Fulsom Desirae Kerry Marie Katalina Verdin Kayla Kleevage Linsey Dawn McKenzie Nadine Jensen Tina Small Yulia Nova Zena Fulsom For download the pics, click with the right mouse button-RELATED TO THE TINA SMALL COLLECTOR,THE TINA SMALL REPORTER AND TINA SMALL CHRONICLES.
Titanic Tina Aka Tina Small -ultra top heavy model-1980's Blond With 83 Inch Bosom real
Tina Small Collector Wiki
Big busted British Model
BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY
First Edition 1986
Wherever she may be
This is a true story. Some of the locations and names have been changed in order to protect the guilty.
I never ever imagined that I’d be asked to write an autobiography, and I confess that the idea makes me feel a little weak in the knees. The idea isn’t a new one because my friend and photographer John Xavier has been asking me to write my life story for about the past two years. Every time we meet, whether it’s for a modelling session or a friendly chat over a cup of Earl Grey, he can’t resist bringing up the subject. I remember the first occasion quite clearly. We’d been out in the woods at a chosen secluded spot where the two of us had worked hard all afternoon in not specially good light conditions to get the shots that John had in mind. I was sitting down amongst some ferns trying to pull on my T-shirt and he looked down at me with a sort of halfamused, half-serious expression on his face and said: "Tina, you’re unique. You know there probably isn’t another woman on the planet with a body as extraordinary as yours. You’ve got a story to tell. With my camera I can show you to the world, but only you can tell us all what it’s been like to be you."
That was the first time. You see, when I’m doing a modelling session with John, for once in my life I don’t feel odd or different. I feel special, and that’s not quite the same. Our relationship is a fine one because it’s so simple and uncomplicated. We’re just two people, two friends together. It’s only when I walk down the street, or do some shopping, or get on a bus that I suddenly become out of the ordinary. I’ve grown used to stares, people nudging each other and pretending not to look, the daft comments. Over the years I’ve learned to join in with the laughter which is the next reaction after the wide eyes. People notice me.
Now if I’d chosen to be different, say I’d had hormone treatment or plastic surgery to make my body the way it is, then it wouldn’t be the same. No, my breasts are the ones God gave me. I’m unusual because I was meant to be that way.
At first, although I realized that my story would be different, I didn’t take John’s suggestion seriously. I didn’t think I could do it. The simple fact is that my breasts are so large that to sit and write comfortably I have to have them hanging in my lap. If I wear a bra and sit at a desk, I can barely see to write properly. But it wasn’t just the physical side of writing that put me off, (as John said, I could always use a dictaphone), I was nervous that it might turn out all wrong. I didn’t want to make a fool of myself.
But John wouldn’t give in. I just kept on and on finding excuses why I couldn’t or shouldn’t do it. I finally gave in and said yes when he told me that he’d received almost six thousand letters from admirers in Britain and the US who’d wanted to hear my story in my own words. How could I say no again? And I must admit the business of actually sitting down and writing a book is an adventure.
And so this story is dedicated to you all, my friends. To the curious, the astonished, the lustful, but above all, the loving. Read on and hear the story of Christina Jane Small.
I’ve been sitting in this waiting room all night. I’m hot and sticky and very tired. And this sleazy creep with greasy hair keeps giving me the wink as he stares at my breasts. If eyes were mouths he’d have devoured my entire bust a good hour ago and left me hot, sticky, tired and flat-chested.
A doctor came in a while ago. I thought he was going to give me some news the way he fixed his attention on me when he came in. But he wanted someone else. For a moment there I had the feeling he was going to come up to me and say "It’s all over now, little girl, your mother’s gone. There’s no more pain for her. Your job’s over. After years of doing almost everything for her, you can relax. You did your best. She’s at peace now." And the feeling I had when I listened to the imaginings of my own mind was one of sheer relief, a feeling of lightness and freedom. And guilt. How could I possibly be so overjoyed at the death of my own mother?
I look around the waiting room. I’m a mess of all kinds of mixed emotions and doctors and nurses keep walking past and they don’t know. They can’t imagine what it’s like. They can’t begin to understand what it’s like to be a slave the way I’ve been a slave. To be a slave to illness and impending death. And to be a slave to my own physical anomoly a bust that should belong to a girl three times my size.
But she’s going to go. The doctor who examined her when we came in the ambulance told me at once that there was very little hope that she’d survive this heart attack, her second. It’s awful. I just feel so numb. Like a shell full of conflicting feelings all seething around within me. How is life going to be without Mum? She can’t go!
And yet I can feel that she will. She mustn’t leave me! But she wants to go. Poor Mum! And there’s a part of me that almost wants her to go because she’ll finally find some peace. For the past two years she’s been saying that she hated imposing on my life the way she did. But she’s my mother! Oh God. How can someone just disappear? One day they’re there, alive, eating, talking, smiling, laughing, suffering, and then suddenly they’re gone. Vanished. I can’t bear it. How can a person just stop existing? And yet all the time I knew deep down it had to happen.
Look at that greasy ape over there. How in heaven’s name can he just sit there leering at me at a time like this? Chewing gum and grinning all over his face. This just isn’t real. I’m dreaming all this. But no, it isn’t a dream. All this is actually happening. "Miss Small. Please come into the office. I’m so sorry, but I must talk to you in private.
It’s the doctor who came in the ambulance. He’s a good man. But...yes, it’s over. She’s free. I’m free. And I’m alone. Where’s she gone?
"Miss Small, I’m afraid I’ve got to tell you that your mother’s gone. She died five minutes ago. We did absolutely everything we could to save her... Do you understand what I’m saying miss? Please sit down. Nurse, please bring the young lady a cup of tea, quickly. Now, do you have any relatives who can be with you at this time? Believe me, I do know how this feels for you. As a doctor I’ve seen death many times before. But this has happened to me too. I might wear a mask and a white coat but I’m just a human. Now just sit down Miss Small. Sister! Could you please take care of this young lady? Ask her if there’s anyone she’d like you to telephone. See to it that she gets home all right."
The sister came over to speak to me.
"Now just you sit down lassie. Yes, I’ll ring this number for you. Is this a relative? Ah no, a friend. Now you just sit down and let those tears come. That’s it, cry, cry wee girlie, your mummy’s gone. She’s gone, but there’s no pain where she is now, no pain at all."
The following week passed in a haze for me. All this took place on a Saturday. On Thursday Mum’s body was cremated. I spent a complete week staying with Paul and his wife Jenny, two friends. There were only about ten of us at the funeral. It was awful seeing that coffin with her body in it just disappearing but when it was over I felt I could face the truth. The ceremony was just a kind of full stop. The big full stop at the end of the book so to speak. Paul and Jenny were so kind. They let me talk and allowed the whole of their week to revolve round me. Jenny even shared Paul’s and her bed with me every night until the funeral, Paul sleeping in their guest room. I’ve never been treated so kindly. After that all that remained for the three of us to do was to go back to the house and clear out Mum’s things. I’m going to keep some of the possessions she loved best. She’d asked me to. We’d spoken about this many times before she went. I’d made up my mind to sell the house as soon as I could but until then I wanted most of her things taken away. Jenny had said that she’d take care of that. I just couldn’t bear seeing her shoes by the chair next to her bed and her toothbrush and toiletries in the bathroom. It was good to have friends at a time like that. I really don’t know how I would have managed without
I decided to start my story near the end because as you’ll find out later Mother played a very big part in the story of my life up to the present day. A whole lot of water’s flowed under the bridge since she died and some of it was pretty bubbly. Now I’m going to begin at the very beginning and tell you page by page about how I came to be the person I am today.
I was born on September 10th 1959 in a little village in Somerset. I won’t mention the name because everyone there knows me. (It would be hard to miss me!) I need and cherish my privacy and much as I’d love to meet all my readers I feel that it’s best that my whereabouts stay a secret to the world.
I was born a twin. My sister Deborah Louise, whom I can just remember, died just before our fourth birthday. I can clearly remember my bewilderment when my father told me that Debbie had "gone away" and wouldn’t ever be coming back again. I sensed that there was something strange and final about the event from the stiff and solemn way in which my father told me about it. Initially, the strangest thing was spending the nights alone. They took Debbie’s bed out of our little room and told me that she’d said that I could have all her toys and clothes. To me that seemed very odd. We’d often fought over teddies, dolls and other
Soon after this I remember coming in from the garden and finding a beautiful wooden rocking horse with a mane and tail made of real hair. His nostrils were flame red and he was painted dapple grey. His eyes were big, black, and made of glass. He was just like a real horse. They’d put him on the spot where Debbie’s bed had been. It was love at first sight and I christened him Derek.
Debbie’s disappearance didn’t have a very prolonged effect on me. In fact, heartless as this may seem, I think I practically forgot her completely the moment I first set eyes on Derek. Derek was my introduction to the equestrian world and ever since then I’ve been a friend of horses. Derek had reins, a saddle made of real leather and a sort of hinged rocking mechanism which Dad had to oil every week as I spent endless hours rocking contentedly on his back.
My father’s role in the story of my life turned out to be only a little longer than Debbie’s. He left us only a few days before my fifth birthday. An event which I shall never forget. He came home drunk, staggered over Derek who was standing in the hall and broke him to bits. Even to this day I can’t fathom out how he managed to damage my pet irreparably. But he did.Poor Derek lasted barely a year. And my Dad had just upped and gone.
As I grew older I began to question Mum about him and she filled me in on some of the details of his life so although I haven’t seen him for over twenty years I have a pretty good
picture of the man he was.
My Dad liked a drink. His full name was Sydney Beauregarde Small and Mum told me that his great great-grandfather, on his mother’s side had emigrated from Belgium to England many years before. The old man was a weaver and it was in honour of this French speaking branch of the family that Dad had been given his funny middle name. Beauregarde means good looking and judging by the photos Mum showed me that’s just what he was. She told me that practically every girl within a ten mile radius had been in love with him at some time. But Mum was the one that hooked him, for all the good it did her.
Although Dad was a drinker, a gambler and a no-good who bust up my favourite toy I still have some good memories of the man. He always used to pick me up and sit me on his knee when he arrived home from work. I can still recall the warm smell of whiskey on his breath and the way he used to lean his head back on the chair and doze when he’d tired of chatting to me. He was a salesman for a firm which made toilet paper. Despite his boozing he was good at his job and pretty soon he became an area manager which led to him spending days at a time away from home.
I can remember that Mum and Dad used to quarrel a lot. One night he came home particularly late and I heard shouts coming from downstairs. I got out of bed and went to the top of the stairs and looking down I could see a man s figure with its head completely wrapped in bandages. The face was Dad’s. Mum told me years afterwards that he’d spent the evening boozing with some friends and on the way home he’d skidded his car into the ditch. His head had gone straight through the windscreen. The doctors had shaved his head completely and put 35 stitches in his scalp!
