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Chapter One A Mishap
The first time I saw her was twenty-seven years ago to this very day, but it is not she who lays in this coffin. She is in my memory and will never die. “What the fuck!” Were part of the first words I heard from this woman and again a coincidence, because that’s what I said when I saw her, except mine were said silently and for a completely different reason. Some may say that we were connected by fate, if that was true, then fate was not kind to either of us.
Sammy Swale was thirty-four, I was nineteen and for neither of us was it a first time experiment in casual sex. We were in the garden of her detached house in the leafy suburbs of Mottingham, close to London but a fair distance from where she worked and I lived. We had met late on the Friday, preceding this sunlit August dawn, at the Face Club in Soho’s Dean Street, my normal second port of call at the beginning of the weekend. I had gone with my usual two pals, scoring some coke as we had arrived. We were out for the weekend with no need of sleep and only one thing on our minds, and it wasn’t dancing! I had literally bumped into Sammy earlier in the evening, exchanging only a few words on that occasion. A more detailed introduction came later.
I’d tired of the young things with the 80’s bob-and-bang hairstyles and the giggles that erupted every time I mentioned sex. I was direct, maybe a little course but I had a passion for playing with girls of my own age and an insatiable appetite that normally I could satiate adequately, but not tonight. One quick fondle with a quicker, up against the wall in a corridor at the Four Eyed Cat, having been the sole beneficiary of my expertise so far, before her boyfriend played more heavily on her mind and my ardor was left dangling in mid-air. I was frustrated and eager for more sexual pleasures. Graham and Keith had left the club. They also were bored. Whether they did go on to somewhere else, as they told me, or off to their homes in Bermondsey where I lived too, I neither knew nor cared. I had a need and only an hour or so to fulfil it, not sufficient time to find pastures new to wander.
At that point in my life I had never been out, let alone had sex, with a black girl. At fast approaching 3am, it looked as though that missing part to my sexual education was about to be filled. The truth was black women frightened me, making me shy away from them. I was not discriminate because of colour, it was a fear. I had admired their beauty more than once but I had heard stories of well-endowed black men and how the women would frown upon whites, believing them inferior in that department. It wasn’t as though I could show any samples to get an introduction, if you catch my drift.
Our first encounter had been brief. I had inadvertently brushed against her on arriving, causing her to drop a cigarette, which was unusual as I was light of foot and not in the habit of bumping into women, accidentally. “Oops, sorry, that was clumsy of me.” I said, to which she had made no reply simply picking up the almost unsmoked cigarette and stubbing it out in the silver, bullet shaped, ashtray beside the door. The white blouse that she wore with a contrasting bra caught my eye more than the rest of her.
“Did you get enough of an eyeful mister?” Dispassionately she asked, not staying for an answer. The club was still busy but beginning to empty out as it neared the time that it closed. The dance floor was less full than when I had arrived, now with couples paired off or more in closed groups. I moved rhythmically amongst them in my quest to satisfy my desires but all I could see was unattractive mediocrity with expressionless faces packed into lookalike packages that held no appeal. My previous smoking acquaintance was behind the bar speaking to two other black girls, seated in front of her, with their backs to me. At the exact moment I noticed her she smiled in my direction then swayed effortless across the floor and approached.
“Been watching you, you’re a good dancer. Got any money on you boy? I’m hungry and not just for food. Wait for me right outside the door when we close. I’ll be the last one out, it won’t be until after four. My car is round the corner and I’ll give you a lift. Can you wait that long lover boy for the time of your life?”
That was it, and not just because I was desperate. She was a beautiful, sexy woman and I was flattered. I was hooked and flying and I was to be carried in her car. Never been with a black girl, never been with a girl with a car. I was thinking that it was turning out to be the day of my life. Little did I know, that was precisely what it was about to become.
