A Girl Called Len


"It's OK, Len. I know I must seem like some country bumpkin to you, but to tell the truth I was struck dumb at how lovely you are."

Len smiled, then reached up and kissed my cheek.

"Thank you, Danny." She got up and taking her coffee went and sat in the other chair.

"I'm sorry about flashing you." she apologised. "It means very little to me, I mean to show myself naked. I forget that to others it can be...well different." I was shaking my head.

"No Len. As I said you are beautiful," she smiled when I said that, "I was still imagining you as the girl who was my friend. I was shocked at how I reacted." She didn't say anything for a moment.

"Danny, I am still the girl who was your friend. It's been ten years or so since your family moved. I didn't forget you, although you did fade a bit in my mind. But seeing you again and talking with you, just reminded me what a good friend you were."

I asked the question, that I had been wanting to ask, and Len wanted to answer.

"So how did you get into stripping?" She laughed, and I must admit I liked to hear her laugh.

"At last!" She said. "OK. You know I wanted to be a Ballet dancer." I nodded, I had known that. "Well I tried really hard, but gradually I understood that I was never going to make the grade. My dancing was good, but not good enough, and I was becoming a little too voluptuous to be accepted. I liked my food too much, and the idea of starving myself four or five days a week was way beyond what I was prepared to do. So I quit the school. I did a bit of temping for a few months whilst I tried to think what I could do. Then in 'The Stage' I saw an advert asking for dancers to audition for a troupe. I went, auditioned, and got a position. This was an all girl troupe, doing basic revue stuff, you know, dancing in line, kicking up the legs. All in unison. We rehearsed for three months, and then got a booking in Paris. It wasn't one of the big theatres, but it was Paris." She took a sip of coffee. As she did that I commented

"That sounds good. What happened?"

"Yes," she said. "Too good to last. Our contract was six months, and most of us were sure it would be renewed. But suddenly two of the girls left to get married. Then another three wanted to get home to England. They didn't like Paris it seemed. Well you can replace one or two, but with five gone, we couldn't renew the contract, without going into rehearsal with five new members for another few weeks, and the theatre boss wouldn't wait for us. But he did make an offer for any of us who would do it. He wanted some topless showgirls. Now showgirls didn't dance, they just paraded gracefully around the stage and posed. The important thing was the money. It was much better than we got individually for dancing. I decided to have a go."

I had seen pictures in magazines, and the occasional clip on TV, so I understood what she was describing.

"Was it like the Folies Begere, or The Crazy Horse?"

Len nodded. "Yes, Danny, but not as posh as those places. The next production, and there I was, tights, a Cache-sexe, and loads of tall feathers, and bare-breasted." I interrupted her.

"A what? You said a cache something or other."

Len explained "A Cache-sexe. It what they call those very small panties, designed to show all of your bum and thighs, but just covering your pussy. They also cover the waist on your tights. There were even smaller styles, just covering the front bit." My mind was overwhelmed.

"How do they keep those in place?"

"Glue, Danny. Washable glue."

"I would bet you looked bloody great in that costume." Len smiled again, she seemed to like it when I told her she looked good.

"I have some pictures somewhere, I'll look them out for you."

"So you didn't mind being topless?" She shook her head "I was so nervous before I went on, but after I had been on stage for a couple of minutes, I had no nerves at all. Neither did I have any problem with showing my boobs. I paraded around the stage in time with the music, opening my arms gracefully, so that the audience could get a good look, then towards the end of the scene I took up position centre stage, where I just stood with my arms in the three o' clock position." Len demonstrated, with her right arm raised straight up and her left held out to the side. Despite the towelling robe, she did it very gracefully.

"Then whilst I held that position two of the male dancers lifted me onto a small plinth. They had to grab my thighs to lift me, and it was most important that I stayed perfectly still, so the whole thing looked as if I just slowly ascended. I had to be careful on the plinth, all it is was painted plywood, and if I moved around too much it would have collapsed."

"I bet the dancers enjoyed lifting you up." I said a little grumpily. Len laughed.