It wasn’t long after this incident that Dad disappeared from my life forever. Like me he had a love of horses. The only difference being that the only ones which interested him were the ones in The Sporting Life. He just couldn’t stay out of the bookmakers. One day, as Mum told me, he placed the whole of his month’s wages on a fourteen to one runner at York called
"Beauregarde’s Fancy", (he was superstitious too!). It came last.
I think Dad left home because he was ashamed of what he’d done. He might even have taken out some of his fury on Derek for all I know. It’s hard to imagine Derek, almost in splinters, being the result of a drunken fall.
Mum didn’t tell me that Dad had gone for good. I can remember her looking tired and puffy round the eyes and when I asked her where he was she told me that he was visiting a friend. After a while I asked again but she seemed distant and almost annoyed by my questions. I didn’t dare ask again. I think my childish intuition had already understood the truth but it took me years before I finally let go of him. Even when I was seven and my schoolmates asked me about my father I used to say that he was "visiting a friend".
I’m sure that Mum was pretty lonely after this and it made her rather withdrawn. This in turn made me feel lonely too. One solace I remember was the fact that a short time after he’d gone, Mum asked me if I’d like to come and sleep in their big double bed. It was nice to wake up in the morning and snuggle up close to her big warm body.
Once during the summer holidays I was sent to Hampshire to stay with my grandmother for a month. My grandparents lived in a rambling three-story house near the station. They had two dogs, two Siamese cats and a rabbit.
I was six at the time and it was then that I had my first love affair. The object of my devotion was a six-year-old boy by the name of Peter James Allan Spencer and he was the son of a local vet. He was an adventurous lad and I can remember how we used to climb onto a motor-bike which the owner used to park behind his house and take ton-up tours of the country. We also used to get into parked cars, take turns at the wheel and hold hands in the back seat.
One day though, we went too far. He stole a fivepound note from a filling station next door to his house and the two of us went on a shopping spree in the town. In 1965 five pounds was a small fortune and when my grandmother finally found us, (we’d discarded our shoes on the spree), we were wandering barefoot through the streets laden with toys of all descriptions and enough sweets to give an elephant toothache.
After an initial bawling-out from my grandmother I thought the incident had been forgotten. I was mistaken. The day after, while Peter and I were playing in his garden, Mum, who’d come up from Somerset to take me home, came and said that there was a visitor who wanted to meet us back at my grandmother’s. We hurried back eagerly asking questions and were confronted by a six-foot tall policeman with his helmet under his arm and a notebook in his hand. I really thought I was going to be sent to prison. So did Peter who started blubbing halfway through telling the policeman his Christian names. We were let off with what I understood as being a suspended sentence after asking for several other offences to be taken into consideration. (We’d also eaten a bar of chocolate which we’d found in a parked car).
There wasn’t much point in denying it because Peter had left his toy tractor engraved with his name and address on the back seat!
The very next day we were back on the motor-bike only this time we succeeded in knocking it over and smashing the mirrors. For this crime his mum whipped our bottoms with a dog lead. That was the end of our romance as I went back to Somerset the next day. I think we’d have finished up in a heap of trouble if our engagement had continued.
Back home in Somerset I didn’t have any real friendships. After Debbie’s "disappearance" and Dad’s "holiday with friends" I think I became a bit shy about making any new connections. Not to mention Derek’s demise. I’d kept one of his eyes and his tail in a drawer as a sad reminder of his awful fate. I didn’t have any friends so all I could do under the circumstances was to invent one. My invention turned out to be Geoffrey the Gronk.
Geoffrey was about three feet tall with short stubby legs, a trunk with a magic zip up it and a head which consisted almost exclusively of teeth. He had eyes like a crocodile and a nose which consisted of two little holes just above his mouth. Geoffrey was my closest confidant. I told him everything and we spent many hours beneath the apple tree in our garden which was his home. He could appear and disappear at will by using his magic zip. If he pulled it down he could disappear by turning inside-out. And by pulling it up again he would reappear. When I wanted to talk to him all I needed to do was to touch the apple tree and he would materialize from thin air. Needless to say, with a head that was ninety percent teeth, his voice was rather odd. His nostrils made a sort of whistling noise when he pronounced his S’s and his tongue was so big and clumsy that the rest of his speech wasn’t very clear either. But I understood every word he said.
He told me that when I reached my eleventh birthday he would disappear because Gronks weren’t allowed to have any dealing with adult humans. But until then nothing could come between us. All I had to do was call and he’d stop whatever he was doing and come. Geoffrey told me all about the magical world from which he’d come. In his world time didn’t exist, he said. It was something that we humans had made up as an excuse to wear watches. Where he came from there weren’t any tomorrow’s or yesterdays, there was only now. This puzzled me a lot and when I asked him if that was the case how could he remember words or events, he told me that I’d never be able to grasp it with my mind.
"You humans hasss to think in straight linesss you know. Now a Gronk don’t think like that. Actually sssssssss a Gronk don’t have to think whatsoever. Thinkingss a sssssort of activity what we never hasss to bother with. We just knowsss it Tina. We just knowsss."
His wisdom astounded me and his advice was always right. He could even predict the future. This I discovered by accident when he happened to mention one morning that Mum would be baking rhubarb crumble for our Sunday lunch. It was only later that I realized what he’d done and when I told him about it later he seemed almost embarrassed about it. I asked him to do it again many times but he always refused.
As far as other humans were concerned I did have what might, for want of a better word, be called a friendship with a girl called Sandra Knotting. She lived a few doors down the street and had a huge and interesting garden. In the garden was her most prized possession; a large rusty mangle. Her enchantment with this ancient object puzzled me slightly but later I began to understand.
After tea she suggested that we should try a bit of paddling in the stream. We took off our shoes and socks and within minutes Sandra had caught a little fish with her bare hands. She put the fish in ajar of water and then proceeded to stalk a newt which she soon had wriggling about in the jar too. Having done this she leapt up onto the bank and gleefully shouted to me to come and watch. Imagine my disgust as she began feeding the fish through the rollers of the mangle. I can still see the expression on her face as she did it; the tip of her tongue between her teeth and her eyes almost popping out of her head. Sandra later went on to become a physiotherapist. I could hardly swallow my supper that evening.
During these early years I went to the village primary school where there were about 150 other children. I enjoyed reading and writing and once I played the part of the Virgin Mary in the nativity play. Of course I was blissfully ignorant of the surprises that my body had in store for me. And although I didn’t feel that I was anything out of the ordinary I still kept very much to myself. This was a pattern which was destined to continue for quite a few years to come.
My eleventh year was a year of big changes for me. I began attending the girls’ secondary school in the town four miles away. This was a kind of outward upheaval in my sheltered existence. Apart from this, things had begun to change fast for me in a much more personal way. My breasts had begun to develop.
The first signs of this were just the same for me as for other girls entering puberty; an enlarging of the nipples and a gradual swelling of the tissues in the breast areas. The big difference was that with me things went so fast. The first signs of approaching womanhood had begun when I was ten. By the time I was nearing twelve I was wearing a DD size bra, (which for those of you who don’t understand bras is the largest cup available). My breasts just grew and grew. And when they’d done that, they went on growing. Mum had to buy me fourteen bras in the space of a year. Every time she thought each one would be the last, but oh how wrong she was!
By the time that I was ready to begin at the new school my feelings about the phenomenal growth of my appendages were mixed. Some of the local boys had expressed fascination and I felt a little flattered by this. Mum on the other hand seemed to be getting quite concerned. I was only eleven and a half and in every other respect I was perfectly normally shaped, perhaps even a bit skinny, but already my breasts were bigger than hers and were showing signs of getting even more voluptuous.
Mum was very reticent when it came to the question of explaining about sex to me and because I’d kept much to myself at school I hadn’t heard the accounts from the other kids about how babies came to the world. I’d never even thought of asking myself why boys and girls were different. Believe it or not, I was so innocent that I didn’t have the faintest idea how a man was made from the waist down. I’d never set eyes on a naked male torso of any age!
Matters came to a head one day when Mum got so bewildered by my already mountainous and still increasing bosom that she decided to take me to see the doctor. Doctor Terpilowski was a warm-hearted, humorous old Pole who was nearing the end of his career. He’d come to Britain during the war and had been a GP in our village ever since. One morning Mum and I went along to the surgery.
When my turn came, the two of us were ushered into his consulting room. I was getting cold feet and was embarrassed to the extent that I would rather have run away than display myself in front of him. When we entered, the doctor looked up from his notes, stood up and beckoned us to take a seat.
"Vell Mrs Small. How nice to see you again! Ah, and you too Christina. How you are growing! Now, please tell me, vot is this problem you are having?"
He sat down again, smiled and pushed his wire rimmed spectacles back onto his brow. Mum began. "Er, well doctor. I don’t know quite how to explain this to you. It’s Tina, well er ...it s sort of... I mean she just keeps on getting bigger and bigger...and..."
"But ziss is all a perfectly normal state of affairs I sink. Do you not sink so too Mrs Small?"
"I don’t think you’ve understood quite what I mean doctor. It’s not Tina... I mean it’s not all of her...it’s just her...her bust. It’s getting out of control."
"Out of control!" The doctor raised his eyebrows and repeated himself. "Out of control! But ve can in no vay allow ziss bust to get out of control!" He laughed in a very Polish way and went on. "Christina my dear! Now I vont you to explain to me vot is all ziss about."
I was practically struck dumb with the embarrassment of the whole situation. It was only then that I really began to look upon myself as some kind of a freak. I couldn’t bring myself to say a word. Mum spoke for me:-
"It’s her breasts, doctor. They just keep on and on growing and I just don’t know what to do about it!"
The doctor scratched his head.
"Now Christina. I vont for you now to please take off your blouse so zat I can examine zese sings. Please. I am far from doing you harm."
The warmth of the old man’s tone persuaded me so I stood up and did what was asked of me. Standing there, naked from the waist upward I looked up at the doctor. He looked at me, then at my breasts, took a long deep breath and swallowed.
"Yes...yes... I see vot you mean."
He stretched out his hand to touch my left breast and stopped short. Thrusting both hands into the pockets of his jacket he turned on his heel and said.
"Now Christina. I vont you to lie down on ze couch and zen I am going to examine zese er...zese. Please."
I obeyed. The doctor then began squeezing my breasts with his hands, feeling each of them all over. He even took the nipples and squeezed them between his fingers. My utter confusion was compounded by the fact that it actually felt nice. I was blushing to the roots of my hair. The doctor stood up, cleared his throat and turned to Mum.
"Mrs Small. So far as I can see Christina’s breasts are normal. Zere is no sign of any malformation or ozer abnormality. Zey are just large. Indeed zey are very large... I hope zat I am reassuring you in ziss matter."
Mum thanked the doctor and we returned home. During the whole consultation I hadn’t been able to utter a single syllable. I think Mum was somewhat reassured. I on the other hand had never before felt so acutely aware of the growths on my chest. I’d started to feel like an oddity. It marked the beginning of a long battle between me and my tits. In retrospect I can laugh at the events of those years. I’ve learned to accept myself now and like myself just as I am. But it didn’t come easy.
