Brian meets Judy & after walking her home, becomes infatuated.
I walked into the small room of The Ring O'Bells at five to eight and was surprised to find it empty. I went to the bar to get a drink while I decided what to do.
Albert walked out from a back room. "You're on your own tonight, lad," he said. "That Badger has gone off to some club in Manchester."
"Kenny been in?" I asked.
"Liverpool," Albert said as he put the pint of bitter onto the bar.
I thought about going to Minstrels. I could always have a drink with the local lads. On the other hand, I could just call down to The Kings Arms, but I thought on how I had not been in Kings for almost a year and I might not know anyone in there now. I finished my beer and decided to set off to Minstrels.
The resident band was still playing when I walked into the club. I went to the bar looking for a familiar face to spend the evening with and although I received a few casual greetings from people I knew vaguely there was nobody I knew well enough to spend time with. I sat for a while before noticing a girl that I knew from Locksford and I walked over to ask her for a dance.
She was a vigorous dancer and I didn't try to talk to her while we danced, not just because the music was loud, but it was obvious she was enjoying her wild dancing too much to be distracted. The group finished playing and I asked the girl to join me for a drink at the bar. I ordered the drinks and glanced around the club as the disc jockey began his session. To my surprise I noticed Judy dancing with two other girls not far away from me. I had not noticed her coming into the club. I felt as if a bright light had just come into my life. Judy saw me looking and gave a wave before turning away again. I was eager to go and say hello to her and now I wished that I hadn't asked the other girl to the bar for a drink.
"I haven't seen you in town for a while," the girl said. "None of the gang knew what happened to you and we all thought that you had moved away or something."
"That sergeant done me for drinking underage again. I thought I'd better keep out of the way till I was eighteen. I didn't want to get done again, so I've been going in The Ring O'Bells and sometimes up here."
"The Ring O'Bells. I thought that was an old man's pub."
"Well it's nothing like Kings but you do get a few lads in there."
The girl finished her drink. "You can see me home later if you like."
I liked the girl, but I had lost all interest in her after noticing Judy in the club. "I'm meeting someone later."
"Oh, well, I'm usually in Locksford Saturday nights. You'll have to come and see me one night." She reached over to kiss me. This wasn't the first time we had kissed and we remained locked in the caress for a few moments until she moved away, smiled, and walked back to her friends.
I glanced over towards Judy again. I thought I would have another drink before going to ask her for a dance. Because of our age difference, I was a bit nervous about asking her and I was not sure that she would want to spend the rest of the evening with me. I sat at the bar looking up at the foreign bottles on the top shelf, wondering what kind of drinks they contained. It suddenly went dark as I felt a pair of soft warm hands across my eyes.
"Guess who, darling?" She said.
I knew who it was. The distinct aroma of her Avon cream perfume was filling my head. "Cinderella," I replied.
"Well, that'll do me," Judy said and she sat on a bar stool next to me. "Just thought I'd pop over to see how Linda was settling in at her new house. I would have come over earlier, but I didn't want to impose while you were with your new girl, did I?"
Shit, she thinks I'm courting again. "No! No, she's not my girl, she's just a mate."
"Oh, do all your mates kiss you like that?"
"She's always like that but there's nothing in it, honest."
"It's all right, darling. I'm not your mother, you know. Anyway, how does Linda like her new house?"
"She loves it. She said she'd call over to see you one day when she's more settled. Do you want a drink while you're here, Jude?"
The friendly smile dropped from Judy's face. "How frigging dare you," she yelled.
"What?" I said, feeling totally bewildered about her sudden hostility towards me for offering her a drink. "What did I say?"
"You called me Jude, nobody frigging calls me Jude, nobody."
"I'm sorry, I wouldn't do anything to annoy you. I'm so sorry, I didn't know."
"Well, you know now, don't you?" She looked away for a moment and then looked back at me. Her attitude towards me quickly changed again and she seemed to look more hurt than angry. "Look, I'm sorry. It's just bad memories for me that's all, but maybe I shouldn't have taken it out on you. You weren't to know, were you? Please forgive me, Brian."
