First Period, First Date, First Kiss, First Proposition & First Time A Bridesmaid ~ Angela Goodnight

[Hate to disappoint the readers who are only interested in my sexually explicit writing, but this is another story which will be likely to fail to arouse your libido. However, it will help males of all ages to understand how a teenage girl’s mind works, what is important, how she learns about boys and how her physiology affects her behaviour and attitude towards the opposite sex. Hope you enjoy the story for what it is, part of my life and the adventure of learning about my body and sexuality. There is romance within it if not explicit sex, by the way.]

Period pantiesOne of the last important events in my sexual development occurred just before I became a teenager.

I was just over twelve and a half. Isn’t it amusing how important quarter and half years were when you were progressing towards that magic thirteen?

It was a Friday night, or, more accurately, the early hours of a Saturday morning. I awoke suddenly, shocked, because I thought I might have wee’d in the bed. The top of my thigh was definitely wet. I jumped up and ran to the bathroom, sat on the loo and wee’d, but very little came. When I wiped myself there was blood on the toilet paper. I was bleeding.

My heart rate must have gone through the roof. What on earth had I done to myself and how had I done it? I stood up, flushed, put the seat cover down and raised one leg. Using my father’s shaving mirror I looked between my legs. I parted my inner lips but couldn’t really see anything, certainly not any cuts or blood, but when I wiped myself again there was definitely blood on the tissue. Suddenly I realised. I was having my first period. My mother had warned me that I would bleed one day and should tell her when it happened. I also knew most of my friends had already started.

I took a clean flannel from the airing cupboard and put it between my legs then went back to bed, pulling on a pair of briefs to keep it in place.

The next morning I knew my mother would see the blood on the sheets and I nervously told her what had happened.

She was very upbeat about it and treated it as a ‘coming of age’ adventure. She made me sit on my bed while she left the room, returning a minute later with a bag labelled ‘Boots The Chemist’. In it were several different sanitary towels and a sanitary belt which held them in place. Sanitary pad holder from nineteen-sixtiesShe showed me how to use them and said to let her know which type I preferred after a couple of days and she’d get more for me. She also emphasised cleanliness during a period and pointed out that there was blood on the back of my nightdress. I hadn’t noticed.

So, I’d become a woman and I certainly didn’t like this aspect of it. I felt yeuch, too.

As the year progressed and I became more regular and comfortable with my periods, curiosity about sex started to grow. With my friends we would quite often talk about our bodies, what was happening to them. The subjects of sex and boys became increasingly common in our conversations. Being an only child I suppose I might have been at a disadvantage, but eldest daughters were in just the same situation. As regards the opposite sex, most of us were pretty ignorant. I dealt with most of this in this story so won’t repeat it here.

Sex remained in the background during the rest of that year. We talked about it and began to hear that the odd one or two of our friends had ‘done it’. I was curious about it, but never felt any peer pressure to have sex. In fact I’d never even had a boyfriend, but in the early months of ’64 I seemed to fill out. My breasts grew a little, my hips seemed to widen and, when I looked in the mirror at my naked self, I could see that I was turning from a young girl into a young woman. I wasn’t sure about the benefit of pubic hair, but I realised the rest of me was starting to look quite pretty even if I didn’t have massive curves and boobs most boys were raving about.

Early in 1964 while these changes to my appearance were becoming apparent, I remember meeting up with Pat and Jane in the Methodist Youth Club where a gentleman called Marion, of all things, ran various events for the local youth. He was in his late forties, somewhat rotund and sported a club foot which made him appear slightly clumsy, but his personality was lovely and he was always happy to get involved in teen discussions, but only if invited. We’d never discuss anything personal with him though, not with a man.

This particular evening there was to be a dancing lesson on the waltz. Several of us had encouraged what boys we could to come along, not to date us, but to be partners during the dancing. Most pulled faces of disgust, but some of the more mature teenagers from school did attend. Among these was a rather nice looking red haired lad called Stephen Grant who was always very friendly at school. He and another boy called Andrew Wickett sauntered across the youth club to where Pat, Jane and I were playing table tennis. The loser keeping score for the others each game.

“Fancy mixed doubles?” asked Andrew of Jane who was sitting out this game.

“You’ll have to take turns with the three of us,” she told them.

“No problem,” said Stephen, “The losing girl can drop out each game and the winning girl can join the other boy.”

“OK. We’ll start the end of this game.”

