In the third year of my secondary education (that is, when I was 14), I fancied my German teacher. The thing was, she quite liked me too. Oh, nothing illegal happened: I don’t think we were ever alone together, unless it was walking across the schoolyard between lessons. But I did believe that we had a more equal friendship than was usual between teacher and pupil.

Realisation of my feelings came quite suddenly one day. We were doing some work and she was walking up and down between the rows of desks, as teachers do. As she passed me, I watched her neat little posterior moving away down the aisle. She was wearing a short little suede miniskirt, and I found myself wondering what she would look like without it.

That was the first time I had mentally undressed a woman, and it wasn’t the last, although it’s something that happens much less frequently than women probably think. Quite likely, my sexual tastes were imprinted that day. Oh, I know Sigmund Fraud claimed that it happens much earlier in life, but I think he was barking up the wrong tree. Or just barking.

I used to insert little jokes if I was doing a spoken translation in class, and she would laugh. On sunny days, we’d do the class out on the lawn, and she didn’t seem to mind if I sat close. Obviously, I never confessed what I felt, but we got along well and it was nice to be in her company. I called her my German Mistress, deliberately putting the emphasis on the second word rather than the first, and she laughed at that too.

She left teaching to go to Austria to marry her Austrian fiance, but I really can’t remember if we bought her a card or a gift or anything. Probably not. You know how boys are. Her replacement was also young and pretty with a penchant for miniskirts, but I didn’t feel the same way about her.


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