“When you get older I want to marry you”
I met with Mr Agerter every Sunday morning at our Methodist church for two years until I went up to Bible Classes and had Mrs Agerter as a teacher. I didn’t like Mrs Agerter, she wore a wide-brimmed hat. When the hat was off her head I played Frisbee with it, when it was on her head I threw my collection money at it, aiming the sixpence to land on the brim and take it off without her knowing, all the time wondering when it would be time for Mr Agerter to divorce her so we could marry. Divorce in Rayleigh was not so uncommon in the 1970s, my best friend Marni’s parents were divorced and my parents didn’t hug or anything and should have been divorced.
One week my sister and I were given the keys to the Agerter’s house to feed Bobby budgie while they were on holiday in Clacton. My sister drank sherry from a decanter behind the sofa while I got in the bath and pretended I was in there with Mr Agerter.
The next Sunday at church we heard that Mrs Agerter had had a stroke in their caravan and the minister asked us to return their keys. The Agerter’s never came back to church but when Mr Butt married one of my sister’s friends, and had babies with her, I knew it could have been possible, and I wondered whether had Mrs Agerter not had her stroke, we would be together and I would never have had to have another 99 boyfriends.