I lost that game and Jane explained what she’d agreed so I kept score while Andrew and Pat played against Stephen and Jane.

Stephen had a natural talent and they won easily so the next game I was playing with him against Jane and Andrew. We wiped the floor with them. The following game was closer, but Andrew and I just lost 14-12 and I had to sit out as scorer.

We had great fun and, none of us except Stephen being really good, meant that we had lots of spills and misses to add to the hilarity.

After about six or seven games Marion clapped for attention, his name was often made fun of, but he always pointed out that the real name of a great macho actor in the sixties (who later turned out to be gay), John Wayne, was also Marion, which usually shut up the naysayers. Ironic looking back though. He clapped his hands again and called attention to Mr and Mrs Coles who had come along to teach the dancing. During the last table tennis game I had won with Stephen and he asked me, rather nervously, if I would be his dance partner. I agreed. I quite liked him.

Firstly the Coles’ did a demonstration waltz then got us all to come onto the floor. There weren’t enough boys to go around so some of the girls had to stand in. Pat danced with Andrew which left Jane dancing with a girl called Andrea from the Secondary Modern school where my father taught. You’ll find that Andrea was one of Peter’s favourite conquests after we were split apart and there are several stories about her.

We were told to stand facing each other and for the boy to take the girl’s right hand and I can clearly remember the warmth of Stephen’s hand holding mine. It was nice. He smelled of freshly laundered cardigan and a hint of some after-shave or cologne. That was nice, too.

We started dancing, counting one, two, three, left, right, together, one, two, three, left, right, together. We soon got the hang of the steps and Mrs Coles took those of us who had more fluidity apart and began to show us how to rotate as we moved around the hall. She kept praising us and saying how good a ‘lead’ Stephen was.

Later in the evening we were all sitting drinking tea and I was quite surprised when Stephen leaned over to me and whispered, “Can I walk you home, Angela?”

My God. I’d never been asked out by a boy and certainly never been walked home by one. I looked at his face. He was slightly flushed and I realised he had found it difficult to ask.

“Don’t you live this side of the Storn? I live the opposite way – Linnet View Road.”

“I don’t mind. I’d just like to be with you,” he said, colouring even further.

I thought I’d like to talk to Pat or Jane about it first, “Let me think about it, Stephen,” I said quietly.

“Call me Steve.”

“Right Steve, I’ll let you know in a little while.”

After the tea several of us, girls of course, took the cups, pots and milk jugs to the youth club kitchen and started to wash them. I pulled Pat to one side.

“Steve wants to walk me home,” I announced very quietly.

She looked at me and raised her eyebrows, “Do you like him?”

“Well, he’s quite nice, I suppose.”

“Go for it then,” she said with a laugh.

“Means you’ll have to walk home alone,” I reminded her.

“I don’t mind. Honest. Do you think he might try to kiss you?”

“Oh my God, Pat. I hadn’t even thought of that,” I said flushing as Jane came over to us.

“What are you two up to?” she asked.

“Stephen wants to make mad passionate love to Ang,” Pat said, laughing.

“Really?” Jane asked, looking straight into my face and realising Pat was winding her up.

“He wants to walk me home,” I told her.

“Go for it,” she said.

“That’s what Pat said.”

“There you go then. We can’t all be wrong,” said Pat, laughing again.

I sauntered back into the hall to where Stephen was standing with Andrew and another boy called Roy Williams. Oh, God, how was I going to break into their conversation to speak to Stephen?

As I approached I slowed almost to a standstill, Stephen saw me, realised I wanted to speak and walked over to meet me halfway.

“Well, Angela? Please say yes,” he asked again nervously.

“Yes,” I said, smiling, “I’d like to leave in about fifteen minutes. Is that OK with you?”

A huge grin broke his face and he quickly agreed, “Yes, fine. Will I come and find you or you me?”

“I’ll be with Pat and Jane over there,” and I pointed to where my friends were sitting and talking, smiled at him again and went back across the hall and sat down with the others.

“Seriously. What do I do if he wants to kiss me? I’ve never kissed a boy before,” I admitted guiltily.

“Oh, you’ve only kissed girls, have you?” laughed Jane.

I gave her a withering look.

“Let him,” said Pat.

“It’ll be fine. It’s warm and nice,” said Jane who had dated another boy once or twice.

“What do I do? Do I open my mouth?” I asked and realised I was becoming increasingly nervous about it. Pat and I both looked to Jane for the benefit of her experience.