"That's all right," I said. "Don't worry about it." I was pleased to see a smile return to her face. "Anyway, it's unusual to see you in here on a Sunday?" I said.
"Well, there's no point going to the bingo now that Linda's gone off to Locksford, is there?"
"I thought a crowd of you went."
"Yeah, but it's bloody boring anyway, I only used to go to keep Linda company. Anyway, I knew you came here on Sunday's and I thought I'd catch up with you to see how you all were. Not only that, we can go to Top Rank for a coffee, like you promised, can't we?"
I was a bit surprised, but I was not sure if the grin on her face meant she was genuine or just kidding me along. Nevertheless, I felt frustrated because my bike was still being repaired. "The bike's in the garage, but I can get you a drink here if you like?"
The Disc Jockey began to play an old Buddy Holly song. Judy took hold of my hand. "No, come on I love this record. Come and have a dance with me?" We went to the dance floor and Judy tried to jive with me, but because I had no experience of the dance she soon gave up and we danced a few feet away from each other.
I glanced down a few times at the length of her dress. It wasn't as short as usual and I wondered if what Badger had said about her lack of underwear were true. But I laughed and dismissed the idea.
"What are you laughing at?" Judy said.
"Er, nothing really. Just something Badger said last time."
It was Judy's turn to laugh. "What, do you mean the cock virgin thing?" She laughed again.
"No, bloody hell, Judy. Let's go to the bar; I think I need a drink."
The record ended and I thought we would be going for a drink, but the disc jockey began playing a slow love song and Judy linked her fingers behind my neck as she began an intimate dance. I held her close to my body and it excited me to feel the softness of her breasts pressing against me. My hands were resting above the back of her hips. She felt warm and the thin material of her dress was enhancing the feel of her soft flesh. When I closed my eyes, it gave me a fantasy that she was naked. I was jolted back to reality when I felt the fastener of her suspender on my leg. This was no fantasy, this was better, this was real, exciting and sensual. She began to tease me and I became more excited as she gently bucked her pelvis against me while pulling on the back of my neck as if she were simulating lovemaking. All the time the fragrance of her cream perfume was teasing my senses further. The record finished and Judy moved away grinning as she looked down at my trousers.
"Well, who's a bit frisky then?" she said. "I think we'd better stop, don't you, before you wet your pants?"
I blushed as we walked to the bar knowing that she had noticed my arousal and surprised that she had mentioned it. Judy bought the drinks despite my protests. I smiled at her insistence and sat back on my stool looking at her trance-like, captivated by her presence as she paid the barman.
"Well, what do you do then?" she asked.
"When?" I replied.
Judy looked at me and laughed. "What do you do; where do you work?"
"Oh sorry," I said, feeling a bit foolish. "I'm a fireman down at the loco shed."
"Oh, that's right. I remember Linda telling me now. That's why you do all those weird shifts. What shift are you on tomorrow then?"
"It's my rest day tomorrow."
"That's handy," she said and gave me a smile. "Badger's mate, Tommy Hutchins, works there as well. You'll know him then?"
"Yes, he's a good mate of mine. He's married now."
"Yeah, I know, married that Vivien hussy. He could've done better than that, you know?"
"She's all right," I said but my thoughts were not for Vivien. I was thinking of the earlier dance with Judy. I couldn't seem to get it out of my mind and I wanted to get back onto the dance floor with her. I thought of her body moving against mine and the way she danced in a sensual, teasing and almost obscene way. "Shall we have another dance?" I said.
"No, thanks, darling, I'm a bit tired."
I noticed her empty glass on the counter and quickly finished my drink. "Do you want another drink then?"
"Not really. I think I'll go home and have an early night for a change. You don't mind, do you?" But Judy made no attempt to get up and leave. I sat disappointed, thinking that our time together was about to end. "Well, are you gonna ask me then?" she said.
"Ask you what?"
"Ask me, if you can walk me home."
"Yeah, of course. Can I… Will you let me walk you home?"
Judy laughed as she stood up. "Well that's really nice of you, darling, thank you."
