It was that smile that had first grabbed my attention in the club.
We’d both been at the bar – she with two of her
mates and I
was there with my friend Gerry and his wife. I’d been their
man – what a great day that had been. They’d
dragged me to
the club under protest, saying I needed a night out. I’d been
working quite hard getting everything in order before my stint abroad.
I remember she’d caught me staring at her, and instead of
a bit huffy and looking away she grinned and winked. It was
quick that I almost didn’t believe it had happened. Any bloke
thinks they decide whether to initiate a relationship is fooling
himself. You see, it probably takes women a couple of years to realise
they are the ones in control. Little hints and signs they give off are
what kicks a bloke into action. All the time the guy is thinking
he’s taking the initiative when really, she started it
very subtly of course – after all they don’t want
Though I say so myself, I thought I looked pretty hot at the nightclub.
I’m not what you’d call well endowed, but
some cleavage – and the halter top I was wearing showed off
assets pretty well. Well, half of my assets - the mini skirt and high
heeled shoes did the rest. I caught lots of guys looking at me, but he
was different. He looked cute, and was less cocky than the others. But
best of all, he was embarrassed I’d caught him looking at me.
gave him my best wink – and I knew I had him as soon as I saw
Within five minutes the couple he was with were off dancing, and Jill
and Claire were nowhere to be seen. I never did find out if they
pulled. He bought me a drink and you didn’t need to have my
psychology degree to read the body language. As we sat and talked like
long lost friends, his eye contact was phenomenal without being creepy.
I adored the way he brushed my arm, and even better than all that, was
that he could dance!
The dancefloor was perfect for me to really give him the once over.
Actually, he was worth more than one look. His sandy hair was cut
fairly close, pretty much like most of the other guys in the place. Not
surprising this close to Aldershot. His clean shaved face held a
brilliant lopsided grin. When we danced close together in the slow
numbers I could feel a hint of stubble. But more impressively I could
feel solid muscles in his upper body. He clearly trained hard. I lay my
head on the shoulder of his neatly pressed shirt – with my
inch heels I was almost his height. He nibbled my ears, fortunately
avoiding the diamond stud earrings, kissed my neck and stroked my
cheek. For my part, I gently used my nails on his back, and returned
the kisses on his neck and chest. I’m normally pretty
conservative and cautious, but I really felt like I wanted to drag him
away and rip his clothes off.
He asked if he could take me home, though of course he knew the answer
already. There was no way I was letting him go that easily. My mum and
dad’s house was only a short distance away, so even with my
we agreed walking would be quicker than waiting for a cab.
As we walked back through the quiet streets, the cool air was clearing
my head. His arm was round my shoulder and my arm rested across his
back with my hand in one of his back pockets, so it was resting on his
bum. Another of his many good features. Despite the frequent stops for
cuddles and more of his brilliant kisses, he was the perfect gentlemen
– well, comparatively speaking. He caressed my boobs through
top, but didn’t try anything else. Believe me that was good
going! He got a lot further than any other guy on a first date with
We stopped at my parents’ front gate, and kissed some more as
leant against the gatepost. The smell of dad’s roses just
to the magic of the moment. One thing I’ve learned
Jenny’s rule number 1, a guy who is a good kisser is almost
certainly a good lover. The tragedy my now clear head was thinking
over, was that I may never find out – in a few days
leaving the country. Any such thoughts were banished as I heard him
asking if I wanted to go out tomorrow afternoon. I had planned to start
organising packing, but that could wait. With a final hug I unlatched
myself from his arms, opened the gate and with my heels clicking on the
path and my head spinning I got to the door. I turned and smiled, and
for the second time that night I gave him my best wink.
It had been on Sunday in the country park when it had all come out.
We’d been there about half an hour, and were watching mum,
and a gaggle of kids throwing bread to the ducks. As they became more
adventurous the quacking horde had jumped out of the lake and pursued
their benefactors on land. The children laughed excitedly as the ducks
surrounded them and fought over the crumbs.
I had been thinking how to tell her and was about to blurt it out when
those blue eyes fixed on mine and she quietly whispered:
“I’m going away on Thursday”
I remember staring at her, I guess my mouth was open – the
of the squabbling ducks was a million miles away as I told her I was
too. Holding hands, sitting on the grass by the lake we told our
stories. A six month secondment in the warm Californian sun
UCLA, and a six month stint in a different sort of heat - Dharfur
The worst side effect of all this was to reinforce the realisation that
something special was developing between us. The rest of the afternoon
passed in a series of quiet conversations, lingering embraces and a few
“What happens now?” I asked as we sat outside her
“I want desperately to make love to you, but I
I can. I just couldn’t stand it not knowing if I’ll
see you again.”
We held each other for what seemed like a lifetime, and with tears
making the sapphire eyes shine even more, Jenny gave me a last kiss and
headed for the front door.
What a crap three days it had been. Just my luck, to meet a guy I
really clicked with just before he disappears for six months. Not that
it would have made much difference, I was going away too –
Jeff’s phone call had been as welcome as it had been
For three days I had felt like I was carrying a lead weight around. But
there had been no pleasantries, no “how are you”s,
he’d just blurted it out.
“Listen, I think I’ve fallen in love with you
if we only ever do it once I want to make love to you.”
The arrangements that he’d find us a hotel and meet me at the
station were concluded in seconds. It was my birthday and Christmas all
at the same time. Mum and dad were a bit upset that I
at home for my last night, but they had seen how I had been since
Sunday and how I was now, and knew it was the right thing.
