A good evening at the USAF club.
I had been on an early ambulance run to Westminster Hospital and I got to the mess early. As I walked in, Susan from the band was walking out and she stopped me. "I'm glad I caught you," she said.
"Aren't you supposed to be on the coach to Halton?"
"It doesn't go for twenty minutes yet. I'm so sorry about how things turned out. I know I broke your heart, but…"
"Don't flatter yourself, Sue. I'm not that bothered. I am a bit pissed off you just used me to get at whatsisname though, and made me look a complete prat. But I'll get over it."
"I did love you, and I still think the world of you, but I was with him for nearly a year. I know his parents and everything. When you meet someone special you sort of know you must be together."
"So, I'm not special, I'm just someone to be abused and tossed aside."
"No, Terry. That's not fair. You are very special, but you will be special to someone else. There's lots of girls in the WRAF block who would love to go out with you."
"Well maybe I don't want to go out with them. I've just about had enough of WRAFs. Anyway I must go. Gotta get my dinner and get back to work."
"Please don't think badly of me."
"I don't, but like I said, I've gotta go."
Susan reached up and whispered. "There's something I have to tell you though: that massage you gave me; it was a wonderful experience, and something I will never forget."
"Piss off, Susan," I said, gave a laugh and walked off to the servery.
I finished my lunch and was just about to leave when I saw Jane walking over with two cups of tea and I felt obliged, and happy, to stay a little longer.
"So, what are you doing tonight, Terry?" she said, as she sat down.
"Haven't really thought about it. Why, do you fancy going for a drink?"
"A drink, yeah okay, but why don't we go somewhere on our own? It'll make a nice change from hanging about with the crowd in the NAAFI. We could go into London. I've never been down the West End at night."
"No, I can't go down there tonight. I'm on the early morning Westminster run again tomorrow. Tell you what, we can go to the American base in Ruislip if you like. Then we can get the tube back and I can still be in bed by midnight."
"All right , that'll be great. I haven't been to Ruislip either."
"I'll see if Vinny wants to come with us."
I gave a laugh at Jane's expression. "Only joking," I said. "Only joking."
"So we'll definitely meet up tonight, Terry. To tell the truth I'm a bit excited. I'm really looking forward to a night at the USAF club but also this is like our first proper date."
"Yeah, I'm looking forward to it as well. Anyway, what are you on tomorrow?"
"Bloody ration truck."
"It's not too bad, it goes into London tomorrow."
"Yeah, I suppose so. Not very impressive though is it, running around delivering carrots and cabbages and things all day?"
I looked at my watch. "I'd better get back to the yard. I'll see you later." I left Jane to get her breakfast.
That evening I met Jane and it felt good to see the wonderful smile on her face when I said how attractive she looked. We walked through the town, caught the Underground train, and walked the short distance to Ruislip camp. Jane was impressed with the bar. It was nothing near as large as the NAAFI back at Uxbridge, but it was much more luxurious and jazzy.
I looked at her staring at the barman while he was topping up our Bacardies with Coke from a small electric pump. "Smart, isn't it?" I said. She smiled at me as a sign of agreement.
Two American airmen took an interest and walked over from their table to greet us. They often visited the NAAFI bar at Uxbridge and remembered me spending some time with them and making them feel at home on their first visit there. They were pleased they now had the opportunity to repay the gesture and invited us to sit with them.
The drinks were soon flowing and it was not long before one of the men asked Jane for a dance. It was a surprise to everyone, me included, at how well she could jive. She became the centre of attraction and it appeared as if all the men were queuing up to dance with her. When Jane managed to get back to the table, she collapsed into her seat with sweat running down her cheeks. She laughed as she looked at the amount of strange cocktails that had amassed on the table while she had been away. Some of the Americans followed her back to the table and she looked over at me and grinned as our friends stopped their colleagues from pestering her further.
I returned a smile, feeling overwhelmed by Jane's energy and dancing skill. She had never danced like that in the NAAFI. If she had, I knew I would have a lot of competition for her time. I knew she was special, very special, and I wanted to throw myself into her arms. I would restrain myself; I would wait until a slow love song was played, so I could take her in my arms and dance intimately with her, thrilled to be dancing with the star of the show.
It was late when we left the American base and we missed the last train. I put my arm around Jane's shoulders as we set off for the long walk back to camp. It would be a tedious trek to some people, but we were enjoying each other's company and neither the time nor the distance mattered to us. We arrived back at the camp and walked through the married quarters. I knew a short cut and we went into a secluded grassed area near to some old buildings. It was a warm clear night and we stopped and sat down to rest on the recently cut grass, neither of us was in a rush to end our night out together.
"Thanks, Terry, that's the best night out I've had for years. I don't think I'll sober up for days, yet I don't feel yucky, I just feel good." She leaned back onto her hands as if she were stretching herself. "My legs are aching though, all that walking I suppose."
