Jane's rejections continue into her RAF service.
Jane completed her six weeks Women's Royal Air Force basic training in Lincolnshire and went with her fellow recruits to the passing out parade as a group of fit, smartly turned out, young women. As they drilled around the parade area in front of their families, three Vulcan bombers flew overhead. The fly-past was impressive, but the noise from the giant delta-winged aircraft was astounding and she noticed many of the visitors in the stand covering their ears.
After the parade, Jane stood talking to her family at the buffet. Her sister and dad seemed genuinely impressed, but she was surprised at the attention she received from her mother as if she were a different woman. However, she was under no illusion and knew it was all for show.
She did three months training as a motor transport driver driving three-ton lorries in South Wales before her posting to RAF Seattle in the north of England.
The camp was not what she expected. It was a small quiet communications base and seemed a bit of a let-down after her driver training at the large base in Wales. She settled in well though and was frequently asked out on dates, but most of the time she would decline the offers because she could not seem to find anyone with whom she felt at ease with and she began to mistrust most of the people around her.
Jane shared a room with three other girls. It was a friendly atmosphere, but the other girls had regular boyfriends and she spent a lot of time alone in the room. Her first year soon passed and she received her promotion, from Leading Air Craftswoman to Senior Air Craftswoman. She eagerly sewed the three-bladed propellers onto her uniform and then stood looking in the mirror, feeling pleased to be a SACW, believing it gave an impression of an experienced professional instead of a first-year sprog.
Early one evening, Jane was sitting alone at a window looking out at a squirrel darting about in a tree. The squirrel didn't seem to have any plan about what it was doing. It just seemed to be wandering about aimlessly. She sat wondering if the squirrel was alone in the world like her, but suddenly another squirrel appeared as if it had been hiding in some kind of a game. They darted down the tree, scampered across the grass, and disappeared up into the branches of another tree. She turned away, disappointed that she had lost her entertainment. She gave a deep sigh and felt lonely and bored as she looked across the empty room. There was a knock on the door and a girl from along the corridor walked in.
"Hello, Marie, I thought you were going away for the weekend?"
"No, not this week." The girl gave out a wide smile as she walked over.
Jane had always been friendly with her despite the malicious rumours that were spread around the camp about her. She knew Marie had taken a shine to her and was always keen to be in her company.
Marie was an attractive girl; the type of girl that made some of the other WRAF's envious and jealous. She was tall with a figure that could win any beauty contest. Her golden hair was held inside a large French-type beret. Her sparkling blue eyes held a strange power that could charm and captivate any man who had the misfortune to gaze into them, only to be led on and then destroyed. "Have all your roommates gone away for the weekend?" she asked.
"Yeah," Jane replied. "It's unusual for the three of them to be away at the same time, but it happens now and then. I don't suppose I'll see them till Sunday night."
"I'm on my own as well. I thought of going to the pictures but there's a cowboy film on, bloody boring." Marie dropped herself down on the bed opposite Jane as if it were her own bed space.
"Bloody boring," Jane said. "This whole camp is bloody boring. When I did my training, I thought I'd be going to a proper airbase with aeroplanes. Here I am, stranded on a little camp nothing more than a glorified radio station. I'm always volunteering for detachments and overseas duty, but I never seemed to have any luck. I think I might as well give up."
"It ain't so bad here and believe me you could do a lot worse. Trouble with you is you don't get out enough."
"I don't like the NAAFI much; those idiots from the stores are always trying to chat me up. Why can't people just leave me alone?"
"That's men though, ain't it,” Marie said. “You can't be mates with men no matter how friendly they seem. They always have the same thing lurking at the back of their mind. Even the married ones; making out you're just mates, but at the first chance they'll try to get their hands up your skirt."
Jane started laughing at Marie's comments even though her words brought Ray to her mind.
"No, it's true though, ain't it? They're all the bloody same." Marie smiled at Jane’s reaction to her comments before she continued. "Anyway, you can always sit with us. I've told you loads of times. Nobody pesters us, you know."
She did know. Marie was feminine and attractive, but her three friends were all well-built girls, looking more like men than women. She remembered when one of them had knocked out an airman for making an unflattering remark to her. There had been no argument, no shouting, she just hit him the once, and he was finished.
"Anyway, Jane. I was wondering if you might fancy going over to the NAAFI for a drink later and you don't have to worry about those store's creeps. They won't bother you if you're with me."
Jane had spent time in the bar with Marie a few times and had always enjoyed her company. She often thought of spending more time with her, but she would always avoid Marie if she were not alone because she felt uncomfortable with her friends. However, her roommates and Marie's friends were off camp for the weekend, so she decided to accept the offer and have a night out with Marie. "A drink. Yeah, all right, I could do with the company and it's better than watching the squirrels."
"Squirrels. No wonder you always look a bit cheesed off if you've nothing better to do than watch a lot of rats with bushy tails." We both laughed before Marie continued. "Come on then you saddo, let's get ready and go and get pissed."
They walked into the bar just after eight. Jane noticed a small group of girls looking over and she knew they were talking about them, but she ignored them. Marie had never tried to be forward with her.
A group of airmen were visiting from another camp and they invited the two girls to sit with them. Jane was not keen on the idea, but Marie convinced her they could have a lot of fun teasing the lads and leading them on.
The airmen were pleased with the company and they were all trying to impress them, hoping to win them over. Two of the airmen thought they had succeeded and, when the bar closed, they walked back to the WRAF accommodation block with them and they were soon all enjoying a heated kissing session.
