When Susie thinks about the summer she lost her virginity, what she remembers most is the daily array of tiny cakes and pastries on intricate, lacy doilies, and how she loved the feminine ritual of tea-time just as much as she always had. It’s just that it seemed so weirdly at odds now with the things she spent all day doing with Tom, who was two years older than her and lived four doors down.
In the previous summers when she stayed with her grandmother, she had never really noticed Tom, or, perhaps, it was that he had never really noticed her. But this summer, they have noticed each other and from noticing each other, things have escalated. Fast.
She’s free to do what she wants all day, as long as she’s back for meal times, so she heads to Tom’s shortly after breakfast and they hang out in his bedroom until just before 12, when she has to excuse herself for lunch. Between 2 and 6, while her grandmother naps and cleans the house, she doesn’t know that, four doors down, Susie is allowing Tom not just to fondle her tits, but also to put his fingers inside her for the first time.
She and Tom have been spending every day together for almost two weeks when he asks if she wants to fuck, and she tells him yes, she really wants to. Afterwards, they fall asleep together and she almost misses teatime. She aches when she unfurls herself from his single bed, but the ache is a good ache, it reminds her that she and Tom have a secret that no-one else knows about.
She toys with the edge of one of the lacy doilies as she eats her scone, and her grandma, noticing, says, ‘They remind me of the veil I got married in, those doilies. You’ll wear one too, no doubt, when you meet a nice boy.’
Susie has no interest in meeting a nice boy. She doesn’t say that, though, instead she focuses on a blob of raspberry jam that has fallen onto the doily. It makes her think of her own white, lace underwear, which, when she went to the toilet, was stained with several spots of blood.
It makes her want all over again. She leaves half her scone unfinished on the plate and is back in Tom’s bed less than half an hour after she left it.