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by Bruce.
Rated: 18+ · Chapter · Drama · #2291502
Elsie gets a weekend pass to go home.
WAAF=Women's Auxiliary Air Force. MT=Motor Transport. NAAFI=Navy Army & Air Force Institute. M O= Medical Officer. NCO=Non Commissioned Officer.

Chapter 15

I went into the WAAF rest room with tears running down my face. All the girls were out somewhere and I sat on the toilet sobbing my heart out. I knew I could not stay in there too long and I tried to compose myself. I flushed some water over my face to try and hide the distress.

         “Right, let’s go,” I said, talking to myself. I walked out into the yard as an airman was walking towards the driver's room.

         He looked at me. “Elsie, are you all right?”

         “I’m fine,” I said.

         “Have you been crying, your eyes are all puffy?”

         “Just had a bit of bad news, but I’m okay.”

         “Well, you don’t look okay. Do you want me to go and see the MT Officer and see if you can be stood down for the day?”

         “I said I’m okay, now will you please leave me alone.” I took a couple of deep breaths like involuntary spasms and walked off down the yard. I saw the sergeant driving out and I walked back down the yard to the control office. The office corporal was doing some paperwork. I stood by the hatch half hiding myself from his view. “I’ve got a terrible cold, can I go to sick quarters for some medicine or something?”

         He glanced over before looking back to his paperwork. “Yeah, you don’t look too good, Elsie. It’s all quiet at the moment and nothing's coming in. Get yourself down to the M.O.”

         I went to the block and sat on my bed writing a letter home asking my mother to let me know when the funeral was so that I could book a pass. I went to the NAAFI shop and put the letter in the box. I didn’t want to go back to the block so I walked over towards the station. I could hear a train approaching towards Chester and I stood on the road next to the railway looking through the fence. It was a passenger train and it was slowing down to stop at the station. It was about to pass and I could see the driver at the controls. Behind the driver leaning on the door and looking out stood a fireman with a woolly hat. He looked at me and waved. I smiled and waved back but the smile soon left me after he passed by and the dark cloud soon formed above me again.

         Three weeks later and still I had no further news from my parents. I wrote to them again hoping I had not already missed my sister’s funeral although it seemed as if I had. How could they do this to me?

         I had just dropped the aircrew instructors and trainees back to the mess. Before taking the aircrew bus back to the motor transport yard I made a slight detour and parked up at the fence adjacent to the railway line. I had seen the locomotive fireman with the woolly hat a couple of times and he always waved to me. He passed at about this time yesterday on a goods train and I was hoping to see him today if he was on the same trip again. The goods train was approaching dead on time and I was surprised at how excited and eager I was to see him as the train was about to pass. The large black locomotive thundered by and I was disappointed to see it was a stranger and he was not even looking. As the following trucks rumbled by I set of for the section yard. I parked the bus and made my way to the driver’s room.

         The office corporal was coming out after dropping the mail in the racks. “There's no letters for you, Elsie.”

         “That’s nothing new,” I said. "I haven’t had a letter off anyone for ages."

         “Doesn’t your sister write anymore?”

         I hesitated before speaking. “My sister, Alice, was killed in an air raid a month ago.”

         ”I’m so sorry, Elsie. Why didn’t you say something before now? I don’t recall you going home for the funeral.”

         I shook my head and looked down. “I’m sorry I don’t want to talk about it,” I said then turned away and walked off.

         I had just made myself a cup of tea in the driver's rest room when the air-raid siren went off. I walked outside cup in hand.

         The section sergeant looked over. “Put that bloody cup down and get to the shelter, young lady.”

         “It will only be a false alarm again, sergeant.”

         “Don’t back chat me, Godsalve. Get to the shelter double time, unless you want to spend this evening sweeping the yard.”

         I put the cup down and rushed to the shelter. Ten minutes later the all-clear sounded. As I walked outside the sergeant shouted across to me.

         “Godsalve. Get over here.”

         Now what? I thought, and hurried over.

