A day out, and a girl learns something about her boyfriend

By Lorna Brand

I have a photo on my bedside cabinet; it’s been noticed by very few people and commented on by even less. It’s small and inconspicuous, partly obscured by other pictures, but it makes me smile every time I glimpse it. To others, it’s a photo of me in my prime, that amazing care free time when I was just me, not a mum, wife, colleague or neighbour. Just me, Linda. To me, however, it’s the exact moment I became an adult. I don’t see a still, flat, faded picture. I smell the sweet meadow, feel the gentle breeze in my hair and the sharp sting in my tail.

The day that photo was taken, I had just passed my test in my dad’s old Ford Anglia. The sun was so bright I was squinting to see the camera Robert was proudly pointing at me as I posed on the curvy bonnet. I loved that car my dad bestowed to me only an hour or two before that photo. It wasn’t an old banger to me; she was my pride and joy. A physical representation of the freedom my parents were finally willing to give me. My ticket to adulthood.
I was so nervous that summer morning although it became known as the summer of love; on that day for me, it was never more true. I paced the floor and changed outfits so many times on that Saturday.

My parents wanted me to look respectable and most of my outfits were deemed inappropriately short or too tight. In the end, I had to go in my mums pink skirt. It was made of thick embossed fabric that itched. I looked like I had been attacked by a cat by late morning when my dad took me to the testing centre. The drive there was my last practice and my dad was not going to let me forget it.  At every opportunity he barked a reminder to check the mirror, speed or gear. “Focus! Linda,” still rattles through my head when I get behind a wheel.

I don’t remember much about the test itself; I was shaking so much. It was a fleeting 25 minutes that changed my life. However, I do remember the pride on my dad’s face as he handed me the keys to my new car. I had obviously known the car for many years before but I fell in love with her then. She was dusty blue with big expressive headlights and a wide grille. She looked like she had a smiling face, or perhaps smirking one was more accurate. I was over the moon, squealing and bouncing everywhere. I couldn’t wait to show her off and my first thought was to Robert, my then boyfriend.

After some more squealing with mum back home and a quick change into my own clothes, I was good to go. Mum had whipped up a picnic for me to take in the short time it took me to pick the right dress. I still don’t know how she used to do it but she could make a banquet out of thin air and still have time to look amazing. She approved of Rob and was always keen to make an impression. For the time, he was still quite conservative and not so much into the free love that was being talked about, but he was very handsome.

When I picked him up that day, he had on tight jeans that flared a bit at the bottom and an equally tight shirt and denim waistcoat with his big camera around his neck. We didn’t have a plan; I just wanted to get out of town and drive, and that’s what we did for a while. Eventually we came off the road and stopped in a clearing on the edge of a little forest. The dappled light was, “perfect for making out,” Robert said. He was a ‘smooth cat’ back then, always ready with a line. He said that we should “capture the moment,” I had “earned my freedom,” and that’s how it felt.

For the first time, I didn’t have to tell my parents where I was or have them collect me. I was in the world doing my own thing. Robert and I had been alone before but this was different; no one knew where we were or what we were doing. I remember shouting at the top of my voice it was, “outta sight,” as I gave my best pose spread over the hood of my new car. Thinking back, I was quite modestly dressed in my long sleeved dress cut straight across the neck line. Not a ounce of skin was on show above the waist. However, the new length of skirts were a only a few inches lower than our underwear, so my milky thighs, having been under wraps for 18 years, were now in full view.

I didn’t give it a second thought as Robert encouraged me into different positions, excitedly shouting out directions. The breeze caressing my neck sent pleasant shivers down my spine while the sun beat down on us, heating up the metal I was sitting on. Robert had got closer to me with each click of the shutter. Every step he took meant a slightly more risky pose until he stood within my spread legs, camera lens in hand, pointing down at me lying flat over the curves of my car. He bent down to kiss me and I rolled off the bonnet to my feet. I was not going to give in to his hanky panky so easily. I was blushing as I darted towards the back of the car to avoid his advance. I told him, “my mum made us a picnic,” as I opened the boot up, hoping to cool thing off a bit.

Robert was not amused. As I reached in for the hamper, I felt him behind me. His hand ran up my leg and under my dress, startling me. I didn’t know what to say, frozen to the spot, but suddenly I was acutely aware of my surroundings. Although I couldn’t see anything, apart from the inside of the boot, I could hear the distant sounds of cars and twittering of birds. We were exposed for anyone to stumble across. The cool air circulating was not as soothing so much as a reminder of just how much was on show.

Robert bent over behind me, gently moved my hair to one side with his other hand and whispered, “Teasing is naughty.” I melted. His hand moved over my bum to my hip, taking my little skirt with it. I shuffled a little on the spot, uncomfortable at the view that had just been created. I felt a tug on my pants, causing them to gather in my crevice, exposing my cheeks to the world. This wasn’t what I was expecting, given my stance, but I still didn’t move, waiting for what was next. What was to come?

My fingers grasped the fibres of the blanket that lined the boot and I bit my lip to stop myself from saying anything, unsure of what I might say. Robert’s hand made soft circular movements, exploring the contours of my derriere, before I felt the first sharp sting. It took my breath away, instantly making my heart race. I looked back over my shoulder, catching his steely eyes. I still don’t know if he was really mad with me, but I am sure he took some pleasure in taking me in hand. The shock of the situation should have made me jump up or run off, but I didn’t; something in me made me want to stay. I gripped the blanket tighter and braced for the next slap. The fire spread across my bum under his hand. It was fast and furious; my legs shook uncontrollably as the adrenaline soared through my body. I was screaming out, regardless of the possible intrusion of a passer-by. I couldn’t help myself.

When I finally thought I couldn’t take any more and the stinging heat was relentless, it suddenly stopped. I was rooted in place, shaking all over, sobbing from relief. The cool air was welcoming as it soothed my swollen and bruised bum. Robert helped me fix my skirt and dried my tears. We had many more picnics at our special spot over that summer.

So when other people think about the Ford Anglia, they might remember that magical flying car from that film, or just think of a pretty classic car, but I think of that first day we shared together and that tingling twinge I felt for some time after.

The End

© Lorna Brand 2018