As a fifteen year old teenager, I lived in the large city of London, Ontario. That's the one in Canada, not the one in England, just in case you don't know. As a city child, we were always taught not to speak to strangers, not to open the door to strangers, and not to associate with people you did not know, or those that had not been approved, by your parents.
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Both my parents worked full-time. My mother was a professional housekeeper and spent her days cleaning up the messes in other people's homes. Not that our home was ever messy, because it surely was never that. My father was a trucker, and spent most of his life on the road and away from home. As a child, I saw my father usually only on late Sunday afternoons, before he packed up and headed down the road for this week's trip. My parents were both tough when it came to discipline. It seemed you just automatically new, if you were in trouble, without either parent raising a hand. I do not remember a time, in my childhood, that I have ever received a strap, a slap, or any form of severe discipline. My punishment usually consisted of loosing something I valued, like my toys when I was younger, and my radio or telephone privileges, as I became older. Can you imagine? A teenager, without a telephone….
As the eldest of five children, I was, what you might call, the rule breaker. If I wanted to do anything without the other kids, I always had to break the rules, which usually resulted in a tongue lashing from my mother, but generally nothing worse. It was because I had broken the ground rules previously, that I was not surprised when my mother gave in, so easily, to letting me go to the Western Fair on my own to meet my friends. Up until this year, I had to go the day my family went, which was extremely fun for a teenager. Hanging around with the family in front of my friends did not exactly make me popular, but I was happy just to be able to go. Admission to the fair was expensive, and my family was fairly poor.
Every year I looked forward to the opening ceremonies at the fair, but up until this year I had not been able to attend, as either my father or my mother was working and someone had to attend the other children. Not that I minded, but I was excited about it all the same.
Prior to the event, I arranged to meet my friends at the front gate, as soon as I finished working at the variety store. I worked after school and on weekends at the variety store around the corner stocking shelves and cleaning. This work made it possible some days for me to have money to go out with my friends for lunch or to purchase things for the other children, which I did regularly, if my parents were unable to afford something that was really needed. Generally, I did not spend my money on things that were extravagant, but the fair was one event I was willing to make an exception for. I was dying to attend the opening ceremonies, especially after hearing about it from friends for the past several years.
Earlier in the day, I confirmed the arrangements for the evening ceremonies. After work, which unfortunately, I was late leaving, I took the city bus to the fair grounds. The grounds were alive as crowds of people, who were milling about, riding on the rolling coasters, and scarfing down a tremendous amount of food. Outside the admission gates, I checked my watch. I was almost half an hour late. I stood on my tip toes hoping to spot my friends over the others waiting to enter the fair. I could not see any of them, and decided I might as well just enter the fair. Once inside, I looked all around. I checked the pavilion, the midway, and even children's land, but my friends were no where to be found.
As I began to retrace my steps to the entrance area, I heard an announcement blasting behind me. I listened intently, but couldn't make it out, although I could have swore I heard my name somewhere in the message. A few seconds later, the boom box flared to life again, and this time there was no mistaking it. The voice over the intercom said, "Would Trish MacQueen meet her friends in the Grand Stands, Box X, as the opening ceremonies are soon to begin…"
With another crackle, and a snap, the intercom died, and I was off at a full speed run towards the grand stand area, within the grounds. A short distance from the entrance, I slowed to catch my breath. After resting for a couple of seconds, I continued to walk into the entrance. Once through the doors, I walked began walking along the back of the bleachers. I knew that if I avoided the main traffic area, I could reach my friends and be on time for the opening festivities.
As I rounded the second set of bleachers, a strong arm reached out and reefed my unceremoniously off my feet and tossed me to the ground. As I slammed into the hard ground, I felt the air burst from my lungs with such force that I thought my lunch was going to follow it. I laid there dazed for a second, thinking I should be very afraid, but for some reason, I wasn’t. I think, I thought, it was some of my male friends horsing around, and, therefore, was I determined not to show them I was afraid. When I finally recovered enough to realize that someone was laying on top of me, I looked up and, suddenly, realized I did not know the person who's eyes I was staring, directly, into. The eyes, I was looking into, had the deepest shade of charcoal grey, I have ever seen, even to this day.
Immediately, I attempted to push the stranger off of me, but he held me fast, and I quickly became terrified. As I began to struggle, earnestly, and to scream out, loudly, a large hand slammed down across my mouth, effectively silence me. Just then, the opening ceremonies burst to life, with a full marching band playing in the background. This effectively drowned out any possibilities of anyone ever hearing me screaming, even if I could. As the hand applied pressure to my face, I attempted to bite the hand covering my mouth, but to no avail. The hand was just too big, and lean, for me to sink my teeth into.
Realizing my struggle was futile, I ceased struggling, and waited to see what the stranger laying above me was going to do next. I studied his every detail. I wanted to be able to give the police a detailed description, when I escaped his clutches.
He appeared to be in his early thirties, with dark hair, an olive-coloured complexion, and he also appeared to be really tall. I guessed him to be at least six feet tall, and rather solidly built, by the feel of his body, against mine. His hair was pulled back into an untidy ponytail, and his face was covered by a well-groomed, distinctive-looking beard. A glint suddenly attached my attention, and for the first time, I realized he was wearing a gold chain, with a finely detailed cross swinging from the end. It was probably one of the nicest crosses, I had ever viewed, and, he, the thug was wearing it.
Watching me intently, the stranger never moved a muscle. He just looked me over, as I looked him over, almost like we were comparing note for note. But, I was innocent. Gradually, the stranger's grip, on my arms, slackened a little, making my restraints a little more comfortable.
Grinning slightly, the stranger quickly leaned over, and before I suspected what he was going to do, and kissed me hard on my lips. I was so startled by this action, that my mouth gapped open allowing his tongue to enter. Shocked, I laid there, arms free, and just let it happen. I could not believe my own eyes. As I stared into his eyes, which were watching my reaction with interest, I felt something inside my body change, and I suddenly found myself craving more.
As the kiss deepened, I was embarrassed to find my body arching up to meet his. Noting this action, my captor smirked and the kiss, which had began in surprise, ended the same way. Still watching me, the stranger reached over and grabbed his Fedora off the ground, slapped it against his thigh to knock the dust off it, and slowly rose to stand. Reaching down, my captor grabbed my hand, before yanking me effortlessly to my feet, smacking me on the backside, and waltzing away, only to disappear into the crowd.
For a few minutes, I stood there and stared after him, into the crowd. With deep suspicion, I looked around, expecting my friends to be standing nearby, wetting themselves, and was somewhat relieved when I didn't recognize anyone nearby.
To this day, I have not spoken to anyone, about this incident, nor have I run into the man with the Fedora, who so effectively seduced me. Now as a grandmother, I often sit back and reflect on this. I question, why it has taken me thirty-five years to tell anyone, that anyone being you the reader, about this, and why I never went to the police or told my parents about this, milestone in my life, so to speak. Even my husband, who I have been married to for twenty-five years, our anniversary was this past June, has no idea that this event took place in my life. Although rationally, I know what this man did was wrong, somehow I just can't find it in me to be angry about it. To this day, no kiss has ever meant as much to me as that one…my first kiss.