Jack and the Rollercoaster Ch. 02byKezza67©
Chapter two - Becky returns
A few months later, and I was enjoying my new life. Not at first I have to say. The old routine of getting out of bed at six-thirty in the morning, showering, shaving and getting ready for a day's work was hard to break, and being honest I was quite depressed for a month or so. What we do, defines us as people, and I no longer had that definition. I adapted though, I started writing the novel that I had been thinking about for years. I decided on a complete makeover on my garden. I enjoy a garden, but I'm not too happy about working in one in all weathers. So I designed a minimum maintenance plot, that meant that I wouldn't need to spend hours keeping it tidy, weather notwithstanding, but I could go out and enjoy it when the weather was good. And I took to having at least a week away every month. In my job I had travelled widely in the UK, but always passing through on the way to another appointment. Now I could stop and look at the places I had previously passed through. What is it called? Stop and smell the Grass! I stopped, smelt the grass, and the coffee.
I re-joined the dance classes at the next beginners class, and found a partner there. She was a nice widowed lady called Elly. She was six inches shorter than me, and when she put on her dancing shoes with the three inch heel she came to just the right height. Her figure was slim with just the right amount of curves. Elly was another one bitten by the bug of 'Strictly come Dancing', and we danced together quite well. We would chat after the class, and she revealed a rather irreverent, quirky sense of humour. Over the weeks we did see each other outside of the classes, morning coffee, a couple of lunches, and one evening Dinner at a good Italian restaurant. But I realised, when we got to the kissing stage that although we got on well there was no spark. She realised that also.
"Jack, on all accounts you are a good catch. You look good, you take care of yourself and you are reasonably well off. Some women would jump at you and ignore the fact that the spark between you and her isn't there. They would just accept that they have security for life. I am not one of those women. I like you, but there isn't that buzz that tells me to get my knickers off and do rude things with you, and for me there has to be that buzz. I had that with my husband, and we did things together which couldn't be printed in any newspaper I can tell you. So if you have no objection, let's continue dancing together and not try and turn this into something it will never be." I understood that and agreed, although the devil in me would have liked to know more about what she got up to with her husband. However she did tell me about a couple of other ladies at the class, who it seemed would be quite happy to accommodate me in any position. She was right about them too!
One of my ex-colleagues, Brian, called me one day. He had taken over part of my area. He told me that he had tried to contact Becky to show her some new ranges, and had spoken to her husband.
"Well, her ex-husband, Jack. Did you know that she was playing around?"
"Well I had an inkling, Brian." I wasn't going to give him the story, it would take too long. We chatted about things for a while, then he had to get to an appointment. I sat back thinking about his news. I have to say I was not surprised she was now divorced. I hoped that she had found what she was looking for. I knew from experience that looking for the rainbow was usually futile.
Time goes past quite quickly when you are enjoying what you do and my writing was going well. The novel was about a young lady who was searching for her roots. It was set in the West Country, and involved a railway that had been closed years before. I had been told that if you want to write, write about something you know. Well I knew the West Country, and I knew about the old railways. I understood that I had set myself a challenge, telling the story from a woman's point of view. It was in some way a Rites of Passage novel as well. Would it ever be published? I doubt it, but that wasn't the ambition. I was writing for myself, for the sheer pleasure of putting this story; that had been in my mind for years; down on paper. To alleviate the periodic spells of writers block I started writing short stories as well, the problem was that they then took over and it was the novel which went on the back burner. It got to the point where I hated being interrupted, so I was not best pleased one day when the phone rang.
I didn't recognise the number as it was a mobile number. I picked up the phone and said.
"Jack. It's Becky." Her voice sounded tentative, as if she wasn't sure of the reception she would get.
"Hi, Becky. How are you these days."
"I'm fine, Jack. But more important, how are you? I hear that you have retired."
"Yeah. Official layabout now. What's happening with you?"
"I've got this job now with an Estate Agent. It's going well."
"I'm pleased to hear that. I know that you and Tom are divorced, are you with that chap you were seeing?"
