I saw her sheltering under the projecting canopy of the bus shelter just along from "The Angel" in Chatham Road. I was sure it was her. The rain was falling steadily the road glistening alternately orange in the street lights glow and gold from car headlights as the punters crawled the kerbs and I waited for her to step into the light so I could be sure.
I had been watching for what seemed to be hours but was probably just a few minutes unsure of how to proceed when behind me a soft seductive voice said "Looking love?"
I turned to see a drug raddled prostitute standing beside me hopefully anticipating my interest.
"Sorry, I'm looking for my Sister," I replied.
"Yeah right." she said, "Best of luck."
But as I looked back a car was slowing, the girl stepped from the shadows and the light fell across her face, it was the wrong girl, the face gaunt and colourless, the cheeks sunken, it was the wrong girl, except, I recognised the unusual belt of linked metal rings and the sundress, I remembered her wearing those, but by then I was too late and the car had pulled away with her in it.
The prostitute was standing by the florists, "That girl, do you know her?" I asked.
"Ten quid." she said, "for information."
I handed her a crisp twenty. "If you don't know her just say so," I insisted.
"Leila, she started about three weeks ago." she said.
I breathed a sigh of relief. "I thought it was Sheila my sister."
"Leila, Sheila who gives a fug." she said, "I might have heard wrong, you don't think I was christened Carmen do you?"
I shook my head, "Is this her patch?"
"Sure, give her twenty minutes she'll be back." the woman said, "We can fool around while you wait?"
"Thanks, but I have unfinished business." I insisted, "Another time maybe." I flashed the best smile I could manage at her and strode away.
But the car never returned.
Sheila never returned until two months later the Salvation Army found her in one of their places in Gosport.
It nearly killed mum, Sheila the clever one, addicted to Heroin, infected with Hepatitis and convicted of prostitution, facing jail for non payment of fines. And best of all she blamed me for it.
"It would never have happened if you had gone to University." mum said.
Yeah right, except I was earning good money and had my qualifications already as a Master Technician for Vauxhall, the English subsidiary of GM, and had been earning since sixteen while my older sister was still being subsidised by the family and had dropped out of her course anyway.
"It's all your fault." Mum said.
"No ambition you." Dad said.
"I found her, I warned you," I protested, "I told you she was doing drugs ages ago." I said, "But you wouldn't listen, you believed her when she denied it, and you wouldn't believe it when she started sleeping around for money."
But nothing had prepared us for the broken shell of a girl that came home with us from Portsmouth and Southsea magistrates court that Wednesday afternoon, fines paid and probation order in place.
All the spark was gone, I think it was the medication to control the withdrawal but she was essentially asleep with her eyes open, monosyllabic, and dirty, she had lost all her dignity, and self respect.
It took ages but the story emerged.
She met a guy, rich, attractive, witty, self assured and she fell for him, hook line and sinker, he was tender considerate and took her out three times before they slept together, and it was good, and to make it better he brought a little something, tablets initially, then when he couldn't get any he produced a syringe.
Sheila rebelled and he gave her an ultimatum, join in or get out of his life, and she chose in.
Within a week he had started asking for cash to pay for her share of the drugs and when he then walked out on her she still needed the buzz, soon the cash ran out she agreed to sleep with the supplier, it was a small step to sleeping with the supplier's friend, then his friend, then one night she was on the streets and there was only one way for her to earn the cash for a fix.
That's when I decided to get even.
I pried the boyfriend's name from her, it seemed his name was Charles, Charles Fortescue-Pharm, son of Giles and a descendant of Mortimer Pharm who fought with distinction at Waterloo, on the French side, unfortunately.
He was a third year student, like Sheila, and as far as I could see still studying at Greys College.
I took a weeks leave, five days free from changing coil springs and cleaning EGR valves and booked into a motel in town. I tracked Fortescue-Pharm down within minutes and that's when I made a fundamental error. You see I thought that bastard cared.
I made enquiries and it seemed he too had a sister, Lucinda, a first year student, and the plan sort of exploded inside my head, why not do the same to her, make him suffer seeing her brought down.
It seemed a wonderful idea at the time, ok, I didn't know any drug dealers but you could hardly go in a pub without being offered gear, and it just remained to track her down.
It was easy, Student union, I left a message, "Can you ring me regarding your brother and my sister?"