         “You ever back chat me again and you’ll be on a charge. I made an exception this time because the corporal told me about your recent family tragedy. You won’t be so lucky next time. Do you understand?”

         “Yes, sergeant.” Why is he always so formal? I wondered. Yes sergeant, no sergeant, three bags full sergeant.

         “Listen, Godsalve, if you have a problem then you need to talk to us about it. When is the funeral?”

         “The funeral is over and I didn't find out until it was over.”

         “Oh, well do you want a few days compassionate leave at home?”


         “No, what?”

         “No, thank you, sergeant.”

         “You look as if you are getting upset. I don’t mean to upset you.”

         I looked down and paused for a moment before looking back at him. “I'm not upset, sergeant.”

         “Well, anyway, I want you to take a package to Chester Northgate station.”

         “I have to drive the aircrew bus soon.”

         “I’ll cover the trainee aircrew bus with one of the new lads. I need someone reliable to get the package on the Manchester train. The station staff are expecting it. Just pick it up from station headquarters and get it down there.”

         “What car shall I take, sergeant?”

         “No need to take a car you can go on the train.”

         I was glad to be going on the train. Maybe the fireman would be the handsome lad with the woolly hat who waved at me. I gave a laugh to myself. That’s not very likely. I picked up the package and walked to the gate entrance to the Sealand Station platform. The train was soon pulling into the station and my excitement was rising, but I was disappointed as the crew were strangers again. It is not far to Northgate Station and a porter took me to the guard on the Manchester train. After handing over the parcel I set off to the platform for the train back to Sealand. A workman was walking towards the Manchester train locomotive swinging a brew can and he was wearing a woolly hat. It’s him. I’m sure it is. My heart was pounding and I felt flushed. How could this affect me so much? And what if he laughs and ignores me? It looked as if he was going to pass me by. “Hello,” I said.

         He stopped and smiled. “Do I know you?” he said.

         “Just a little. You wave to me when you pass the air base.”

         “Is that you? Well, I’ll be blowed. You look so lovely as we wave and to see you close up, you look even more lovely.”

         I gave a laugh, trying to hide my embarrassment. “You don’t look bad yourself.”

         He looked down at his boots and looked up. “Big boots, dirty overalls, sweaty dusty face; not my best look.”

         “I see through that and you look good to me.”

         "You look good to me as well, especially in that Air Force uniform. Some girls don't suit it but you carry it off very well as if it had been especially tailored for you."

         "If you say so, but I can't wait until I can wear my own clothes again."

         There was a shout. “Oy, Bobby.” We both looked to the front of the train to see the driver leaning from the cab.

         Bobby put his hand up. “Look, we are due out soon and I’ll have to go. I’m working late this week, but will you meet me on Monday?”

         Meet him on Monday, you bet I will, but I tried to hide my excitement. “Okay,” I said nonchalantly. “ But where can we meet?”

         “Here at the station. I’ll see you by the ticket office about half seven. Oh, name?”

         “What name?”

         “Your name.”

         “Elsie, Elsie Godsalve.”

         “See you, Monday, Elsie.” He turned and rushed off towards the front of the train.

         I stood watching until he disappeared onto the locomotive. The guard blew his whistle, there was a pop of the train whistle and I heard the brakes easing off on the carriages. I still looked as the train chuffed forward slowly at first. Bobby appeared looking back at me from the doorway and gave a wave. I waved back wondering how he knew I was still here.

         I got to the ticket office at a quarter past seven. I had a funny feeling of nervousness. I have, of course, been on dates before but this one seemed to excite me more than any other. Dead on half seven I saw him approaching the ticket office but he was in his working clothes.

         “Are you on your way home then?” I said. Maybe this would be the shortest date ever.

         “I’m sorry,” he said. “They called me in to do the late trip to Wrexham. I can’t refuse because of the war office regulations.”

         “What about tomorrow?”

         “They have got me on it all week.”

         “So, that’s it then is it?”

         “Of course not. I really want to see you again. But it will have to be on Sunday now. If you still want to?”