"I'd would have sawdust for brains if I were. No, Jack he was only in it as long as he was getting me into bed for quickies. As soon as my marriage blew up you couldn't see him for dust."
"I'm sorry to hear that Becky. You deserved better."
"Only someone as nice as you Jack, would say that. You deserved to be treated better than I did. Jack I'm sorry about all of that. I lost a good friend."
"Water under the bridge, Becky."
"Jack! Can I come and see you?"
"Yes, of course. When would be convenient?"
"I'm sitting in my car about half a mile from you. Would now be an imposition?"
"Come right round. I'll put the coffee on."
"Jack, you're a star. See you in five." And so Becky walked back into my life.
I opened the door for her and she came in looking better than I had ever seen her. The weight loss had done her good. Her hair had highlights I hadn't seen before, and she was wearing a blouse with waistcoat over that, and a pair of black leather trousers that looked moulded to her thighs and legs. She gave me a wide smile and kissed me on the cheek.
"It's great to see you again."
"Becky It's good to see you, but if I don't say anything for a minute, it's because I am trying to get over how good you look." If the smile could get wider it would have.
"Thank you, Jack. An old girl like me needs a little encouragement now and again." Old girl? She couldn't be more than forty four I reckoned. We walked into the lounge and I suggested she sit down.
"That's if you can in those trousers." She laughed.
"I can sit down in them, Jack. It's getting them off that's the problem." Now I was not sure if that was innuendo or not. I decided to treat it as not.
"Still take your coffee the same way?" I asked. "Black with cold water added?" She looked at me in surprise.
"Becky I don't have all that many gorgeous women in my life. Of course I remember." I made the coffee, and I could hear Becky wandering about. Woman do that, they look at your furnishings and the ornaments, as if they can discern your character from them. I brought the coffee in.
"You've changed things here."
"Yes. When I retired I decided on quite a few changes, so I had the whole of the house done, and some new curtains. Had to get them whilst my credit was still there with the old company you know."
"It's looks good. I would have done it for you, you know." I shrugged my shoulders.
"May have been difficult for us both." She nodded.
"Yes, you're probably right. Why did you retire? You're nowhere near sixty five."
"Well I worked things out, and reckoned I could manage well enough on my investments and decided that there was more to life than working." I didn't say anything about the Premium Bond win. She nodded agreeing with me. She took a deep breath. I thought for a moment that the waistcoat would pop a button. She did have a very generous bust.
"I wanted to say I'm sorry, Jack." I was about to say it didn't matter when she went on. "I know what you were going to say, but it does matter. I was being a silly bitch at the time. I hurt Tom badly, and I involved you in something without your agreement. I never thought it through and I shudder now to think that you could have lost your job because of my selfish actions. No wonder my life became shit, just so I could get fucked by someone. If I had any sense I should have chosen you to be my lover." I was temporarily struck dumb. Becky looked at me and started to laugh.
"Don't be surprised, Jack. It could have been you know, if it wasn't for the fact that I was your customer. I knew enough about you to know that you wouldn't have gone down that route."
"Well thanks for thinking of me that way." Becky had that look on her face. I knew the next question would be difficult.
"Didn't you ever think of me that way?"
"Yes, but I liked our friendship, it meant a lot. Experience tells me that making a lover out of a friend oft loses both lover and friend."
"Are you still dancing, Jack?"
"Still going every week, yes."
"You must be good by now." I laughed.
"No, Becky. I can get round the floor without too many mistakes, but that's about it."
"I don't believe you. You seemed to pick up the steps so quickly."
"At first there aren't too many steps to learn, now they are throwing new steps at us every week. They are also insisting that we do the Samba, Rumba, and the Ballroom Jive. Too much for me. My brain has gone to mush now, can't keep it all in my head."
"Oh, so you wouldn't want to dance with me once more." I was shaking my head, believing that she wanted to go back to dancing classes. So I mentioned.
"Well actually I was thinking of stopping going to the classes."
"No, Jack. Not classes. I need a partner for a Ball I have to go to. It's work related, Dinner, speeches and dancing to a live band. It will be very posh. Long Frocks and Dinner jackets. It would be nice to be able to get round the floor with someone who knows what they're doing. It would be my treat."
