Jane's rejections continue into her RAF service.
Book 2 Chapter 5
I completed my six weeks Women's Royal Air Force basic training in Lincolnshire and went with my fellow recruits to the passing out parade as a group of fit, smartly turned out, young women. As we drilled around the parade area in front of our families, three Vulcan bombers flew overhead. The fly-past was impressive, but the noise from the giant delta-winged aircraft was astounding and I noticed many of the visitors in the stand covering their ears.
After the parade, I stood talking to my family at the buffet. My sister and dad seemed genuinely impressed, but I was surprised at the attention I received from my mother as if she were a different woman. However, I was under no illusion and knew it was all for show.
I did three months training as a motor transport driver driving three-ton lorries in South Wales before my posting to RAF Seattle in the north of England.
The camp was not what I expected. It was a small quiet communications base and seemed a bit of a let down after my driver training at the large base in Wales. I settled in well though and was frequently asked out on dates, but most of the time I would decline the offers because I could not seem to find anyone with whom I felt at ease with and I had begun to mistrust most of the people around me.
I shared a room with three other girls. It was a friendly atmosphere, but the other girls had regular boyfriends and I spent a lot of time alone in the room. My first year soon passed and I received my promotion, from Leading Air Craftswoman to Senior Air Craftswoman. I eagerly sewed the three-bladed propellers onto my 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, I 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. I sat wondering if the squirrel was alone in the world like me, 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. I turned away, disappointed I had lost my entertainment. I gave a deep sigh and felt lonely and bored as I 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. I had always been friendly with her despite the malicious rumours that were spread around the camp about her. I knew Marie had taken a shine to me and was always keen to be in my company. She 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," I 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 me as if it were her own bed space.
"Bloody boring," I 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. 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."
I started laughing at Marie's comments even though her words brought Ray to my mind.
"No, it's true though, ain't it? They're all the bloody same." Marie smiled at my 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."
I did know. Marie was feminine and attractive, but her three friends were all well-built girls, looking more like men than women. I 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, 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."
I had spent time in the bar with Marie a few times and had always enjoyed her company. I often thought of spending more time with her, but I would always avoid Marie if she were not alone because I felt uncomfortable with her friends. However, my roommates and Marie's friends were off camp for the weekend, so I decided to accept the offer and have a night out with her. "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."
We walked into the bar just after eight. I noticed a small group of girls looking over and I knew they were talking about us, but I ignored them. Marie had never tried to be forward with me.
A group of airmen were visiting from another camp and they invited us to sit with them. I was not keen on the idea, but Marie convinced me we 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 us, hoping to win us over. Two of the airmen thought they had succeeded and, when the bar closed, they walked back to the WRAF accommodation block with us and we were soon enjoying a heated kissing session.
I was just beginning to relax and enjoy the attention and affection from the young airman when suddenly I heard Marie's partner cry out. As I looked over I saw him stagger back, doubled up in obvious pain.
"How dare you, you filthy bastard," Marie shouted. She looked over to me. "I'm going in, Jane, are you coming?"
Despite my male companion's disappointment, I left him and followed Marie into the block eager to find out what had happened. We 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 we made our way to my room.
As soon as I had closed the door behind us, I looked at Marie and began to laugh with her, although I didn't really know what we were laughing about. "Well come on then, Marie," I 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." I gave out a short hysterical laugh. "Anyway, I rewarded his efforts by bringing my knee up into his nuts." We both erupted into laughter again as we dropped onto my bed. Marie put her arm around my 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."
I reluctantly agreed. I didn't mind Marie's company, but I was having trouble keeping my eyes open and I would rather have just gone to bed. I got changed into a short nightshirt and then got into bed and leaned back on my pillow, dosing slightly while awaiting the return of my friend.
Marie walked in wearing her dressing gown and plonked herself onto my bed. I had removed my make-up, but I noticed Marie had obviously spent a bit of time re-doing hers. Marie had already pierced the cans and she gave one to me. 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?" I asked.
"It's a bit better than funny tobacco." Marie lit the cigarette and took a long draw on it before offering it to me. "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."
I held the joint and took a small puff causing me 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 me and I took a large drag, filling my lungs. I began to cough violently, the room seemed to be swaying, and my eyes started watering. Marie grinned as she leaned forward and rubbed my back until I 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."
I didn't have to be told twice. As well as feeling sleepy, the cigarette had made me feel light-headed and I fell asleep long before Marie had finished the beer.
I began to dream, a pleasant dream. A young prince on a white horse was trotting towards me. 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 me. I closed my eyes and felt the passion from his lips, lips that tasted so sweet and felt so soft. Of all the kisses in my life, none had given me such thrills as I was getting from his. His tongue flicked around the inside of my lips and across my teeth as his soft warm hands cupped my face from my cheeks to my neck. His right hand moved down my shoulder to my breasts and he fondled me with an expertise that gave me increasing pleasure. His excited breath seemed warm and loud. I turned his face back round and kissed him with a wild uncontrolled passion. His hand began to travel further down my body. I wanted him. I had never craved intimacy so much in my life. My eyelids flicked open as I moved my face away from him, eager to gaze into his blue eyes as he entered me.
"What the hell are you doing?" I screamed.
Marie was naked, and I pushed her off the bed before pulling the covers back over myself.
"Calm down, Jane, you know you were enjoying it as much as me."
"Get out of my room," I 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."
I waited until Marie had left the room before I ran across and locked the door. I set my alarm clock for half-past six. I wanted to be out of the room if Marie did call in the morning. I looked into my mirror as I passed and my feelings of shock intensified at the sight of Marie's lipstick smudged around my lips and on my face. I grabbed my towel and toilet bag, unlocked the door again, and made my way down the corridor to the ablutions to clean my face.
Marie tried to talk to me on many occasions, but I would always try to make an excuse to get away. I felt I had to because rumours were already spreading about our night out together. Being a small camp, it was often difficult to avoid her and I didn't wish to be too abrupt and fall out with her. Events soon solved the problem for me when a posting arrived for me to go to an RAF base in Cyprus.