I took Judy's hand as we left the club and set off on the ten-minute walk to her house.
Judy looked at me and gave a big smile before speaking. "Walking along the street holding hands. It's many years since I've done this. I sort of forgot how nice it is." She squeezed my hand briefly as a sort of acknowledgement of her nostalgic delight.
We turned into an area of small terraced houses and began the short walk to the cul-de-sac where Judy lived. "I've hardly stopped dancing tonight," she said. "My legs are really aching."
"I'll carry you home if you like."
"Don't be daft. You couldn't carry me all the way home, could you?"
"Do you wanna bet?"
Judy began laughing. "Well go on then, big boy."
I bent down and picked her up, putting her over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes.
"No, Brian, not like this. I meant you to carry me in your arms."
I started to run along the pavement.
"Stop it, Brian. Will you put me down?"
But I ignored her and carried on running to the corner of her road before dropping her back onto the pavement.
"You bloody fool," she said struggling to get the words out between her uncontrolled laughter.
We were still giggling when we arrived at her door and I noticed a man at the house opposite peering out from behind the curtains of his bedroom window.
"You've got a nosy neighbour over there. He'll probably complain about the noise," I said, turning to watch Judy search her bag for her door key. She looked at me and smiled before raising her dress, showing her knickers and the flesh above her stocking top while turning to look up at the man. The effect was immediate and the man quickly moved away from the window. "Bloody hell," I said. "That's a bit rude."
"Well, I've done him a favour really. The dirty old sod's probably playing with himself now, isn't he?"
I stood looking at her, amazed, stunned almost by her comments. She opened the door and walked down the passage. "Well do you want to come in?" she called back. I felt strange as I walked in, knowing that she lived alone and not with her parents like the other girls I usually escorted home. I carried on along the passage and into the back living room where a young girl was asleep in the armchair. Judy woke her up, took out some money from her purse and gave it to the girl. She looked over at me. "Sit down, Brian. I won't be a minute. I've just got to see Heather to her door."
I sat on the sofa and bounced up and down gently as if testing the springs. This is where it all starts, I thought, picturing myself in an embrace with Judy. My thoughts went back to Sandra, the girl I met on the date Kenny had arranged for me but I was feeling better about it all with Judy. I would be quite happy for her to be my seductress. I bounced on the sofa again. I'll see how it goes, I thought. We'll start necking for a while and then if Judy's willing I'll go through with it this time. I could feel my heartbeat speed up as I heard the front door close. I gripped my hands together tightly, trying to stop myself from shaking. The sound of her footsteps walking up the passage seemed extra loud as I sat in complete silence. I could hear nothing else.
The door opened and Judy walked into the room. She stood on one leg and slipped her shoe off, tossed it over onto the armchair and then did the same with the other one. She looked down at her stocking covered feet and wiggled her toes. "Ooo, that's better." She made her way over to me. "Well, get up then," she said abruptly.
I stood up wondering if I had done anything wrong, thinking that she was going to ask me to leave.
She took hold of my hand. "Come on," she said. "Shall we go up to bed?"
The instant shock caught me like a shovel hitting me in the face. I could feel panic starting to run through my body. "I'm a bit dry, how about a cup of coffee first?" I said, trying to look genuine.
She smiled and then winked at me. "We'll have some coffee later." She led me to the passage and up the stairs. She still held onto my hand as she opened the bedroom door and I was noticeably trembling as I followed her into the bedroom.
I opened my eyes at ten o'clock in the morning to the sound of The Troggs playing on the radio downstairs. I was momentarily confused after waking up in someone else's bed, but then a huge grin beamed across my face as I remembered the intimate and passionate lovemaking that had kept us up until the early hours of the morning. I got out of bed with a smile like a permanent feature on my face. There was an aroma of fried bacon drifting into the room making me feel hungry and I dressed quickly and walked out of the bedroom just as Judy was halfway up the stairs. Pleased with myself, proud almost, I was expecting a comment from Judy about our night of passionate lovemaking.
"Oh good," she said, and then hurried back down. "Well I hope you want a cooked breakfast, lover boy," she shouted back.