It was only a few weeks after our consultation with the doctor that I had to have my first tailor-made brassiere sewn. Mum found a lady corsetier to make it and she’s made my bras for me ever since.
My starting at the girls’ school is certainly worth telling you all about in detail. I certainly had to toughen up emotionally to become the person I am today and it was there that a lot of this toughening up took place.
In some ways the explosive growth of my tits was even more painful to my Mum than to me. I think she had more of a premonition of what I was going to have to go through than I did. On my first day at the new school, before I put on my new uniform, Mum took a long, wide crepe bandage and wound it quite tightly around my body to try to disguise the fact that I was so voluptuous. This fuss served of course to make me even more self- conscious about my body.
I took the bus into school feeling more like a barrel than a young lady. But no-one really paid any attention and once at the school I became so absorbed in the exciting new atmosphere, the new faces and the new routines that I hardly had a moment to think about myself.
We were introduced to mysterious new concepts like physics and biology. Arithmetic became "maths" and during that first week we were issued with about twenty new textbooks on a mass of different subjects. French, geometry, history, all of them were new and thrilling. Every day I came home with new books which I proudly showed to Mum. A whole new world was opening up for me and for the first time in my life I began to think about what sort of a career I wanted to follow. One day I wanted to be a nurse, the next day a scientist, the next day an artist. After the first lesson in religion I came home and told Mum that I wanted to be a nun. My dream only lasted until the next French lesson when I decided after careful consideration that I’d be better as an air hostess. An ad on the TV had inspired this change of heart. As it was, things turned out very differently.
Aside from the novelties of learning there was also the fascination of watching the behaviour of some of the lipsticky young adulteresses in the senior classes. I can remember my amazement when I saw a girl of about sixteen being stopped in her tracks by a teacher in the corridor.
"Linda! Come here and let me look at you. You’re wearing eye-shadow aren’t you?"
"Come here! You are wearing eye-shadow. Now don’t lie to me. I want you to go and report to your form mistress at four o’clock. You are aware of the rules. And take that chewing gum out of your mouth!" The girl’s eyes blazed sullenly as the teacher continued her tirade "And button up your blouse! You are not parading yourself at the disco now!"
The teacher, who was wearing a black gown, wrinkled up her nose, pursed her lips and stalked off down the corridor, high heels clattering. The girl poked out a long red tongue behind her in salutation. This kind of insolence at authority was something totally new to me. All my childish concepts of the world were being shattered, remade, and shattered again. Life was moving fast.
Naturally enough, the presence of my breasts couldn’t go unnoticed indefinitely. My first gym lesson which took place in the second week was an experience I’ll never forget. My
absorption in the gloss of school life came to an abrupt halt when we had to undress and change for our first PE session. The gym mistress was a long-legged rangey female called Miss Johnson, taller and more muscular than most men. She had a habit of striding round the school in her gymslip showing off her bronzed thigh muscles. She wore a big stainless steel diver’s watch on
her right wrist.
"You girl. What’s your name?"
"Christina Small, Miss."
"Why in heaven’s name are you wearing that bandage? Are you ill?"
Never before or since in my life have I wished so devoutly that the ground could swallow me up than on this occasion. I’d purposely chosen a locker in the corner in a vain attempt to change unseen by anyone else. "Well child? Have you hurt
yourself? Answer me!"
"No miss." My voice stuck in my throat. "Well take it off then!"
By this time the whole class had turned their heads and in total silence I went through the anguish of unwinding the bandage and revealing my secrets to the assembled throng.
"My goodness, Christina. Now you are a big girl aren’t you?"
Miss Johnson took a step back and widened her eyes in mock surprise. I could feel the blood rushing to my face and in desperation I tried to cover up my breasts with my hands. I might just as well have tried to fly to the moon by flapping my arms up and down. There was a muffled giggle from one of the spectators. Then another. In seconds the whole class was falling about with Miss Johnson’s guffaw leading the chorus. I just stood there riveted to the spot, my insides in an uproar of shame, anger and tears which I refused to show for the mob around me.
I was determined to go through with the gym lesson however, and when the laughter eventually subsided I pulled on my T-shirt and went into the gym despite all the sidelong glances and unwanted attention I was being given.
Muscular Miss Johnson now had the bit between her teeth and decided to start the lesson off with a strenuous warming up session which consisted mostly of jumping up and down on the spot and bending forward and touching our toes. I could sense the tension and the eyes of the whole class on me as my boobs behaved like mammoth jellies in an earthquake under my T-shirt. Miss Johnson appeared to take great pleasure in running the show as she strode to and fro with a whistle clenched between her teeth.
I was sore for nearly a week afterwards and Mum, who could see that I was upset, rang and complained to the Headmistress, Miss Horvitz (or Snoz, as the girls called her) about Miss Johnson’s comments. I’d never seen Mum so angry before and the following day she took me to see Dr. Terpilowski who issued me with a certificate to exempt me from gym lessons because of my "physique". I had to take it to Snoz myself and she barely said a word but her contempt for me was obvious.
All this fuss about my mammary glands had pressured me to the point where, although I was still very sensitive about them, I’d begun to fight back a little by becoming quite brazen about them every now and then. I’d begun to find the spirit to start sticking them out instead of wanting to run and hide.
Most of the girls disliked the gym lessons and because I didn’t have to take part any more I felt privileged. And when I noticed how some of the boys in the bus queue reacted I began to realize there was a positive side to being so richly endowed.
Sometimes the bus-ride home was amusing, sometimes it was a nightmare. But it was never boring. The boys and girls had been segregated all day long and the top deck of the bus was a meeting place for the two sexes. Some of the older girls had boyfriends and they sat together. There was always a flow of ribald comments and almost everything that was said had something to do with sex. My first weeks at the girls’ school gave me a crash course in the theory of the subject. Up until then I’d remained in angelic ignorance of this "thing" and I’d just begun to realize what a powerful force it was. The shape of my body has been the
strongest influence on my life, in fact I could almost say that it IS the story of my life.
But back to the bus. The attention that I drew from the boys was sometimes quite flattering. I’d begun to realize that there was more to me than just a pair of tits. I had a pretty face and the rest of my body was well proportioned and graceful. Sometimes I enjoyed the occasions when I caught one of them looking at me through the corner of his eye. Most of them were shy and looked away at once. Others were more forth-right and even coarse. I had to get used to hearing phrases like "Cor! What a pair of knockers!" Or even "Jesus! She’s got enough tit for a football team!" After a while I began to just shrug off comments like these, but sometimes things did go too far. One evening, when a pimply fourteen year old boy turned round and began grabbing at me with both hands, I lost my temper. That was the first time I can ever remember being driven to physical violence. I fought him off and when he’d turned and sat down again I took out a compass from my school bag and embedded it half an inch deep in the flesh between his shoulder-blades. He stiffened and just sat there rigid for several seconds. Then he let out a bloodcurdling screech which silenced the whole bus. The conductor came rushing up the stairs, looked around astonished, as if he expected to find a dismembered corpse, and then demanded to know what was going on. Herbert Yardley, the boy with the pimples, blurted out something about being stabbed. Then there were shouts of:-
"Yeah, but he started grabbing her tits! The spotty bugger was feeling her boobs!" The conductor looked at him, shrugged his shoulders and said "Well there you go my son. I hope we won’t see no more rudeness from you in the future."
I never had any more trouble on the bus after that. At home, things had begun to change too. Mum who was often telling me how hard it was for her to afford things for me, had decided to take in a lodger. He was a window-cleaner who always had a cigarette end dangling from his lower lip. After a while he insisted that I call him "Uncle Bob". He had a huge pile of magazines with pictures of naked women which he used to leave lying all around the house. Mum always used to pick them up and put them away whenever she could.
I’m not quite sure what sort of a relationship Mum had with Uncle Bob. He had a room of his own upstairs where he seemed to listen to the radio almost all day every day. But one morning I saw him coming out of Mum’s room with a towel wrapped round his waist. I was on my way downstairs to breakfast. He looked a little surprised and said:-
"Just taken your Mum in a cup of tea luv."
That seemed reasonable enough for me. One evening I’d just undressed and got into bed. I switched off the lamp and was just about to drop off to sleep when I heard a sort of clinking sound coming from under my bed. At first I thought I was imagining things and then seconds afterwards I heard a sneeze. I sat up and leaned over to look under the bed. As I peered over I was confronted with the upside down face of Uncle Bob. He raised one of his hands, did something with one of the springs and said "There! That’s fixed it then!"
He crawled out, got up and left the room mumbling something about how lucky we were to have a handyman around the place. It was then that I realized that the clinking I had heard was the sound of his cufflinks on the china chamberpot under my bed. At school many of the girls were jealous of the attention that my boobs sometimes aroused so I still spent most of my time alone. During the lunch hour I used to go to the park to eat my sandwiches when the weather was fine. I used to enjoy feeding the ducks and swans with the leftovers from my lunchbox. I noticed after a few days that there was an old Chinaman who used to sit on a bench quite near mine. He had one of those long pointed beards that you see on the willow pattern plates and his hair was snowy white. He used to sit the whole time, completely immobile, and look out over the pond. After a while he got into the habit of greeting me with a polite little bow, but at first he never spoke to me. His presence gave me a strange sense of companionship that I’d never known before. I felt as if I’d known him all my life and yet we’d never spoken a word to each other. One afternoon I arrived at the park feeling low. Miss Horvitz had called me up to her study that morning and had asked if it wasn’t about time that I began taking part in the gym lessons again. I tried explaining to her that the sort of exercise they did caused me actual pain and embarrassment but her attitude was that I was malingering and she lectured me about responsibility and team spirit. She was ridiculous and stupid about the whole thing and I could see from the start that there was no way I could get it into her head that I just couldn’t leap about doing handstands with a 44" DD bust. She wanted the school doctor to examine me in her presence and that was the last thing in the world that I wanted to go through with.
That lunchtime, the old Chinaman must have noticed that I was feeling fed up. As I stood up to head back to school he smiled at me and said:-
"Great burden without can be controlled from within. Only burden within real problem. Be glad that spirit is free like bird."
I didn’t know how to reply to him. He said it in such a lovely way. It was exactly as if he’d been able to read my thoughts. All I could think of was to say "thank you very much". I walked back feeling light as a feather inside and determined that I wasn’t going to let Miss Horvitz drag me down. I was going to see much more of Mr Tu, as I later found out that he was called.
My breasts kept on growing inch by inch and getting heavier and heavier. They were getting so big that I’d had to go and see the doctor about them once more. He advised me to go over to a low fat diet, even completely vegetarian if I felt I could manage it. He also sent me to see a lady who would teach me some special exercises to strengthen my back muscles. She told me that swimming would be the best way for me to keep fit and healthy. Doctor Terpilowski told me that he’d never come across a case quite like mine before and that he wanted me to see a specialist in London. He stressed that I shouldn’t worry about this and that it was just to be on the safe side. But this did cause me some doubt and anxiety. He told me that he’d made an appointment for me to see a consultant at one of the big hospitals in London. The appointment was in three weeks time.
