Hii readers, (I hope I can call you that). This one does not have as much sex in at I would have liked but it was, in essence, a recent dream I enjoyed and it seemed somehow wrong to change it. I hope you like it. Please let me know as this is still only my second piece and I have yet to feel comfortable in any particular style. I have enjoyed writing this one.
It is obviously titled in memory of the famous Pygmalion grandee.
Looking back I have almost lost track of how long ago it actually was when I met Danielle for the first time. Her name was Jane then. Not that I knew it.
I guess we are going back around just short of five years in total. It was a summers evening in London. I would like to tell you that it was a balmy hot evening with a light breeze keeping the worst of the heat at bay. No this was London. It had been sunny but a stiff breeze kept you wondering whether, just maybe, you should have put a coat on.
But I was a big tough man, or so I liked to think. A little breeze was not going to stop me meeting a couple of friends in the Sutling Room, the bar at the Honourable Artillery Company Headquarters in the City area. It is a delightful place to be invited to have a drink. It is both old-fashioned military, reeking with tradition, and yet almost a branch of a City Wine bar with it's clientele of City boys. The Military side has a strong role as a valued Territorial Unit, yet leans towards the City. It was mainly manned by a combination of 'Old Regular Army' and 'City Boys'. Not a natural pairing you would have thought but somehow it worked. Meeting there, popping out to eat dinner in the city, and returning to finish the evening there was easy on the purse-strings and often provided fun as some of the younger rowdy element slid down the stairs on drinks trays as their friends threw ice cubes at them.
Military training I guess?
As I parked up my mini, an ideal city car, close to the gates I saw this lass and three of her friends, all boys, coming towards me, perhaps fifty yards away.
She was wearing a yellow summer dress, thin, not quite see-through, but definitely well-worn, which looked a little out of place with her brilliant white trainers. Slightly incongruous?
But pretty, wow.
She had long dark hair, just parted in the middle, She was slim and tall, about five foot ten perhaps? Her hair was unruly and needed a good cut, some weight to it maybe, to stop it flying around in the breeze. Laughing eyes, as I noticed when she came closer. And freckles, freckles, lots of them.
But little of this I had seen from fifty yards. I am after all in my fifties and if the truth were known not the fittest or healthiest man in the world.
I had put on a little more weight after taking early retirement from my stupidly lucrative job as a marine insurance broker a year earlier and even I knew that I was what people might call ponderous. Slow, methodical and overweight. I could only just get into my mini.
It was only later that I recalled all these first impressions of Danielle. My real first and still abiding memory is of the breeze whipping her dress up around her thighs. As they walked towards me this thin yellow summery dress, with buttons all down the front, which, in repose would have been almost down to her knees, flickered up and down. One of my first thoughts was that the little urchin, as I quickly began to think of her, had a couple of buttons missing from the hem end, but no, it was very obvious as she got closer that she had not done them up at all. The bottom one was brown, where she had sewn on a replacement but non-matching button.
Little things like this I remembered later. Or did I just imagine them.
I do remember that I stayed watching, bending slightly from the waist as I locked the sat-nav away in the boot. It was like a time warp. I was stationary as they approached. The boys started laughing at me, but I hadn't got time to worry about that. I was just concentrating on her hem- line. The breeze was mainly from behind and I remember thinking what a lovely view there must have been from the back. I am sure there were times when her panties would have been showing.
As she almost came up to us a shift in the wind, possibly caused by the entrance to the gates of the HAC itself caused the front to flutter and separate. My mouth must have dropped open because the lads started hooting with laughter.
As if I could care. She wore no panties and I had just seen her dark brown hairy muff. For a second, or perhaps even less. An instant in time.
She knew what had happened and out came this girly giggle. I like to remember that she made no attempt to stop it flapping, but this again could be my imagination.
As she giggled and winked at me, yes, she acknowledged me looking, she grabbed her nearest friends arm and started to run. Now I see why she had trainers. She was full of joie de vivre and I was lost. I had fallen. I started to understand why writers and poets conjoin fallen and in love.