I followed her into the living room and looked down at the boy playing on the floor realising I wouldn't get much attention while her little boy, Craig, was there. We chatted over breakfast and I felt frustrated because we couldn't discuss the previous night. I thought about bringing it up, Craig would probably not understand what we were talking about but I decided against it. If Judy had not said anything, then she would probably get annoyed if I did.
After breakfast, I messed about on the floor playing with Craig while Judy tidied up in the scullery. I liked the little boy and Craig seemed to have taken to me too. I felt content and felt as if I could stay there forever.
"You'll have to leave now, Brian," Judy said as she walked into the room. "I'm going out." She had brought my jacket from the back door peg and dropped it onto the armchair.
"I'll come with you if you like," I said. "I don't mind."
"No, I'm going to my mother's."
"I'm sure your mum don't bite."
"No, but my brothers do and you don't want no trouble with them, do you?"
I put on my jacket, all the time looking at Judy, thinking of the wonderful experiences of the previous night and wishing that we could return to the bedroom. I watched Judy putting her son in his pushchair and knew it wasn't to be.
We left the house and made our way to the corner of the cul-de-sac.
"Well, I'm off across the common. I'll see you soon, Brian."
I put my arms around her and tried to kiss her but she pushed me away.
"Don't, Brian, people are watching, you know?"
I looked down at the pushchair and saw Craig looking up at me. I smiled at the boy and ruffled his hair before returning my attention back to Judy. "Can I see you tonight?"
Judy gave me a bad look and took a brush from her coat pocket and tidied Craig's hair again. "No, Brian, I've got something on."
"Well, when then?"
"I'll be about. I'm not going anywhere, am I? Look, I've gotta go. I'm really late." Judy gave me a smile and set off towards the common.
I called after her. "I can meet you in The Ship one night or I'll pop round here, if you like." She put her hand up but didn't answer. I couldn't wait to see her again and I set off back to Locksford with my mind buzzing with thoughts and images of the previous night. I knew I had strong feelings for Judy, after our night of passion, and I was glad that I had a special woman like her as my girlfriend.
I was feeling terrific. I didn't want to go home just yet and decided to call for a drink at the Railway Hotel, knowing there would be none of my friends in The Ring O'Bells, but there was sure to be some lads from the locomotive depot in the hotel. The late night of passion plus the lunchtime drinks with my workmates made me drowsy and when I set off home on the bus, I found it difficult to stay awake. I looked over at The Meadowview estate as the bus went past and remembered my date with Kathy. I didn't really want to meet her now that I had Judy but I thought it would be unfair to let her down again. I would meet her but I would have to tell her that it was a mistake or something. However, I didn't really want to two-time Judy and wondered if she found out, would she finish with me without giving me a chance to explain. It was a dilemma but I knew I couldn't stand Kathy up again. It just wasn't right. I would meet her, have a quick drink in a quiet pub and take her home. After all, Lynn was the one I was really interested in, but she was courting and now that I was as well, Kathy didn't fit in anywhere.
I got off the bus at the village and set off to my parents' terraced house. I walked into the small front garden and looked at the spots of oil on the paving stones where my motorbike should be. As I went into the house I could smell dinner cooking and knew my mother would have put some dinner on for me.
"Oh, so you've decided to come home then?" my father said.
"I wish you would let us know when you're planning to stop out all night," my mother called from the kitchen. "We've been worrying all day about you."
"I'm sorry," I said. "I had a bit too much to drink and stopped at Kenny's house again. Dinner smells good."
"It won't be long only another ten minutes or so."
"That motorbike fellow called last night," my father said. "He said the bike will be ready tomorrow and he'll drop it round."
I smiled, it should have been the best of news for me but thoughts and images of intimacy with Judy were dominating my mind.
We enjoyed a feast of liver, bacon and all the trimmings. It was, as usual, a large meal and I felt bloated. I sat on the sofa relaxing while my parents got ready to go and visit my sister Linda. I thought about going with them but I was tired and decided to stay at home and have a sleep on the sofa before getting ready to meet Kathy.