Naturally all kinds of awful thoughts went through my mind about things that could be wrong with me but in the end I was comforted by the fact that in general I felt perfectly OK. I felt intuitively that if there was anything really wrong then I would have noticed some kind of ill effects. My appetite was good, my skin and hair looked nice so I decided not to worry and just go through with the consultation.
Mum couldn’t afford the money for both of us to go all the way up to London so I had to make the journey all on my own which was something of an enterprise for a girl of twelve. Mum bought my train ticket, packed some lunch for me and gave me enough money to take a taxi from Paddington Station to the hospital where I was going to be examined. I told her that I didn’t mind taking the tube, (I’d heard about it and was curious to actually see what it was like), but she told me that she didn’t want me to use the public transport on my own. So off I went.
After an uneventful journey on the train, with nothing more than the usual stares and cheeky comments from the odd teenage boy I arrived in the great big city. The contrast with the tiny sleepy village where I’d been brought up was staggering to me. The cars drove so quickly and there were thousands of people everywhere I looked. They all seemed to be rushing to wherever it was they wanted to go. And there were all kinds too. Black, white, yellow, brown, rich, poor, tall, short, ugly, beautiful... The whole place was teeming with energy. I found it exciting and almost overwhelming. Outside the station I soon found a black taxi-cab and I gave the driver the destination. Without a word he pulled off and soon we were racing through the streets of Central London. We crossed over the Thames which amazed me by its size and quite soon we’d arrived at the hospital. I paid the driver and eventually found the reception desk. I waited a few minutes in the queue and when my turn came I handed the card I’d been given to the lady receptionist. She barely glanced at it and pointed to one of the corridors and said:-
"Maternity’s down that corridor, third door on the right."
"But it’s not maternity... I mean... I wasn’t supposed to..."
She eyed me up and down. By this time I’d figured out that she thought I was pregnant! The protruberance in front of me wasn’t a foetus, although I’ll admit they did dangle rather low. I saw that she’d realized her error. She raised her eyebrows and studied the card.
"Ahaa! I see. You want Dr. F." (I don’t want to publish his name as I feel it wouldn’t be right) "Down there, up the stairs at the end, turn left and it’s the first door on your left." She handed back my card.
I duly found the doctor’s room and knocked. quite a young man in a light coloured suit opened the door and asked me to come in. I handed him the card.
"Ah yes. I’ve been expecting you. Do sit down. How are you Miss Small?"
I was surprised to see such a young man. I was expecting to see an old man with horn rimmed spectacles or some such thing. Dr F. told me that he’d read my notes and that he wanted to examine me. He was very gentle and professional about it and after a short examination he said:
"Yes it’s exactly as I thought Miss Small. You have a case of what is called Virginal Hypertrophy, which in ordinary terms means quite simply that the balance of hormones in your
metabolism causes a lot of the fats you eat to be absorbed in your breast tissues. Now don’t be concerned about this as there is in fact nothing at all dangerous about it. It’s simply the way your particular body works. Some women have large thighs, others large bottoms, some have chubby ankles and so on. In your case the bulk seems to collect in the breast tissues. This could well cause you some mobility problems. You’ll never be a sprinter or a high jumper. But other than that you can live an absolutely normal life. If you wish, and your own doctor considers it advisable, you could have an operation to diminish the size of your breasts. That is your choice. But as yet I see no real problem. Are there any more questions you’d like to ask me?"
I couldn’t think of anything more to ask and the doctor stood up and ushered me to the door. I thanked him and left feeling a lot of relief. I wasn’t such a freak after all. It was a recognized condition. So I left the hospital with renewed confidence and decided, against Mum’s orders, to take the tube train back to Paddington. It seemed a much more exciting way of travelling than sitting alone in the back of a London taxi. I walked to the nearest tube station, looked at the Underground map on the wall and saw that I would have to change trains once on the way back to Paddington. I bought a ticket and walked to the escalator. It was amazing how far down under the ground it seemed to go. When I reached the bottom there was yet another escalator to go down and then a series of long tunnels which finally led to the platform. I followed the signs the whole time and found to my surprise that it was really quite simple to travel by tube. After only a minute or two of waiting, the silver grey tube train emerged from the black tunnel and pulled up at the platform. The doors opened with a sort of whirring thud and I walked in and sat down on one of the very few empty seats in the compartment. There were several young men on either side of me. They were dark haired and the one on my right had a big black moustache. I noticed that every finger on his left hand was adorned with a gold ring. The man on my left wore a white shirt which was unbuttoned almost down to his belt. This exposed his chest which was covered in very thick black hair in the middle of which hung a gold medallion as big as a fifty pence piece. The train reached the next station almost as soon as I’d got on and to my surprise, practically every person on the train got off except for the two men on either side of me and an elderly couple down at the other end of the carriage. But I felt no concern. I just sat there and looked through my bag to see if there was anything there to read. As the train began accelerating out of the station I felt the man on my right put his arm round behind my back. I was quite taken aback by this but I pretended not to notice and pulled out a magazine from my bag which I pretended to read. Then the man on my left put his hand on my thigh which made me shudder. I turned my head a fraction to the left and out of the corner of my eye I could see him smiling with his shiny white teeth. By this time I was terrified. I looked down the compartment in the direction of the elderly couple but they were too engrossed in their own conversation to notice anything of my predicament.
"Hey mees. You wanna come hhhome weeth us?" The man on my right whispered in my ear.
I was on the verge of total panic and just sat there paralyzed as a hand started caressing my hair. Then the train started to decelerate and both men drew their hands away as the train pulled into a station. The doors opened. There was no one waiting to get in and I counted several seconds as the train stood still and hummed. Then I bolted. Dropping my bag I dived towards the doorway. The doors were closing as I thrust my arm into the diminishing gap. I felt them thud onto my forearm and as if in answer to a prayer they drew back again and I half leapt, half fell out onto the platform. The train pulled out and I saw the two men leering and waving to me as they disappeared. I stood there breathless and burst into tears of relief mixed with rage. I realized that my bag which I’d dropped on the train contained my tickets and all of my money. I was alone in London without a penny to my name. Feeling frightened and bedraggled I made my way to the exit. I tried to explain to the huge black man who collected the tickets what had happened. He looked at me, surprised, and asked "What’s a young girl like you doin’
travelling alone on de undergroun’? You live roun’ here den?" I told him that I lived in Somerset. "Better call de poleece den."
He spoke into a microphone in his little box, gathered in a few more tickets from arriving travellers and then pointed at me when a policeman quickly arrived on the spot.
"Dis here de one officer."
The policeman beckoned me to follow him.
"You come this way with me miss and we’ll sort all this out."
I followed the policeman up the escalator to the top of the station where he made a phone call from the station master’s office. I stood there saying as little as I possibly could and feeling very stupid. Soon a police car pulled up outside the station and I was shown into the back of it with the policeman who’d fetched me from the platform. They drove off, asked me my name, address and what had happened and then headed straight towards Paddington station. I was given a ticket, told that they’d telephoned my mother and escorted to a compartment on the train home. The ticket collector on the train was told my story and asked to keep an eye on me. The policemen smiled, told me to be a good girl and not to talk to any strange men and then they left.
Mum met me at the station. I think she was so relieved that I was safe that she forgot to be angry but she did say:-
"Now you understand Tina, love, that I don’t tell you these things just for the sake of talking." Then the incident was forgotten. Much to my relief.
After the trauma of being waylaid in the big, wicked city had subsided, I had time to properly absorb the diagnosis of the specialist on the condition of my breasts. There was nothing sick or abnormal about them. I was just a normal girl. This gave my confidence another little boost and I took the step of going every Saturday to the swimming pool in the town as a measure in keeping fit. I loved the water and soon became quite a proficient swimmer. When I’m in water I feel light and the whole of my body moves easily. My breasts aren’t an encumbrance as they could sometimes be on land. They were so large by this time that the only way I could sleep properly was lying on my back with each breast lying on the bed on either side of me. Lying on my side was possible, but less comfortable and lying on my stomach was impossible unless I had my boobs stretched out in front of me and my back arched. Sleep in that position was out of the question.
So swimming was a pleasure. I used to swim up and down the pool for at least half an hour each time. Of course there were the usual wolf whistles and witty comments but by this time I was pretty hardened. Everything was going fine until one day when I was in the third year at school and I was swimming contentedly along in the pool minding my own business. A boy of about fifteen came thrashing through the water towards me like a tornado. As he swam past me his arm accidentally drove straight into the top of my swimsuit and broke the shoulder-strap which was looped round the back of my neck.
Well of course you can all guess what happened then. All was revealed and there was nothing I could do to prevent it despite some desperate attempts at tying it up again. I had to use both arms to climb out of the pool, which I did amidst loudly echoing shouts and whistles as I showed everything I had to the public. I rushed to the changing room, dressed without even stopping to dry myself off and hurried out of the building. On my way out, the managers, a woman in a white coat, walked up to me and said:-"You know, you disgust me, young woman. How dare you behave in such a disgraceful fashion in public?
"But it wasn’t my...
"Don’t you answer me back! What is the world coming to? I don’t suppose you’ve the slightest idea of what it means to have a Christian upbringing. You’re a whore! That’s what you are. A harlot!"
I turned on my heel and walked out. Could you believe that the sight of a pair of tits could cause such outrage?
Roller skating took over as my number one sporting interest after that. The way you have to move on skates, with a sort of swaying, gliding motion, seemed to fit my physical attributes. I was quite surprised how good I became at it. After a few weeks I actually learned some dance steps on skates. That’s one of the few times I feel graceful when I’m in movement! I still love skating.
Another rather frightening incident also happened to me around this time of my life. I was around fourteen years old at the time. This time it involved the village idiot who was a chap called Billy Morley. Locally he was known as "Billy the Brain". He was regarded as a sort of amiable half-wit who sometimes overstepped the mark with his habit of being so polite. It was acceptable when he took off his cap and bowed and said:- "Good morning, sir" or "madam". But when he began dusting off people’s clothes with his grubby hands, or polishing their shoes with his horrible handkerchief, people used to get annoyed with him and sometimes even swear at him. This didn’t stop him however, and he remained as polite and apologetic as ever, cap in hand.
One autumn evening I was taking "Lord Nelson", a neighbour’s Afghan hound, out for a walk along one of the local country lanes. Normally he was totally disobedient and had to be kept on a lead at all times. He was strictly his own dog and did exactly as he pleased. For some reason though, and this I cannot explain, he was as meek and obedient as a lamb with me. (Are lambs obedient?) So I always let him off his lead, which delighted him greatly.
It was twilight and the air was quite still and rather warm for the season. Lord Nelson was sniffing at the grass and the hedgerows and scampering to and fro in the lane as I walked slowly along, enjoying the peace of the countryside. As we passed a gateway in the hedge I started slightly as I saw a figure standing there in the shadows.
"Good evening Miss. It’s a jolly lovely evening isn’t it?"
I recognized the voice and felt relieved. It was Billy. He always used such silly language. I thought no more of it, nodded and walked on.
