A tortorous tale of teenage passion
|A Love Lost?
St. Valentine’s Day.
The one day of the year, unwittingly designed to torture the souls of the hormone drenched pubescent student.
The ‘dreaded’ day! The day ‘normal’ teenagers learn a simply truth about themselves, or have the truth confirmed by what they would most probably NOT receive.
The absence of a simple envelope containing a heart covered card was a badge of ridicule in itself.
It shouted out the total lack of charisma, personality, charm or sexuality they might have dared to believe they possessed.
It proved to the world that they were a failure at gaining affection or even the attention of a potential beau.
The lack of just one, singular piece of shaped and creased wood-pulp was a badge of utter rejection.
It was a declaration to the world that nobody had an interest in them ‘that’ way.
The ‘beautiful set’ would flounce around excitedly of course, with a handful of cards apiece which would ‘do the rounds’ and be passed around enthusiastically and speculated upon as to who had sent what to whom. They would giggle and laugh and run to greet each other as they entered the yard with big beaming faces, oozing their confidence with easy pride.
It must have been nice to be one of the ‘beautiful’ set.
For the rest of us, the ‘normal set’, attempted to pretend it was March.
We avoided each others gaze, not wishing to admit we had been left upon the shelf.
The truth that no-one had noticed us all year sucked at our souls and pissed over any scrap of confidence we might have gained on the run up to today.
But the lack of a card was not the end.
There is yet more angst to be wrung from fragile hearts on this day.
More hopes, more dreams, to be lived or smashed to dust by the hammer of fate or the whim of those who have unknowingly claimed the heart.
Michael sat uncomfortably at his desk. His palms were damp and he nervously wiped them dry on his trouser legs once more before twiddling with his pen or rearranging his text books.
His eyes repeatedly darted to the door as another pupil or group of pupils entered the classroom.
“Where was she?”
Michael had dared to fall in love.
He had dared to hope and he had finally plucked up the courage to secretly declare his love to the object of his desire.
It might be folly, but so what?
The other boys would laugh in his face if they knew what he had done, if they had seen the pile of failed attempts at card-making that lay in shreds on his bedroom floor.
If they had seen the fumbling, awkward words he had painstakingly agonised over for the last two weeks.
Naturally, he had ended up spending his pocket money on card, but if they knew what he had been up to!
Getting it to her secretly without even her knowledge was no easy task.
He dare not leave it on her desk lest somebody else find it.
His first attempt at dropping it into her bag had ended disastrously this morning.
He had waited in the cold by the gate and watched for her. His rapid breath moistened his brows as it condensed in the windless air. His hand constantly wandered to his pocket for the reassuring touch of the card as doubts of his sanity continued to assault him.
Then she was there, walking beautifully toward him. She was with her sister and another girl.
A taste of bile suddenly reached his mouth and Michael dove into the school yard and leaned against the wall, his heart pounding, his breathing, hard.
She didn’t notice him as she stepped through the gate. Michael watched her as she headed straight for the main entrance.
He fell into step behind the girls. If he could meet her at the door, maybe he could simply drop the card into her bag as she passed. He rushed ahead and gallantly held open the door.
Alison smiled her thanks as she brushed passed him. He smelled her hair, surreptitiously but deliberately.
That she brushed against his arm, was a bonus beyond his hopes.
Hormones raced through his body and headed straight to his groin. He reddened, deeply and dropped his gaze, along with the envelope, to the floor. The flight of the card was a beautiful arch. It floated before her, down and then up with an almost unnatural grace before reaching its apex and reversing its course and came to land at her feet.
Alison had picked it up and handed it back to him with a smile he almost missed. His hand shook as he took it from her and mumbled bashful thanks.
He remained leaning against the door wondering what had gone wrong and to pick up what remained of his dignity as the girls giggled their way along the corridor to the cloakroom.
That had been this morning. Now, in math, he had another chance, probably the last chance he’d get until next year.
And there she was!
The moment he saw her slender frame, his erection made itself known again and he squirmed in his seat to ease the discomfort.
Alison walked to the desk in front of him, took off her blazer and hung it over the back of her chair. Her cardigan was unbuttoned and he saw the small bumps that marked the position of the nipples through her blouse. The same nipples he dreamed about almost constantly.
He groaned involuntarily and she looked at him quizzically before sitting and searching out the books she needed for the lesson.
Mr Stevens called the class to attention and told everybody to turn to page 142 of the book on Algebra.
Michaels attention lay upon Alison’s gentle curls, draped sensuously as they were over her slender shoulders and revealing the nape of a delectably, delicate neck.
In his mind, he kissed it gently, tenderly as though kissing a sleeping baby.
Mr. Steven’s had begun to drone in his usual, bland monotone. Michael’s mouth became dry. He fidgeted ceaselessly. He knew he had precious little time left to put his envelope into Alison’s blazer pocket which lay so invitingly open. All he had to do was get it from his pocket into hers without anybody seeing and he was home free.
Slowly, so very slowly, his hand reached into his pocket and withdrew the now grubby envelope and rammed it between the pages of gibberish he was supposed to be learning.
Nobody had seen. He was halfway there.
Less than three feet to go and he could relax.
Those three feet might as well have been a mile.
Those thirty-odd inches seemed to stretch beyond reach.
A yawning gulf that symbolised his whole life opened up between that pocket and his shaking hand.
He could smell his own fear carried upon the back of testosterone.
He flicked his pen onto the floor and mumbled his apology to Mr. Stevens as he left his seat to retrieve it from the foot of Alison’s chair.
With one hand, he retrieved the pen, with the other, rapidly ripped the card from within the pages of his textbook and into her pocket and was back in his seat within moments.
Mr. Stevens looked at him over the rims of his spectacles.
“Master Forman, bring it here please.”
“My pen sir?”
“No boy. I am talking of the item you placed into Alison’s pocket! Bring it to me please.”
Michael felt the room stretch out into eternity as he visibly shrank into his seat and the room went silent, save for a few snickers.
Alison reached into her pocket and drew out the offending envelope herself and held it in her hand. She looked upon it as though it were a death warrant.
She knew what it was as soon as she saw it and a dread suddenly filled her soul that was almost equal to that of Michael’s.
Mr. Stevens relieved her of it and opened it theatrically.
“What have we here? Oh! It appears to be a Valentine card, a cheap one!” He paused for the laughs before continuing. “Would you care to read it for us Michael? Would you like to take this unique opportunity of declaring your love of Alison before us all?
Come on boy! Stand up and show the girl what’s on offer!”
Alison glared at Michael’s shrinking figure as time stood still for them both. His eyes pleaded her forgiveness as Mr Stevens read the depths of his heart to the class in mocking tones, but her eyes were too full of tears to notice his plea, her ears, too full of the sound of her own racing heartbeat to hear for herself the poetry of this tortured, teenage soul.