"No, Danny. They weren't into girls. The troupe used to get so upset. All these really fit, handsome young men, and practically all of them had no interest in women at all."

"You mean...?"

"Yes, Danny. Poufs!" She finished her coffee, and asked if I wanted another. "Or would you prefer Whisky?" Whisky was not really my drink then, so I asked what she was going to have.

"I'll just have another coffee, I think."

I agreed. "That's fine by me as well."

Len continued her narrative.

"I did a couple of seasons there, but I had to come home as my mum had been injured falling down the station steps. When she was well again, I talked to the theatre about coming back, but I had been replaced. There's nothing like those French Revues in England, so I answered another advert in 'The Stage' for an exotic dancer. They really meant stripper. I decided that I would do that and keep looking for another opportunity. So that is how I came to be there. Not really an interesting story is it?" I was still interested in her comment about working another club as well.

"Len. You mentioned that you work in another club."

"I work for three clubs at the moment. I did do four, but that got to be just a bit too hectic."

"Do the clubs know you work in other places?"

"Oh yes Danny. We're not employees, they just pay us for the set we do. So all of us have slots at more than one club. I get on stage at the club where you saw me, once every two hours. But in that two hours between, I have been to two other clubs and done the same routine there." I was beginning to see how it worked. There was another question I wanted to ask. It was with a very red face that I asked.

"Len, What about...I mean when you...when it's that..." Len was laughing now and finished my question for me.

"Danny are you talking about my periods?" Shame suffused me.


"We all take the pill. You are supposed to take it for twenty days then stop, and your period happens within the next two or three days. The girls take the pill continuously for three months or thereabout, so no period. So you can continue working. When you stop, you get a damn great period, but then you go back on the pill again. Simple!"

It was getting late, and I had to be at the training school for eight-thirty sharp. But I had one more question.

"Is this what you want to do now on a long-term basis."

"No, Danny." She was shaking her head vigorously. "At some time I want to work up a really good act, and get back to Paris and the other European capitals as a featured dancer. That's where the good money is."

"Would this be a stripping act?" I asked.

"Yes it would. But a very sophisticated act. But I haven't been able to think of any routine that would do for it."

I got up to leave. Len got up as well and came up and put her arms round me.

"You can stay, Danny, if you would like." As she only had one bed in the flat I knew what she was offering me. "Danny. I am still a virgin. But if you would like to change that situation?" Her voice tailed away. I moved back slightly and held her arms.

"Len. I am overwhelmed that you would make that offer to me, but I can't. It's not that I don't fancy you, it's because I am married." She looked at me with puzzlement. Then her face cleared.

"Your wife doesn't know what sort of husband she has. She should thank her lucky stars." I got my coat, and moved towards the door. I asked her what way I should go to get to my hotel, telling her the name of the hotel and what street it was in. She laughed.

"Go out of the door, turn left and go to the Bayswater Road, turn left there, then take the next turning on the left. The hotel is down there. You can probably see my flat from the hotel if you are on the back. I could do a strip for you at my window." She was giggling. "You know, help you to sleep."

I laughed as well. "Now you don't honestly think that would do anything else but wake me up, do you?" I leaned in and kissed her.

"Thank you, Danny. That's the second kiss you have given me. And both were very nice."

"The second?"

"Yes, Danny. You give it some thought and you'll work it out." The door was open then and as I left she said.

"You will come and see me again won't you? I usually get back here just after nine, so do come round, please?"

"I'll see you tomorrow night."

CHAPTER THREE More conversation and an idea

My day was one of pressure. The programming system for these new machines was different. In fact what we didn't really understand at the time was that this was the first step towards the personal computer revolution. Computers up to then had been huge machines needing a clean air room to function. With the development of the microprocessor, computers became much smaller, but they were very expensive so it was only businesses that could afford them. Bill Gates and Microsoft was still years away. What we had here was in effect a small computer designed to carry out accounting procedures, and I and my colleagues were learning how to program them. I was not particularly brainy at school, but for whatever reason this programming appealed to some part of my brain that quickly understood the process. Hence I became the blue-eyed boy on that course. I don't know why my brain understood the programming business so quickly and easily. I had programmed the older accounting machines and found short cuts on them they would enable a three register machine to do the work that other companies needed four to do, therefore I could do the job at less cost. As a result of this I was quite successful in my sales, and suspected that was why I was chosen for this course.