She rang and we met at the Student Union bar, She swept in with all the self assurance that a private education endows, "You wanted to see me?" she demanded.
"Are you Lucinda?" I asked.
"Of course I'm bloody Lucinda." she snapped.
She wore a black horse riding jacket, white shirt and those thick tight white cream trousers and long black boots, her dark brown hair swept into a bun, and her deep brown eyes seemed to bore right through me.
"It's about Sheila" I continued.
"Sheila, the whore he tried to help?" she enquired haughtily, "I'm sorry but the gravy train has been cancelled," she explained, "Mummy put her foot down."
"Sheila was studying Sociology when she met Charles, two months later she was doing heroin and fined for prostitution." I explained.
"Stupid bitch, I'm sorry but if your sister can't handle life don't try to blame Charles and more important," she added, "Leave me out of it!"
I just stared at her as she left.
I stood out like a sore thumb at the Campus so I disguised myself, I just wore my coveralls, complete with the Masterfit logo, I hired a new Vectra and no one took any notice of me, assuming correctly I was some sort of mechanic, and assuming, wrongly, that I had business there.
It was the Friday evening, there was a gig at the Student union, I managed to get a ticket and spent two hours in excruciating boredom watching a load of hopeless talent-less no hopers making a noise.
But I spotted Lucinda and kept close, and then when she was invited to a party afterwards I tagged along, you know its amazing how long you can nurse a glass of ginger ale for, ginger ale pint of beer, tip beer down Lavatory, tip ginger ale in beer glass, don't drink any, works a treat.
I watched Lucinda get drunk and then when the time was right I went to the car, changed my shirt and jacket and went back in, "Taxi for Miss Fortescue-Pharm."
"What?" she asked, "That's me"
"Mr Charles, your brother I believe sent me," O lied, "I am to take you home something about your mother?"
"Yes, I'll come now." she said failing to recognise me.
She sat in back, I wondered if she was drunk enough, yet, she wasn't. "Take a left it's a short cut," she insisted, not to my hotel it wasn't, but she navigated us to her parents sprawling Manor house.
It was all in darkness, "You can come with me in case there are burglars," she ordered, as she unlocked a side door, I locked the car and followed.
"That's funny there's no one home." she said, "Daddy never turns in before two in the morning."
"Oh," I said conversationally.
"Did you?" she started to say but I grasped her wrist very firmly and forced it up her back
"Yes." I said, "Now where is the drinks cabinet?"
"Rape." her voice echoed hollowly around the empty house, "Rape!" she said desperately when no one came, "Oh fucking hell where is everybody," she demanded..
"Drinks?" I queried.
"Get stuffed, oh gosh you're the one with the sister." she realised suddenly.
"That's me," I agreed, "But you are not quite tipsy enough for what I have in mind."
"All right don't hurt me!" she wailed and she reluctantly led me to the sitting room, the drinks trolley beside the sideboard there groaned with bottles of wines and spirits and I released her arm and gripped her waist so she could pour herself something long and alcoholic.
"I want you nice and drunk." I said.
"You and me both, I want to be comatose before you touch me." she agreed, and she started to drain the tall straight sided glass of a half litre or so of mixed spirits.
She mellowed nicely, I took her shoes off first, I left one on the drinks trolley and one in the passage way together with her smart white jacket, her red skirt we left ion the stairs together with her left stocking, the other stocking we left on the landing and her panties and Tee shirt on the bedroom floor, while she looked deliciously trashy in her suspenders and bra.
It was a bonus using her parents room, she wasn't taking much notice by this stage, I threw back the old fashioned covers and set her down, her pubes tasted of piss, so I stopped tonguing her and used my finger, she moistened nicely, and after pulling her hair pins to release her hair from some strange stylised bun I laid her nicely in the middle of the bed, spread her legs and just took advantage.
She lay pretty much comatose, peering at me in confusion, but my god did she feel good, my plan was to fuck her and leave her but this was grade A pussy, so tight yet so slippery, I decided I wanted her naked so the bra and suspenders went, then I wanted to feel her body properly so I stripped down and then it was back to business, fucking her in that great big soft bed, her tits felt just right against my chest, the neck of her cervix just touched my penis at the end of each stroke and I started to wish I had seduced her properly.