         “I don't mind,” I said, as if I were not that bothered, although I was.

         “Come on, I’ve just got time for a cup of tea at the cafeteria.”

         I smiled. That would make this small date a little longer.

         We sat drinking tea and I was wondering how to start the conversation without sounding too eager. “We had an air raid warning on camp last week but it was a false alarm.”

         “I don’t think there will be any raids up here now. The doodlebugs are still active though.”


         “German rocket things."

         "I know what they are. I thought they were called buzz-bombs now though."

         "Anyway, the war is coming to an end. The radio news said that our troops and the Russians are well into Germany. It’s just a matter of time.”

         “Let’s hope so.”

         “I’ve got to go now, Elsie. But we’ll meet same time on Sunday.”

         “I’ll look forward to it,” I said. Yes, I'll look forward to it again, I thought, as he walked off. And maybe he might even kiss me next time.

         The next day I was walking across the transport yard. It was late afternoon and the staff suddenly all came running out from the transport office. They seemed to be celebrating.

          One of the corporals noticed me and called out. “It’s all over, Elsie. Churchill has been on the radio. The Germans have given up. Go to the restroom and let them all know.”

         I turned and I have never ran so fast. I burst into the crew room and screamed the news out. There was pandemonium and we all danced our way out into the yard and joined in the merriment with the NCOs.

         When things quietened down the sergeant walked over to me. “It’s over Godsalve,” he said. “So you have got your weekend pass this weekend to celebrate with your family.”

         “I didn’t ask for a pass.”

         “Well, you have got one anyway, so be grateful.”


         “Don’t argue with me, girl. I’ve told you enough times.”

         “Yes, sergeant.” I didn’t really want the weekend leave just yet. Although it might give me more time to spend with Bobby. On second thoughts, perhaps I should call home. It’s only a weekend and I might not get the chance again for a while. I must try to let Bobby know. Maybe leave a message at the railway engine depot. I realised that the sergeant had just called me, girl. Perhaps the news that the war in Europe is over has mellowed him a little because he usually calls me, Godsalve.

         Early that evening, a gang of us from the camp went into Chester. There was a great celebration taking place on all the roads leading into the town hall square. The cathedral bells were ringing for the first time in years. I had been there for over an hour when I saw him with a group of men in railway overalls and I made my way over. Maybe he would not want to know while he was with his workmates. Would I embarrass him? When he saw me walking over his face seemed to light up and he hurried over to meet me and greet me with a fond cuddle.

         “I am so pleased to see you,” he said. “With this good news, it would be hard to wait until Sunday to see you.”

         “I’m sorry, Bobby, but Sunday is off. I have a weekend pass to go and see my parents in London. I thought of not going but it is a long time since I have seen them.”

         “When are you leaving?”

         “Twelve o’clock, Saturday. But I won’t go if you don’t want me to.”

         “Don’t be silly. You’ve got to go. I’ll see you off on Saturday and we can meet up when you get back. Now let’s enjoy what little time I have before I set off for work.”

         On Saturday, Bobby met me at the station as promised and we sat in the cafeteria watching the minutes pass on the clock. Those minutes seemed to move so fast.

         “I’ll be back Sunday night.”

         “Then we can meet Monday as planned before. Only this time, as the war is over, if they ask me to work late they can go and scratch. Come on, you’d best get on the train. And here, I got you a bar of chocolate for the journey.”

         We walked over and I put my bag on the train and turned towards Bobby. “I’ll see you here on Monday night then,” I said.

         He reached over and kissed me full on my lips. I was not expecting it, and I was not expecting the wonderful feeling that it gave me. The guard blew his whistle and I got on the train feeling flushed.

         Bobby closed the carriage door. “We have not known each other for long but I feel that I love you already,” he said.

         I felt elated as the train moved off and I looked back at him from the drop-down window until he was gone from sight.

The Girl From Mile End. Ch16.  (18+)
Elsie returns to Sealand.
#2284540 by Bruce.
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