She locked the door to the club with a swagger of importance then linked her arm into mine and with an exaggerated bounce, and roll of her bum that kept touching my own, we walked in silence for a few paces. I was having kittens in expectation! “How old are you?” She asked, as we were entering an underground 24-hour car park. “Twenty-three, been round the block a few times I can tell you,” confidently I replied. To which she laughed and pushed me gently. As I pretended to regain my balance one of her hands went around the back of my neck and she kissed me, driving her tongue deep into my mouth as her other hand rubbed the front of my jeans, playfully pulling down, then up, the zip. “I’ll save that for later,” smugly she said. “Let’s eat first shall we? I know a place where the ‘T-bone steaks’ are as tender as me.”
I was in no mood to argue but neither was I eager to let her go. I held her hand there for longer, asking, “like what you feel do you?” “I’ll let you know…Cock…ney!” She replied with a wink and a deliberate splitting of the word. We had reached her car and I was driven away by a goddess. She suggested an all-night restaurant in New Cross, that I knew of, but I didn’t want to go there and made excuses saying that I owed money to the proprietor and wasn’t in a position to pay. That wasn’t the reason though. I’ll be honest, there was a part of me that was wary.
The year in which this took place, white men with black women seen together was rare, and it must be said, where I came from; frowned disapprovingly upon. I was excited yes, beyond anything I had ever known but cautious of recognition. “Owe any money in Peckham?” she asked. Perhaps it was my imagination. She seemed aware of my discomfort. “Plenty,” I replied, adding, “mainly in maintenance for the kids I’ve fathered. In any case, I’m up for anything. Want proof?” Her hand rested gently on the bulge in my jeans as she drove and I teased her breasts, annoyed that the bra restricted my touch of her nipples.
We chatted amicably during the meal about nothing really but everything it appeared to me, music, clubs that we both knew and sex; my favourite subject. My whole world had changed and I was liking the new one. Her big brown eyes hypnotising me into a sexual stupor that was hard to contain. Again she sensed my irritation. “I know that we can all tell stories cockney and I don’t book you down as a virgin nor as experienced as you make out, but you do know that I’m going to rape you when I get you home don’t you? I don’t what you finishing quickly on me as I’m just getting started. Now that would not do. No siree. Do you want to go visit the Gents and toss-off before we get to my place?” She had a deep husky voice and spoke slowly, which taken together intensified her appeal and sexuality.
It had crossed my mind, but I wondered if she would still be waiting when I got back. “Only if you come with me.” Enticingly I replied, holding my breath in anticipation. She declined my invitation but I swear she was tempted. I stayed where I was and trusted that my staying power would be adequate. The morning was breaking with the temperature rising, both inside and outside of the car on the drive to the venue of my expectancy. Her leg was brushing against my own with my hand wandering between her thighs and breasts but her hands, to my displeasure, only left the steering wheel to change gear with her eyes never leaving the road.
“You know I marked your card at the doorway to the club don’t you. That was no accident. I dropped my fag on purpose to give you a good look. I got your attention, eh? You’re a slow mover my cockney friend. l’m hoping you’re a slow lover as well. Don’t get too keen on the journey, it’s the destination that counts you know.” A raucous laugh filled my ears and I joined in with her laughter. “Perhaps I should have taken your advice back in the cafe. Let’s hope the steak does the trick and builds up my energy levels, enough to satisfy.”
“I’m so into tricks lover that I will wear you out, I’ve been doing it a lot longer than you.” The laugh took on an all together different meaning. I winced in anticipation. We parked in an overgrown drive of an otherwise immaculately kept house, in front of a dilapidated garage with rotting brown wooden doors that hadn’t opened for years, yet were secured with a large grey padlock that looked innocuous and out-of-place. This part of the front garden had been badly neglected, allowing blackberry thorns to invade the paved path making the short walk hazardous for her bare shapely legs which along with her bum, were now the centre of my attention.
“Here, let me,” I said, easing away some thorny stems with my Dr. Martins boots and one hand stroking a bare leg in way of protection. “Hmm, quite the gentleman.” She suddenly stopped walking, raised my head and fervently kissed me, again using her pracitised tongue. “I hope that doesn’t apply once you’re; inside,” she added, as she pulled just as suddenly away. A creasing of her brow stayed however, long after the word inside, had completely left her lips. I caught the inference and smiled, more in hope that certainty.
