Lizbeth lies on her bed, hands behind her head, staring at the ceiling. All that way out to the darn farm cottage to see Benedict and not even a kiss. All that showing of skulls and bones and egg shells, and where his father had given him a parch of earth to grow stuff, but not a single hint of a kiss or cuddle. She closes her eyes. His double bed was there, the room with just him and her, his mother downstairs, his father at work, his siblings out playing in the fields or some place, and he talked about birds and such. She had put on her best black short skirt, white blouse, and clean underwear just for him, and did he notice? Not one jot. She even waited sitting on his bed while went downstairs to ask about lunch for her, hinting maybe, might set him going, her sitting there legs crossed, skirt risen up. He came up the stairs in bounds and she thought, here he comes for it, and all he said was: cheese or ham sandwiches? She said cheese. Off he went again. She even bounced on the bed to see how the springs were. Not to good. He had a model Spitfire hanging from the ceiling in his room. There was a fish tank full of bones and skulls and birds eggs. She imagines how it could have been. He coming upstairs with the sandwiches, seeing her there on his bed, her skirt risen up, showing thigh...but no, she hates pretending. He brought the cheese sandwiches up and sat next to her on the bed and talked about the work he did on the farm across the way. He didn't seem to notice her thighs. She ate the sandwiches, looked at him as he talked on about maybe one day being a cowman and such. If only he had, she muses, opening her eyes, looking at her untidy bedroom, LPs on the floor, a box record player, soiled linen(as her mother called it), a small plate, a cup. If he had only hinted at it, she muses, just put a hand on her thigh, touched her hand, said he loved her short black skirt, but no, not a word about it. She had ridden all that way on her bike to see him and hoped that he might this time, but no; all she got was cheese sandwiches and a cup of tea(downstairs), and his mother asking her questions about her father and mother and work. Benedict smiling and looking at her, then his mother, then her again. Still a virgin. She can't say she hasn't tried to lose it. She'd read somewhere that  King Henry VII's mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, had him when she  was thirteen years old. How old was she when she had sex? Lizbeth muses. She can hear her mother downstairs banging away with pots and pans. A bad mood day. She had moaned at Lizbeth when she came in from her bike ride to see Benedict. Room untidy, clothes everywhere, tidy up. Words words. What if he had though? She thinks, turning on her side looking at the wall, what if they had done it? She smiles. What if they had on his double bed, she laying there seeing the Spitfire above the bed moving overhead, him entering her, she lying there, hands around him, eyes open or closed, looking at him, the hair, the quiff moving. But he didn't. She runs a finger down the wall. But what if he had though? another voice in her head asks her, what then? She thinks on it, running a finger down the wall again. She didn't know. She remembered asking the girl at school about it. What's it like? She had asked her. What's what like? The girl had replied, grinning. You know, sex? The girl had told her. Detailed each aspect. But to her now, it was all theory. How did she know without doing it? The girl could have been all talk. And that thing about self relief was yuk. She turns back on her back, the ceiling is still there boring her. But it wasn't just a fact of losing her virginity, it had to be with him, not just any boy. She wanted it to be with someone she liked and someone whom she would remember years to come. She knew there were boys in her class at school who probably would if they could(doubts with some) but that wasn't it. He was a hard fish to catch. Was that the phrase? She'd tried four times, and nothing. Even in the small village church he'd said no. That would have been memorable, even if the church benches were rather hard to lay on and it wouldn't have been that comfortable to do it, at least it would have been done and with him. But he hasn't and nor has she. She wonders what would have happened if they had and someone came into the church at that moment and found them at it? Especially some one like her mother or older or some old dear who had a heart attack. Then there was this room, not long ago. She had actually got him here and still no joy. Her mother had been out shopping, the room to themselves, silence, bed. Nothing. Except frustration on her part. In the corner of her bedroom, up on the ceiling is a spider. Black, big bellied. A web in the corner. It waiting. She hates spiders. What if came down in the night? She watches it, making sure it doesn't go anywhere. She ought to hammer it with her slipper. But she doesn't. She closes her eyes. She came that close to doing it. If only. But if onlys are fictions, she muses, turning on her side and opening her eyes. The room bores. The untidiness is part of who she is. And if they had, would she have a kid at fourteen? What then? Maybe she would call him Henry or Henrietta if it was a girl. No she didn’t like that name. But they didn't, so names don't matter. Maybe next time, she thinks, maybe next time he may. Tomorrow is there just another hopeful day.

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