"Come on Becky. You must have plenty of guys you could ask."
"Possibly, but none that know how to behave in that situation, and certainly none that could waltz me round the floor, and I know you can certainly do that."
That deserved some thought. The idea of going to a proper dance with a band had haunted me for some time. It was great to go and learn how to dance, but there was nowhere nowadays to actually go and dance. The ballrooms had either been turned into Bingo Clubs, or torn down to be replaced by offices or housing. Anywhere else there was live music, it was modern, Rap, Garage, not my cup of tea, nor suitable for a couple to do any kind of ballroom dance. Then again there was the chance to admire Becky in a Long gown, I would imagine she would look fabulous. But! And there's always a but. There was still a little hurt about how she had used me. OK I had inferred that it didn't matter. At the same time I had to consider that Becky may be trying to use me again. Forewarned is forearmed I decided. I would go, but keep my senses alive for any hint of duplicity.
"When is this dance, Becky?"
"It's in two weeks time Friday the twenty-second. Please say yes, Jack."
"OK. I shall look forward to it." Becky was very happy.
"Oh thanks. We should have a good evening."
We chatted on the phone a couple of times, making arrangements. I insisted that I would pick Becky up. I was not really a drinking man, so to go without alcohol apart from a glass of wine, would be no problem for me. Whereas I knew that Becky liked to have a drink. She had given me her address, and I told her I would be there by seven for her. I looked the address up on the internet, and was a little surprised. I knew the town where she lived, and her address was not a good area at all. On the Friday I picked up my hired Dinner Jacket suit.
I got to her just before seven and Becky was ready. I could see she had a long dress on, but couldn't tell you what it was like as she wore a coat as well. When we came out I headed towards the silver Mercedes. Becky was confused until I flipped the remote and the lights flashed.
"Bloody Hell, Jack, a Merc?".
"Well I am glad I was ready. If you leave that sort of car around here for longer than ten minutes, the wheels would be gone. Leave it longer and the whole car would have gone!" I held the door for her as she got in.
"I always knew you were a gentleman, Jack. Thank you."
The venue was a Country Club about seven miles away. Becky left her coat at the cloak-room. She was a vision! A lovely dress in Celadon Green that worked perfectly with her Dark brown hair. The front was cut into a low 'V' displaying her cleavage enhanced by a bra which pushed those generous mounds up and together. She was overwhelming but I have to say that for the most part the Ball was underwhelming. The food was edible, but catering for three hundred people who all sat down at the same time was going to challenge most kitchens, and the speeches after were the usual self congratulating, and grovelling stuff. Perhaps if I had known the people it may have been better. There was a hiatus after the meal, as all the tables had to be re-arranged to clear the floor for dancing. People held drinks and mingled and chatted whilst this happened. Becky was in her element, she introduced me as her friend holding onto my arm tightly as if to suggest that there was more than friendship there. I chatted with many of those to whom I had been introduced. Once a salesman, always a salesman, you never get out of the habit. However Becky was quite particular in who she talked to. The light flashed on in my head. She was networking! Becky was looking for another job. Giving the impression that she was in stable relationship may help. I was being used again. I quickly sussed who was the target. His name was Richard Ewing. I knew of his business, one of the largest Estate Agencies in the whole county, with links to a nationwide organisation. He dealt, not just in residential, but commercial and industrial as well. Oh well Becky had targeted the right man.
I got to chat with Richard as well. He was polite but cold. I doubted that I would have liked him, getting this undercurrent from him that he viewed people as commodities, use and throw away. He had obviously decided that I was of little use to him and could be ignored. I thought I would have to warn Becky, she was angling for the big fish, and may find she had caught a Shark.
At long last the floor was clear and the band started to play. We found a table and brought our drinks over. I was on sparkling water, Becky was drinking Vodka and Coke. There were few couples who dared to dance at first, so I said to Becky.
"It would look good for you if you were amongst the first to dance. Shall we?" The look I got could have been apprehension about dancing, or it could have been that she realised that I had discovered her purpose. Whatever, telling her that it would look good for her, firmed her mind. She nodded.
