A sneak peek at When Jerry Met Ali – Free until the end of March at Smashwords (Use code: YW24D)

On the last day at the camp, we did our final admin and pack up as we awaited departure for the plane back to Sydney. The clock was ticking down doubly fast for me because when we got back to Penrith, the medics would leave that very night to go back to Randwick. Somehow, in the next 12 hours, I had to talk to Lt Holland.

The opportunity finally arose when, to pass the time, someone organised a game of touch football. To my surprise, Lt Holland seemed to be very enthusiastic about getting out with the rest of us and run around. Maybe now the formality of the exercise was drawing down, he felt that he could finally relax and enjoy himself.

He moved out to a wing, and I made sure that I was opposite him. When the ball finally came his way, he ran toward me and, like a good touch player, seeing that I was blocking the way, he poked out his hand to initiate the contact with me. His palm pressed against my right breast as I was simultaneously reaching toward him, grabbing his longer arm by his uniform’s sleeve. I felt a little gush of excitement at the unexpected, intimate contact. I held onto his sleeve just a little longer than I needed to, which meant that he had to push against me a little before he could break free. He pressed on my breast again before I eventually let go; the sensation causing me to smile. With the ball gone on to the next players, he paused a moment to turn and look me in the eye, and then he smiled back.  The game went on like this and each time we collided we both smiled and took our time letting go or getting up off each other if we happened to “get tackled” or “fall over”. I had broken the ice without speaking a word. Thank you, football.

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