Many many years ago it was. I was still young. Not much more than an unrough youth. I met a lovely Irish lass by the name of Bridie.
She was the epitome of Irish loveliness. Long red hair. Green eyes. The sweetest lilt of a soft brogue. She hailed, this fair maiden, from County Mayo, in the south of that emerald isle.
We met soon after she arrived in England. I was working as a porter in a hospital in London, and Bridie was a nursing auxiliary at the same place. So it was that our paths crossed often.
In the first few weeks, we exchanged nothing more than shy smiles. I wanted to talk to her, but as was always the way with me when I fancied a girl, I became a stuttering wreck when it came to conversing.
Fate however intervened in the shape of a staff nurse. A lively, happy go likely Australian woman. She, having apparently noticed my lovelorn glances, introduced me to Bridie, in the no nonsense way that Australians seem to have. In fact, as I recall she practically insisted that Bridie and I go out on a date.
We became inseparable, and spent long happy hours together. We soon fell in love. She lived not too far from me, in a house shared with her two sisters, but she began to stay more at my place. Even staying overnight on occasion.
This state of affairs was scandalous however. For Bridie was from a large family of Roman Catholics, and I was a Protestant.
There were threats from the sisters to inform their Mother of what was going on. But Bridie was headstrong and the threats only made her more determined to be with me.
Of course the sisters were only trying to protect her reputation. The truth is though, that she and I were not lovers, at least not in the biblical sense. Bridie took great strength from her faith, and chastity was an important part of that.
Eventually, one night she succumbed to my charms. At least I think that's what happened. Maybe I succumbed to hers. But the deed was done. The relationship consummated.
Afterwards I noticed she was tearful, "What is it?" I asked her, "are you sorry it happened?"
She kissed me. "No", she said, "I'm not sorry. its just..."
"Just what, sweetheart?"
"Well," she answered, "how am I going to tell the priest that I have sinned twice?"
"But we only did it once."
She looked at me with her beautiful green eyes, and with the merest hint of a naughty smile playing on her sweet mouth, she said, in her soft voice, "I was hoping we might do it again."