“Follow me.” I was ordered, and I obeyed. “No one overlooks this garden and there’s something about having it away outside that’s a real turn on for me.” Another pause, then a point with a long slender finger with red varnished nails. “Lay over there in that lounger, I’m going to strip for you.” That deep husky tone carried joys in its instruction.
She stood no more than a foot away from me swaying gently to the rhythm of Michael Jackson’s ‘One Day in Your Life’ coming from within the kitchen. The same place that we had passed through washing our hands as we did at the uncluttered sink. Another instruction of hers that I had surrendered to. I was beginning to like being told what to do.
The shoes, high-heeled and red patent leather, came first.Taken off with care and deliberate movement, then placed together under the chair as her body arched in two in front of me. Her eyes were fixed firmly in my direction and a sneer, rather than a grin, aimed at just below my waist. I laid back with my legs apart, a willing voyeur as she unlaced my boots.
Her matching red skirt came next. Unzipped slowly and easily falling to the still slightly glazed, dewy grass. It had been short and tight, enough to arouse any young man’s wishes but as she pirouetted and swiveled sultrily from it, my arousal was more obvious. Her sneer and the exaggerated bite and lick of her own lips took on an edge of cruelty in my wanton imagination. A pink, lacy, transparent G-string against her black skin was almost too much to resist grabbing at and ripping away. I thought I was practised in the art of arousal, but not as practised as Sammy!
“I first did it when I was nearly seventeen, got myself pregnant in the process, but I only learned how to do it properly in the last couple of years.” Another wink and a leering smile before continuing both in her speech and toying with her thumbs in the elastic that covered her modesty. “There was a Swedish guy who used to use the club; he showed me how to have sex properly.” I was confused as to whether this was said as a way of distraction or as a way of enticing me more, as one button after another, at the back of her white blouse, was sensually undone and her small, champagne glass shaped, breasts were pushed higher and invitingly close. The matching pink, low-cut bra was eased away as she knelt beside me. I placed my right arm on her left shoulder and with my left hand began to stroke her goose pimpled soft skin around the strangely white tip of her erect nipple. I was innocent in regards to black women, finding her exhilarating in every extreme.
“Let’s see what you have to offer, shall we?” I smiled, but was empty of words. She lent across me and started to roll up my white T-shirt. The slight chill, of the early morning, caught my naked chest as her breasts rose up in front of my face and I feasted on her bristling nipples, rolling my tongue across both. She pulled away and fleetingly I worried if that was the end of my education in the hands of an older woman. Had I done something wrong? It was not, and I had not.
Her hands found the buckle to my belt and I lifted forward to allow my Levis and briefs to be removed together. Her eyes never left my own. There was a satisfying hmm from her lips as her fingers stroked my erect penis and her mouth slowly lowered towards it.
That was the precise moment that Laura decided to enter my life from the conservatory door.
“What the fuck are you doing mum!” Sammy stopped, much to my disappointment and; my embarrassment.
“I thought you were away for the weekend with your father Laura. Why are you here girl?” Hastily letting go of me, and standing, she calmly addressed the startled girl staring at us both in amazement. I fell instantly in love with that startled face.
“Well, I’m not am I. He couldn’t be bothered with me either. Can’t you find someone your own age to shag, mum? He’s no older than me and by the look of him not much use to you now.” A nod in the direction of my penis indicated that all was not well in the sexual capacity department that I imagined I had full control of. The lounger was wet and so was I. She didn’t have far to look either, being almost right on top of me with my pants in her hand! “If I was you I’d cover that little thing up, in case a sparrow thinks it’s a worm. Put these and the rest of your clothes on, then you can wipe that mess up. I sometimes sunbathe in that chair.” Disdainfully she addressed me.
Not the most auspicious of meetings but nevertheless, one of a lasting magnitude.
Chapter Two. Introductions
“I expect she found you at that club of hers, did she?” She asked, as she turned away.
