The Bonds of Youth
Just how long has this been going on in my head? Well, this piece of writing will tell you a little of my story. Anyone expecting erotica should move on quickly… this is just a piece of affectionate nostalgia, intended to reassure others who had the same fantasies (or those the other way round) that they are really have nothing to be ashamed of…
I’m sure you will have never heard the names Marilyn Fork, Liz Anderton and Debbie Short. It is my fervent hope that they are all happily pursuing their lives in a golden haze of sunshine, joy and material comfort, with the bird of paradise swooping benevolently over their heads. My impact on their lives was minimal; I’m sure I barely registered. But their impact on mine has been memorable, everlasting and deeply forged. They were, you see, the first girls I ever tied up.
I call them girls because that is what they were. And I was a boy of six at a Sheffield primary school, feeling my first, if non sexual, thrill at the sight of a girl paralysed and rendered immobile by skipping ropes. The excitement of it, then overwhelming and inclined to make me grow numb with pleasure, has grown over the years. G.T.Uics I called them then and for many years after; Girls Tied Up.
Debbie was my favourite and by far the most accommodating. She was a girl, even at 6, of poise and grace. I once saw her eat an orange where I am sure the fruit was charmed with the Teutonic grip of the iron peel. She was tall. Almost as tall as me and I was the tallest in my class by some way. She walked with her head slightly back, allowing her long, golden hair to shimmer and form a train behind her. She held it back with an Alice band sometimes and in plaits – not a look of which I approved – but mostly it was free to flow behind her like a peacock’s feathers. Her movements were slow and gorgeously graceful. Her every look could have been plastered on an ad for salon shampoo and conditioner.
I, on the other hand, was a whole other kettle of ballgames. I was clumsy, maladroit, inept and frequently looked foolish. I was a Mr Bean playing against her Audrey Hepburn. We got on so well. So well in fact that I was once invited to her house for tea and a play date after school.
I made no special preparations for the event. Other than using some of my father’s Brylcream and a sickening amount of his after shave. I wanted to take her a gift so I took a broach which my mother had carelessly left in one of her dressing table drawers. And I picked flowers from Mrs Beezley’s garden which I believed she would never miss. She did. In fact she saw me picking them from her kitchen window and told my mother. My mother missed the broach too. A difficult few days at home followed.
I arrived at school and wordlessly offered the flowers to Debbie who was, for a fleeting moment, a little flustered. She then threw her head back in the sort of laugh that comes from inside the belly and can’t wait to be expelled. She wouldn’t take them from me so I had to pretend it was a mistake and they were really intended for our teacher, Miss Stevenson. She was touched.
Debbie did take the broach however. With some alacrity as I recall. I believe now that it had more than a few precious stones as part of its allure. She vanished it into her bag in a way only girls know how to do.
When Debbie’s father picked us up from school in a car so big it might have had a putting green in the back seat, we were both terribly excited. She asked me what games we were going to play. I smiled and told her that I would think of something. I had been thinking of something, night after night for at least a week.
Her house was palatial and her garden about the size of Denmark. At the bottom of it was a what Debbie called a play shed – in fact it was larger than the downstairs space of my parents’ home. Her father brought us juice and sandwiches and cakes. My etiquette was not, looking back now, entirely appropriate. I made the assumption that the rather slim sandwiches were for her and and much plumper, sticky cakes were for me. She accepted my choice from the menu and ate like a Lady. I ate like Billy Bunter.
After the food the game started. She requested tag. I was happy to oblige, although I did hurt my foot slightly on a prominent yet disguised tree stump. But I hid it well. I sobbed for no more than fifteen minutes.
Then I suggested a kidnap game.
“I’ll kidnap you, see? and hold you in the shed, see? then I’ll come and rescue you, see? and…”
My rambling, incoherent enthusiasm was rocked when she said, simply and quietly, “Okay then.”
“But I’ve got to tie you up!”
“And I’ve got to grab you from behind and drag you into the shed and tie you up…”
“Ooh, that sounds exciting”
Do we all remember with such vividness the moment when the object of our desires consented to being tied up?
I told her, as if I were directing a silent movie, what she should do.
“You go over there and pick some flowers and look happy and skip and everthing.”
She did so with characteristic ease and good grace.
“Then you hear something and you look a bit scared.”
She gave a scared look. I mean, she looked scared.
“Are you scared,” I enquired of her.
“No. You told me to look scared so I’m looking scared.”
“Oh, okay then. Now I’m going to creep up on you and grab you. Look scareder.”
Oh, how magnificently she looked scareder.
Then I grabbed her and put my hand over her mouth. Her mmmphs were the most convincing I’ve heard before or since. I dragged her cruelly into the shed where there was gardening rope in abundance. I cruelly told her to sit in a chair. Cruelly, I took about 100 yards of rope and wrapped it cruelly around her body. Then I gagged her with an oily rag. Cruelly.
Her screams were stifled but my energy was not. After leaving her to struggle for five minutes or so, I suggested we start the game again. She smiled and nodded. I couldn’t believe my luck.
These games went on for months and were known to us and a few other intimates who would occasional joined us (all girls, funnily enough) and the ‘tying up game.’ I used to wait until shortly after I’d hoovered up the cream puffs for Debbie to say, “Shall we play the tying up game?” And we did. Time after glorious time.
Too soon later, way too soon, our Headmistress spoke solemnly to us in the classroom.
“Now I have some sad news for you all. Deborah is leaving today. She is going abroad with her father who is…”
None of what followed registered. She was going. And with no more than a smile in my vague direction, she was gone. Forever.
Life was never the same again. I was bereft. Other girls stepped in but they wanted to play silly games like skipping and hide and seek. There was a childhood game called ‘chain tag’ but I was disappointed to learn that it involved no means of restraint whatever.
I still carry the scars today. One in my heart for the loss of my beautiful Debbie and one on my leg where I fell over the tree stump.
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