And of course as she ran away I realised that I had been wrong. As the wind whipped her dress I could not see her panties. I could see her exquisite cheeks, and she knew it. The act of running exaggerated it. I just wanted to record it all in slow motion.
It took me a while to get up the stairs and into the bar. I am afraid I was not good company and excused myself from the later drinks as I went home to be alone with my thoughts.
Arriving home and earlier in bed than normal I fully expected to achieve glorious relief with my best friend, my right hand, but no, I was in love not lust so merely dreamed about her. But what a dream. I just wish I could have remembered it next day.
Of course being temporarily in love did not exactly cramp my style nor my friendships so it was less than two weeks later that I found myself in the same spot, parking the car. The weather had turned a little inclement now, after all we were into September. More in hope than expectation I looked up the road to see whether my unrequited love would be resurrected by another appearance. There in the distance, what was that? There were a couple, no, three people walking slowly towards me. I could see that they were idling, playing, one moment in the kerb, another swinging on the railings of the wall. And yes, one of them was a girl and yes, yes, it was her. The white trainers gave her away before I could see her features.
I put my sat-nav in the boot again but was conscious that they were still a long way away and I had a lot of time to waste until they got closer.
I must have been too obvious because I heard one of the lads mention 'the old perve in the Union Jack Mini'.
The paint-job on my car did tend to get it remembered.
Old perve was a bit strong I felt, especially as mine was a pure love not merely lust.
She was wearing a short denim skirt so there was no chance of a breeze showing me the Holy Grail that I now sought. She did however take off her leather jacket as they approached, allowing me to concentrate on a different part of her anatomy.
She took off her leather jacket, I later mused. And then put it on again fifty yards further on. Had she taken it off just for me to admire those tight little nipples, almost flat against her chest, but boldly at attention and remarkably obvious behind a thin white tight blouse. Her aureoles were large and dark brown as were her nipples. Her breasts were almost non-existent.
I didn't get my wink. They just strolled on, ignoring me, as I continued to play with the wheel-jacking device in the boot.
I was better company this evening however as I realised that she was perhaps a regular stroller past these gates and that I only needed the excuse of the bar to come back more regularly. By the end of the evening I had managed to get our occasional meetings into a regular fortnightly one.
And there I was, as regular as clockwork, at seven o'clock fortnightly, parking one of my cars outside the HAC gates. If by taking the BMW up instead of the mini I had hoped to gain some sort of anonymity I don't know. I do know that it didn't work though. The next time I saw them, a group of four again on this occasion, I was clocked as 'the old rich perve with the mini and a beamer'. Was I making myself more attractive or merely laughable. I had no idea and frankly cared little. I was still in love.
They were not there on every occasion, but I probably saw her on average of once every other time and every time she gave me something to remember her by. Sometimes a wink or a giggle at a comment that her friends had made. Once she dropped her handbag just after she had passed me. She looked around, to make sure that I was watching, which of course I was, and bent from the waist to pick it up. Her light short mac and her little pink mini-skirt rode high upon her hips, just exposing again the bottom of her cheeks and no panties.
She looked around again, just to check that I had seen her, before running on with her friends in a similar way to the way she had the first time.
My mind was in turmoil. I was delighted that she obviously didn't think I was an old pervert because she kept humouring me. Or did she?
Was she merely showing off safely to this 'rich old perve' in the knowledge that her friends would protect her?
It was the week before Christmas, which I know sounds like the beginning of a poem, but I am afraid I am no poet, as you will find out later.
However, it was the week before Christmas and as I saw them walking towards me I felt confident enough to actually try to speak to her.
I sat in the car until they were close enough to see them properly.
She was wearing a long almost military style maxi-coat down to her ankles and buttoned up to her neck, around which she wore a woolly scarf.
I had long since given up any ideas of being an anonymous voyeur, the lads had spotted my interest from day one.
I stepped out of the car and said 'Good evening,' as they passed.