Laura had long, brown curly hair down past her shoulders that if straightened, I imagined, would have reached the small of her back. It was that back that I followed towards the house partially dressed but still naked in shame and fighting to regain some self-respect.
“You’ll find a bucket in the garage with a sponge. Make a thorough job of it, cos I don’t want to smell some white boy when I lay there taking the rays.”
“What then, you’d rather it was a black kid who’d come all over it, would that have been okay? Besides, you’re neither one nor the other are you, more white than black I’d say and a bit confused by the sound of things. Your old man one of my lot then?” I bent to replace my boots and as I did so she turned, now standing directly in front of me.
“Listen here, I feel very sorry for you but you’re just one of several for her. She’ll keep you around for the day, maybe not in your case as you’ll be no use for a little while and by the time you are; she’ll be asleep.”
Sammy rushed passed, in a flurry of bouncing flesh and waving clothing. “Is he with you?” I glanced in her direction, thinking that remark was intended as a reference to me but it was Laura who replied, of another person.
“You have a minute or two. He’s finding it more awkward than normal getting out of the car. He’s not having a good day at all, mum.” She shouted at her fleeing mother and I was left wondering to whom she referred. I didn’t have long to wait.
In those few moments I had my first chance to assess this girl who had so dramatically entered my life, now being in absolute control of it. The intensity of her wide bright eyes, with the deepest hazel colouring I had ever seen, almost knocked me over in surprise. The whole world could have been swallowed up inside them. Bright and shining indeed they were, yet weary and tired at the same time, as though they had seen that whole world and wanted to escape from it.
Her small face was heart shaped with an equally small, slightly dimpled, rounded chin. Sharp and high cheekbones that emphasised the beauty that to me was there screaming, ‘take me out of myself. I need room to breathe.’ She was straight in stature and stood proud, perhaps only an inch or two shorter in height than myself, with small shoulders and a pronounced clavicle bone. Thin bare arms covered loosely by a man’s pink striped shirt, rolled at the cuff, that would have fitted me and I was several times her size and weight. If she had been wearing a coal-mans sack it would have hung elegantly.
“Who the f….” I was about to ask who she thought she was, but a perfumed index finger gently touched my lips, preventing me finishing that question.
“Don’t you ever….ever, go to swear in front of me again. It’s a bad habit that some men have when around a lady. It will never be tolerated by me. You got that, Gold-Top?”
Both her hands rested on her pinched waist, fingers together pointing at the ground, as she scolded me like a school mistress would an errant child.
“Now there is an improvement on what’s just happened. I’m going see you again obviously, otherwise why warn me about the bad language? I’ve even got myself a nickname; Gold-Top. I like that…mouthy….Laura. I notice that it’s okay for you to swear though.” I put as much cockney trill into Laura as I could manage without seeming too patronising.
“I wouldn’t count on too much improvement in the immediate future. You’ll likely to be disappointed if you do. What’s your name anyway?” she asked, without passing comment on my criticism.
I trailed behind her. Sammy now vanished from my place of expected ecstasy and confined to a memory. It had been more than just Laura’s shapely figure that had attracted my gaze, not allowing it to wander but what exactly it was, I could not tell. All I knew was that I was totally absorbed by this girl.
Her moving kissable lips had me transfixed in a gape that I could not break away from, perfectly formed as though stamped there like one of those red stencil images so prevalent in fashion display windows those days. I stuttered, as though my name was a mystery.
“I’m Terry, and I would say that it is a pleasure to meet you but as you saw, my attention was elsewhere.”
She laughed in such a provocative way, as we walked side by side towards the house, that I almost wanted to cry out in delight. I felt empty of everything except her.
I lightly touched her arm, in one way to get her attention but in another to test that I was alive and not in some drug induced state of dreaming.
“Did you say that it’s her club, your mum’s I mean? She owns it does she?”
She gently pulled away.
“Well, kind of, yes. She’s a front really but it’s in her name. My dad, and some of his acquaintances are behind it all with the money and all that, but it’s her name above the door and on the license. Be careful of her and my dad Terry, they run around with strange people.”