Her eyes widened as I came, the creamy semen boiling through my shaft and shooting deep inside her., and then she turned her head to one side and threw up, fortunately over the bedroom floor.
"I hate you!" she said, as she drunkenly rolled on her side and closed her eyes.
I lay still a moment, then I said "Good," and kissed her.
It was lovely and soft and warm in that bed, it took me fifteen minutes or so to get hard again, and it was dead easy to get her on her back once more and for me to get her legs apart and pile right in, I wanted a reaction so I just banged right into her I wanted her to know she had been fucked, I wanted her sore and bruised when I woke next morning, I left love bites all over her neck, marking her out as my property, something I never dared do with proper girlfriends.
And then I was cumming. I rolled off her and slept like a baby.
"Argghhhh." she screamed as the sunlight streamed through the bay windows. "Mummy will kill us for gods sake help me clean up!" she whined, as she disappeared in a swirl of brown hair and exquisitely formed pink buttocks.
I straightened the bed covers and dressed as she returned with a bucket full of tools to clean the carpet.
"What happened," she asked, "I'm so sore this morning."
"Don't you remember?" I asked.
"No Sorry," she replied, "Its a blur, but for gods sake, lets get out of here before anyone finds us."
I helped her, "Where's your room?" I asked.
"In here," she said as she swept past collecting discarded clothing as she went.
I collected my things and followed, she was sitting on the bed pulling on her stockings, until I took her legs and spread them wide, "No we mustn't somebody will come."
"I'm sure we both will," I said as pushed her on her back,
"Hurry up then!" she insisted, as she guided me inside her once more.
"Don't you remember anything?" I asked.
"No,oh do that .yes that's it, Oh thats so good, oh yes yes yes." she exclaimed.
"Lucinda, is that you, " a deep upper class woman's voice boomed.
"Yessss." she said guiltily.
"Have you got a man up there Lucinda.
"She's just cumming." I shouted.
"Ssshhhh." Lucinda said as she dissolved into laughter.
"Lucinda!" I looked and saw a much older version of Lucinda staring at me "what is the meaning of this, what on earth will Poppy say."
"Sorry, Mummy this is." she replied uncertainly.
"Ryan," I said "Jenkins,"
"Yes, its Ryan Jenkins, Mummy." she confirmed.
"You little tramp, I warned you." the woman said, "When you said you were gay I warned you, Poppy will be devastated!"
"Who is Poppy?" I asked.
"My room mate, she's been sleeping with Charles, Mummy, I guess I wanted to get back at her," Lucinda said in confusion.
"Is that all I am to you, something to get back at Poppy." I asked angrily, "I thought you loved me!"
"Yes, I do," she lied as she struggled to remember, "but not like that, she's my soul mate, you're just a bit of fun."
"Actually," I pretended to admit, "She couldn't pay for her ride last night so she offered sex instead, we never met until she left the party blind drunk, I apologised, I'm sorry I took advantage." Lucinda stared wildly as she struggled to remember.
"No, yes, I can't remember, Mummy," Lucinda squealed, "I can't remember!"
"Can't you really?" I asked, "I thought," I said in mock confusion, "Well it doesn't matter if I'm just someone to make Poppy jealous."
"But we had sex!" she said, "Oh god, just get out! Get out!"
"I'm gone!" I said, as I grabbed my things and went downstairs.
"What's going on" A familiar voice boomed, I saw the guy from Sheila's photo album at the bottom of the stairs.
"Hello, Charles," I said, "I just screwed your sister."
"Well done," he said, "Who are you?"
"Ryan Jenkins, Sheila's brother, remember Sheila?" I snapped.
"Yes, Sheila, how is she?" he said, but without waiting for an answer he added "My god, screwed Lucinda, Poppy will be pleased!"
"Sheila Ryan, remember, you got her hooked on Heroin?" I queried.
"Sorry, not me, Toby gave her the gear, never touch the stuff me," he stated firmly.
I just walked out, and headed for home, the journey seemed interminable, but eventually I arrived.
Sheila was in the Parlour with Mum, she looked better, colour had returned to her cheeks, "What are you doing home?" I asked.
"Hello dear, I'll get a cup of tea," Mother said as she pushed past me to get to the kitchen.
"They let me out, where have you been?" Sheila replied.
