Touching knees with Gretta Copperpot
I was two years away from senior school (well, actually three after my lost year) and doing very well at St Innocence's of Skelmersdale. My report had been excellent and I was fairing well for a boy who had been entered into school a year ahead of schedule. I was also excelling at sports. I had been the district champion of back stroke and had come second in the county athletic hurdling competition. Things were looking up. Although I was started to shed my baby looks and the puberty stage Bobby was going to be a scary period. I knew I wasn't the best looking kid back then, but, looking back, I was pretty rough looking. That said, it was noticeable that the charm and the sense of humour were being gently honed.
When I reached year six, I was placed on the brown table with Michael Watts, Jenni-Anne Wilcox and Gretta Copperpot. I wasn't happy at first as my best pal, Rupert Lever was seated on the blue table with people thought to be the cleverest in the class. I was deeply jealous and for weeks didn't talk too any of the children on my table. That was until the meeting of the knees.
This was probably my first sexual experience. I don't mean this was the first time that I fumbled or anything like that, but more that I experienced a feeling that I would come to recognise as I became a man. It was Wednesday afternoon and we had been working on our projects over lunch. I was the only one working on my own in class as I was still harbouring a grudge for being placed on the brown table. W e had just sat down to listen to a BBC broadcast for schools when I felt it. It was the warmth of her leg next to mine. It was amazing: a sensation that I didn't experience again for a good couple of years - not until I was long into senior school anyway. It was like I had just discovered something that would save the world.
The leg touching went on for about ten minutes. And yet years later I can still remember what it felt like. I met Gretta in a supermarket just a couple of years ago and simply had to talk to her. I had heard that she had become a county champion long-distance runner, but hadn't met anyone who was going to steal her heart. I thought that there was no time like the present to have a go. After a couple of minutes trying to trigger her memory of me (the knee touching was obviously something that meant more to me than her), I told her all about what happened that day. She looked slightly uncomfortable, but warmed to me when I told her that I had admired her from afar for many years since and had even followed her running career (I was lying, but then I did lay the knee touching on a bit thick). We arranged to meet in the supermarket cafÈ for a Lattte or a 'soup of the day', but she didn't turn up. I checked that there wasn't two cafes and waited around for about an hour, but she didn't show. I just wanted to say thank you to the second girl I had ever a crush on. One day I'll meet her again.