Back at the hotel that evening I made notes on what I had learned. Of course I had the large instruction manual, but I had found it useful to make my own notes as well. I suppose it was part of the learning process.

I didn't really enjoy the evening meal which the hotel provided, the standard of cooking was not particularly great, but it was food! I wasn't prepared to take the time to go out for a meal. Anyway, later I was going round to see Len. Just as I was leaving the hotel I looked into the lounge where some of my colleagues on the course were settling down for an evening of booze and chatter. The television was showing an except from 'Singing in the Rain' It was the part where Cyd Charisse dances, wrapped in chiffon which blows away from her in the wind. I immediately thought of Len. Possibly she could adapt that idea to her routine. With this in mind I almost ran round the block to tell her.

Len was waiting for me. She had obviously showered and changed into a sweat shirt and pants. She hadn't bothered with make-up. I was not put out about that, as I could see the girl she had once been. She greeted me with a kiss.

"That's three." She said. "Well it could be four but I don't know if a kiss on the cheek counts. But have you remembered the first?" She wore a cheeky grin as she said that. I had remembered it. It had come to me in the classes during the day. Why I should think about it then I have no idea.

"Yes." I said triumphantly. "It was just before I got in the car with my family to leave, and I kissed you."

"Yes, on the lips! I'm glad you remembered. A girl wouldn't like to think that the first man who kissed her lips would forget it. I was so upset." Len told me. "I didn't know why, except that my best mate was leaving, and I would probably never see him again." I noticed tears in her eye. "I cried buckets for hours." What could I say about that? I was fifteen and she was fourteen. At that age you had no say at all in your destiny.

"Anyway." Len laughed. "It made sure that I never got to sweet sixteen and never been kissed." Len went off to make coffee, and I made myself comfortable. As she was doing her bit in the kitchen I called out to her.

"I have thought of a routine for you." Her head came round the door.

"Have you?" She sounded doubtful.

"Yes. You just dance, but you don't have to strip. The wind will do that for you."

"Just a moment." She called back. "Wait until I finish the coffees." A minute later she came in with the two mugs. She put one down for me, then sat in the other chair with her mug clasped between her hands.

"OK. Tell me."

I told her about seeing the clip from 'Singing in the Rain'. Len had seen the film, but in Paris, dubbed into French, so, as she said she was so busy reading the English subtitles, she didn't really take the film in. But she could recall that sequence. Len was thinking deeply, so I stayed quiet. Finally she started, almost as if she were talking to herself.

"It could be done. The choreography would be bloody difficult, and the wind machine would be a problem too. It would have to be powerful, but could not be noisy. How many yards of chiffon will I need, it will have to be very light and filmy. It would work best with just one spot, a super Trouper would be ideal, keeping the rest of the stage in darkness. Hell, there's a lot to think about, but it could be absolutely fantastic." She looked up at me. "Danny! I think you have a brilliant idea." She put her mug down and came over and kissed me. We said in unison.

"That's four!" We laughed together. It was a good feeling.

When I left Len, she was involved in thinking about how she could do this. We had discussed the wind machine and how on a large stage it could not possibly have sufficient force to maintain the chiffon airborne. So Len started thinking about a dance routine that would never take her more than two to three yards from the centre spot. This was all getting too technical for me, but Len seemed to be in her element. But then I would not expect her to be able to program an electronic accounting machine. Each to his own.

We met three more times before I came to the end of the course. She gave me her telephone number at the flat.

"Danny I won't always be here, but leave a message." She had an answering machine. "Let me know how you are. I don't want to loose touch with you for another ten years."

Back home Jennifer, my wife welcomed me happily. I had been away for six weeks, only getting home on occasional weekends. I again demonstrated my prowess in finding my way around the body of a woman in pitch black conditions. Although I must confess that in the darkness I found myself fantasising that the body underneath me was Len. Well at least I had seen her body, something that I could never say about Jennifer.