“See how it goes. Kissing the back of your hand is similar in a way. If he kisses you closed lips then you can do the same. If you feel his lips open then open yours. It’s very natural really.”

Pat chipped in with an even more worrying point, “What does she do if he uses his tongue.”

Oh, no. I’d heard of this. French kissing. I’d be petrified.

“He probably won’t,” said Jane.

“Don’t think I could do that,” I added, “I’d be too scared. Have you done it?”

“Yes. It can be quite nice. Just go with the flow.”

I decided I wouldn’t fancy his tongue in my mouth. I was getting more and more worried about the whole business.

“I think I’ll tell him I’ve changed my mind,” I said nervously.

“You can’t do that,” they both said almost in unison.

“That would be so unfair on him,” added Jane.

“I suppose so,” I said with resignation.

We continued to chat until there was suddenly a shadow cast over the table and Stephen was standing there.

“Are you ready?” he asked and I stood up, raised a nervous hand to indicate ‘goodbye’ to Jane and Pat, then followed Stephen to the cloakroom where we collected our coats, said cheerio to Marion and headed out into the evening.

It was dark and also quite cold so I turned up the collar on my coat. Angela Goodnight holding hands with Steve during the walk homeWe set off towards the small Old Smith’s Bridge over the river, had only taken a few steps when I felt his hand take mine. Another unexpected development. He squeezed it tightly and then eased the pressure. It felt really warm in the cold evening and I curled my fingers around his to show willing. I looked up at his face, he was at least six inches taller than me, about six feet two inches, and I saw a lovely smile come over his face as I squeezed his fingers gently. I decided hand holding was a nice experience. Not something I did with my mum or dad anymore, but this was different. This was a stranger – well almost a stranger and it was good.

We crossed the bridge, stopping to look down into the river as it made its way blackly towards Storn beach. We leaned on the parapet and he was now on the other side of me meaning that his other hand came down onto my fingers which were holding the rail. His hand was hot in comparison with mine.

“You’re cold,” he said, trying to cover as much as he could of my hand with his.

“Your hand is lovely and warm,” I said and we turned towards the town centre, walking at a very leisurely pace past the small triangular park in the middle. I looked up the road leading towards the cinema and saw Pat making her way home by a different route to keep out of our way. I smiled to myself. She was a lovely friend, yet had been so nasty to me when I first came to the school. How people can change.

We came to the golf course, climbed three or four steps to get onto the links and made our way across the rough and a fairway to Golf Drive. Taking this route was a short cut to Linnet View Road and at the other side of the course we came down a dozen steps to road height. I was glad there was a full moon as otherwise the golf course would have been almost pitch black.

We crossed the road, he changed hands again and it was so hot. I knew what he was doing now. He was keeping his spare hand in his pocket to keep it warm for me. How lovely.

Eventually we reached Ferguson drive. It was a steep street leading to Linnet View Road which crossed it at the top. It was also dimly lit and there was a high wall running alongside the Haven Hotel. Part way along this he stopped and turned towards me. I stopped automatically when he did.

We were facing each other as if in the waltz and I looked up into his face which was now deadly serious. I gave a tentative smile. He leaned down towards me and his lips touched mine. Angela Goodnight's first ever kissJust gently, warmly, pressing enough to feel pleasant and then they withdrew. I’d closed my eyes, not sure what to expect, then opened them again and saw that he was smiling once more.

“That was nice, Steve,” I whispered, feeling some encouragement was in order.

His smile broadened, he leaned down again and his lips met mine once more. This time they opened and I followed suit. Oh this was good. We pressed against each other, me feeling the warmth and the movement of his over mine and I don’t know why I did it, but I allowed my tongue to come out and lick across the underside of his top lip. The kiss stopped, but we were still joined, his lips pressed to mine harder and his tongue now caressed my lips. Mine dashed out to meet it and we tasted each other, enjoying the moistness, the warmth, the affection, the softness and tenderness of each other’s lips and tongues. Neither tongue tried to pass the barrier of our lips and soon they retreated as the kiss, more malleable, more moist and so hot continued to delight me.

Eventually we broke off and looked into each other’s eyes. A rapport had been created. We turned, hand in hand and continued towards my house.

“That was my first kiss,” I whispered.

“Oh, me too,” he replied.

We squeezed each other’s hands in acknowledgment of our mutual ‘firsts’.

On the doorstep we kissed again with all the same beauty and enjoyment we had experienced the first time.