"No, I think it was the dancing. You didn't half do some, you know. I felt so proud to be with you and that's no bullshit, Jane. I really mean it. In all my life, I've never seen anyone dance the way you were dancing with those Americans. I could hardly believe my eyes, you were bloody amazing."
She smiled. "Thanks, love. You don't know how good that sounds." She reached down and rubbed one of her calf muscles. "I'll know about in the morning though."
I rested a hand on her knee. "You need a good massage."
"A good massage, not here I don't."
"It's all right, there's no one about." I got onto my knees between her feet and slipped her shoes off.
She looked at me and gave a laugh, as if wondering if I were serious or just fooling about. "You know the old saying, don't you? Beware of men offering massages."
"Yes, but my intentions are honourable, though I can't do it properly while you have those tights on. Would you mind if I took them off?"
"Yes, I bloody would, Terry. Are you sure you know what you are doing?"
"Of course I do. Like I said before, I never finished the course, but I learnt enough to get by."
"Well, I'll take the tights off myself if you don't mind." She looked at me and giggled. "Can you close your eyes, I feel a bit embarrassed." I laughed and shook my head, but closed my eyes as she wiggled out of her tights.
I lifted her right leg just off the ground. "Try to relax, Jane, you're very stiff."
Jane gave another giggle. "I hope you're not playing games with me."
"Course I'm not. Come on relax, you'll feel a lot better afterwards."
She rested her hands behind her head as she lay back closing her eyes. I gently let her leg back down onto the grass. I began working on the toes of her right foot, every one of them receiving its own individual attention. I moved to her ankle , spending some time there, making sure she was at ease before working up her calf and onto the tender area at the back of her knee. She seemed to be finding the experience extremely pleasing and content to lie there receiving my attention. My hands moved round to tease her kneecap before moving up under her skirt to the softness of her thigh, applying deep yet gentle pressure into her flesh. We knew I had crossed the boundary between friendliness and intimacy. The further my hands worked up her leg, the more she displayed feelings of arousal. If I wanted to have my way with her now I felt sure she would not want to stop me. My hands reached the top of her leg and I moved a hand over to the top of her other leg and began working into the flesh around her leg joints. Both my hands were only inches away from her sexual zone and she moved her hips in time with my hands. Her excitement seemed to be getting out of control.
Her eyelids flicked open as my hands moved slowly back down her legs. I moved back a little and then began to work on the toes of her left foot. She closed her eyes smiling broadly in the realisation she was going to get a repeat of the experience through her other leg.
I reached the top of her thigh and seemed to linger a lot longer this time, as if I were teasing her. Her breathing had become heavy and erratic. She was flushed and it seemed as if her body was twitching in small spasms. It seemed as if we were both experiencing an intense desire, eagerly craving the move forward into lovemaking. She opened her eyes and looked up at me. The childish look of fun had left her face as she stared into my eyes with a look of lust.
I reached over to kiss her. We kissed with a fever of excitement and Jane offered no resistance to my passionate advance into making love with her.
We had a lot to drink, but that was not the reason for our plunge into intimacy. It just seemed to be right, out there in the open with the added excitement of the risk of discovery. All our senses seemed to have sharpened; some wood pigeons cooing nearby, a train rumbling away in the distance. There was a strong fresh smell of the recently cut grass. I felt a kind of closeness and a strong bond as we slowly made love.
Her arms tightened around me as we moved slowly in unison. She moved her hands up and grabbed my short hair as our lips caressed each other in a frenzy of passion. She moved her head to the side of mine, pressing her cheek tightly to mine as she looked up to the stars. "Oh, Terry, Terry," it's happening," she whispered.
Suddenly two seagulls swooped down across the top of us, screaming as if they were screaming at us.
"Get off," she screamed. "Get off me, get off me," she repeated and tried to push me away.
I jumped up and looked about, thinking she had seen someone. I looked back at her as she burst into tears. "Oh, Jane, what is it? What have I done?"
"It's not you, Terry, it's me. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."
"You've nothing to be sorry about." I took hold of her hand and she clenched my hand tightly, trembling as I helped her up. "What on earth's the matter?" I said. "Did those gulls frighten you?"
She wiped the tears from her eyes. "Can you take me back to the block?"
"Jane, what is it that's troubling you?" I waited but got no answer. "I'm no expert on women's problems, but if something is troubling you that much then you should talk to someone, and I'm a good listener." Still, Jane didn't answer, she just looked at me. "If you don't want to talk to me then talk to one of the girls or your mum. Girls always get on with their mum, don't they?"
She looked away. "Please, can we just go?" She said.
"Of course, if that's what you want." I looked at her for a few seconds before going forward to give her a cuddle and she hugged me back with great affection as if to show me her problem was not with me.
We tidied ourselves up and set off for the WRAF block. Jane was feeling better as she walked back with my arm around her shoulders. "I'm so sorry about what happend, Terry. I thought they were coming for me."
"Who?" I asked.
"The seagulls, I thought they were going to get me."
Without thinking I gave a brief laugh.
