In the next eighteen months, between the debacle in the cinema and leaving for University I didn't so much as kiss a girl. There were no more dates, and no more voyages of discovery – except - for an incident on the last bus home from town one Saturday night. A girl that lived in one of the local villages that I vaguely recognised from school, and often caught the same bus, sat next to me even though there were lots of spare seats. After a minute or so of deafening silence she simply took my hand and guided it under her skirt, and, then, with a change of angle down the front of her knickers. This was extremely unexpected, and very embarrassing on two fronts as I had no idea what I was expected to do, and I wasn't entirely sure (exactly) what was down there....from the feel of things my first guess would have been a badly wounded hamster.
I needn't have worried, the young lady was quite happy to take charge. She smiled at me and lifted her bum off the seat momentarily, using my wrist to push my hand further down, parallel to the seat. The next twenty minutes were very odd indeed. She proceeded to wriggle around on my hand, with her eyes shut, completely oblivious to me or any of the other passengers. Fortunately there were very few of them and they were all sitting further forward. I sat in agony. My wrist was at an acute angle and had started to ache monstrously and my fingers were going numb so much so that I began to worry that they were actually being dissolved.
My stop was a triangle at a road junction a few miles before the girl's village. It was obvious that I wasn't really involved, the rest of me was just something that held my arm in place so I kept an eye on the road. About half a mile before the triangle there's a small humpty back bridge, my usual landmark and a reminder to ask the driver to stop. The bus driver took the bridge at speed causing me a lot of pain and I daresay my companion considerable pleasure. I rang the bell and tapped her on the shoulder, several times, before she opened her eyes. "Excuse me" I said "I have to get off". (The first words that either of us had spoken). She looked perplexed for a moment, annoyed almost, as if I was suggesting that it was my turn, and then it dawned on her and she repeated the bums off seat manoeuvre to release my hand. I squeezed past, muttered "g'night" and seesawed to the front of the bus.
She waved as the bus pulled away and left me at the lane's end, and I waved back awkwardly with my left hand.
It was a matter of a mile, down the lane to the house and I walked the whole way bathed in moonlight holding my distraught, moist limb in front of me. My wrist felt badly sprained and my fingers, although they were still lifeless, gleamed in the pale white light.
A few weeks later I arrived at Manchester University with my mangina completely intact and some very confused notions of what girls liked.