"That’s a lovely big pair of...well, you know what I mean Miss. Ijust can’t bring myself to use the word. It’s such a naughty..."
I could hear that he was following me and began walking faster.
"Gosh I’d really like to see them Miss. I bet they’re absolutely ginormous aren’t they? Would you let me . "
I could feel myself getting scared and my pulse quickened.
"I’ve got fifty pence which my Mum gave me and you can have it if you..."
By this time I was running and Billy was too. I felt his hand touch my shoulder. The next thing I remember was that I was lying, face down, on the tarmac of the lane. I was so frightened that I was paralyzed. I couldn’t even scream, I was so terrified. Then there was the most bloodcurdling growl, followed by a shriek and the sound of cloth being ripped.
"Aaarrugh! Geddaway! Ooeerraah!"
Billy’s footsteps echoed down the lane as he ran. Lord Nelson didn’t make a sound but I could tell he was still in action by the intermittent shrieks that Billy emitted. I rose to my feet, dusted myself down and walked slowly back home again. After a few more seconds I didn’t hear another sound, either from Billy or Lord Nelson. I began to worry about the dog. Would he just run away? Would he go home to his owner? How would I explain his disappearance? I needn’t have worried. When I reached our house he was lying on the step by the gate smiling at me. Dogs can actually smile! Lord Nelson was grinning all over his face! He’d really enjoyed the whole horrible thing. He jumped up and I cuddled him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. I never mentioned what had happened to anyone at all. Billy always crossed to the other side of the street when he saw me coming after that. But he still used to take his cap off!
This was the second time that members of the opposite sex had made explicit advances to me. On neither occasion had it been a specially inspiring introduction into the mysteries of
sexuality. In fact it was rather calculated to scare me off the whole issue. But I guess curiosity combined with the natural physical urges that we all get is stronger, in the long run than fear. By this time, thanks to the conversations I’d overheard on the bus and the biology lessons at school, I’d got a basic knowledge of sex and the differences between the bodies of the male and female. Of course I was becoming more and more aware of how I was maturing physically. Apart from the non-stop growth of my tits I’d been menstruating since I was eleven and the growth of pubic hair could hardly be ignored. Mum had only given me the most vague and sketchy details of why all this was taking place. She’d left it to the biology teacher at school to fill in all the gaps.
These lessons eventually gave me a more complete knowledge of the forces that were operating through me. From plants and animals, the lessons soon progressed onto humans. I began to see the picture in a more complete and balanced way, and to understand sexuality in the larger context of life as a whole unified force. The plant kingdom, the animal kingdom, and then man at the top as the crown of creation. And then the different cycles, day and night, summer and winter, menstruation, birth and death. To me, the whole thing seemed like a giant clock with millions of tiny cogs all moving in some sort of fantastic order together.
Mr. Tu and I used to have the most interesting and complicated discussions about these ideas and everything that could possibly be related to them. He seemed to me to have a huge store of knowledge about the common things that everyone else I knew never seemed to question at all.
He explained to me all about the connection between sound and colour. The musical octave contained eight tones, the last being the same as the first. The rainbow was the same, from red to indigo and then to red again. There was clearly a sort of logic in it. Some kind of unfathomable intelligence. I’d heard people say before that seven was a "lucky" or magic number, but I’d never met anyone who could show me why. I suppose, or rather I know, that it was my friendship with him that awakened my curiosity to know the reason behind everything that we
Back at school, time passed quickly and rather uneventfully. Academically I was getting on rather well. I’d even been entered for my "0" levels a year early, along with some of the other girls. I suppose the fact that I’d had so little social contacts had made me concentrate quite hard on my studying. To cut a long story short, I passed five "0" levels when I was fifteen and that was the end of my school career. Some of my teachers wanted me to stay on and study for a place at university but I knew well by this time that Mum was hard pressed financially and couldn’t afford to support me much longer. Whilst I was still at school I’d done a typing course because I realized that this would give me a way of earning my living much quicker than any academic career would ever do. I’d already set my sights on leaving school as early as possible.
During all this time my social life had been very restricted, as I said before. This was really my own choice as I’d been a loner the whole time and had never belonged to any group worth mentioning. I did pluck up the courage to go to a discotheque once though. And I went all on my own too. My appearance caused quite a stir. Practically every male eye in the place turned in my direction when I walked in. I’d dressed in a kind of hippystyle smock (in an attempt to hide my you-know- whats) and a pair of tight jeans. I walked up to the bar, expecting the barman to ask how old I was and ordered an orange juice. He didn’t turn a hair. I suppose he must have thought to himself that no girl under eighteen could possibly have such well developed breasts. After getting my orange juice I went and sat down at a table to watch the dancing.
The disco was in a large cellar. The walls were all painted in a dark shade of what appeared to be purple. All around the ceiling there were batteries of lights which flashed in different colours in time to the music. The dance floor itself was made of a kind of translucent, white plastic which kept flashing on and off too. The result was strange and exciting to me. It was as if you were looking at a fast changing series of still pictures of the dancers as they moved to the rhythm of the music which pulsated loudly through the cellar. I watched my hand as I raised the glass of orange juice. I saw the movement as about five separate stills before the glass reached my lips.
The dancing was wonderful. I must have sat there for fifteen minutes totally captivated by the sight of all the moving bodies as they were captured in series after series of abandoned poses by the lights. It took that long before I remembered that I’d come there to dance and meet people too. I didn’t want to be just a spectator, but on the other hand I didn’t have the nerve to just get up on the dance floor and start dancing all on my own.
As I’d already succeeded in buying a soft drink without anyone asking how old I was, I decided to try to get a real drink, with alcohol, the next time round. I’d heard from the other girls at school how uninhibited it made you feel, so I was keen to try it. I wanted to find out all about it for myself. I didn’t know anything about all the different sorts of drink because Mum never mentioned drink at home. I think that was a legacy from the days when Dad lived with us. Some of the girls at school had said that Bacardi was a good drink so I decided to try one of those. I didn’t have the faintest idea what it was, but I liked the sound of the name.
When there was a break between the dance numbers I walked over to the bar which was at the other end of the cellar and waited until the barman noticed me standing there.
"What can I get for you then?"
"I’d like a Bacardi please."
"One Bacardi. OK. How d’you like it? With Coca Cola, lemon, orange, pineapple, lime? With or without ice?"
This very nearly threw me and I stood there without saying a word. The barman came over to me, looked at me wide-eyed, head tilted to one side and smiled. I decided to look as if I couldn’t make up my mind. He tilted his head the other way and began drumming on the bar with his fingers, still smiling. I made a decision "Well, er... I’ll have one with pineapple please." He nodded theatrically, turned to the bottles and made a drink.
"Did you say ice?"
"Yes please." The drink was served and he put it in front of me with a grin and stood there without saying a word.
"How much does it cost please?"
"Ninety pence my darling." He said this almost as if he was talking to a child. I was embarrassed but looked in my bag and pulled out a pound note. He gave me my change and said "That’s a nice pair of...jeans."
I laughed and went back to my table to see what the mysterious Bacardi tasted like. It was quite definitely nice if you sipped it slowly I discovered. So I sat there watching the dancing and listening to the DJ who’d begun talking between some of the records he played. He had a strong cockney accent. At least that’s what it seemed like to a country girl like me.
"Now I’ve just ‘ad a request from a luvverly girl ‘oos wearin’ the tightest pair a jeans I ever seen in me ‘ole life. She tol’ me it was er ‘usband oo’elped ‘er into ‘em. ‘Ere yer go then luv, a little ditty from the Rollin’ Stones called ‘Parachute Woman’."
And with that the music began to thunder and throb in the cellar. The people on the dance floor came to life as if someone had thrown a switch. The atmosphere excited me so much that it gave me shivers up my spine. By this time the Bacardi was beginning to work on me too although I hadn’t realized it. I finished the first one and walked round to the bar with my glass. "Can I have another one please?"
"Course you can. Enjoyed it did you?"
The barman winked at me and I went back to my seat giggling, which was unlike me. Giggling isn’t the sort of thing I do. The Bacardi was working. I sat down at my table and started sipping my second drink. I’d noticed several of the young men in the disco looking at me from time to time since I’d arrived but none of them had asked me to dance. I suppose my attempt at hiding my assets hadn’t been very successful. Perhaps they were overawed. I don’t know.
I sat through another number without any of them asking me to dance. This was frustrating me and I downed the rest of my second Bacardi at a single gulp.
By the time the music started again I was beginning to feel really strange. My whole body felt warm and tingly and my head felt as if it was empty. The sensation made me want to burst out laughing, which I did! I must have lost all the inhibitions I ever had because the next thing I knew I was standing on the dance floor spinning round and round and swaying to the music. It all felt like a wonderful, funny dream. I was laughing the whole time with joy. The record they were playing was "Dancing Queen" by ABBA.
"And when you get the chance
You are the dancing queen
Dancing Queen, feel that beat
From the tambourine.
Young and sweet,
See that girl, watch that scene
She is the dancing queen."
And that’s exactly how I felt. The words fitted the situation perfectly and it was all a wonderful accident.
I was so hypnotized by my delight at what was going on that I didn’t notice that everyone else had left the dance floor. They were all standing round in a circle watching me! When I realized what had happened it didn’t stop me. It just heightened the magic feeling I had. The music just seemed to go on and on. "See that girl, watch that scene, She is the dancing queen."
After what seemed to me like an hour of ecstatic dancing the record ended and after a second’s silence the air started vibrating with the sound of cheering, clapping, whistling and shouting. Then I heard the voice of the DJ over the microphone.
"Faantaastic! Did yer ever see a girl shake ‘em around like that? That’s it fellers. Give ‘er anuvver cheer. She bloomin’ well earned it! That was grrreat darlin’!"
I walked back to my table, exhausted but very happy. Within seconds I was surrounded by a whole circle of people who wanted to get to know me.
"Let me buy you another drink! You must need one after that," said a young blond haired guy in a red shirt.
"Where do you live? I haven’t seen you here before. Where did you learn to dance like that?" asked a girl who must have been a couple of years older than me. The questions continued "We’re going on to a party after this. Why don’t you come along with us? You’re welcome to a lift in my car."
"Come on over and sit at our table. This is Alan. I’m Janette. We’ve got a flat just round the corner from here..."
"You still haven’t told me what you’d like to drink. My name’s Jeff by the way, what’s yours?
I could hardly believe it. Everything seemed too good to be true. They all wanted to know me. A drink just appeared on the table in front of me. I reached out, took a long sip of it and blurted out "My name’s Tina. It’s lovely to meet you all." My confidence had taken a huge leap forward. I looked at all the smiling faces around me, then at my watch. It was already ten thirty. I was still only fifteen years old and I knew that Mum would be getting anxious if I wasn’t home before long. Besides, the last bus back to our village left town at twenty to eleven. Reluctantly, and a bit unsteadily, (I was quite tipsy) I finished my drink and stood up.
"I’m sorry about this but I’ve got to go. It’s been fun to see you all."