My Boss asked to see me as soon as I got back to the office on that Monday.

"Danny, the reports from the training course tell me that you have adapted to the new technology very well. It goes without saying that this now puts you into the management category. Apart from a good rise in salary and a company car, you will also benefit from medical insurance. Will you see your usual Doctor and arrange for a complete medical. The company will pay for that, but the insurers do need a certificate from him. Will you do that?"

"Of course Mr. Jackson." We were the UK subsidiary of an American company, UK based companies would think that medical insurance was totally unnecessary except of course for the main board, and also being English we didn't call our superiors by their given name. Four days later I took the morning off to have my medical.

I had been a patient of Dr. Jones for four years, ever since I moved into the village, just before my marriage. He was a bit of an old-fashioned bloke, but good, as he still made time to chat with his patients. We went through all the tests they wanted and there didn't seem to be any problems. Then he put me on the spot a bit.

"How long have you been married now, Danny?" I had little idea as to why he would ask this. But I replied.

"Three years, Doctor." His reply was the 'humph' the expression that all doctors use noncommittally.

"No children yet?"

"No, Doctor."

"Is that by choice."

"We don't take any precautions if that's what you mean."

"Humph." He was silent for about a minute.

"Danny, whilst you're here, we may as well do a sperm count. Let's see if there's any little problem." Now to a lot of people this may sound like unwanted interference, but Doc. Jones was an English country doctor in an English country area. When people got married in the country they were usually producing a baby in the first eighteen months. If nothing happened within the first two years, well it was a little strange, but if it went to three years then there was definitely a problem. He offered me a little sample pot, and a rather ragged magazine of the top-shelf variety. I went into his examination room and did the necessary. I found myself thinking of Len, rather than concentrating on the magazine. With a very red face I handed the pot to him on completion of my task. He assured me that the medical was fine, and he would have the results of the sperm test within a week.

It was ten days later when his receptionist phoned me at work. (within a week usually means about ten days in the country) I made an appointment for the next day.

Doc. Jones didn't tell me the results of the test at first. He queried me about any childhood illnesses I had. In the late forties and early fifties it was the practice for mothers, upon hearing of any child down with Chicken Pox, Scarlet Fever, or Measles to send their own offspring round to visit the afflicted in order to contract whatever illness it was. The reasoning was that if they had it as children they never had to worry about it later in life. I had contracted both Chicken Pox and Measles this way. When I told Doc. He brightened up.

"You had Measles, definitely Measles?"

"Yes Doctor. I think I was about eight at the time."

"That I think explains it. Danny I am sorry to tell you, but your sperm count is so low, that it will be almost impossible to father a child. Measles can affect the development of the Testes. It's about one in a million chances, but it would appear that you became the one."

At this time in my life that prognosis was not earth-shattering. Possibly when I got older I will regret that I didn't have children, but at twenty five, it wasn't that important. Not until three months later when my wife announced she was pregnant!

Doc had told me that was almost impossible to father a child. Now, I could believe the miracle that somehow or other one of my little wrigglers had summoned up enough energy to do the job. Or more likely I could believe that my wife had got someone else to do that for me. I consulted Doc. Jones again. Luckily he wasn't my wife's doctor as well, else he would have a conflict in patient confidentiality. His advice was to wait for the child to be born, then get a blood test.

So I had six months of waiting to see if my world would collapse. Actually no. My job was going well, and I got frequent pat's on the head for solving programming problems. I had realised that although designed for basic accounting operations, with ingenuity in the program, these machines could do much more, and I demonstrated that on more than one occasion. Statistics, Profit and loss data, forecasting of stock requirements, all could be done with a well-trained operator and my programming. As for the forthcoming birth of a child, a child which the odds said could not be mine. Well, I had been giving that a lot of thought. Yes, I loved Jennifer, but not enough to accept a child by another man, particularly as the child had been conceived during our marriage. Hadn't I refused an offer from Len? I think that's what hurt the most, that I had stayed faithful, gritting my teeth to turn down a lovely lady, but Jennifer hadn't.

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