The train journey was a bit of a blur, all I could think of was holding
him in my arms again. The train pulled in, I unplugged my iPod and I
helped a woman with a pushchair to get off the train. There he was
looking just like I had imagined with that stupid, glorious lopsided
grin. I wanted to do a Heathcliffe/Kathy scene and run to him and jump
into his arms. But the students, mums, kids and assorted passengers
emptying off the train ruined my film moment. But nothing was going to
ruin today ….
I’ve read quite a lot of books, and there’s one
cliché I’ve never really got –
they say “his heart leapt”. What the hell does that
Well, the truth is now I know. You see, that’s
happened the minute I saw her get off the train.
As the blue, white and red South Western train pulled in I was standing
by the exit. I had butterflies in my stomach, and was almost sick with
anxiety. I found it hard to believe we’d only spent a couple
days together, well not even that. Which way would she come from? The
front or the rear of the train? My head was swinging wildly left and
right – any onlooker would have been thinking I was watching
rally at Wimbledon. Then, towards the back of the train, through a
crowd of college students, people leaving work early and mums with
pushchairs, I saw her. God, she looked terrific. Even more gorgeous
than in the photo I took on my phone-camera three long days ago.
The short, spiky blonde hair was exactly the same as it had been
– well let’s face it, when it’s that
can’t change it very much. But the jeans and trainers
worn on our trip to the country park on Sunday had been replaced by a
short denim skirt and some heeled shoes. Sunday’s white tee
had turned into a pink, sleeveless shirt/blouse thing that showed off
her toned and tanned arms. You didn’t need to be a rocket
scientist to work out she was definitely very fit – in both a
literal and colloquial sense.
As she got nearer, I could see those flashing, bright blue eyes, and
the noise of the crowded platform and the smell of diesel fumes from
the train melted into the background as she approached me. I could tell
I had a completely stupid grin on my face as she crossed the last few
metres to where I stood. She dropped her overnight bag, reached up and
put both arms round my neck and looked into my eyes with those flashing
blue sapphires. Then she closed them slowly and reached up opening her
mouth for a long, lingering kiss. As I held her tight, one arm round
her waist and the other gently caressing her back, she smelled like a
freshly bathed baby, with just a hint of what I knew to be Elle by Yves
Saint Laurent. The kiss was like an electric shock running down my body
bouncing off my feet and spiralling back up. It seemed to last forever,
but eventually we slowly parted and opened our eyes. From six inches
away she looked at me with a smug grin, and I wondered just what I had
done to deserve this beautiful woman. Then it occurred to me that maybe
it was a curse, because we both knew that tomorrow we would be snatched
apart, just as abruptly as we’d fallen for each other.
“I think I imagined that kiss every five minutes since I got
call this morning – and none of the imaginary kisses came
anywhere close to that!”
“Tell me about it”, was all my scrambled brain
of to say. Then I pulled her towards me again for an action replay. By
the time we’d moved away, the platform was deserted.
She clung onto me with both of her arms round my free arm as I swung
her bag into the boot of my Golf. I asked her what she wanted to do. Go
for a walk? Freshen up? We’d known each other for
short time that I was still unsure about her ideas and preferences.
After all the only time we’d spent together was an evening at
club when we met, then Sunday afternoon and evening the next day.
“If we go to the hotel, do you think we’d ever get
“Probably not”, I grinned.
“Good, then let’s go!” and she kissed me
the cheek, and got in the passenger seat.
I climbed into the car next to her – the pounding in my heart
from the minutes we had spent locked together on the platform had just
about subsided. As I changed up through the gears on the
trip to the hotel, I let my hand gently brush against her thigh, until
I eventually let it rest there. As I caressed the top of her tanned leg
with soft, slow strokes, the question of if it was an all over tan
mischievously sprang into my head. But I dismissed it, smiling to
myself that I was just a few minutes from finding out. I slowly moved
my hand to her inner thighs and her knees parted an almost
imperceptible amount in some kind of auto response. Then the real
response came as she clamped her thighs together, trapping my hand,
which she then slowly moved away with the instruction to concentrate on
Once in the hotel room she looked at me and purred mischievously:
“There’s only one bed, where are you
“Oh I don’t think I’ll be getting much
I’ve a long flight tomorrow, I can sleep then.”
As soon as I said it I saw the shadow fall across her face.
The sadness and despair I felt that Sunday evening was in sharp
contrast to the elation of how I felt now in the Travel Inn. We held
each other and I slowly undid the buttons of her pink shirt….
I felt his hands slowly unbuttoning my shirt, and I tugged the hem of
tee shirt to raise it over his head. We both wanted to do this
slowly… after all the next fifteen hours was going to have
last us six months for sure, and possibly a lifetime.
The British Airways Club Class Passenger Lounge at Heathrow was a
distinct contrast to the Departure building at RAF Lyneham. Passenger J
Finch and Lieutenant J Williams both only had thoughts of their parting
a few hours earlier. Jeff’s lopsided smile had echoed
Bogey’s parting words in Casablanca, but somehow
“We’ll always have Bracknell”
compare to “We’ll always have Paris”.
Jenny looked around at the thirty odd men and women under her command.
She wondered how many would come back in body bags, and if she would be
one – if so, then at least she would have died knowing how it
felt to love and be loved.