Hardly an original nor thought-provoking opening. The two lads with her were content to laugh and one of them muttered 'old perve' just loudly enough for me to hear.
She however stopped and turned back towards me.
'You come here a lot don't you? Are you in the army?'
The two boys sniggered at the thought of my slightly corpulent aging body undergoing the rigorous exercises necessary for a member of the armed forces.
'No I meet friends here. I like to use the bar and the restaurant. They have a wonderful atmosphere. It may not give the impression of it from out here but it can be a fun place.'
While I was talking she was undoing the buttons on her coat, one, two and now the third, just above her knee.
She had obviously heard the sniggering from behind her because she said, 'Yeah, that's what my mates said. You should eat and drink less, lose some weight then maybe get yourself a wife. Or have you got one already. The little woman who stays at home while you enjoy yourself with your pals.'
The sniggering was less muted and she was obviously enjoying her role as interlocutor.
'No,' I shrugged, 'I was married but about ten years ago she ran away with the builder and now I'm div....' My sentence tailed away as the open coat was allowed to gap and from the top downwards all I could see was skin. She had pulled the right hand side of her coat just an inch or two sideways and under the scarf wrapped tightly around her neck I could see her chest-bone, and a little, and I mean little, cleavage. I could see five foot of smooth flat skin skirting to the left of her belly-button and pubic hair and running down to her ubiquitous trainers.
'Yeah they thought you would be a sad old git with no wife. You were here too often to have a regular girl-friend.'
By now she had buttoned up again. The whole thing had taken a few seconds. She had undone three buttons, shrugged the coat open an inch or two and closed the three buttons while she spoke. The lads standing behind her would have had no idea what she had done while she was taking the piss out of me.
She turned to walk away, buttoned and warm again.
'Have a wonderful Christmas,' I mumbled, stunned at what had occurred.
'Another memorable line Charles,' I thought to myself as the three of them moved away, the boys openly laughing at me.
I was quiet that evening. While I am not normally a 'romance and tell' sort of guy I did try to tell my friends exactly what happened. They put it down to an overactive imagination and one too many glasses of Christmas mulled wine.
I was determined to talk to her again, even if I provided her friends with an increasing amount of fun.
To that end I decided to write a poem that I would read out to her. I didn't care if she laughed, provided she laughed with me, not at me. Let's face it, I had nothing to lose. My first few attempts were all about me, my lack of a wife or girlfriend, my weight, my drinking habits.
These were no good, it had to be about her, not me.
By the time I had written this silly poem and because of Christmas my friends and I had got out of synch with our fortnightly meetings. In January we had gone three weeks.
I had not seen 'my girl', as I now thought of her, for over a month and I realised that just maybe she was strolling past there every other week as well so I was also out of synch with her. I let another week go by before arranging the meet.
It was now February. There was a light covering of snow on the ground and it was bitterly cold.
I was pleased to have the heated seats this time of year but still practically bounded from the warmth of the car, without even a jacket, as the group of four drew level with the car. I reached into my pocket where I had stored my silly verse, although I knew I did not have the confidence to day to read it.
'Hi, I took your advice.'
She looked mildly interested, the others grouped around her just sniggered.
'I lost some weight. So now all I need is a girl-friend.'
Wow where did that come from. Pathetic.
The boys fell about. No quiet sniggering now. Open humour which I knew I had to carefully maintain for it not to turn to violence.
'Fuck off man you got to lose a lot more before you're getting any pussy. You're better off buying it you rich perve.' The lad who said this had pushed himself forward a bit. He was the biggest of the boys and the one that I had always seen her with.
She pushed him away, mindful perhaps that he had stopped laughing.
'Come on Billy. Leave him alone. He ain't worth it.'
They started walking on. No flash, mind you it was cold. No wink, no smile.
They had gone about ten yards I guess when I realised that this was it. The mood had changed, I was not going to get introduced nor flashed any more. Did I have one more chance?
I pulled the note from my pocket.
