School Reunion (I’ve waited a long time)
The school hall looked as shitty as I remembered it! No amount of crepe paper swags, tinsel or bunting could tart it up to look decent, but the organisers of the reunion had tried. The mirror ball suspended from the ceiling combined with coloured and white lights to bounce fragments of colour around the dim room, illuminating faces of men and women who’d been my friends or cohorts 15 years ago.
A few people were dancing. The music was background noise to start off, allowing conversation and catch-up chat, but after people had descended on the limp buffet table like locusts, the DJ used the opportunity to turn up the volume.
I knew I shouldn’t have come, some memories are better not stirred up, but my best friend from those days, Caroline had begged and pleaded with me to visit my home town.
“Please come Lizzie, I haven’t seen you in years! It’ll be great to catch up. There’s plenty of room to stay at ours, I’ll make up the Z-bed for you.”
In the end her persuasion was relentless, a stream of DMs on Facebook and texts. I did want to see her again, when we talked the years fell away, rekindling that ‘anything’s possible’ feeling which we’d enjoyed during those final months of our school careers. I booked into the Premier Inn and took the train, watching familiar London streets switch to greenery as flashing scenery followed my journey deep into the countryside. Finally, the train drew into my hometown where everything seemed smaller and shabbier than I remembered.
Looking round the ‘disco’ now shabby was still the impression. The people who had stayed here and never moved away – I couldn’t help looking down on them for their lack of ambition, although some had strong family ties I hotly envied. Caroline’s family was like that, brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles – it’d always seemed everywhere we went we’d bump into relatives of Caro’s; family eyes watching at all times!
I stood at the side of the hall, a the breeze from outside whipped at the long faded floor length curtains while smokers and vapers stood outside passing the time. This night was dragging, there was no-one I wanted to talk to besides Caroline, we’d pretty much kept to ourselves once we got into the sixth form; avoided hanging out with girls who met boys behind the bike sheds or shoplifted sweets and make-up from Woolworths.
I’m lying! There was one other person I wanted to see – I wasn’t sure (even now) if I’d have the nuts to talk to him! He’s haunted my memories and dreams ever since that last summer disco. Frank Brookes – he was a distraction to me our entire sixth form. He took all my classes so his quiet brooding presence was constantly on my radar. How many times I’d wished that I’d danced with him that last disco, then I could’ve kissed him instead of wondering all these years what his lips felt like, or where that kiss could’ve led.
Someone bumped into me so I moved out of the way, my memories floating out of my consciousness like smoke on a breeze. Snapped out of my reverie I noticed more people were dancing now – the night was half over so the DJ was playing songs from our era – tunes which had us filling the dance floor back when raw-hemmed denim minis and strawberry lip gloss were the height of cool. I watched in a detached manner, idly wondering which of the guys would lose their hair first, when I felt a tap on my shoulder.
“Oh Sorry!” I responded, ready to move out of the way, then my eyes met his, liquid and dark and my stomach swooped like a roller coaster ride.
“Lizzie? I thought it was you. Frank,” his voice was deep and resonant and he touched his chest to indicate that was his name, because I was standing there like a slack jawed idiot.
“Yeah, Frank, of course! I remember you from Higson’s english class.” And from too many hot dreams to mention, but I prayed my mouth wouldn’t spill that fact!
“So how are you?” he asked, looking me over – I hoped my hair still looked smooth and glossy and that my lipstick enhanced my lips.
“Great thank you. Working too hard. How about you? What do you do?” God I wanted to know the answers to these questions, but I got lost in his liquid eyes, following his lips as he talked. I glanced down at his elegant long fingers as he gestured, he explained something about his job and I tried to snap back into the moment.
“God it’s great to see you,” he smiled, shaking his head in wonder, and I felt myself relax a little, my grown-up self sensing the attraction was mutual.
The DJ chose that moment to switch gears and put on a slow song from back then, and Frank fixed me with his steady gaze.
“Shall we?” he held out his hand and my guts went on that roller coaster again! Quickly I lost my paper cup and followed my teenage crush onto the dance floor. He was a tall glass of water on a hot summer’s day, and I was oh-so-thirsty! As I moved into his arms, loving how we fitted together, I tried not to think I’d been yearning for this for fifteen years!
I pressed my body against his in a way I’d never have dared to back then, and his hands slid down my sides and spread their warmth to my buttocks, making my dreams and reality merge into one!
My head nestled into his shoulder and he murmured in my ear, “I’ve waited a long time to do this.”
“Really?” I asked, begging myself to play things cool.
“Yeah, that last disco, before that fight kicked off, I wanted to ask you to dance. I was screwing up my courage, then all hell broke loose. I don’t even know who was fighting.”
“Trevor and Paul – fighting over Sarah-Jane like always.”
He laughed “Yeah they were a regular love triangle. I think she married Paul, then later had an affair with Trevor. But back to us.”
“Yeah us – “ I looked up at him, through my fringe, and saw he was bowing his head to kiss me. I closed my eyes in expectant bliss and tilted to meet him. The soft press of his lips against mine made my toes curl and body tingle, while his strong arms wrapped around me, his fingers brushed my breast, I suckes in a breath with delight.
“I’d like to be alone with you,” he said, breaking the kiss.
“Come to my hotel.”
We said our goodbyes, Caroline’s eyes out on stalks, she was miming for me to ring her later, as we linked fingers and hustled out of the school hall. He had his car so he drove to the hotel. In the dimly lit car park we kissed again, hands roaming, our breath becoming ragged.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked, ever the gentleman.
“Sure. Definitely,” I replied, feeling moisture slicking my panties while an ache and throb built between my thighs. So we found ourselves in my hotel room, my suitcase open on the rack and a complimentary chocolate on the pillow.