"Nowhere much, tell me, who is Toby?" I demanded.
"The shit who got me hooked." Sheila said.
"You said Fortesque-Pharm got you hooked." I accused.
"Yes, I was with Charles," Sheila agreed, "Toby said I should lighten up, what is this, the Spanish inquisition?"
"You said Charles got you hooked?" I suggested.
"Yes, the first time," she continued. "But he wouldn't buy me any after that so Toby said it was cool I could owe him."
"So it wasn't really Charles's fault!" I realised
"No, I guess not, what's the big deal?" she demanded.
"Fucking Hell!" I retorted, "Bollocks!"
I headed out of the door once again, back into the hired Vectra, back towards the Fortesque-Pharm's mansion, and then I realised that she may well have returned to University but with no phone number what else could I do.
I didn't know what I would do or say when or if I came face to face with Lucinda, but I walked up to the side door and when it opened Lucinda was standing there.
"You!" she said simply.
"Hi," I said,"I came to apologise, I feel like a total shit."
"I'm not arguing with that, but who are you and what the hell was last night about?" she demanded.
"Don't you remember?" I asked.
"No," she shook her head sadly, "Only this morning and suddenly you changed."
"Will you come for a drive with me so I can explain?" I asked hopefully.
"Yes," she agreed without a further thought, "In fact you can run me back to my rooms, if you give me ten minutes, Coffee?" she asked.
I shook my head, "No, but thanks."
"I won't be long." she said, and then she shouted "Mommy, my Taxi' s here, see you later!"
She smiled, "Let's go!"
I suppose we drove about a mile before I pulled over.
"I'm just so very sorry." I said, "I took advantage of you, it was unforgivable."
"But you want forgiveness? right?" she asked.
I nodded," Yes."
"So what exactly happened?" she asked.
"I picked you up, got you drunk and we had sex basically." I said.
"And you think a grovelling apology will lead to a repeat performance?" she enquired.
"No, it's worse than that, I thought." I continued
"What?" she said "Tell me."
"It's my sister," I said, "She said Charlie got her hooked on drugs and."
"What's that got to do with me?" she asked.
"I'm sorry," I said.
"For what?" she asked.
"I got you drunk and." I said.
"We had sex, so," she said.
"I pretended that I was your Taxi," I explained, "Then when we got to your place I made you drink more, you didn't want to, then I stripped you and took you upstairs and had sex, that was rape wasn't it, I raped you, I'm sorry."
"Right, I had no idea." she said quietly, "Oh fuck, I could be dead, couldn't I?" she asked rhetorically.
"Or hooked on Heroin if I had adopted plan A." I agreed.
"You're scaring me." she said quietly, "Why did you take me to my home?"
"You were very insistent with the directions." I explained.
"I can be very insistent," she admitted, "Bossy I think is the word you were looking for."
"You're taking this very calmly." I suggested.
"I, I suppose I am," she agreed, "But this is very new to me and I don't really know what to say," she said, "But at least I know, it explains why it was so strange waking up and finding you there, and having you, you know."
"I didn't force you." I explained.
"I suppose not," she said, "It was good, then you spoilt it, by being nasty."
"Can you forgive me?" I asked,
"Perhaps," she offered "If you explain everything to Poppy, my girlfriend, you owe me that at least."
"Yes, of course," I agreed and I asked, "Have you eaten?" .
"It's three O'clock you fool!" she said, "but no I'll get you something at my place."
I drove her to the University, we parked some way from her lodgings, and walked the last few hundred yards, the lodging house was a large Victorian Villa subdivided into individual bed-sitting rooms, and it seemed Lucinda and Poppy had a room each, because she checked her own room and then went to find Poppy, and soon we were sitting around discussing things.
"This is Ryan," Lucinda introduced me..
"Right, it didn't take long did it?" Poppy announced, "I slept with your brother, I'm sorry right, I was drunk, ok."
"I sort of did the same to Lucinda." I explained.
"Oh good that's all right then!" Poppy said sarcastically.
"I don't think she knew about you and Charles." I said, "Charles told me about you but."
"You and Charles?" Lucinda said, "oh gosh, that is ah."
"What, exactly?" Poppy asked pointedly.
"Look" I explained, "I came to reassure you that Lucinda and I was a one off, she loves you."