When the kiss ended, I said, “Thanks for bringing me home, Steve. It was lovely.”

“Yes. Really lovely. Can I see you again?”

I went up on tiptoe and kissed him a final time, then, providing one of my best smiles, looking up from under my fringe with what I knew was an attractive expression, I said, “I’ll look forward to it. See you at school tomorrow,” turned and let myself into my house.

I ran up to my room and peeked through the curtains and saw him leave our driveway. As he reached our gate he punched the air as an exciting gesture of his success. I sniggered and smiled to myself. I watched him continue along the road until he vanished around the corner then sat on my bed grinning from ear to ear. I’d had my first kiss and hadn’t made a mess of it. I touched my lips with my finger. They didn’t feel any different, but I knew, inside I had changed forever in a small way.

– o O o –

 Steve and I began to go steady. He was fun, good looking, great at sports and had many interests which complimented mine. He came home with me several times to work on French homework. He hadn’t taken Latin. My mum and dad seemed to approve and they actually became friends with Steve’s parents after the 1964 parent-teacher meeting. On a couple of occasions we all got together at both Steve’s house and mine for Sunday meals. He also had a sister called Marjorie who was a year younger than me, but quite mature for her age.

At school it had been an excellent year with me gaining really good results in the end of year examinations. 95% in French; 95% in English; 92% in German; 84% in English Literature; 82% Use of English; 72% in Latin; 70% Geography; 62% Domestic Science (cooking mainly) and 60% Biology. I regret that my mathematics was not a result of which I could be proud, a dismal 31%.

At sport I excelled mainly at netball and was stand-in captain for the 3rd form for one game in which we suffered a considerable defeat. I also played hockey on the wing and was pretty good at that, but my legs were always the target for tackles and I didn’t enjoy the myriad bruises.

The most exciting news was that I was to be a bridesmaid for Helen, my father’s cousin’s daughter. This involved a trip to Basingstoke where I stayed for a weekend in order to have dress fittings. I looked really good in pale blue. The dress was an empire style, ballerina length in organza with gathered bodice had lace trimmings and a square neck. The arms were very short, just a few inches with balloon sleeves. My hair was to be put up on the day into a French roll and I’d be wearing a white carnation in it. I’d also have a small white bouquet of flowers. It was so exciting seeing Helen trying on her wedding dress.

I was one of two bridesmaids, the other the same age as me and there would be a maid of honour. I couldn’t wait.

There was the school end of year dance to worry about as well. Steve had asked me as had two other boys, but I didn’t tell Steven about them. It was nice to be in demand. Growing up was so exciting and it all seemed to be happening for me this year. My figure had filled out a little, my proportions seemed much better even if my breasts were still comparatively tiny, but finally developing and my legs were a nice shape. I was no longer a beanpole and attracted the interests of more boys who I rejected ‘because I had a boyfriend’ which felt really good to say.

Mum and I were in London for shopping near the end of the school term and I told her I needed a dress for the dance. We started to look in some of the Carnaby Street boutiques.

I found and fell in love with a dress in a small boutique up a side street. It was just perfect and I knew it instantly. It was a dreamy lacy mini-dress, which would go perfectly with a chemise and panties we found in the lingerie section. I had an open knit cardigan at home which would be excellent with it on cooler occasions. We found some lovely paisley patterned silky stockings and white suspender in the same shop. It was just about the prettiest and sexiest outfit I’d ever seen in my life and I was so happy when mum bought it for me.

I tried it on in the shop. It hung very loosely on me, not quite as unfitted as a shift, but not tight. This made it easy for me to zip it up at the back and do up the clasp. It hugged my bust loosely, had a hint of a waist and even less of a hint of a flare from my hips.

To go with it the chemise I chose dropped neatly onto my shoulders and would tumble down to about eight or nine inches above my knees. I smiled to myself. I knew some girls were wearing dresses that short these days, but I didn’t think my mum would approve of a dress that length.

I also already had a cream pair of shoes which would match totally.

When I arrived home that night I tried on the dress and accessories and felt really good about it. So sexy. Steve would love it, I was sure. What I didn’t know at the time was that, one day, I would step out of this dress in order to lose my virginity, but that is another story for the future.

The night of the dance arrived. I looked in the mirror. The dress, the stockings, the shoes. Everything looked perfect. I descended the stairs and my father had a look of such pride on his face.

“You look lovely, Angie, like a princess,” he said and my mum came out of the kitchen to look.

