.
Fully undressed myself I wasn't expecting her to do what she did. As a cool girlish hand took a hold of my erection I almost passed-out with pleasure.
"Do you like me doing that?" she whispered.
"As much as you like this," I answered, rubbing my fingers the length of her pussy and pushing in a little as I did so. I felt her legs spread apart and saw now what I would later have recognized as "urgency" in her expression. I pulled her on top of me, her breasts flush up against my chest and our genitals together. I don't know what it felt like to her, but to me, this was heaven beyond my wildest dreams.
After a few minutes of this frictionalized arousal, my erection was pressing hard up against her outer lips. More than once I had felt her own hand up between her legs. Would have been years before I realized why!
"We can't make love Noel," she murmured, "I'm still a virgin and anyway, you could get me pregnant."
Get her pregnant? Right at that moment, that was the least I'd like to have done to her.
I had to relieve myself - that much was beyond question. It was just then I realized that with all the wriggling about we'd been doing, the head of my erection was but a few inches from the entrance to her vagina. She must surely have known that my hands, having a free rein across the soft expanse of her sexy little bottom, were gradually re-aligning perspectives and it was no accident that my erection "slipped" suddenly upwards into the most delicate of ingresses.
"Noo," she cried out softly, shaking her head but making no attempt to move off me. I figured this was the ideal time to kiss her long and hard. Barely able to make headway because of the natural barrier, I was doing it tough. Marion I suspect was doing it tougher.
"We have to stop," she pleaded. All I could see was the light stuck on green. Turning Marion over on her back I got on top of her and would probably have ended up in Juvenile Court had not a series of knocks at the bedroom door put paid to my new-found manliness.
"Noel, can I come in please?"
If nothing else, mom's timing was impeccable as always