A/N: Despite the first person prose; this is in no way autobiographical and if any of my mates see themselves in this then a) it's completely circumstantial and b) you should feel honoured so stop your whining! ;p

Chapter One – 14

I am on a very important mission. As a well established twenty-something with a casual relationship and a History degree, I have decided that my life is still missing that certain something. So, I am about to embark on an attempt to regain that certain je ne c'est quoi that gave my teenage years such a kick. I will be damned if I can't get that back into my life now, I can still be a teen at twenty four, right?

I was in a relationship for a large part of my teens which I suppose means that I don't have to get rid of Nick quite yet. Let's just take a quick peek at Nick's credentials, shall we? Okay, he's a year younger than me but is not immature in any way, he has a deep-rooted and all-consuming passion for 80s hair metal and Bon Jovi, he quotes The Godfather constantly (which actually used to be cute) and he is highly gorgeous. In fact, he's one of those guys that make you really paranoid, the "he's so gorgeous, why is he with me?" guy. Tall, dark, handsome; just your average regular guy really. I do want to stay with him; he makes me laugh, he always pays for dinner and we do have amazing sex but I'm getting restless and there's always room for improvement, or so they say.

Anyway, the first mission is to re-enter my teenage years starting at fourteen – the year I lost my virginity and realised that men were the best toys to play with. I lost my virginity to a guy who was about ten years older than me; it sounds so sleazy and very illegal when you think about it but I was all for it. I felt ready, I wanted it to happen and to be frank, I think it was me who initiated things that night. So, the first level of the mission was set and the rules were very basic:

The guy had to be older than me. Minimal make-up – I never wore any at fourteen so that was out! No dressing up at all – only jeans allowed.

Now, the mission was going to be compromised from the outset seeing as I was going to the pub – something I didn't do until I was fifteen – but I was killing two birds with one stone. During my fourteenth year, I developed the most major crush on my GCSE History teacher and so my date for the evening was to be my old History tutor from uni. He's thirty seven, quite possibly one of the coolest people I have ever met, he only wears flannel shirts, refuses to believe that grunge is dead and had the most amazing hair ever. I kind of had a crush on him during uni too; maybe I have a thing for History teachers?! Anyway, my casual relationship with Nick means that I am free to go out with Adam (History guy) tonight. Besides, Nick is going out with the boys to view some form of ball-sport so I think I should be able to go out. And in any case, at fourteen I thought monogamy was a disease!

So, I pull on my embroidered jeans (a silver spider web at the bottom of one leg), my purple Doc Marten's (an ever-lasting high school obsession) and a plain black vest top that shows off my tattoos (maybe not strictly 'fourteen' but give me a break) and I am good to go. I'm meeting Adam in my favourite pub in town, there's only rock on the jukebox and only whisky behind the bar – well, there are other beverages but they are very rarely ordered. I see Adam the second I walk in, I would recognise that hair anywhere – it's the longest hair I've ever seen without a doubt, it's always tied back with a red elastic band and it is so well-conditioned, it makes my hair look like straw.

The second thing I notice (after the rock-star hair) is how much fitter he looks, he was always skinny but now he looks toned and honed. I was never going to be able to control myself but I kept reminding myself that the key word of the last twelve months was 'casual'. Nothing was serious between me and Nick and I know for a fact that he has never once referred to me as his girlfriend so I just pushed it all to the back of my mind and concentrate on enjoying feeling fourteen again – but without the parental angst and sexual nervosa. The only thing I ever discussed with boys at that age was music which worked out pretty well considering that is all Adam and I ever talk about anyway. His obsession with Pearl Jam, The Counting Crows and all things grunge perfectly mirrors my own obsession with old school punk; The Ramones, The Clash and after we both agree that Avril Lavigne and her tie-wearing 'sk8r' groupies should be led like sheep over a cliff to a violent, bone-shattering bloody death, I know the mission is going to be a resounding success.

