I think she was drunk. Call it a hunch, but the way she was staggering around the room gave it away. I tried not to make eye contact as I sidled around the dancers and found a shadowy corner to lurk in.
The disco lights flashed. The silver ball twinkled, and the funky beat rumbled through the floorboards.
Too late. She’d spotted me, and staggered over.
“Hey! Where’s my kiss?” she demanded; over-waxed lips puckering in for the kill. Leaning over, she lost her balance and landed in my lap.
“Is that really you, Jack?” she asked, peering through the gin haze.
“Yes, Aunt C. Are you okay?”
She peered conspiratorially around the room, checking if anyone was staring, before answering, “I think I’m just a little tipsy, Jack, but don’t tell anyone.”
“Your secrets safe with me,” I assured, also checking the wedding reception for prying eyes.
“My, you’ve grown. Look at the size of you. What are they feeding you? I can hardly recognise you. What year are you in now?”
“I’m doing my leaving,” I boasted.
“Good for you! I’m sure you’ll fly it. You always were a smart lad.”
Before I knew it, I was ensnared in Auntie Celia’s arms. My head was pressed against her bosom as she branded my forehead with lipstick.
My nostrils caught the faint hint of sweat from her silk blouse. It was not an unpleasant aroma, when mixed with the scent of lavender oil and gin.
The genie in my trousers stirred, despite my best efforts to keep him firmly in his lamp. Before I could stop him, he was standing erect between us, making his presence known against my aunt’s thigh.
Absently, her hand moved down to see what it was, and a look of surprise came over her face. “Oh my!” she said, and started to rise.
Her brain was by now quite sober, but all of the gin had moved down to her lower body, which was still quite drunk.
She squirmed, but could not raise herself from my lap.
All of that wiggling wasn’t helping the situation.
A part of my mind was saying, “No! Don’t do that!”
But, another part was saying “Oh yeah!”
She continued to wiggle in an effort to break free … All the while, my pubescent hormones were in overdrive.
“Oh my God. It’s going to blow!” the two voices in my head screamed in unison.
In desperation, I grabbed hold of my aunt’s hips and thrust upwards with my hips, ejecting her from the seat like a fighter pilot about to crash.
I was too late.
Collapsing back into the seat, I bathed in the inner glow as I watched my aunt teeter across the dance floor. Her legs refused to work in unison. She staggered this way and that, ricocheting off wedding guests until finally, she tripped and landed in a heap in the centre of the dance floor.
The band stopped playing.
People gasped with surprise and hurried to her rescue.
Dimmer switches were turned up to maximum, and the room went from night to day.
My father was one of the first on the scene, checking her for injuries.
“I’m fine,” she mumbled. “I just tripped over. I’m not used to these heels.”
Looking over at me, my father commanded, “Don’t just sit there, you lummox. Get off ya arse and give me a hand.”
I rose hesitantly to my feet, stooped over to hide the lump in my shorts. I prayed silently that no one spotted the wet patch I could feel trickling down my inner thigh.
“What’s up with you?” he asked.
“I pulled a muscle when I was dancing earlier,” I lied. “I’ll be fine.”
Together, we helped Aunt Celia back to her feet.
Sensing my discomfort, she suggested that I help her to the ladies room.
I readily agreed.
Arm in arm, we limped away from the gathered crowd.
Once we were out in the hallway, she asked, “Do you want to talk about it?”
“Oh God, no!”
“It’s perfectly natural, you know!”
“After what just happened, I think we should be on first name terms, don’t you?”
I flushed and said nothing.
“We’re going to laugh about this someday,” she assured me.
“Can’t we just forget it ever happened?” I pleaded.
“My lips are sealed,” she promised, before pecking me on the cheek and opening the door to the ladies room. “I can manage from here, thanks.”
I headed across the hall to the gents, to clean myself up. Maybe if I flushed the toilet on my head often enough, I could purge my brain of the memory and stop my cheeks from flushing.