Yiska waits by the fence. The school's on the other side. Yiska waits for Benny; he is at lunch, she waits impatiently. The playing field is crowded with other kids; some girls sit in groups talking and laughing. Yiska sees boys coming out, Benny not amongst them. She waits arms folded,a face on her. Alma said she'd told her brother about her. Alma was her best friend. That's the boy, Yiska had told Alma. He's my brother, Alma said. Good, you can tell him, I fancy him, Yiska said. Alma had said she told him. Yiska waits; walks along the fence; sees other boys. No Benny. She has visions of things going places. Not that she'd tell Alma that. Some things are best not told. She looks towards the playing field; girls and boys in groups or couples or alone. She looks back towards school. He's there, Benny, walking by the fence, hands in pockets, school tie hanging loose, shirt unbuttoned at the neck. Alma said you wanted to see me, Benny says, looking at Yiska, his eyes hazel, his look, steady. Yes, I did, Yiska says, feeling her nerves beginning to unravel. Rick said you wanted to see me, too, Benny says. My brother? Yiska says. Yes, the very one, Benny says. They stand by the fence, face to face. Only he said, you fancied the socks off me, Benny says, smiling. I never said. She looks past him. Yiska feels undone. Anyway I'm here, Benny says. Only said I liked you, she says, looking at him now, seeing his hair, the quiff, the smile. He looks her over quickly: eyes, hair, lips, hips, thighs shape of. Shall we go for a walk? Yiska asks. Sure, he says. Where? She asks. Benny shrugs. On the field? She nods. They walk off together, apart. His hands are still in his trouser pockets. She walks hands in front, fingers joined, prayer mode .Cat got your tongue? He says. No, no, just thinking, she says. Of what? Me? My socks? She smiles. She looks at him sideways on. What do you fancy? He asks. Who said I fancied anything? Yiska says, blushing slightly. Rick did, Alma hinted, Benny says, My socks, apparently, he adds. She looks at the playing field. Folds her arms. Stops and looks at him. I never said fancied. So what then? He says. She looks at her shoes: black, dull, unpolished. Maybe, a bit, I do, she says, looking at his shoes: black, scuffed. He takes his hands out of his pockets. Touches her arm, feels along until he reaches a hand. Nice hand, he says. She lets him hold it, feels his hand touching hers. Warm, soft. Taking her hand, they walk on. How much? Benny asks. How much what? Yiska says. Do you fancy me? He says, his thumb rubbing the back of her hand. Fancy's an odd word, she says, interested, more, she adds. O, I see, not fancy me at all, he says. She looks uncertain, the blush spreading. If I were in your bedroom would you fancy me there? He asks. What a question, she says, feeling her pulse increasing, imagining him there, in her room, her bed made-unusual for her- but made up tidy. I'd fancy you anywhere, Benny says, in a nice way of course, not necessarily in your bedroom. She looks at the high fence, the road beyond, traffic passing. He looks at her hair, the way her ears are just visible if she moves her head a small bit; lobes, suckable. Alma didn't say you fancied me, Benny says, but Rick did. *******, Yiska says, just like him. She looks at the wooded area to the left of the playing field. Went there once to fetch a rounders ball that got hit there in P.E, she muses. Could go in there, she says, pointing. Best not, he says, people may get wrong ideas. Think things. He sits on the grass, pulls her down, next to him. Safer here, he says, holding her hand, still. She sits next to him, crosses her legs, pulls her school skirt over her knees. She senses his hand there. Warm, wet, heated. How old are you? He asks. Same age as Alma. Thought so, he says. How old are you? She asks. Fourteen, he says, leave school at Christmas, be fifteen, then. She looks at his hand in hers. Wish I could leave school then, too, she says. I can't wait, he says. No more brain-washing. She looks at his eyes. Hazel, bright. I will dream of him tonight, she thinks, I'll dream of him next to me. His hand in mine. Mine hand in his. Will we kiss? She imagines so. Must not make too much noise though. Mother hears things too well, she thinks, looking at his chin, the jawline. What will you do? She says. When? He asks, looking at her school tie, tied in an untidy knot, her small ******* bulbs. When you leave school? She says. Don't know, want to be a mechanic, maybe car mechanic, he says, wondering what she would be like if she was beside him on her bed or his bed for that matter, but then she'd had have his younger brother there, too. Then you won't be here, she says. No, thank God, he says. I'll miss you being here, she says. Can always visit you weekends if I get a bus, he says, wondering if her bed wouldn't be better as she slept alone. She strokes his hand in her as if it were a cat. He looked past her at the other kids on the grass. Reynard was playing football as was Trevor. That'd be good, she says, I could meet you off the bus, if you came. If you like, he says, watching Trevor almost score a goal. She looks at his hazel eyes, the smile, Elvis like, the quiff of brown hair, his hands, she muses, stroking with her other hand. I don't want to appear forward, she says, but could we kiss? He looks back at her. Kiss? He says, looking at her lips and cheek and forehead. Where? He asks. Here, she says. Where, here? He says, homing in on her lips with his eyes. Not here on the field here, she says, blushing, looking around in case others are watching. Where, then? He asks, looking at her eyes, seeing himself there, small and untidy. Maybe, at school, in a corridor that's empty or in a doorway, she says. Why not here? He asks, no one will care a jot if we do. She bite her lip, releases his hand, looks past him, behind him. What will they say? She asks. Who? He says. Others around, she says, returning her gaze on him. Who gives a monkey, he says. I do, she replies, reddening in the face. He gets up to leave. Look, I am missing a game of football sat here, another time maybe, he says. No, no, don't go, she says, clutching at his hand, being pulled up as she does so. She stands beside him, still holding his hand. I can watch, too, she says. He looks at her, feels her hand in his. OK, he says, if you want. I do, she lies, walking with him towards the boys kicking a ball around. She senses the grass was a bit wet because she is. She feels it. They stand and watch the boys in their game. She feels uncomfortable. Feels slightly undone, but they watch the game, she unkissed, but watching the boys having fun.
A GIRL AND BOY ON A FIRST DATE IN 1962 AT SCHOOL