“She ran after me that’s for sure.” Childishly I complained.
“I see you put up a fight, you dirty little boy. How old are you anyway?”
We had reached the kitchen door and she stopped, giving me more chance to savour the view. She had small feet and small hands but long legs and long arms, an olive coloured skin, that had you not known her ancestry, could be mistaken as southern European. I had seen some Italian actress in a film and it was she who Laura reminded me of.
“I’m almost twenty, will be this month. I told your mum that I was three years older. Not sure why, had no reason to impress, must have already done that.” I laughing replied, buoyed by renewed confidence having now fully dressed and beyond the embarrassment that I had previous felt.
“What date?” she asked in a demanding way.
“What date what?”
“Your birthday, dumb-head.”
“The twenty-ninth. Why?”
The door was neither fully open nor fully closed but held ajar firmly by a tiny shapely hand. “Oh my God,” she pushed it wider and motioned me to enter first. “then age should go before beauty. You are exactly two years older than me!”
A coincidence I never grasped, nor mentioned at the time.
As I brushed passed and into the narrow, ships galley shaped, kitchen it was her scent that next caught and twisted my awareness. The finger that had touched my lips was flowery, maybe a hint of lavender, now I smelled the sea and peaches.
“What’s that smell coming from you?” I clumsily asked, but nevertheless conveyed my enquiry adequately.
“Wow, you really are something else aren’t you? Normal chat-up line for you Terry, when you’re on the pull is it?….What do you smell of then, babe?”
“No, it isn’t actually, it’s just that you smell…well, it’s very sexy.”
“It’s an Estée Lauder, called Beautiful. Approve then, do we?”
“Absolutely I do.” Pursing my lips in admiration, I replied.
“Absolutely, that’s a bit of a scholarly word for you Gold-Top. Marked you down as an illiterate fool, but you are full of surprises. You do know words not beginning with the letter ‘F’ then. What do you do Gold-Top, still at school or out in the big cruel world of commerce? Want tea or instant coffee? No frothy stuff here, mate.” A false smile lit her face as the indentations from the sides of her nose to her chin formed a perfect circle. She was perfect in ever detail.
“What is it with you and this ‘Gold-Top’ thing, where did that come from?” I asked.
“Your hair stupid. What colour would you call it, if not gold?”
I ignored her, simply answering her first question.
“I work for the Ministry, actually.” Trying to sound more important that I was, but she had me in the palm of her hand and I had never experienced this timidity before.
“Oh er! Very important person then. I suppose you put the milk in after the tea, do you? Out of instant coffee it seems, afraid tea bags will have to do.”
“What sort of Ministry might that be then, where you work?” She had her back to me, again I was studying every inch of her.
The question never had a chance to be answered, as at that moment there was a scream followed by a crash, and the sound of a door slamming closed. I then heard the muffled voices of two people arguing from somewhere upstairs in the house.
Then another scream. Laura’s sarcasm vanished.
“Don’t be worried, it’s my dad. He never hits her. She’s too valuable to harm physically. He might hit you though when he sees you and he will threaten you without doubt. You’re lucky that he hasn’t got any of the friends that he sometimes brings around, then you would be in serious trouble! Case of saving face, you see. He’s many things my father, a hypocrite being one of them.”
“This happened before then? I mean he, your dad, finding Sammy having it away with someone?”
A small mocking laugh and a nod of the head answered my question but to reinforce it she added. “Are you really that naive to think you were the first? Think a lot of yourself normally do you?” I had no need to reply, my credibility having slipped somewhat.
“Unfortunately I live here with her and as for the man who fathered me, I see him on occasional weekends whenever he remembers I’m alive, and breathing, rather than just someone to throw money at. He has more money than there are people in London. He could probably give each one a fiver and not miss it. I have no choice but to put up with him, as does mum. He owns her and would love to own me but he don’t; and never will.” She handed me a steamy mug of tea.
“You don’t seem concerned Terry about my dad finding you here screwing his wife.”
