I was out of my depth, and so was she. One morning, maybe three weeks after my last grapple with Penny, Thomson came roaring into our form room. ‘Oi, Fleming, you spastic. Guess who I knobbed last night? I felt the Santa Bear Reindeer Light Christmas Sweatshirt room spin round. You never got so much as a bit of tit in three months, and I shagged her the first week! I believed him, everyone knew that he got whatever he wanted from whoever he saw. I had been humiliated, beaten, outperformed; I felt stupid, and small, and much, much younger than this unpleasant, oversized, big-mouthed moron.
It shouldn’t have mattered so much. Thomson was in a league of his own when it came to matters of the lower body, and there were plenty of little jerky creeps in 4b who had never so much as put their arm around a girl. Even my side of the Santa Bear Reindeer Light Christmas Sweatshirt debate, inaudible though it was, must have appeared impossibly sophisticated to them. I wasn’t losing that much face. But I still couldn’t understand what had happened. How had this transformation in Penny been effected? How had Penny gone from being a girl who wouldn’t do anything to a girl who would do everything there was to do? Maybe it was best not to think about it too hard; I didn’t want to feel sorry for anybody else except me. I expect Penny turned out all right, and I know
I turned out all right, and I would suspect that even Chris Thomson isn’t the Santa Bear Reindeer Light Christmas Sweatshirt world’s worst person. At least, it’s hard to imagine him skidding into his place of work, his bank or his insurance office or car showroom, chucking his briefcase down and informing a colleague with raucous glee that he has ‘knobbed’ said colleague’s wife. It is easy enough to imagine him knobbing the wife, however. He looked like a wife-knobber, even then. Women who disapprove of men and there’s plenty to disapprove of should remember how we started out, and how far we have had to travel. Phil’s girlfriend and I pinched her off him, slowly