I desperately wanted to stay. I could tell by the look in Jeff’s face that he was disappointed. I liked the look of him a lot. He was the blond guy that had bought me a drink. He asked me:- "Will you be coming next week?"
"I hope so."
I picked up my bag and walked as steadily as I could over to the door. The music began playing again, interrupted by the DJ ‘s voice.
"There you go people! She’s leaving us already. She might have to go to bed early fellers, but she’s got loads and loads of...personality. Ta luv. See you again soon, we hope."
Out in the night air I leaned for a moment or two against the wall and took several long, deep breaths. Then I walked over to the bus-stop. The bus arrived only seconds later and half an hour later I was curled up in my bed at home. "And when you get the chance Your are the dancing queen. Dancing Queen, feel that beat From the tambourine. ‘
As things turned out, I never went back to the discotheque again. A couple of weeks after that, school finished and I was faced with the prospect of getting myself a job.
As soon as the term ended, I started looking through the papers and visiting the Job Centre in town. There were quite a lot of jobs available as trainee shop assistants and office workers but these didn’t have any appeal for me at all. I couldn’t reconcile myself to sitting at a desk all day or standing in a shop waiting for customers to appear. I didn’t know really what I wanted at all and this realization made me
despondent. I knew that I was intelligent and I knew that I wanted to do something a bit different with my life. But what? Apart from this I felt obliged to start earning some money as I’d watched for years as Mum had struggled to get me to the position where I was.
A month went by without my taking any real step forward. The newspaper didn’t advertise any new opportunities and the Job Centre ads were much the same from week to week. Then, one Sunday, when I was feeling particularly tired of getting nowhere, I resolved to ask for an interview with the careers advisor. On Monday morning I took the bus into town and asked to see the advisor at the Job Centre. I was told that I could see her that day at three o’clock in the afternoon.
I spent most of the time in between by looking through the shelves of the town library. At ten to three I presented myself again at the Job Centre, filled in a form giving details of my education and background and sat down to wait for my interview.
Mrs Bullock, as the careers advisor was called, turned out to be a brisk, business-like lady, with a no-nonsense attitude towards work and careers. I sat rather tensely front of her as she studied the form that I’d just filled in.
"Well Christina, you don’t seem to have found a that you’d like to do yet. Why’s that?"
"Well, I just don’t want to work in an office. I’ve been sitting at a desk for years and I’d like a change for a while."
"Hmm. You’ve got five ‘0' levels and a course in typing under your belt. You could get on well with those you know."
Mrs Bullock eyed me seriously over her glasses.
"Yes, I suppose I could really. But I’d almost rather do anything than work in an office or a shop."
My answer didn’t dismay Mrs Bullock. I suppose I half expected a lecture on how grateful I should be that I could get a job at all, but it didn’t come.
"I notice here that you’ve listed animals as being one of your interests."
"Yes, I do like animals."
"Well, unfortunately, if you had any ideas about working with animals there aren’t any jobs like that in this particular area. I know that you’re not sixteen until next month, but how would you feel about moving to another area to a job in this field? The job would have board and lodging included of course."
I hadn’t expected a reply like that. It made me sit up in my chair excited.
"That would be great! But my mum... I’d have to talk to her about it and I don’t know how..."
"Well, I suggest that you do that, Christina. Here’s the address and telephone number of a stable in Sussex where they train racehorses. The trainer there is looking for an independent young stable-person. Why not give it a try?"
She handed me a card on which she’d written details of the job. I thanked her and stood up to leave. She looked up at me over her glasses.
"Good luck with it."
On Thursday of the same week, at midday, I was standing outside Chichester railway station looking out for a taxi. Mum had been pleased that I’d had the enterprise to go so far afield to find the sort of job that appealed to me.
"As long as you’re doing what you like doing then I’ll feel that I’ve succeeded in getting you fit to look after yourself Tina."
A taxi pulled up at the taxi-rank and half an hour later I knocked at the door of the stable office. The stables were in a tiny village nestling at the foot of the South Downs. It was a scorching hot summer day and I was dressed in light jeans and a T-shirt. It was too hot to wear anything more formal.
"Come in!" said a voice from within.
I stepped into the little wooden building. Sitting at a desk on the other side of the room was a middle-aged man in a cloth cap and shirt sleeves. The walls of the office were covered in photos, rosettes, spurs, bridles, whips and other equestrian paraphernalia. The man stretched out his hand.
"Bert Smith. Take a seat."
He stood up and limped round to the other side of the desk where he sat on the edge, folded his arms and looked at me. Then he winked, fumbled behind his back among the papers on his desk, pulled out a paper with about two lines of scrawl on it, winked again, cleared his throat and said:
"Christina Small. So you want to work at my stables, do you?"
"Don’t call me sir."
"My name’s Bert. That’s short for Albert. You call me Bert. I’m the trainer. We train horses and we ride out days a year. The work is hard. The money’s poor. T food is good. We do it because we love horses. Wha d’you think of that?"
"I think that’s good."
"Hm. Well Christina. You think that’s good do you? Well I’m glad to hear that."
"And what would you think if I took that horsewhip there and laid it across your backside?"
I gulped. What was going on?!
"I wouldn’t like that at all."
"No, I’m sure you wouldn’t. But that’s what I’d do if I found any of my lads or lasses neglecting or mistreating a horse. D’you understand me?"
"Don’t call me sir!"
He stood up, laughed loudly and limped back to his seat.
"So far so good Christina."
His blue eyes were twinkling mischievously and he pointed a gnarled finger at my bust.
"Tell me m’dear. How d’you propose to mount a horse with a pair like those?"
If it hadn’t been for the fact that I could sense a heart of gold behind the man’s harsh exterior I think I would have run away. I looked down at my bust.
"Well, I’d just take one of them, sling it up over the saddle and the rest of me would just follow on its own."
His face creased up with laughter. I’d won!
"You’ve got a job. Michael!"
He turned and hollered through the open window. Seconds later a tiny cloth-capped figure stuck its head round the door.
"Take this girl and show her around would you, Michael? She’s the new stable lass."
He turned back to me.
"Michael’s the head lad. He’ll show you the layout of the establishment. Breakfast’s at five-thirty in the kitchen. Work begins at six sharp. Your day off will be Thursday. Anything you’d like to ask me?"
"No. Not yet anyway."
"Right then. Off you go. Warm today isn’t it?" He pushed his cap back on his head, took out a patterned handkerchief and mopped his brow.
The whole interview hadn’t lasted longer than five minutes. Within an hour I’d been shown round the stables and the
employee’s quarters and was sitting in the little room which was going to be my home for quite a while to come. Mum and I had agreed that if I got the job I should stay there to save time and train fares. I’d brought a temporary supply of clothes with me and Mum would send me the rest by rail the next day.
I looked around the little room. It contained a bed, a small bedside table with a lamp, a writing-desk placed under the window, a chest of drawers and a wardrobe. The window overlooked the stable yard and there was a potted plant on the sill. On the wall facing the bed hung a small framed photograph of a horse’s head.
I sat down at the desk and looked up at the blue sky. At that precise moment, the feeling of being alone and far from familiar surroundings suddenly overwhelmed me. All the excitement and apprehension of the new and the pain of leaving my old life, my mother and my home, welled up inside me and I couldn’t hold the tears any longer.
I started thinking about how Mum must have felt. I’d left her too full of my own excitement to consider for a moment how she had felt. I think my childhood ended at that moment. These were the first real steps of my adult life.
The following morning I washed, dressed and made my way down to the kitchen to eat breakfast. Mrs Rawlings, a large lady of about thirty-five, was in charge of feeding us and she showed me the place at the large table which was going to be mine from then on.
There were already two lads at the table when I came in. Both of them looked up. Their eyes came to a halt at my breasts. One of them almost choked on his slice of toast but managed to compose himself. They both grinned.
"Ello there. You the noo stable girl then? My name’s Eddie," he said with his mouth full. "And ‘is name’s Ronnie but ‘e don’t start talkin’ till about ‘alf past nine."
"Hello. I’m Tina." I took my place at the table and Mrs Rawlings served me with cornflakes, a boiled egg and slices of toast. By the time I’d finished eating I’d been introduced to most of the lads. There was one other girl at the stables but she came in just as I was on my way out and I didn’t get a chance to find out anything about her. The atmosphere was relaxed and lighthearted and I felt sure that I’d made the right choice in coming to the stables.
After breakfast I went out with Michael who said he was going to show me some of the routine jobs.
There were sixteen horses in all at the stables. Amongst these there were two mares with foals who were out at grass. All the rest, except for one, were in full training. After being brushed and saddled they were ridden out to exercise on the specially laid sawdust tracks which had been made over the open country on the downs.
I knew so little about riding at that point that there was no question of my riding out. Some of the animals were worth five figure sums and only the most experienced lads were allowed to ride them.
Whilst they were out at exercise, their stables had to be mucked out and fresh fodder put out for them. Michael showed me how to do this, where to find fresh straw, how to clean out a drinking trough and so on. There was a lot to learn and little room for mistakes to be made. Mucking out was quite strenuous and by nine o’clock all the stables had to be clean and fresh for the horses when they got back. At nine we had a tea break. Everyone trooped into the kitchen and drank mugs of strong tea. Bert came in and chatted to the lads, asking them how their mounts had gone, if they seemed well, etc. There were eight lads there in all and towards the end of the break the girl that I’d seen earlier reappeared. This time I got a closer look at her. She was quite tall, very, very slim with dark hair closely cropped. Her eyes were blue. She seemed not to want to talk to me. I suspected that she was very shy and that my unusual figure was the cause of her reticence. She was extremely fiat-chested. I carried on listening to the conversations around me. Eventually Bert came over to me and smiled.
"How are you getting on then lass? Getting stuck into her work is she Michael?"
"Sure, she’s doin’ a grand job Bert, said Michael in his Dubliner way.
"And they’re not getting in your way then?"
"Who, the lads?"
"No, not the lads, girl! Those...those er, those things of yours!"
"Oh no! I’m keeping them in their place."
We were already friends.
"Michael will show you the tack-room after tea, won’t you Michael?"
We finished our tea and went out to the tack-room where all the saddles and bridles were kept. They were hung up in long rows.
"This lot has to be checked and cleaned every day. Each horse has his own saddle and bridle with his name on it. They have to be wiped down and checked for faults or damage. Once a week they have to be saddle-soaped. That can’t be done in one day so there’s a rota over there on the wall. Today, for example, it’s Kentucky Boy, Portia and Shambhala."
Then he showed me how to apply the saddle soap to the tack. I was left to just get on with this job for a couple of hours. It was quite peaceful there so I just sat down and worked on the saddlery, enjoying being on my own for a while.
From twelve to one we ate lunch. I got to know some more of the lads. They were all small. There wasn’t one of them who was taller than 5' 8". And they were all slim and wiry too. I got the impression that they were all born to be horsemen although, as I later discovered, they came from the most varied backgrounds. They all seemed happy with the life they were living. By the time we started work again I’d already got the feeling, despite one or two incredulous glances at my boobs, that I was accepted and one of the gang. Michael approached me after we’d eaten.