“No, I can look after myself, besides she invited me. Had a few rumpuses in my time over women, one more won’t make much difference.” Confidently, I declared.
“Really. The James Bond type then. If only I had known I would have shaken the tea and not stirred it.” A mocking smile puffed out her checks, narrowing her eyes.
“Come through into the lounge, there’s someone you might like to meet and discuss those experiences of rumpuses you’ve had.” I was the follower again as she carried two further mugs of tea and I carried my own.
“Is the other mug for whoever’s there then? I thought it was for your dad.”
“No, he won’t stay now, but that’s not your first mistake of the day Terry. I do hope it’s your last though.”
He was about eight foot tall and as wide as the side of a bus. I exaggerate, but that was how he appeared to me in the large split lounge where I now found myself in. I did start to worry at that stage.
“This is Gary, say hello Terry. He accompanies my dad around in an armored car, posing as a black Rolls Royce and everywhere come to that, as if they are joined at the hip. The car’s outside with Charlie probably standing beside it, admiring the polishing he’s been doing. By now, no doubt, he’s doing some more. Dad’s got someone to do everything for him, well almost everything.”
I said hello as instructed, but wasn’t surprised by the lack of response or any other communication from Gary. It seemed to fit with his appearance. More a slugger than a speaker I figured.
“What is it that you do then Laura?” I asked, as I sank into a red leather armchair that took on Lilliputian proportions to the man opposite. I was frantically attempting to put him to the back of my mind.
“I design jewellery, Gold-Top.”
Gary found my newly acquired nickname amusing as he spoke for the first time in a deep, gravel, sniggering repetition of it. “Gold-Top, I like that. It’s funny.”
As I was thinking that I didn’t find him at all amusing there was the heavy sound of an unbalanced footfall on the stairs, then a deep croaking voice shouting instructions, whilst descending. Gary, noisily slurping his tea with his fist wrapped around the mug, gave a grunt of recognition sounding like the ape he resembled. “You all right there boss?”
“We’re out of here Gal, wallop the boy. Not hard, just enough to know that what’s mine, stays mine. Oh no, hard fast on that Gary, I forgot little big one Laura is here.” I’ll have words with him first. Better make it a slap, on the way-out.”
The few paces that it took him to enter the room, from the wide hallway, were without doubt, the most frightening moments I had ever faced.
He walked awkwardly, as though used to sitting more than using his legs. His gait, and each stride, was obviously painful but there was no pain shown on his face, only hatred and violence. With each short step he lurched backwards in a rocking motion landing on his heals rather than the soles of his feet. He was tall and made an imposing figure. The flowing cape, worn over his immaculate black suit, with an Albert watch chain dangling from the waistcoat pockets, gave him the aura of a Dickensian figure, akin to a smart Bill Sykes. His knees seemed rigid and unable to flex in movement, making the whole affair dramatic and robotic at the same time. He used a thick, sturdy, silver topped walking cane on which he lent heavily with each purposeful movement and this, with its gleaming green centre stone, was inches from my face. Heavy end first! Gary was standing, holding this man’s arm in support.
“I can’t be here twenty-four hours a day, but if I ever find you in this house of mine again, supping tea or shagging my missus, I’ll damage your face so bad that your mum will think you’re an alien. If you fuck my daughter, I’ll rip your prick and bollocks off with a pair of pliers and make you eat it them before burning you alive. Do I make myself understood?” His thin, screwed-up tight, white lips were moving in a steady beat and my bladder was becoming full!
I can honestly say that I did understand him but I never had a chance to agree.
The next thing I was conscience of was feeling wet, with Laura standing over me pressing a cold flannel against my aching head. I was in the same armchair and sat up quickly, checking the floor.
“What are you doing?” she asked, pulling away from me.
“I haven’t pissed myself have I?” I hadn’t, but I urgently needed to go.
Both bathrooms were upstairs so with each tread that I climbed I wondered if there would be any sign of Sammy. The landing was a mass of doors with each one closed other the room that I needed. No sound could I hear from anywhere.
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