This is the true story of a single-mother, a bimbo and a mouse – so if you are easily offended please look away now. It all started when I was a shy, 12 year-old schoolboy. One of my schoolmates was a daring, dangerous character called Richard who had the nickname Mouse (he used to rub his eyes a lot). Mouse’s family were miles ahead of mine. They lived in a mansion and were solidly middle-class. The father spoke like a BBC news reader and the mother looked like Virginia Woolf. Needless to say, I was daunted out of my mind every time I went round to Mouse’s place.
The pair of us used to hang out in the garage (even that had two floors) where he kept his air guns and pigeons. But one day we sneaked into the big house and were creeping up the majestic staircase. Suddenly a door opened and there appeared a gorgeous young woman. “Richard!” she exclaimed, grinning from ear to ear, “aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend, then?” “Oh, yes,” said Mouse, obviously embarrassed, “this is Martin.” When I dared to look into her eyes I must have been the colour of beetroot and could hardly speak. “Richard always keeps his friends hidden away, for some reason,” she said. I tried to laugh but Mouse had already signalled for me to follow him up the stairs. I had just met Sarah, Mouse’s 18 year-old sister. She had white-chocolate skin, short sassy red hair and was wearing a man’s white shirt with at least three buttons undone. I was smitten. Thank god Mouse didn’t reveal my nickname to her. Another boy at school had christened me Bimbo after a weedy kid on the cover of a Jim Reeves LP.
After leaving school, Mouse moved to Northumberland but we kept in touch and I saw him occasionally. By this time I was 17 and working in a factory. Sarah had her own flat in Bradford and sometimes Mouse came to stay with her for the weekend. After one such occasion the telephone rang in my mother’s house and a quiet, nervous-sounding voice on the other end said it was Sarah, and that Richard had left an important message that she had to deliver in person. I timidly agreed to go to her flat that evening but dreaded the thought of being alone with her. When I arrived Sarah was bright and breezy and swept me onto the sofa, handing me a tin of warm beer. She was giggling most of the time and the message turned out to be nothing at all – just that Mouse would ring me to tell me when he was coming to Bradford again.
By now Sarah was 23 and had two young children asleep in one of the bedrooms. She was grown up, a real woman, a mother. And she spoke posh. I was a virgin who fitted tractor tyres for a living. It cost me a lorry-load of nervous energy just to look at her and make conversation. After beer, cups of tea, cigarettes and quite a few pregnant pauses it was time for me to escape. I stood on the doorstep to say goodbye when Sarah said casually, “you can stay if you like.” My natural reaction was to bow my head and stare at the floor, which I did for an eternity (probably about 15 seconds). Then I looked up and out squeaked my tiny response: “OK.”
So I shuffled back to the couch, only this time Sarah sat up close to me, giggling again. She admitted the message story was just a ruse to get me to her flat. We drank more tea, smoked another roll-up and then the kissing started, though I can’t remember who initiated it. Probably her. When we reached the bedroom I was so nervous that I started shaking like a basket case. Luckily it was cold in the bedroom so when I clambered into bed with the now naked Sarah I claimed it was the cold that was making the mattress shudder. I will spare you the details of the amorous sport which followed, but I will say one thing. There was a moment when I knew that I was the luckiest 17 year-old virgin in Bradford. That was when Sarah did something only an experienced, confident woman would do: she climbed on top of me and looked down into my eyes with that same wicked grin I had seen on the staircase all those years before.
The following morning two strange things happened. When I woke up there was nobody next to me and I felt damp all over. Oh no, I thought, after all that tea, beer and nerves I have gone and wet the bed! How embarrassing. So I really am a Bimbo. Then two little boys appeared. They looked at me curiously. “Where’s Sarah?”, one of them asked. At that moment Sarah appeared with a cup of tea. Then the other boy touched the bed and said: “Yuk, it’s all wet – what happened?” Quick as a flash Sarah said “I spilt a drink”. She saved me.
When lovers part and the years roll by, does the passing of time erase all the love shared in those precious moments? I don’t think so. Sarah – this one’s for you.