"Right then Tina. Now I’m going to introduce you to our horses. I’m sure they’re keen to meet you."
"I hope so. I’m looking forward to meeting them."
We walked out into the yard.
"There’s a sack of carrots over there by the door. Grab a couple of good handfuls. They like a little introductory peace offering. One or two of them are so smug that they’d just turn up their noses and wave their tails at you if you didn’t give them a little gift."
We walked over to the first door in the three sided yard and looked over.
"This one’s a lady. She’s called Topless Tania."
For a moment I thought he was joking but he seemed totally in earnest.
"Come on baby. Meet Tina."
The mare looked over her shoulder from her feeding trough, snorted gently and turned towards us. I gave her a carrot which she munched serenely. Then she flicked her ears and pushed my shoulder with her velvety nose.
"She wants another one."
"She’d eat the lot if she got a chance. That’s your lot Tania."
We walked on to the next door. By this time five or six of the horses had poked their heads out and were looking to see what was going on.
"Now this lad’s called the Artful Dodger. He’s a three year old. A stallion. They must have misnamed him because he’s about as cunning as a rabbit this fellah."
The Dodger practically had his whole head in my pocket.
"Whoah! Watch your manners boy. OK you can give him his carrot."
The horse seemed to stand on his toes as he crunched the carrot. Then he turned full circle and swished his black tail.
The introductions continued, one after another. I can still remember all of the horses today. Like people, each of them had a personality all of its own. But the last horse Michael showed me was unusual.
"This one’s not a racehorse as you can see. We keep him here because his owner, who’s a wealthy Arab, doesn’t have the time or the stable facilities to look after him at home. The horse is called Al Sabah."
The horse, a palamino, was lying in his stable and didn’t bother to get up as we looked over the door. I don’t know how, but I sensed at once that this horse felt lonely and although he had all the comforts of a good home he was suffering from depression. I never knew before that an animal could be depressed and yet here was one four legged creature with a bad case of the blues.
"He doesn’t seem too pleased to see us."
"No, and I can’t understand why. He seems very down and yet the vet came and checked him only last week and said that there was nothing at all wrong with him. He’s been like this ever since we took him in about three weeks ago. I’m more than a little worried about this horse. He gets exercised daily and spends every afternoon out at grass and yet he’s definitely fed up about something."
I decided there and then that if I got an opportunity I’d do all I could to get that horse up and on his toes again. During the rest of the afternoon as I was cleaning saddlery I thought about him and what I could do to cheer him up.
At tea time the other girl whom I’d seen earlier plucked up the courage to come over and talk to me. She introduced herself rather awkwardly as Rowena and said that she’d been there for almost three months. As I studied her more closely it seemed that there was little except for her soft complexion and slender shoulders to distinguish her from a boy. She was so fiat-chested that I’m sure she’d never owned a bra in her life. In her shy way she seemed very pleased that there was another girl in the place for her to talk to. I told her that she was welcome to come to my room if she ever felt like some female company.
I spent the evening watching a couple of TV programmes and leafing through some copies of horsey magazines which were always lying about the place. I’d phoned my mother and told her to send on the rest of my things. She seemed glad that I’d got the job and told me that things at home were perfectly OK. I went to bed that evening feeling pleased with the way things had gone during the day.
The routine over the next few days remained much the same. Breakfast, mucking-out, tea, tack cleaning etc. I took to going to Al Sabah’s stable when he was inside to talk to him. I smuggled in a couple of sugar cubes each time. He accepted them without much enthusiasm, just standing there with his head hanging down and his eyes dull and lifeless. On the second day he
got to his feet as soom as I came in and the day after he stuck his nose in my pocket. I felt encouraged.
"I’m going to call you Derek. I once had a horse called Derek you know. So, from now on, between the two of us you’re not Al Sabah, you’re Derek."
He flicked his ears.
Later on that day I asked if "Al Sabah" was a reliable riding horse. Bert looked at me inquiringly.
"Why then? D’you want to ride him?"
"I’d like to try "
"Well, you’ve had very little practice, I know, but to my knowledge he’s got no meanness in him so I can’t see why you shouldn’t have a try. You can take him for a trot round the paddock. I’ll get Simon or Ronnie to saddle " him up for you.
Minutes later I was walking Derek round the paddock. After a couple of laps I got up into the saddle. (Not exactly in the way I’d told Bert that I would, but almost!) I walked him a couple more laps and then eased him into a trot. After two or three laps he tossed his head back and gave a snort of delight. Gently, and with obvious care not to unseat me he began a little dance circling and prancing on his hindquarters. He was telling me in his wordless way that he was alive again and that he liked me. And how I loved him! He held his head up high and began to canter gracefully round. The sun was shining, insects were buzzing all around and Derek had returned to the land of the living. I noticed that a group of lads had gathered at the fence. They were smiling.
"Take a look at that then!"
"Blimey, what’s come over ‘im all of a sudden?"
I rode over to the gate, dismounted and led him out of the paddock. Bert, who’d watched the whole procedure, came over to me and took the reins.
"Well, that’s a real relief to me Tina. I’ve been very concerned about that horse. Now look at him. He’s on top of the world again. You know we’ve tried everything on him, without success. He’s certainly taken a shine to you. I wonder why?
He said this with a light touch of irony, glancing sidelong at my bust.
"Well, you’ve certainly got the assets to boost a fellow’s ego. I’d be willing to bet anything you like that that horse has never carried a lady as well built as you before. You’ve just given him the biggest thrill of his life!"
Leading the horse with one arm, he put the other one round my shoulder and together we walked back to Derek’s stable.
"Right now, Tina. I’m going to give you special charge of this horse from now on. Exercise him every afternoon. Once you get a bit more used to each other you can start taking him for longer rides over the hills. He’s a bit soft at the moment and he’ll need plenty of exercise and good feed to get him back in top shape. His owner will be delighted with you for this. He’s over in the States at the moment but he’ll be back in England in about three weeks. By that time he’ll be looking a picture of health. It’s tea time now so unsaddle him and go and get yourself a cup."
Life at the stables was getting better by the day. My friendship with Derek was the great delight of my time at the racing stables. I loved that horse like I’ve never loved an animal before or since. I rode him every day over the wide open spaces of the South Downs. He loved to carry me on his back and as long as I knew him he was always showing me new facets of his personality. He was proud, gentle and intelligent. He even had a sense of humour as I discovered one day when he playfully bowled me over with his head into a pile of straw. I’d just told him off about knocking over a bucket of oats. He looked down at me and laughed!
Up on the downs we could see for miles and miles along the south coast. Derek really loved it up on the hills. When the weather was fine we used to take a break and stop to admire the scenery. I used to dismount and tie up his reins on his neck so that he wouldn’t trip on them. I’d sit down on the grass and let him wander freely. I’d only have to call his name and he’d be back within seconds. We grew to trust each other. He was my best friend.
The rest of my day was hard work but tolerable. I gradually got to know all the others. Even Rowena got more and more open and talkative when we were together.
One evening I was sitting in my room reading a book about Buddhism. It was the legend of the Prince Gautama who had been born with all that riches could buy. His father, who doted on him, wanted to isolate him totally from the outside world in which there was so much suffering. He didn’t want him to learn that suffering existed. I’d just got to the part where Gautama had decided to leave the father’s palace for good to find out the reason why men suffered. Then there was a quiet tap on my door.
Rowena poked her head round the door.
"Oh, you’re reading, I didn’t mean to disturb you."
"Doesn’t matter. Come on in. I can carry on with the book later."
"What are you reading?"
I passed her the book. She read the title and studied the comments on the back.
"Are you a Buddhist then?" she asked me quite seriously.
"I don’t think I really know what I am. I’m quite interested in different religions though."
"D’you believe in God then?"
"Yes, I suppose I do. There’s obviously some kind of order and system to all of this so there must be a cause to it all."
From this the conversation proceeded to music, colours (about which she seemed to know a great deal), and snowflakes. Rowena was intelligent and good to talk to. I knew she was clever because she’d shown me some caricatures of the lads that she’d drawn. They were full of life and skillfully drawn. I told her all about my friendship with Mr Tu. Gradually the conversation came round to sex. At this point both of us clammed up a little. After some humming and hahing I got round to asking her if she’d ever...
"You mean...er...gone the whole way?"
"Yes, you know, sexual intercourse."
"No, but I heard my brother and his girlfriend doing it once. You should have heard the noises they made and the things they were saying to each other."
"What were they saying?"
"I can’t repeat it!"
"Oh go on! You can tell me."
"No, no! I can’t."
Her face was bright pink and her eyes were shining. I looked at her and laughed.
She put aside her embarrassment and started quizzing me.
"How about you then? Have you ever been fucked?"
I could see she took pleasure in using that word as she burst out laughing at her own audacity. It was my turn to turn red.
"No, I haven’t."
"I bet a lot of blokes have tried though. Haven’t they?"
"Well no, not really. I went to a girl’s school before I started here and there weren’t any boys my age in the village where I lived. At least none that were attractive. There was one with a spotty face and greasy hair and I got chased once down a lane by a bloke who pulled out his... you know...
"You mean his cock?" She was really enjoying herself. She continued "I’d have thought that a girl like you with such a big pair of..."
"Tits!" I beat her to it that time.
"Yes exactly. I’d have thought there were loads of blokes around who’d like to get their hands on them."
"There was one on the school bus once and I stuck a compass in his back!"
She laughed. Then her expression turned to one of wistfulness.
"I wish I was bigger."
She looked down onto her fiat chest.
"I’ll bet you wouldn’t like to have a pair as big as mine. These things are pretty heavy you know. When I lie in bed I have to lie on my back with one on each side of my body. I haven’t slept on my stomach since I was twelve. I can’t remember what it’s like to run for a bus."
"Yes, they’re the biggest ones I’ve ever seen."
"D’you want to see them? I mean really see them?"
Her face lit up.
"OK! You can see mine too!"
I took off my jumper. I’d taken off my bra earlier in the evening as I can never really relax with it on. By the time I’d emerged we were both bare to the waist. I looked at Rowena. Her chest was as fiat as a boy’s except for two large nipples which stuck out like cigar butts. I looked up at lier face. Her eyes were wide with amazement.
"Good grief! Tina, I’ve never seen anything like it!"
"D’you like them then?"
I was beginning to laugh.
She looked down at her pink cigar butts and then at me. Then we both doubled up in fits of laughter.
"Good grief Tina. They’re the eighth and ninth wonders of the world. Your nipples are like saucers!" She had tears in her eyes. She went on "And look at mine, they’re like the knobs on Bert’s little telly.’"
Then, suddenly there was a knock on the door. A rather bewildered Irish voice called out.
"Hhwhat’s goin’ on in thoyre then?"
The two of us clutched our hands to our mouths in an attempt to stifle our laughter. Rowena was almost hysterical. She’d crossed her legs and was on the verge of wetting herself. "It’s all right Michael. Rowena just told me a really funny story," I managed to blurt out.
