I sit on my front porch as the rain starts to fall. A gap in the guttering lets one large drop splat on the wall next to me.

It is dark and the rain is only visible as passing car headlights briefly illuminate it, like sparkling shards. But the roaring spray, after days of scorching arid heat, shouts that yes, the rain is here, falling hard and fast. It gushes and hisses from the sky.

You have just left, so I come outside to feel the downpour, to smell it bursting from the sky on to trees, plants, gutters, potholes, and stare into the night, lit by a few twinkling lights down my street.

I pull a cigarette from my pocket – naughty, I know, and not something I normally do, but it’s my emergency supply and you are not here to lecture me.  I turn from the wind and click my lighter. The nicotine rush leaves me light-headed for a second, but I am already woozy with red wine. Only the cooler air and rain keep me upright.

Things are different between us now. And I made it so.

You never asked for it to change. It was down to me. I had my doubts.

But as I sit here and suck and inhale, watching the wisps of grey vapour rise before me, I feel the cold shiver of solitude rise up my spine, the space from my waist to my shoulders, where an arm could have encircled me, a warm and loving embrace.

But here I am, alone again. Plunk! Another large drop hits the wall next to me.

As I press the cigarette between my lips, I think of your lips when they used to press against mine, soft and warm. But I made this choice.

I cross my legs as the breeze gets sharper and blows up my dress. But the breeze is the only thing to get this far.

I long for a warm head laid on my lap, fingers caressing my legs, as I gently stroke the head. Plop! The drop shakes me from my reverie for a second.

The wind rustles through the Magnolia tree over the wall and it moves, in this light like a sea of a million dark green leaves. Between the drifting clouds of smoke I inhale the smell of wet leaves, grass and nature aroused by the down pour. Will I ever be aroused again?

Plunk! There it goes again.

The wine haze and nicotine fuzz do not allow me to answer the question – do I just want to be desired and touched by someone, or do I still crave your heat, your kiss, your sex.

But you have gone. I made you go. So I am alone again. Splat! The drop seems to be coming more frequently now.

And I do not want to ask the question right now. It will only plague me when I awaken from my heavy alcohol sleep at around 4am and struggle to close my eyes again. I have argued with myself for some time now on this point. Right now I call a truce.

Flump! That drop is now mocking me. The cigarette is down to the butt and I don’t want another – the bitter taste and dry mouth remind me why. I turn my back on the wet night, turn my back on my thoughts – just for now. Time for the empty bed, one pillow not used. Time to snuff out thoughts and feelings. Until tomorrow.

A trip down memory lane or Fanny Alley

So, as this year comes to a close, it seems the right time to get nostalgic and misty-eyed about the past.

Today I am looking a long way back to days of innocence, when sex was something everyone else seemed to be doing. In fact there are times, in drought periods, when I still think this is the case!

I am going back to my student days. DSM lost her virginity on Saturday, 2nd November 1991, aged 18 and a bit. Rather late for someone in those days. But I documented the whole episode.

He was a guy on my course who was 25 – certainly not my first love, but he was experienced and made me laugh. We had been round to a friend’s house, watched some videos, drank Guinness, and then walked back to his house which he shared with his parents.

I noted that it was pouring down with rain and his mum had to lend me some of her clothes so mine could dry – maybe it was the sight of me in his mum’s jogging bottoms that got him going…

I remember him asking if I wanted to “make love” which sounds rather archaic now, but I imagine it was his way of easing me into it. There were a few thrusts while I just lay there motionless, not knowing what I should be doing.

My rambly afterthoughts were: “Don’t know if I chose the right time for this to happen. Feel a real slag. I like xxx but I don’t love him. I’m no longer a virgin. It was OK but didn’t enjoy it that much. He probably didn’t either as I didn’t know how to do it right.”

So, what is probably a momentous occasion in any girl’s life, took place in a bedroom with green walls, covered in posters of Sisters of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim and New Model Army, with his parents sat downstairs watching TV. And the uncertainty afterwards has followed me ever since – except now the questions are different.

It has gone from ‘was this the right thing to do ‘to ‘did he think my arse, belly and boobs looked hideous’, ‘did he enjoy it at all’ and ‘were we so noisy that we woke the kids’.

To my 18-year-old self, who seemed to spend most of 1991 flitting between different men and questioning everything, I would say: “Just get over it – it has happened now and will get better, although with some people it’s never going to be that good. Plus, you don’t think your body is that good now, but you are the most bloody gorgeous you will ever be in your life. When you are thirty-ahem-ahem you will be wishing you resembled your 18-year-old self and not the saggy, wobbly old sack of spuds you will become – so work it, girl!”

Any other business

The day got off to its usual slow, frustrating start – the 20-month-old dawdled over his toast, throwing it on the floor when he decided he’d had enough. The seven-year-old had also let breakfast drag out, gazing at a magazine and occasionally shovelling chocolate cereal into her mouth.

After running up and downstairs several times to get school and work things, we piled into the car and got to the end of the road before having to reverse up it again to dash in for a crucial comfort blanket.

But at last, we were away. I dropped the children off with the child minder and set off for work. Seemingly.

Except today I had an important meeting with The Man instead.

It was a grey, wet November morning, and the rain pelted down. I dashed out of the car and ran to his back door, which had been left unlocked in anticipation.

He got up, kissed me softly, and before I had chance to even remove my coat, he took my hand and led me upstairs. We didn’t even say ‘hello’ as he pulled his trousers down to reveal a solid, shiny erect penis. At this point I was sitting on the bed, just at the right height to lean towards it and guide it into my mouth.

I firmly grasped his upper thighs and stroked them as I licked, sucked and fondled the perfect phallus before me, carefully circling the helmet with the tip of my tongue, occasionally letting my teeth gently touch it.

Then he slowly moved onto the bed and turned himself around as I wriggled out of my trousers and pants so that I was lying under his penis and my over-excited vagina was almost leaping for joy to make contact with his tongue. ‘Yes please, now, now,’ it was almost saying!

And it was not disappointed as he flicked it on, around, up and down my clitoris. Tingling waves travelled up my body as I struggled to keep things going at my end and my breathing became deeper, heavier.

He knew I was becoming impatient to have him inside me, but carried on sending me to the edge of jittery madness before moving on top of me and touching the edge of my black hole with the end of his penis. The Man enjoyed this hovering, teasing, driving me to distraction until I virtually had to use all my strength to push him down inside me. I would then feel instant gratification, like an alcoholic desperate for her first drink – there, there it is at last!

As he fucked me, he licked his middle finger and gently twiddled my clitoris making me shake with him inside me and increasing my appetite for him to carry on even longer.

We rolled over and I climbed on top of him, taking control, leaning back to feel him deeper inside me, then leaning forward, brushing his face with my tits.

He then flipped me over and fucked me deep and hard from behind. In fact so hard that I couldn’t move but gasped at the wonderful force inside me.

As he neared a climax he pulled out and exploded all over my breasts and stomach and I smeared it over myself like it was a luxurious body lotion. We both collapsed on the bed in each other’s arms, listening to the rain tapping against the window.

So far it had been a pretty good day at work. This was the best meeting I’d had for a while. I just wondered what would come up for Any Other Business…