I can hear them all tittering. She’s done it, she’s actually gone through with it in a bush by the side of the veranda. She’s got scratches on her thighs that’s she’s showing off as a badge of honour from a branch of the bush that was almost as persistent as Will.

She looks pleased, surprised, elated and proud.

“What if you’re pregnant,” I ask?

I can’t even allow her the afterglow of excitement and joy, I must watch the crash on her face.


“I know, I know, he was wonderful and you were all caught up in the moment, and all of these girls want to know what it was like and what he’s like, but I want to know what you’ll do if you’re pregnant.”

“I don’t know Stephie.”

I can see her fear, and I can see the other girls despising me, they won’t be told the story int he same way now. It won’t sound wonderful and exciting and full of hope. When she tells it, it will sound full of fear and worry. And I did that, not because I care about this girl and what happens to her, I do care, but that’s not why I did it. I did it because I’m afraid of desire.


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