"Yes, let's." As we took our position I muttered.
"Remember, you follow, I lead." She grinned, and we went into hold. It may have been three years, but she hadn't forgotten the first thing we were taught. Her left hand rested lightly on my right upper arm, and her head turned away slightly. It was the perfect frame for ballroom dancing. Thankfully it was a Waltz, just about the easiest of the ballroom dances, and she did follow me, even through the Spin turn and through the Whisk. "Well done." I whispered.
"Don't get anymore complicated than that for the moment, please Jack." The floor was filling up now so there was little chance of doing anything flashy.
After we got back to our table. Becky was delighted with herself. "Jack that was great. I had thought I would struggle, yet when you went through those steps I followed you and it was easy-peasy. You are a good dancer you know."
"Shall we try the Quickstep next? They're bound to play one soon." Becky was dubious about that, then decided.
"Yes. If we do just the basic until I have found my feet." I agreed, and so it was. We got out again as the band played a Quickstep, and after getting round the floor once, Becky said to try some of the more complicated steps. Again the Spin turn was easy as it's so similar to the Waltz, but it was me that messed up when we went for the Change step. That got Becky laughing, so we did it again with no mistake. I then went for the Lock step, and she sailed through.
Bands don't play for the Fox-Trot much, as so few people can do it properly. Most do a slow Quickstep instead. But tonight the band did play a Fox-Trot. It was Moonlight Serenade, one of the most beautiful tunes to dance to. Becky refused. "I was only going to those classes long enough to have just two lessons on the Fox trot. I would mess up completely, I know." Just then a lady approached our table. She addressed Becky.
"I noticed you haven't got up to dance the Fox-Trot. Would you mind if I asked your escort to dance it with me. I noticed that he is one of the few here who can dance properly." Becky smiled.
"Of course not." I looked at Becky.
"If you don't mind?"
"No go ahead, Jack. It will be nice to see you dancing." I took the Lady's hand and we went on the floor. I have to say that this lady knew how to dance. I felt like a beginner. But we got through. We stayed out for the next tune, another Fox-Trot. There were very few couples left on the floor now. I took her into the Reverse Heel turn and Weave, then a little later the Check and Weave. She followed me perfectly, and said,
"I was right, you do dance well."
"Oh by the way, I am Jack." I said by way of an introduction. She smiled.
"Sheila." She was a little older than me, and judging by the necklace, and the rock on her finger was married to a wealthy man. It concerned me when she asked questions about who I was, and how long I had known Becky. I must have answered the questions satisfactorily as all of a sudden she smiled and stopped asking. The reason was revealed when I escorted her back to her table. She was Richard Ewing's wife! He looked up as if I was an intrusion, but had to recognise me as his wife took her seat next to him.
"Thank you for dancing with my wife, eh..." Sheila whispered in his ear. "Jack. You danced well."
"Thank you eh...Richard." I could play him at that game.
Returning to Becky I could see that she was excited.
"Do you know who that woman was?"
"Yes. It was Richard Ewing's wife. She dances well, I must say. Much better than I." Becky looked a little disappointed, as I had stolen her thunder, but she cheered up when we went back out on the floor to dance again.
"Bugger!" She exclaimed.
"Bugger what? Bugger who?" I queried. She laughed.
"Just Bugger. I really like dancing with you, Jack. And if I hadn't been so stupid back then, we could be out on this floor making peoples eyes pop. And I would have done the Fox-Trop with you. That music was so romantic. Why do I bugger everything up?" She asked herself plaintively.
We stayed until the band decided that their time was up. I drove Becky home. When we got to her place she didn't get out of the car immediately. Instead she turned to me and stunned me. "Jack, I intended to ask you if you would like to stay with me tonight. But I couldn't ask you now as your car may not be here in the morning. Can I come to your house?" Now what do you answer? Be too casual and it appears as if you don't fancy her. Be effusive and you seem like you're desperate. I certainly wasn't going to turn her down.
"Becky, if my car was stolen I would still feel it was worth it, for having the pleasure of you." Old silver tongue, that's me. Becky laughed.