Third bed down.

Gerald Hopkins woke at half past five that morning and was surprised to find a woman in his bed. He was all the more surprised because his bed was the third down in a row of twelve in his school dormitory. Gerald was thirteen and this was his first year at boarding school.

Naturally curious, he took a quick peek beneath the sheets and discovered that his companion was not just soft and real and shapely but also quite naked. He wondered for a moment if this might be Mrs Henderson, his housemaster’s wife who was also the house matron. He had, if he had to admit it, experienced some rather exciting dreams involving Mrs Henderson. But this was not Mrs Henderson.

His next surprise was that none of the other boys seemed to see his new companion at all; as they awoke and the day began and the usual chatter started and a pillow fight broke out and they trailed off one by one to the showers. Those morning showers were always cold. Cold showers were designed to reduce the effects of such dreams as Gerald had experienced over Mrs Henderson. Spartan, yes, but effective.

Gerald was relieved that his bed mate didn’t follow him to the showers and she was no longer there when he returned to the dorm. He chose not to mention it to anyone because he was very sure that no one would believe him. To be very honest, he didn’t really believe it himself. Strange things happen to a boy’s mind and body at thirteen and Gerald was happy to put his little daydream down to that.

Except that when Gerald Hopkins woke at half past five the next morning he was surprised to find a woman in his bed.

Gerald Hopkins spent his first year at boarding school in that bed and kept his secret all the while. Every morning he woke in the company of this same attractive young woman but they never spoke to each other and he never learned her name. When he returned in his second year he was in a different dormitory and he never saw his young lady again.

Philip Barton woke at half past five that morning and was surprised to find a woman in his bed. He was all the more surprised because Philip’s bed was third down in a row of twelve in his school dormitory. Philip was thirteen and this was his first year at boarding school.

©Peter Maxwell 2014

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