ONE AFTERNOON 1965

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 14, 2016

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Submitted: May 14, 2016

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I put on a Count Basie LP
on the blue covered
record-player,
Tilly lay on the bed
filing her finger nails,
looking at them
making sure
they were even.

I looked out
the bedroom window
onto the grass and hedge
and to my right
the apple orchard.

I loved the saxophone solo
on the Basie LP,
moved my head
to the beat.

Did your mum believe
you went to stay
at a friend's house?
I said.

Yes, she seemed to,
Tilly said,
taking her eyes
from her nails
to gaze at me.

Had to be convincing,
and lie of course,
Tilly added,
looking at me
more intensely.

Which friend
did you say?
I asked.

Pretend friend,
I haven't a friend
I can lie about
so convincingly,
Tilly said.

I guess so,
I said,
turning to face her
lying there on my bed,
the trumpeter soloing
on Basie track.

Doesn't your mum
mind us being up here
in your room?
Tilly said.

I said I wanted to you
to hear my new Basie LP,
I said.

I don't like jazz,
I like the Beatles
and Bob Dylan,
Tilly said.

Had to say something,
I said.

We had good sex
at Uncle's place
didn't we?
she said,
smiling,
putting away
her nail-file.

We had.

I remembered it
as I sat on the bed
looking back at her,
wishing we could here,
but it would be too risky
with my mother
just downstairs,
and my young brother
likely to come up
any minute.

Is your place
ever empty?
I asked.

Seldom,
Tilly said,
Mother is nearly always there,
doing her housework
or the garden
or preparing meals.

The Basie big band
was playing out the track
and then stopped,
and there was silence.

I leaned to her
and kissed her lips.

She put her arms
around me,
and we held close.

Lips to lips stuck.
We wanted to,
but we couldn't
worst luck.


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