“Lovely, Angie, you’ll be the belle of the ball,” she told me.

I put my light cream coat on and my father led me out to the car where I climbed into the passenger seat, trying to look sophisticated.

We set off to the town hall, where the dance was staged. Two local bands were booked and catering was provided by the school.

The car joined a queue of vehicles pulling in outside the hall. Two cars in front of us I saw Pat and Linda emerging from Pat’s father’s car. Pat in a blue mini-dress and Linda in a similar, but deeper blue dress almost down to her knees. I thought that with her having such lovely legs she was missing a trick.

The next car in the queue stopped at the door and Jane got out, looking very lovely in a flared party dress. I noticed that a boy called Arthur was waiting for her and took her hand to help her up the steps.

There was Steve.

My goodness, he was in a dinner jacket and bow tie. He looked wonderful. He saw our car pulling into position and ran down the steps to open the door for me.

As gracefully as I could in such a short dress, I extricated myself from the passenger seat and Steve encircled my fingers with his. Dad shouted, “Hi, look after her,” to Steve and he nodded before turning away and leading me by the hand up to the door.

He whispered in my ear, “Angie, you look beautiful. The best girl of all.”

I gave my thanks and we entered the hall to a cacophony of sound. Heavy beat music came from the stage and there was a loud buzz of shouted conversations reverberating around the room.

Steve helped me out of the coat and we handed it to the cloakroom who gave me a ticket, then we made our way around the hall, stopping, chatting to friends, complimenting each other on our appearances. Eventually we arrived at the trestle tables and took glasses of orange and lemon squash.

It wasn’t easy to be affectionate with so many teachers in the room, but Steve did manage to give me a lovely, tender kiss in one of the stage doorways. His lips were so warm and moist and thrilled me to the quick, or whatever that place is that is buried deeply behind your vulva.

We continued to be good on the dance floor including the waltzes which were played from time to time.

Between dances and food, we sat on the hard wooden seats which fringed the hall and we talked about music and school and friends and dating and how much we liked each other. It led inevitably to another delightful kiss. He went to finish it after about thirty seconds, but I whipped my hand around the back of his head and held him against my lips, flicking my tongue out and encountering his. We still hadn’t pushed beyond one another’s lips, but I’d taken the kiss too far.

A firm, but quiet voice said, “Goodnight. Grant. A little less passion, please.”

We broke off the kiss instantly and both flushed as we saw Miss Kelly, the History teacher, moving on along the row of seated teenagers. Then we laughed together.

After the last waltz the master of ceremonies called Jane and Arthur up to the stage and they were awarded second prize for the best dressed couple, then to our huge surprise we were called up and had won first prize and got a mention for our wonderful waltzing. Steve had a box of chocolates and I was given a bouquet of red roses. How lovely.

It was a wonderful evening and so romantic. Steve walked me home and we stopped so often that we didn’t get to my place until an hour after the dance ended. Our kissing was totally delectable. I couldn’t get over how lovely and soft his lips were and the feelings which ran through my body as we moved our lips together, tugging, caressing, pressing hard, soft, kissing above and below our lips, nibbling the edges of our mouths with our lips and those amazing flicks of our tongues as we tasted each other. He tasted as sweet as honey.

As we stood in my doorway enjoying a final passionate kiss my heart seemed to be beating faster than normal and our eyes searched each other’s for … for what? I didn’t know but I knew it felt good.

It was then that he broke the spell.

“Angie, do you think you might like to have sex with me?” he whispered.

I hadn’t expected that. I stepped back and looked at him seriously.

“No. I don’t think so,” I said quite firmly.

“Say yes,” he insisted, “everyone’s doing it these days. I’ve got some contraceptives.”

“Who’s doing it?” I asked sharply and I think he suddenly realised he’d gone too far.

“Well, Andrew and Janice. Also Andy Burke and Lucy.”

“How do you know that? Lucy’s a friend and I’m sure she hasn’t.”

“It doesn’t matter Angie,” he said, voice lowered as if he knew he’d been rumbled, “I just thought I’d ask.”

“You said you’d got contraceptives. Where did you get them?”

“The barber’s shop. You just ask. They’re three and nine pence for three.”

“Which barber?”

“Nick Carter.”

“You’re kidding me! He cuts my dad’s hair. Now he might find out my boyfriend has been buying contraceptives,” I was angry.