'I wrote you a poem, so here it is. Now you can have a really good laugh at my expense.'
I struck a heroic pose and emoted.
'Frostie the snowgirl never looked so bright
As my fair maid, to my delight.
That flash of breast, that glimpse of leg
Has given me the urge to beg
Her not to catch a cold
Ere she grows old
And cannot spend the time with me
That I see as her destiny.'
Well that changed the mood all right. The boys could not stand up for laughing so much. And I even got a big giggle from my beloved.
I held out the poem in which I had folded my business card with my home address and phone number.
She stepped back towards me, just far enough to pick up the note.
'Ring me please,' I said quietly so the boys could not hear.
'In your dreams,' she said and giggled, pushing the poem into her little handbag.
And dreams were all I had left. I came back regularly, fortnightly and even tried on odd weeks just to sit outside the HAC and hoped that she would come back. I was in a bad way.
It was May before I got the phone call.
'Two six oh eight,'
Pause. Long pause.
'Is anybody there.' I could hear breathing. Nobody was going to ring me and do a heavy breathing thing down the phone.
'Hello,' she said. 'This is....' Silence.
'I know who you are.' I said and laughed.
'Well actually that's not true, I do know you are, but I don't know who you are. Your name, or anything about you.'
It went quiet again, and hollow, as if she had put her hand over the phone.
'Do you want to take me to dinner at your army restaurant?'
Wow, I did not see that coming.
'I would love to but I can't.'
'Thought not, you have got a wife then, somewhere there in Fulham.' She obviously had my card in front of her.
'No, no. You have to be a member. I am always someone's guest. But I would love to take you to another restaurant.'
It went quiet and hollow again.
'Well I will come to your home, pick you up and take you to a little place....'
'Okay if you don't want me to know where you live I will pick you up in front of the HAC...'
'Tell me the restaurant, nearby.'
I thought about the area, which was really quite well off for restaurants open both lunchtime and evening.
'Four hundred yards from the HAC towards the city. La Belle Maman. French. Is that alright.'
'I've never had French. Is it alright. I had Chinese once, I wasn't very keen on that.'
'It is lovely, same as English but better.'
'All right tomorrow, seven o'clock.' And then she was gone.
Luckily I had no other engagement for the next day so rang 'Maman' and booked a table for the next night. I was there early of course settling my nerves with a gin and tonic. I had not taken a car expecting to take a taxi home after dropping her off. I was really nervous. I had not been out with anyone since my divorce fifteen years ago and before that I had hardly romanced my wife for ten years before that.
And what was I doing going out with a teenager anyway. Maybe I was an old perve, I thought to myself. I began to wonder how old she was. God I desperately hoped she was over sixteen. She was late and I began to wonder whether she was coming at all. Were they outside having a laugh at my expense? Was that the reason it had to be close?
I had seen a couple of single lads walk by from time to time but whether they were 'her' lads I could not tell.
Then suddenly she was there.
She was standing in front of my table as I had briefly looked away at the specials board behind me.
I jumped to my feet, 'Oh.'
She sidled into her chair without saying a word.
'Hi. I am Charles, Charles Graham, and you are..?'
It went quiet, this was going to be a difficult evening.
'Well Jane, nice to meet you.' I was still standing but somehow it did not seem right to shake hands and certainly not to lean over for a kiss or two.
'Would you like to take your coat off?'
Please God she had some clothes on tonight under that coat.
I nearly laughed at the thought. That would be the first time I have ever hoped a girl had clothes on.
'Well you might get hot later and everybody else has taken them off, but it's not a problem if you want to leave it on. Let us have a drink instead.
I have got a gin and tonic here but I thought perhaps we might have a bottle of wine. Do you like wine, or maybe champagne.'
She giggled, showing the first sign's of life.
'I've never had champagne. Look I haven't got any money, is that okay. Honestly a glass of water and fish and chips will be fine. Do they do fish and chips here? You said it was like English.'
I realised that she had probably never been invited out to a restaurant and I had to start slow, so as not to scare her.