I met my first boy-friend when I was in the sixth form. I saw an advertisement for four hours work on Saturday afternoon. I applied and was taken on. I earned ten shillings for four hours work. It was good money in those days. I had some typing lessons but no knowledge of book keeping. Sam ran a small advertising agency for boarding houses. He was attracted to me from the start but I did not know this for the first two months. We were very formal with each other. He was divorced and had custody of his two little boys.
The first time he took me out I felt very flattered. He was tall, good-looking and loved dancing. So did I but I had very little practice and no experience at all of men. He took me out to the Tower Ballroom which was very popular. He introduced me to gin- and- tonics and I found I quite liked them, but I never had more than one at a time. I was wary about alcohol, especially as I was under eighteen and therefore doing something illegal. By this time my skin and general appearance had improved and my black hair and dark eyes began to look attractive, even in my own eyes.
I did not know how old he was. I assumed he was about twenty-eight. One day when he was out I looked in his desk and found out that he was thirty-eight. I was astonished. That made him old enough to be my father! I told him I had found this out. My first thought was that I could tell the girls at school and shock them too. Those who had boy-friends were few and we all knew very little at all about the male of the species.
I told my father the first time Sam took me out. He said he wanted to see him the next time he came to the house. They had a short talk together and to my surprise they seemed to get on quite well. Father said afterwards that he seemed a decent sort of bloke. Dad was quite right. He was what mother called A Perfect Gentleman who Wouldn’t Take Advantage. I still knew very little about men and women relationships.
We went out together for a year and I continued to work for him. He had a little runabout car and he always drove me when we went out. It seemed a great luxury in those days. Of course I had no experience of men. The fact was that Sam badly wanted to marry again and have a mother for his sons. His ex-wife never took any interest in them and she had lost contact with them. He had been in the RAF and, like many other husbands his wife felt lonely and found someone else.
I knew he was quite besotted with me. He asked me to go away with him for a week-end but I refused. Above all else I wanted to go to university. I liked kissing and cuddling but I always felt very wary if matters got more intimate. He asked me to marry him and I said “No” several times.
Our friendship lasted little more than a year because I wanted to stop working for him and concentrate on studying hard enough to win a scholarship. I never put myself in a situation where I could not get away quickly: not because I didn’t trust him but because I didn’t trust myself. His longing for a whole family was so strong I felt he would soon find someone else. He did. He introduced me to her when they decided to marry. I liked both of them and wished them well with a sigh of relief, because I wanted him to be happy and he and I were poles apart. I settled back to my studies and thought of nothing else.