As chance would have it, we ended up on the same dance floor gyrating to the Twist, this prevented close physical contact, and as the tension between us built, around the six- minute mark, we lurched into a fierce, compulsive embrace, my hair catching painfully on the parallel rows of buttons on his shirt. By the time Peppermint Twist had given way to Moon River, we were off the dance floor and smooching for Switzerland.
Reader, I'm sorry to disappoint, but this great Casanova’s kisses were torture. Did I let this put me off? I did not. I was filled with all the exultant triumph of a 100 to 1 racehorse romping home against all expectations in the Grand National. The prize longed for by the entire school was mine. ‘Whatever’ might be a drug, but victory is more potent and addictive.
I'm afraid Nerd Boy was a better trophy than he was a boyfriend, so quite how he was so prefixed with mystique, I have no idea. His dating m.o. mostly involved coming round on the pretext of helping me with my math prep but I never saw him get a book out of his satchel before he pounced. I can't say that I was immune to pouncing, being young and extremely curious, but his brand of pouncing was horribly inept, featuring more tortured kissing, vigorous rummaging, and orangutan arms. Within days, he was making so many irrepressible assaults on my virtue I knew exactly how Clarissa felt fending off Lovelace. Actually, scratch that -there is no literary analogy worthy of his persistence.
The Conversation took place on a train to Geneva. He'd been silent for the whole journey, and hadn't launched himself at me once, which was welcome, if unusual.
'We need to talk' he said, in that fabulously original way such conversations always start.
'Hmm' I replied, refusing to be drawn and having read enough to know what to expect from such an opener.
'I don't think we should see each other anymore. You see, I've got my exams coming up and I really need to get some work done. Oh, and I'm entering a seminary in September: I'm going to train as a priest.'
I was slow on the uptake. ‘A REAL PRIEST (is there any other kind)?’
'Um, yes. I've been called.'
I regained my composure as best I could and left him on the platform.
Really! I was taken aback. What was one to make of it? That I was so fabulous that only God would do next? That my failure to acquiesce to his base desires confirmed his vocation. Nerd Boy didn't become a priest, he became a monk, tending apple orchards.
Oh dear, oh dear, he may have developed a fast, extremely accurate electronic slide rule, the micro-processor, a Ms. Edna that would run on a Motorola 68000 microprocessor !
First ‘whatevers’? Overrated! Romeo and Juliet is just a story, and I think there was a dodgy monk in that too.