Adam looks good and after a skinful, he is looking even better and I am pretty sure that in my drunken state, I am going to go for broke with the History tutor. So, amidst a full scale verbal assault on Eddie Vedder tribute band, 'Creed', Adam and I are forcibly removed from the pub (it wasn't the first time and it was almost 2am so I won't hold a grudge) and he walks me home like a true gentleman. Actually, we were both closer to stumbling than walking but what does that matter? We reached my over-priced but excellently situated studio flat – that translates as one bedroom, one bathroom, on multi-room containing an oven and a sofa – crazy! And as Adam politely says goodbye, I adopt the fearlessness of my fourteen year old self and ram my tongue down his throat before dragging him inside for a "coffee" – the one thing I never stock in my kitchen.

Sometimes, I find it hard to believe that Adam really is a History tutor – he is possibly the least stuffy guy I know and if you had seen the rest of the History department you would know what I mean. In polar opposition to those other guys, Adam is a complete animal – who knew History tutors were so passionate? We put an old Undertones album on and 'made out' (don't you just love U.S. slang?) on the sofa, funnily enough like teenagers, for a while before chatting about music, movies and ensuring we were both aware that this was a 'for one night only' concert. It sounds really sterile and pre-determined but if you leave it then eventually someone's feelings are going to get hurt, it's always better to display your motives honestly. (I left out the whole 'recapturing youth' storyline though – I didn't want to freak him out too much!!) Anyway, sex with an older guy is always an overwhelming experience for that exact reason – experience. Adam has thirteen years on me and he used every one of them to make me scream the walls of the flat down. Even Feargal Sharkey couldn't drown me out – to say it was a good night would be an understatement of epic proportions.

The only part of a one-night-stand that depresses me is that awkward leaving scene – the morning after or straight after? To call or not to call? These are the questions. Adam was a gent to the end and made that decision for me by bringing me a bottle of vanilla Coke from the fridge, kissing my forehead and uttering the immortal line, "I'll call you" before leaving. To be honest, I felt a little used and abused at that point; rich coming from me I know but I reached out and grabbed the telephone anyway, dialling in Nick's number from memory. He didn't take long to answer; he never slept after a night out; there was far too much drunken Championship Manager to play. I love the way we skirt around everything, neither of us saying what we want to let alone what we actually mean, even at four in the morning. It is so obvious that I called him because I miss him and obviously had a slight case of guilt but I can't tell him that, of course not, life would be far too easy if that happened. He's too drunk and I'm too tired for the lies; we only talk for ten minutes, I need to sleep and he needs to buy some eighteen year old Nigerian wonder-kid; same old, same old.

So, I guess sleeping with Adam means the mission was a success but it feels kind of hollow – I mean, as sexy as he is, what guy of almost forty would pass up the chance of a night with a twenty-something? Plus, the three years of flirting during my degree (and his divorce) gave me enough insight to know that he wouldn't pass up the chance of sleeping with me – I'm not trying to sound big-headed or anything but we are totally compatible in every way. We love the same music, the same movies and everything; I really believe that a shared love of media culture is the first step on the way to a successful relationship; be it romantic of platonic. Nick and I are both far too obsessed with rock music – in fact, it used to be all we talked about; we both love the same kinds of films although I still haven't persuaded him to watch 'Gone with the Wind' and our first date was a Bon Jovi concert – Matchbox Twenty were supporting so I was in heaven! Adam and I are exactly the same; both die-hard Eddie Vedder fanatics and both in awe of old black and white movies and how much better they are than today's bog-standard Hollywood offers.

As I hang up the phone on Nick and lay back down in my sheets; still damp from my own sweat, I sigh quietly and close my eyes. I don't feel fourteen and I certainly don't feel as good as I did after my first time in the sack – for some reason, I feel really empty. It worried me; this is what I am good at; picking up guys and bringing them home constitutes a large part of my teenage life but now I'm on the road to reliving that; it all feels slightly less fun. Ah well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. I'm obviously too tired and too drunk to even form a competent opinion right now. I think I'll leave it for a week and then move on to fifteen – the age of the Scottish obsession. Actually, the thought of that is rather intriguing…. Maybe I will stick this mission thing out; we can only see what happens next, right?