"Please don't laugh at me Terry, please don't"
I took her in my arms. "I'm sorry. But I promise nobody or nothing is ever going to hurt you while I am around. Do you want to tell me about the gulls."
"No, Terry, can we just forget about it."
We reached the WRAF block and sat on the small outside wall.
"I see Mandy's getting married in a couple of months," Jane said.
"Yeah, silly girl, she's only eighteen."
"Nothing wrong with getting married, even at eighteen, as long as she's found the right man."
"I thought you were against marriage."
"Against marriage. What makes you think that?"
"That first time I met you, when we went to Stanmore. You said that you weren't looking for a husband or a boyfriend. Quite shirty you were as well."
"I was only like that because of the way you were acting. You were full of yourself." She turned her head and looked straight at me. "No, I don't mind getting married."
"Hold on, Jane, you're not proposing are you?"
"No, I'm not you big headed git." We both laughed as she gave a push on my shoulder.
"Anyway," I said. "I still think they're silly. No one should get married until they are at least thirty. Getting married before then is a waste of life."
"So you won't be going down that road until you are thirty then?"
"No, not a chance, early marriages don't work anyway. If you knew the sort of life my brothers have you'd agree with me."
"You can't judge marriage by your brothers. Some people are made for each other and they seem to just blend together, like two pieces of a jigsaw. It's called contentment. Anyway, how do you know how your brothers feel inside? They might be quite happy, contented."
"Perhaps." The talking stopped for a few seconds as we both reflected on each other's statements. "I should get word back from mountain rescue soon. Me and Vinny have put in for two of the vacancies."
"So you'll be off climbing mountains, lucky you."
"Well, something like that," I said.
Jane smiled at me, trying to show she was pleased for me. She pointed up to the sky. "Look, a shooting star."
I looked up, but it had gone. "Did you make a wish?"
"Make a wish. Oh yes, I made a wish all right, but I don't know why. All the wishes I've ever made have never come true. Anyway it's probably not a star at all. It's probably a spaceship on its way home after kidnapping somebody."
I laughed. "You don't believe all that weird, creature from outer space stuff, do you?"
"Course not, but on the other hand it would be just as weird if we were the only inhabited planet amongst all the millions out there."
I looked at my watch. "Oh shit, do you know it's nearly three o'clock? I'd better go. My alarm clock will be going off in a few hours." I reached across and gave Jane a brief kiss, giving her little chance to respond. "Well good night then, Jane Dale."
"Don't call me that, it sounds silly."
"No it doesn't, it's a lovely name."
"It's not my real name anyway, I was adopted."
"You're full of surprises, ain't you. Well, what's your real name then?"
"I'm not telling you, you'll laugh. It's a lot worse than Jane Dale."
"Come on, Jane, you've got to tell me otherwise I'll never get to sleep trying to think of names to match with Jane. Here, do you realise if we were to get married your name would be Jane Mansfield.
Jane grinned. "Are you proposing?"
"No, I'm bloody not." We both laughed again. "Jane Mansfield, got a nice ring to it though."
"Yes, it has, hasn't it? But if your name was Chip we'd be called Chip'n'Dale," she said with a grin.
"You don't look anything like a chipmunk," I said. "Well come on then, tell me your name. I promise I won't laugh."
"Prudesworthy. I bet that's a name you've never heard before, isn't it?"
"As it happens, I have." Jane didn't speak, as if she were waiting for me to tell her more, or to admit I was joking. "There's a woman owns a cafe near where I live. Her name's Prudesworthy. Carol Prudesworthy."
Jane stared at me for a moment. "Where exactly in London do you live?"
"East London, Bromley-by-Bow."
"Bromley-by-Bow, that's Bow Road, isn't it?" Jane gave a sigh and whispered as if talking to herself. "Surely it can't be."
"What, can't be what?"
She paused for a few seconds before continuing. "Is the cafe near Tench Street, by the market stalls?"
"Yeah it is, do you know her then? Is she a relation of yours?"
"I worked in that cafe, years ago now. Carol showed me a photo of a little girl, and she said it was her baby sister. I think it must have been me. I think she's my sister." She rested her forehead on her hand and gave another sigh before looking back to me. "I've got to go and see her. I'll have to take tomorrow off and go to see her."
"You can't just go absent, Jane. Anyway, she might not be your sister."
"Yes she is. I know she is, I bloody know."
The revelation was upsetting her and I put an arm around her. "Jane, calm yourself down, please love. Don't go getting yourself into a state again."
"I'm sorry. You must think I'm a right freak."
"Of course I don't. Come on, give me a cuddle." She put her arms around me and pulled herself close. "Listen, I'm going home Friday. Leave it till then and you can stop the night at our house and then we can go down to the cafe together on Saturday morning."
"If you don't mind, Terry, that would be great. I'd feel better with someone with me. Thanks, Terry, thanks for everything."
"It's a pleasure, Jane. Come on now, don't go all emotional on me again. We had better get off and get some sleep."