“Don’t overreact, Angie, Nick wouldn’t discuss things like that.”

“Overreact. Overreact! You sully my reputation and you think I’m overreacting?”

“Angie. He’ll never tell anyone. Barber’s are like doctors.”

“Well, Stephen,” I began, using his full Christian name for emphasis, “you can take your contraceptives and go to hell!” I turned my key in the lock and shut the door in his face.

I was thirteen. I didn’t want sex yet. Well, maybe I was thinking about it occasionally, but didn’t want to do it. I was furious with him. I was also furious that someone in the town knew he’d bought contraceptives. What if my father got chatting to the barber and he mentioned me and my boyfriend and the barber knew who it was and said he’d bought contraceptives. My dad would go ballistic.

I shouted, “I’m home,” and ran up to my room where I burst into tears. I loved kissing Steve, but I didn’t want sex with him and now I’d broken it up with him. I was so unhappy, so miserable. How an evening can change from bliss to disaster.

When I’d changed into my dressing gown I went down to the kitchen and made myself a cup of hot chocolate. My mum came in and quickly realised I’d been crying.

“What is it, Angie?”

“Steve.”

“What’s he done, dear?”

“It’s what he wanted to do,” I decided it was best to tell my mum in case it ever came out that he’d bought contraceptives.

She looked at me seriously, “ He didn’t hurt you?”

I looked up sharply, “Oh. No. Nothing like that.”

“So, what?” she became insistent.

“He wanted us to have sex.”

“Where, when?”

“I don’t know, mum, I just told him to get lost,” and I cried again.

My mother put an arm around my shoulder, “I liked him, mum,” I cried through the sobs.

“Well as long as you’ve told him ‘no’, there’s no reason you can’t continue to see him. Just remain firm.”

It sounded reasonable, but I just couldn’t do that. His kissing disturbed me, gave me feelings of longing in my stomach and down there, down between my legs. I was afraid I might weaken. I didn’t trust myself.

“Don’t tell dad what he wanted,” I said, finally recovering my composure.

“OK, darling.”

“I don’t want to go out with him now I know he wants sex.”

“Angie, all boys want sex. You just have to be firm with them,” she said smiling then continued, “Look you don’t have to worry about him now. Things might look different in the morning.”

I nodded, finished my chocolate, gave mum a hug and heaved myself disconsolately back up to my room where I sat in the window looking at the moon reflecting off the waves as they curled and broke in Linnet Bay. My eyes still shed my tears of sorrow.

– o O o –

What a bizarre situation. A continual buzz of conversation, girls dashing back and forth, not a man in sight and everyone eager to see Helen in her dress. The hairdresser was almost finished with her hair and mine had already been put up into a French roll. My dress was absolutely lovely and the bouquets had just arrived. Helen’s mum brought them to their bedroom where they were to lie until needed.

“Love you, dear,” she said to the bride, “got to go. See you at the church,” and she dashed down the stairs and rushed out to join her sister in one of the cars heading to the church. As I looked out of the window I saw the father of the bride pacing up and down in the garden, smoking a cigarette and apparently talking to himself. I quickly realised that this was a speech rehearsal. A white Rolls Royce adorned the driveway and a small group of neighbours and others was gathering on the pavement to see the bride leave the house.

At last she began to dress with our help. She wore the most sexy, frilly white panties, a matching combination corset and bra, white stockings and suspenders.

“Loo,” she suddenly shouted and we cleared a passage so that she could dash to the toilet for that all important last visit before she put on the dress.

Two minutes later she was back and we had the dress ready for her to step into. The maid of honour zipped up the back and then we began to fix the headdress to her newly coiffured hair.

I thought back to the beginning of the day when we were all sitting around in the dining room drinking coffee and everyone smoking except me. I was offered one but didn’t fancy it. There was much raunchy conversation taking place.

The maid of honour asked, “You shaved your pubic hair?”

God, I’d never heard of such a thing.

“Yes, Wendy, trimmed it, but left it above my clit,” Helen replied.

“Why would you do that?” I asked innocently.

“Men like it,” Wendy replied.

“Makes it easier for them to suck you,” said a girl called Jennifer who was with the hairdressing team.

This was greeted with general laughter.

God, so the rumours that med did suck you when they had sex were true? I didn’t dare ask out loud.

“Looking forward to it?” asked Wendy.

“God, yes. We haven’t done it for nearly two weeks. Decided it would make tonight better.”

