You drink your coffee, and I sip my tea
And we’re sitting here, playing so cool
Thinking “What will be, will be”

“Do you need to rush off?” I ask, as I put my key in the door.

“No. Nothing to do tomorrow except the shopping, and my hockey game in the afternoon, I can sleep in.”

Coffee then?”

“Love one.”

Oh God, I like this man!

His smile is so open, and he laughs so easily at the things I say. It’s possible – almost – to believe that this time I’ve found someone who’s really interested in me – me the whole person, not me the pair of tits, or me the blonde, or me the potentially open pair of legs. That’s such a nice feeling.

He’s interesting too. I mean, he has real conversation. He’s thought about politics, for instance, and he doesn’t assume that because I’m under twenty-one that I haven’t and my opinions are worthless. He’s prepared to listen, even if he doesn’t agree, without shouting me down, and give reasons for his differences that I can respect. It’s as if he wants me to understand where he’s coming from, without needing to make me change so that I start from the same place.

He looks at me, over the rim of his coffee-cup, and smiles again. I notice with the same shock I get every time how very blue his eyes are – not at all what you’d expect in someone with such dark hair and skin.

Well, it’s getting kind of late now
I wonder if you’ll stay now
Or will you, just politely, say goodnight.

He’s been moving so slowly, so carefully, never pushing, never coming on too strong. Sometimes I’ve thought that all he really wants is a friend, that he’d be quite happy just to sit and talk, night after night. And then he kisses me.

His kisses leave me breathless, however much of a cliché that might be, and when I open my eyes and look into his, after, I can see that he’s … not unmoved.

He’s taking his timing from me.

I move a little closer to you,
Not knowing quite what to do
And I’m feeling all fingers and thumbs
I spill my tea, oh silly me!
Well, it’s getting kind of late now
I wonder if you’ll stay now
Or will you, just politely, say goodnight.

I’ve never wanted a man before. It scares me, the way my stomach knots up, and my breath gets shallow, like an asthma attack, just from him running his finger across my palm.

Oh, I’m not pristine. I’ve had a ‘lover’, but the desire, then, came from him. From me, acquiescence - I was willing, but not eager. This time …

I reach out for him, take his hand, lean forward and kiss him - but gently, as gentle as a snowflake floating down to rest on a drift.

His arms tighten round me, the kiss lengthens and deepens, and the snowflake becomes a blizzard that swirls round me, wrapping me in whiteness. I’m trembling.

And then we touch
Much too much
This moment has been waiting for a long, long time
Makes me shiver
Makes me quiver
This moment I am so unsure, this moment I have waited for
Is it something you’ve been waiting for, for waiting for too?

“Could you stay?” Even to my own ears, I sound hesitant.

“Do you really want me to, Alicia – I mean really?”

Do I really want him to?

I’ve never wanted anything so much in my life, but what can I say to him to convince him?

I know he thinks I’m very young – I heard him talking to his friends about it. He’s right. It’s not that nineteen is such a kid, or twenty-six such an old man, but there is a gulf of experience between us, and he won’t bridge it, not unless he’s completely sure it’s what I want, and that I’m making the decision for myself, not him, and in full possession of my senses.

How the hell can I find the right words, when they might be the most important thing I ever say? Do I just let everything I want flood out?

Take off your eyes
, Bare your soul,
Gather me to you and make me whole,
Tell me your secrets,
Sing me the song,
Sing it to me in the silent tongue.

But no, I couldn’t do that. Even if I could find the right way to express what I’m feeling, it would sound excessive, needy, maybe even unbalanced. He might run, and I’m not sure I’d blame him. It’s not normal, not English to be so histrionic.

I look into those so-blue eyes again. Make myself smile.

“Yes,” I say, “please.”

Well, it’s getting kind of late now
I wonder if you’ll stay now
Or will you, just politely, say goodnight.

His voice is tense now, there’s a huskiness to it.

“Well, drink up that bloody tea, then, woman,” he growls. I laugh, delighted, and take the hand he holds out to me.

“We might have all night, but I can’t wait that long.”

Lyrics from Will You by Hazel O’Connor, from the album Breaking Glass. This song may have the most incredibly sexy sax solo in the history of music.

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