Mrs. Gillespie and my mother are having a glass of sherry in the sitting room and don’t want to be interrupted. “Come here,” Simon Gillespie whispers, and he takes my hand and leads me through the cool, carpeted passageway toward his mother’s bedroom. We step into the big wardrobe, her long dresses falling about my face and shoulders like the veils of Salome. We mush our lips together for an age. When we’re tired of kissing we sneak outside to the pile of rubble behind the incinerator at the far end of the yard. I can stick my feet in the holes in the wire fence and climb up to see the corrugated iron roof of our house across the neighbor’s yard.
“Get down,” Simon says, and we put little twigs and bits of grass and pebbles down my underpants because mine’s better, we can both see that, and it tickles my “dick.”
We go inside for cordial.
“Look at the little lovebirds,” Mrs. Gillespie says to Mummy.
And to us, “Are you going to get married?"
My mother looks around blankly at the walls.
But secretly we are.