So, she wasn’t a virgin, I thought. Did everyone have sex before they married?

“What’s it like?” I asked.

“What? Sex?” Wendy replied while finishing painting Helen’s fingernails.

“Yes.”

“Warm and sticky and brilliant,” said Helen as she looked around at me, “and you’re too young to ask anymore about it,” laughing.

Why would it be sticky? I suppose stuff that comes out. It was all still a mystery to me. We hadn’t talked about stickiness in our little gang of third-formers. I made a mental note to bring it up.

“Do you regret not saving yourself for today?” I asked, realising it was inappropriate too late to stop myself.

“God, no,” Helen said, “we’ve been having sex for a couple of years. Wouldn’t have wanted to miss all of that.”

She looked at me meaningfully and added, “But you can if you want to Angie, you don’t have to have sex before you marry, but think of it this way, if you found you didn’t like sex with him until you are married it would be a bit on the late side, don’t you think?”

I nodded thoughtfully. Maybe I was a bit hard on Steve. Too late now, he was going out with another girl from the Comprehensive school. I didn’t know her. She was quite pretty. I wondered if they were having sex and tried to imagine him doing it to her, but I didn’t like the picture it conjured.

“Ready,” Wendy shouted and I was back in the present.

Myself and my fellow bridesmaid Tanya ran through to Helen’s parents’ bedroom and collected the posy bouquets, gathered our clutch bags and accessories and very carefully descended the stairs. No one wanted to fall at this point in proceedings.

Bouquets safely stored in our black Ford Zodiac, we ran back to the house to be ready if Helen needed anything else. She was just descending the stairs, taking each step as if it was crumbling underfoot and safely reached the lobby where her dad was looking, tears in his eyes, at his lovely daughter.

“Don’t you cry, dad, or you’ll start me off,” she scolded.

We stepped outside and she emerged from the porch to the clicking of local people’s cameras and flashes. We backed off to the Rolls Royce and held the door open. Helen folded herself into the back seat and her dad ran around to the other side. After checking there was none of the dress to get trapped in the door, Wendy closed it and the three of us went to the Zodiac, sat in, went through our final check list from the house and the two cars pulled away.

What a pretty church. There were very few people still outside when we arrived, but many standing in the street with their cameras to see and photograph the bride.

We jumped out of our car first and it pulled away so that the Roller could come into position. It looked beautiful, its radiator gleaming silver, its white lines magnificent and its decking with white ribbons setting the whole scene off a treat.

Helen’s dad came around to her side as we helped her extract herself from the car. Wendy, Tanya and I made sure everyone had their correct posy and Helen began to move sedately up the path towards the church, her father holding her arm, a photographer back-peddling before them and us following on behind. She looked so lovely, so adorable. I couldn’t wait to be a bride. It would be the most wonderful day of my life.

We entered the church to the strains of ‘Here comes the bride’ and passed majestically down the aisle to where her husband to be and best man were standing. I was amazed how much whispering was going on either side of the aisle, much of it about how beautiful the bride was, but also comments about Wendy and the two of us as bridesmaids. Such a thrilling spectacle of which to be a part.

The reception was held in a marquee behind a local hotel and every young man in the place seemed to want to dance with Tanya and me. It was lovely to be almost the centres of attention and to be enhanced still further after the bride and groom had left for the honeymoon when we truly became the girls with whom to dance.

Several boys asked to date me and it was awful to have to tell them that I lived so far away and one said that he was desperately disappointed and would I give him a kiss?

We disappeared into the pub garden and stood in a corner. He was much older than me, at least eighteen or even more and when we kissed he squeezed me tightly and kissed ever so passionately, so much so that I thought my lips would be bruised. I felt his tongue flick across my lips and let mine join his, but he took this as some sort of signal and then pushed his tongue all of the way into my mouth. I wasn’t sure I was ready for such intimacy and broke the kiss off.

“Don’t rush in,” he said, “stay a while.”

“I don’t think I’d better,” and I broke free and made my way back inside and made my way over to where my parents were sitting.

“You look so lovely, Angie,” my dad said and we all sat together chatting. I caught a glimpse of the boy watching me from the doorway, but he eventually seemed to lose interest and I didn’t see him again.

It was nearly three in the morning when we got back to Gurney, despite leaving before the eleven o’clock curfew for the marquee.

At home I collapsed on my bed with a huge smile across my face and fell asleep in my bridesmaid’s dress.

Angela Goodnight, 26th November 2014