Young Sexuality ©
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Deftly he touched my blouse and expertly massaged my
developing breasts. Then he winked and grinned...a stupid grin.
I was in grade five and the new girl. He was old man Gladstone, the fat, former mayor of this little town to which we had moved.
And right now I was alone in Gladstone's store. And terrified.
At once, two strong emotions swept over me. To my horror, I seemed to enjoy his touch! A zig-zag of delicious
excitement hurtled around my body. Yet in my sane, innermost mind, I knew this was evil and wrong! Wasn't it?
Without moving a muscle I looked straight ahead, my jumpy mind completely confused. I'm not certain but I
think he said, "How lovely your breasts are, Pamela."
His big hands were still roving.
And then, still riveted in fear, he pressed his huge body against my small one. I felt his hardness rub against me
while his hands flitted between my legs.
I didn't move. Then he spoke.
"Come and choose whatever sized cone you'd like...no charge." His steely blue eyes smiled patronizingly.
Somehow I found myself out on the street with a triple butter pecan cone in my shaking hand and a hot dime in my pocket. My mother would be very surprised to learn I never spent that dime since I had nagged her for it all noon hour. She must have been puzzled, too, by my sudden behaviour of atonement. I remember insisting I wash our very large kitchen floor.
It took a long time before I told my best friend, Adele, about my experience in Gladstone's store. I was scared,
ashamed, and perplexed at my reaction. I should have just slapped his face and run. Why did I stay? Because I was frightened! What if he told my parents? I cringed as I thought of my overly-strict father.
When I mentioned it to Adele it was a hot, lazy afternoon and we were loafing in our barn loft hoping Danny and Gord would show up to wrestle. We were tough and could always beat those two.
"You ever - uh - have trouble with Gladstone?" Adele eyed me cautiously. I went on, slowly. "He ever - uh - feel you where he wasn't supposed to?" There. It was out.
Without hesitating, Adele rattled off "promise and cross your heart you won't tell anyone?"
"Promise and hope to die."
Now that her secret was out, I shared mine with her. She was totally unimpressed.
"What did I tell you about him?" she gloated. "He's just a dirty old man!"
Our friendship bond grew stronger now. And so did my continuing education into the flavour of this 'quiet' town.
Still, I was ignorant. And I was concerned about what might happen to me because of Gladstone's dirty hands.
"Adele," I asked hesitatingly, "you don't have to worry about having babies because of him, do you?"
"Naw," she replied with a laugh. "You've got to do more than that!"
I laughed too. Then quickly asked, "were you excited? Scared? When it happened to you, I mean."
When Danny and Gord arrived, we played tag, and jumped from the loft, and climbed trees. They were really
being used to relieve our boredom but that was all right. They were just boys.
Needless to say, I was terrified of Gladstone and only under the greatest duress and with someone else would I
venture into his store. Whenever I passed him on the street he always winked. I hated him.
One fine end of summer day my mother ordered me to run to Gladstone's store. My baby brother was seriously ill and she wanted aspirin...immediately.
In the midst of the crisis I forgot my fears. As I opened the door to Gladstone's the bell tinkled loudly. To my
enormous relief Gord was also in the store buying candy and taking his pokey old time with it. I was overjoyed.
Behind those round spectacles of his, Gladstone stared at me greedily. I avoided his hungry glare.
"Aspirin please," I said.
I watched Gladstone disappear down the aisle.
Suddenly he waved at me from the far end. "Here, Pamela, it's right here!"
Because Gord was in the store I never gave it a second thought. That was my mistake. Almost imperceptibly
Gladstone stood behind me, touched my top and lightly caressed my breasts again.
I heard him breathe heavily into my ear. "I'll get rid of Gordie."
I stood rooted to the spot, paralyzed. [n the dim distance I heard him bribe Gordie with free candy. And then Gordie was gone.
Glued to the floor, I listened carefully as I heard the old hardwood floors squeak. I knew Gladstone was coming. Quietly, carefully, I sneaked behind the counter to the door. Suddenly he was in front of me.
"I thought you needed aspirin, Pamela?" he smiled too sweetly.
"Please Mr. Gladstone," I pleaded. "My baby brother's sick and I've got to rush right home or my father (oh how I emphasized 'father') will come to get me and..." The old man was inching closer and closer. My heart was thumping louder and louder.
And then, just when I thought he'd get me, the back door of the store opened and in flitted Sparrow, Gladstone's
spindly wife. How happy I was to see the skinny old lady and her pinched face!
I fled home, clutching the aspirin, my fear flying with me.
Then, slowly, I calmed and the fear subsided. Instead, there was that delicious chill thrill again--that longing to be touched again, that powerful emotion that confused and tormented and delighted me, all at once. My feelings were ambivalent, precarious, and very private.
All my life I hated that dirty old man.