Jane was just beginning to relax and enjoy the attention and affection from the young airman when suddenly she heard Marie's partner cry out. As she looked over she saw him stagger back, doubled up in obvious pain.
"How dare you, you filthy bastard," Marie shouted. She looked over to Jane. "I'm going in, Jane, are you coming?"
Despite Jane’s male companion's disappointment, she left him and followed Marie into the block eager to find out what had happened. They were safely inside when Marie began to laugh loudly. A corporal shouted from one of the rooms and Marie tried to contain her laughter, but she continued giggling as they made their way to Jane's room.
As soon as they had closed the door behind them, Jane looked at Marie and began to laugh with her, although she didn't really know what they were laughing about. "Well come on then, Marie," she said. "Tell me what happened."
"It was so romantic, Jane, him kissing me with the passion of a young Romeo. He took hold of my hand and looked affectionately into my eyes. Without any hesitation, and while still gazing romantically into my eyes, he moved my hand down onto this horrible piece of gristle that was sticking out from his trousers." Jane gave out a short hysterical laugh. "Anyway, I rewarded his efforts by bringing my knee up into his nuts." They both erupted into laughter again as they dropped onto Jane’s bed. Marie put her arm around Jane's shoulder. "Listen, I've got two cans of beer in my locker. I'll pop along and get them."
"Beer. Oh, I don't know about that, Marie. I'm really tired and I think I've had enough to drink. I just wanna go to sleep."
"One more drink won't hurt you. I'll tell you what, you get yourself to bed while I go and get the beer. We'll have a drink and a chat for a while then call it a night."
Jane reluctantly agreed. She didn't mind Marie's company, but she was having trouble keeping her eyes open and she would rather have just gone to bed. She got changed into a short nightshirt and then got into bed and leaned back on her pillow, dosing slightly while awaiting the return of her friend.
Marie walked in wearing her dressing gown and plonked herself onto Jane’s bed. Jane had removed her make-up, but she noticed Marie had obviously spent a bit of time re-doing hers. Marie had already pierced the cans and she gave one to Jane. After taking a mouthful, Marie put her can down on the bedside cabinet and took a tobacco tin out of her dressing gown pocket.
"Look what I've got." She took a hand-rolled cigarette from the tin.
"Is that funny tobacco?" Jane asked.
"It's a bit better than funny tobacco." Marie lit the cigarette and took a long draw on it before offering it to Jane. "Here have a puff."
"No thanks, I don't smoke."
"I don't usually smoke either Jane, but this is different; it's not like normal smoking. Go on have a puff."
"No, I don't think so."
"Oh come on, Jane, don't be such a saddo. I thought we were friends; go on take a puff, just for me."
Jane held the joint and took a small puff causing her to cough.
"No, not like that, Jane, you have to inhale it to get your money's worth." Marie inhaled and blew the smoke out through her nose. She gave the cigarette back to Jane and she took a large drag, filling her lungs. She began to cough violently, the room seemed to be swaying, and her eyes started watering. Marie grinned as she leaned forward and rubbed her back until she stopped coughing.
"Bloody hell, Marie, I've gone all dizzy. I think I'm going to pass out."
"Maybe you were right; maybe you're not ready for this stuff. Lie down and get some sleep. I'll just finish the beer, then I'll go and smoke the joint in my own room."
Jane didn't have to be told twice. As well as feeling sleepy, the cigarette had made her feel light-headed and she fell asleep long before Marie had finished the beer.
She began to dream, a pleasant dream. A young prince on a white horse was trotting towards her. He dismounted and his golden hair dropped down to his shoulders as he removed his cap. He unbuttoned his cloak and dropped it to the floor before reaching over to kiss her. She closed her eyes and felt the passion from his lips, lips that tasted so sweet and felt so soft. Of all the kisses in her life, none had given her such thrills as she was getting from his. His tongue flicked around the inside of her lips and across her teeth as his soft warm hands cupped her face from her cheeks to her neck. His right hand moved down her shoulder to her breasts and he fondled her with an expertise that gave her increasing pleasure. His excited breath seemed warm and loud. She turned his face back round and kissed him with a wild uncontrolled passion. His hand began to travel further down her body. She wanted him. She had never craved intimacy so much in her life. Her eyelids flicked open as she moved her face away from him, eager to gaze into his blue eyes as he entered her.
"What the hell are you doing?" she screamed.
Marie was naked, and Jane pushed her off the bed before pulling the covers back over herself.
"Calm down, Jane, you know you were enjoying it as much as me."
"Get out of my room," she shouted. "Get out."
"All right, all right, keep your bloody voice down. We don't want to advertise do we?" Marie picked up her dressing gown and wrapped it around her naked body. "I'll call for you in the morning. We can talk over breakfast."
Jane waited until Marie had left the room before she ran across and locked the door. She set her alarm clock for half-past six. She wanted to be out of the room if Marie did call in the morning. She looked into her mirror as she passed and her feelings of shock intensified at the sight of Marie's lipstick smudged around her lips and onto her face. She grabbed her towel and toilet bag, unlocked the door again, and made her way down the corridor to the ablutions to clean her face.
Marie tried to talk to Jane on many occasions, but she would always try to make an excuse to get away. She felt she had to because rumours were already spreading about their night out together. Being a small camp, it was often difficult to avoid her and she didn't wish to be too abrupt and fall out with her. Events soon solved the problem for Jane when a posting arrived for her to go to an RAF base in Cyprus.