3. The Frown that Almost Killed

3. The Frown that Almost Killed

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson



It’s when they’re joshing along on their way to school that the testosterone in lads gets them to elaborate the tiniest of events until they become as significant as exploding galaxies. And if there’s a girl in the mix, well, the tales can grow and grow until the Universe itself approaches its tipping point. Boys can be like that.

It was like that for Darren Bingley most mornings, but one particular morning he didn’t have time for breakfast though his stomach told him he should find it and his mother was attending ton his father’s hangover.

He leapt out of bed at the last possible moment because his mind had been completely taken over by the girl next door. By Jennifer Sagebrush. There were no brain cells spare to consider anything or anyone else.

And yet the truth of the matter was he’d never even exchanged a word with her. He felt he might be close to her because of the knot holes in the fence that separated them, but that was the sort of closeness that has a silent language.

So with a stomach gnawing at itself with hunger, trying to find a little something something to digest, a moresel left over from last night, perhaps, he left for the sixth form college where he was learning to, hopefully, become an astrophysicist

How’s that girl of yours, Daz?” asked one of the lads.

He might have said that in the truest sense she wasn’t his girl at all but just happened to enter his repertoire of yarns because she lived next door and there were holes in the fence. But he didn’t.

She’s great,” he replied, and decided to elaborate with a knot-hole fact. “She’s got legs to die for,” he added. He’d mention the fact that she’d loosened her bikini top later, if the depth of the conversation demanded that kind of enrichment. But for the moment he was happy to re-examine her legs with his mind’s eye, and try to control the physical repercussions in his own body when he did so.

The conversation somersaulted to another lad’s girlfriend, leaving Jennifer well behind. “I had Maureen last night,” he boasted.

But he hadn’t and everyone knew that, and Darren was still deeply involved with Jennifer’s legs when a miracle occurred. A gate swung open. The gate to the house where Jennifer sunbathed. And Jennifer came out, school bag in hand (not satchel any more, she was in the sixth form and carried a proper grown-up bag).

The little group of lads paused and stared because Jennifer quite clearly had her legs with her. And her legs, it seemed, went almost as far as the rounded curve of her bottom. Her skirt (pleated, smart, red and green chequered, obedient to the whim of every step she took in the way it swung) was by far the most beautiful skirt Darren had ever seen or even imagined, and it was on Jennifer. True, there wasn’t much of it, not much more than a scrap of skirt, but it was on her.

And one of the lads whistled.

The b*****d! He’d whistled at the goddess Jennifer, and if anyone was going to whistle at her it was going to be him.

She smiled at the whistler, that white-tooth angelic smile from a peaches and cream face than looked as if every tiny mote of anything unclean had been thoroughly and painlessly scrubbed from it.

Darren had to show his adoration of her. He knew that in much the same way that he knew the sun rises every morning and sets every night. So he took control of his own lips, or tried to, and pursed them, and blew.

The raspberry that came out was far from being what he intended. It was far from being edifying. It was obscene.

And Jennifer looked at him, and frowned.

There never was such a frown anywhere in the darkest most dangerous and rancorous nightmare. It’s beetling eyebrows acted as a hammer to knock the life out of his heart and the idiocy out of his brain. And there, in the street on his way to school and his own sixth form he fell in glorious and resentful slow motion onto the hard pavement, and lay so still the dead might have been envious had they the wit to notice.

And unbeknown to him Jennifer noticed.

Look!” she pointed, “the poor boy!”

Had he seen it he might have died of joy, but he didn’t. The tiny-skirted glorious Jennifer, she of the most perfect of all bodies, stooped down and felt his pulse and announced that he wasn’t quite dead but they must get an ambulance. And the really saddest thing, I suppose, is her angle above him was such that had he had the will to open even one eye he would have quite clearly read the manufacturer’s label on her pristine white underwear. But he didn’t. The one withering look in response to his failed attempt at a wolf-whistle had seen to that. Together, of course, with the bang his head had experienced when it struck the pavement.

An ambulance did come and a paramedic did attend to him.

What horse-play’s been going on here?” he asked of one of the other boys.

He just fell down,” came the honest reply. “He’d been telling us about this girl he knows, and he fell down like a sack of spuds. He must be in love!”

He was swept off to hospital. It was the girl Jennifer who knew where he lived, of course, and the girl who went to collect his mother and inform her there had been an event of cataclysmic proportions and that her son might even now be teetering on the brink between life and death. It was in Jennifer’s gift to exaggerate. She did it out of kindness because she guessed that the boy would be perfectly all right and the absolute relief when he recovered would wash every trace of anticipated grief away and make his mother thank the Heavens and rejoice, and all would be well.

She was generous of spirit, was Jennifer.

Mother and Darren were whisked away to hospital, and by the time the ambulance raced through the half mile of so of streets he was well on his way to recovery.

Where is she?” he asked Mrs Bingley, who had no idea who he meant and assumed he might have had a brief meeting with one of the angels you read about in religious texts, but got away in time to finish his life on Earth.

But he meant Jennifer, and in that young and fragile heart of his he knew that nobody had ever loved a lass as much as he loved her.

Because Jennifer Sagebrush was perfect and pure, like his love for her.

© Peter Rogerson 30.04.2


© 2021 Peter Rogerson

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Added on April 30, 2021
Last Updated on April 30, 2021
Tags: sixth form college, chatter, miniskirt, faint


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 77 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..