13. A Red Blooded Teenage Scene

13. A Red Blooded Teenage Scene

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson



The next day was important in two rather different ways.

To start with when Jennifer and Darren walked to school there were subdued gasps of astonishment from some of the other teenagers because it had to be noticed: he was holding her hand and she wanted him to.

Secondly, the weather, which had been hot and balmy for the best part of a month, was on the turn and before they arrived at the comprehensive school where there was a sixth form college huge spots of rain started descending from a leaden sky and they only just made it in time before the heavens actually did open.

I’ll wait for you at home time,” whispered Darren.

Or I’ll wait for you,” smiled Jennifer. He thought it the most beautiful ever smile.

As she walked off he wanted to tell her in a whispered ball of affection that he loved her, but she had made it quite plain: she wasn’t ready for that kind of commitment. They might kiss in the most intimate way, they might dream of each other in the turmoil of their lonely nights, but don’t let’s talk of love or tomorrow or anything more permanent than today because, fundamentally, they might have got it wrong. At least, that was what she thought.

He supposed that besides being as bright as a thousand watt light bulb, Jennifer was a realist. And he, who wanted to declare all sorts of things that whirled around in his mind, wasn’t.

By home time the rain had retreated to become a few isolated spots and even the sun braved shining down for the odd broken moment, and they returned to their corner of Brumpton hand in hand, and he almost collided with goodness knows how many lamp-posts because he found himself gazing at her face as they walked, and that didn’t involve looking where he was going.

Tonight,” she said quietly, “if the rain comes back do you want to come to our house? We could go up to my room. I’ve got an X-box and quite a few games. Or we could listen to music. I’ve got an olde-worlde record player and a collection of my mum’s olde-worlde records, which she got from her mum! But some of them are brill!”

Darren had never been into music, be it olde-worlde or up to date, but he would have agreed to anything that would have put him in the same space as Jennifer, so he nodded enthusiastically.

Mum won’t mind,” smiled Jennifer, “she knows that I’ve taken note of Patsy Pantsdown!”

That wasn’t Patsy’s real surname, which was Plumb, but it was what just about everyone called her because just about everyone knew that she was leaving school a year early in order to have a baby, which was already making itself evident in the shape of a noticeable bump.

I used to think Patsy was okay, and then she got into trouble,” murmured Darren who, in truth, would have been hard pressed to recognise the girl.

We all reckon her knickers are on a string, like a yo-yo,” Jennifer told him, “she says the boy who did it is Carl Rogers, but I don’t think Carl Rogers knows what his thingie’s for.

Darren had once numbered Carl Rogers as one of his friends until dark rumours spread about his sexuality and how he spent most of his time staring at the trousers of other boys, especially when they were on the games field in shorts doing physical education. Carl had lost a lot of friends over that dark rumour which probably had little in the way of truth attached to it, but he never seemed bothered and had attached himself to Patsy Pantsdown, and taken her pants down with laughable ease, or so he hinted when asked. The nett result was the dark rumours went away but Patsy became pegnant.

I wouldn’t ever dream of doing anything like that to you,” he said honestly. ‘Not while we’re not a proper couple’, he added to himself, ‘not while we can’t talk of love…’

You won’t get a chance,” was the swift reply, “and don’t forget, it takes two to tango…”

The saying was new to him, and he didn’t quite understand what it meant, only hoping that it had nothing to do with dancing because something in his creation had denied him any of the qualities that dancers seemed to require, like a sense of rhythm.

Once back on their street the two went to their separate houses where they were fed and watered. It wasn’t a Thursday, but Jennifer was given fish and chips anyway, a small portion because she was always saying that she needed to watch her weight.

I’ve said Darren might like to pop in and listen to some of the old records,” she murmured to her mother, whose eyebrows shot up.

In your bedroom?” she asked, meaning ‘if that’s the case you’d better be really careful, my girl’

Of course, mum,” replied Jennifer.

Remember Patsy Plumb?”

Mum! How could you even think that!”

You must see what an attractive young woman you’ve become, darling…”

Being attractive hasn’t short-circuited my brain, mother!”

Well, just be careful. And don’t lock the door!”

And that was that. The warning shot had been fired. The one about the door remaining unlocked.

Next door Darren was having his tea, beans on toast.

I’m going to see Jennifer,” he announced.

Next door, son?”

That’s where she lives.”

And what might you be getting up to, Daz?

Don’t call me that, mum!”

Okay. What will the two of you be getting up to?”

She said something about a tango.”

You couldn’t dance to save your life. Just like your dad, bless his memory.”

I dunno, then. Maybe I’ll just listen to her records while she dances.”

And her in those short dresses she wears… just you be careful, son, and don’t get carried away. And don’t be too late back. I’ve got to be up early. I start my new job tomorrow, at the detective agency.”

Where Jennifer’s mum works?”

Yes. Only I’ll be full time.”


And that was it, proper parental concern was expressed in both houses, but what did it mean when Darren sorted out a clean pair of white P.E shorts and wore them while Jennifer put a great deal of thought into selecting just the right short skirt that she hoped Darren would like.

So a scene was being set. A red-blooded teenage scene.

© Peter Rogerson 10.05.21


© 2021 Peter Rogerson

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Added on May 10, 2021
Last Updated on May 10, 2021
Tags: summer holiday, teenage pregnancy, wet weather


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..