"Well tell her to come and tell me it later!"
Thankfully he turned and went downstairs.
After pulling on our jumpers and getting our breath back we strolled down to the TV room. We’d begun to be friends.
It wasn’t long after this happened that Mohammed Zulfikar called at the stables. He had another name too but I could never pronounce it. He was Derek’s owner. He pulled into the stable yard in a huge white American sportscar. Bert came out of his office to welcome him. The two of them strolled over to Derek’s stable and chatted as they leaned over the door. He was dressed in a very English way, in light trousers, cream silk shirt and what appeared to be an old school tie. If it weren’t for his dark complexion he’d have looked the perfect English gentleman. Bert glanced around the yard and I happened to catch his eye as I was hanging up a bridle that I’d finished cleaning.
"Christina! Come over and meet Mr Zulfikar, Al Sabah’s owner."
I dusted off my clothes and walked across the yard. Mr Zulfikar smiled and addressed me in perfect English.
"Hello Christina. I’m very glad to meet you. Mr Smith has just been telling me how you’ve been looking after my horse Al Sabah. He tells me you have performed miracles with him. I am very grateful to you."
"Well, he’s a wonderful horse."
"Indeed. But very temperamental. A wonder with the right person but he doesn’t allow many to become friends. You are clearly one of the chosen few. If my horse has chosen you as a friend then you have a very high recommendation. You must come to my house one day to meet some of my friends and the rest of my animals."
"That would be marvellous!"
I felt very flattered.
"When can you come? I hope, Mr Smith, that you can grant this young lady some free time to come and visit my house."
"Of course. You’re free the day after tomorrow, Tina You can go then.
"Fine. I’ll send a car to pick you up at three o’clock."
"Thank you very much."
This sort of treatment was totally new to me.
"Until then. Thank you both. I look forward to seeing you on Thursday, Christina."
He got into his car and drove off with a wave and a smile.
"Well Tina. You’re now officially part of the jet set!" I tried to imagine being fetched in a chauffeur driven car! Me, Tina Small, a village girl from Somerset. I went into lunch with my head in the clouds.
Thursday morning seemed endless. The hours between lunch and three o’clock ticked by painfully slowly. I went up to my room three times to check my clothes and makeup. Finally, at one minute to three a blue Mercedes pulled into the yard where I was already waiting and a young English chauffeur opened the door for me. We drove off. He didn’t even ask me who I was. He seemed to know without even asking. We drove off in the direction of Worthing and then veered off north through the downs into lush green countryside. I sat in the back seat and the chauffeur made no attempt at starting a conversation with me. After about half an hour I decided to say something "I suppose we must be almost there now?"
"Very soon, Miss." And that was the end of that conversation.
We drove through a little village, then up a long winding lane which seemed like a tunnel because of all the overhanging trees. The car swung into a courtyard in front of a large and very elegant old house.
"Here we are, Miss."
He opened the door for me and I stepped out to take stock of my surroundings. The house had a large oblong front with nine windows and a roof which sloped down in two planes. It was surrounded by beautifully kept lawns. On one of these, a pair of peacocks were strutting about. There were several large beds of rosebushes and what looked like a maze to the right of the house. The air was wonderfully perfumed with the scent of the roses and somewhere behind the house I could hear what sounded like the splash of a fountain. Breathtaking surroundings indeed. I stood there trying to take all this in when a voice called my name.
"Christina! Welcome to my house."
Mr Zulfikar had come out and was walking towards m with his hand outstretched.
"Do you like it? It’s a beautiful place don’t you think I love England. It’s so green compared to my country. There we have only desert, red hills and the occasional oasis. When I come back to this country and see these beautiful green hills covered in tall trees I think I have found paradise. Then the winter comes and I shiver and long for the warm desert nights! But tell me. What do you think of my home?"
"I’m lost for words."
"Perhaps you will find some over a cup of tea. Please come in and sit down."
He led me through a long hall with a polished wooden floor covered partly by a beautifully coloured rug, then into a sitting-room that looked like a photograph in one the glossy magazines. There were wonderful paintings and flowers and china and oriental carpets and furniture in beautifully carved woods and fabrics. I was stunned by the sheer opulence of the house.
"Please sit down Christina."
He pointed to a leather armchair. I sat down and the first thing that caught my attention was a painting above the fireplace. It was a cupid. A naked boy with wings and a bow and arrows and a smile on his face. He looked so real that he could almost step out of the picture. I felt that I needed to pinch myself to see if I was still awake.
"I’ll go and prepare some tea for us. I don’t have any servants here except for my chauffeur who also keeps my garden and a lady who comes three times a week to do the cleaning. All the rest I do myself. I enjoy privacy too much to want a lot of people running about the place all day long."
This surprised me. The last thing I expected was to see him disappear into the kitchen, which he promptly did. As I was sitting there waiting, three thin, greyhound-like dogs with long silky ears and tails came strolling in through the garden doors. They took no notice of me whatsoever and lay down in front of the fireplace. Seconds later a red-haired English-looking man with tattoos on his arms followed them in.
"Hello! You must be Christina. I’m Jim. Where’s Mohammed?"
"He’s in the kitchen, making tea."
"Oh. Yes, he’s probably making some of that mint stuff he’s so fond of. Blimey, you’re well built aren’t you?"
"Yes, I had noticed."
At that point Mohammed re-entered the room.
"Ah Christina. So my friend Jim has burst in on your privacy. Please ignore anything he might have said to you. His conversation is vulgar, his appearance little better, and some of his habits would make a pimp blush."
He’d entered with a tea service on a tray. I was struggling to make some kind of sense of this latest barrage of impressions and was failing miserably. But the other two were smiling so I decided to join in! I just thought what the heck! I did wonder about Jim’s habits though. He sat back in the sofa and grinned. Mohammed poured me a cup of tea and said:- "Please feel at home here in my house. I hope you like it."
"It’s amazing! I’ve never seen anything like it except in magazines."
"It gives me great pleasure to own such a house. I love to entertain my friends here. We have privacy and comfort. The neighbours are a little bit boring but we have a lot of fun here don’t we Jim?"
"We sure do!"
Mohammed picked up a silver engraved cigarette box from the table and offered it to me. I normally dislike smoking but decided to take one. I was going to say because it made me feel big. But I’m not that stupid you know. I did it because it made me feel wicked. So there! Mohammed continued:-
"Some more of my friends will be calling in soon. 1'm certain they’ll be pleased to meet such an attractive and unusual young woman. I’m sure you’ll enjoy meeting them too Christina." I tasted the tea. It was strongly flavoured with mint and after the initial surprise to my taste-buds I found it very pleasant. Mohammed and Jim chatted and joked as I drank. I puffed on the cigarette and looked forward to the arrival of the others. When we’d finished the tea we all went out for a stroll in the garden. The dogs frolicked around us as we talked and walked. Mohammed told me about the house, telling me that it was built during the reign of Queen Anne. He said he’d been educated in England. His home was in Saudi Arabia and he had relatives all over the Middle East and North Africa. His father, he told me, had had sixteen wives, so he was one of forty-seven brothers and sisters, some of whom he barely knew.
"My father loved England and he wanted me to have an English education. I was sent to a boarding school here when I was eleven. Then I studied engineering at Cambridge. I was a very undistinguished student. I spent most of the three years playing cards. I became something of an expert at poker but a very second class engineer."
"Is that what you do now then, engineering?"
Mohammed guffawed loudly.
"My dear Christina. I have never done a serious day’s work in the whole of my life. My vocation is to amuse myself and others."
I must admit that I found this answer rather silly. I suppose that I felt disappointed that he didn’t have a more serious side to his personality as well. But I’d realized by now that there was more to this man than he wanted to reveal. What it was I couldn’t say, but I could feel that it was there. He was bothered by my reflections in silence and went on to tell me that he’d bought the house from the widow of an admiral, three years before.
"This evening I’ll cook us all some Middle Eastern food. I’d be delighted if you’d stay and eat with us all. I think you’ll enjoy my cooking."
All the time Mohammed and I were talking, Jim was walking along a few paces behind us. He seemed to have something on his mind. We started to head back to the house. As we rounded the side a car pulled into the front courtyard. Three youngish men and a middle-aged woman got out. Mohammed walked over to them and I followed several steps behind feeling slightly awkward at confronting so many new faces in such a short time. I reminded myself that I was still only fifteen and felt a little more at ease.
The new arrivals all seemed in high spirits. The men were all in shirt sleeves as the weather was hot. The older woman was very expensively dressed. She was of medium height with very dark hair. I couldn’t help noticing that she too had a very large bust. It was almost as big as mine. Amidst all the greetings Mohammed beckoned me forward.
"I’d like you all to meet Christina. She has been taking personal charge of Al Sabah at the stables. My horse has fallen in love with this young lady." One of the men eyed my breasts and exclaimed "Well it’s not hard to guess why!" I felt affronted. Though I can laugh at my figure it was still difficult on occasions to know in what kind of spirits the joke was made. All eyes were on me. I’d begun wondering again what sort of company I’d landed in. Mohammed noticed my discomfort and laughed "Don’t pay any attention to these stupid men Christina. They are all idle fellows with no vestige of decency or social responsibility amongst them. But they are good hearted people deep down and I’m doing my best to bring them to their senses."
This made me laugh and then they all joined in. Jim stepped forward and spoke:- "Hello Colin. You’re looking tanned and fit. How’s the life on the ocean wave?"
"Hi Jim. Still flying high I see. Well the old tub’s as lively as ever. Bill here’s been promoted to Purser."
I detected a very slight note of sarcasm in both the question and the answer. There were obviously undercurrents that I had no idea about. It made me slightly uncomfortable but I decided to hang on in and see what was going to happen. Everyone trooped into the house and I was introduced to Sybil, Colin, Bill and Richard. Mohammed then asked Sybil to come into the kitchen with him saying that he wanted to have a word with her in private. This again caused me some discomfort but I decided that I was getting unduly suspicious and when Colin suggested that we all have a sherry before dinner I relaxed and started to enjoy myself. The men were all friendly, asking me questions about my background, joking and generally treating me like an adult which made my feel good. Sybil was soon back from the kitchen. She took a drink and came over to talk to me
"I must say that I never expected to find a fifteen-year-old with better...er...qualifications than my own.
"She’s a very highly qualified girl, Sybil," said Colin.
"Sybil’s a writer, Tina. She likes intelligent, unusual people."
By this time the sherry was beginning to affect me. It was only the second time in my life that I’d touched alcohol. My stomach felt warm and my head began to feel light. I noticed that Jim was sitting at the dining table in an alcove of the large room. He was rolling cigarettes. There was a little row of them laid out on the table beside him. Mohammed entered from the kitchen saying that he needed a volunteer to help him. Bill went out. Colin then called to Jim.
"Are you rolling one of those funny cigarettes of yours again Jim?"
"One? I’ve already rolled a half dozen."
I walked over to look at what he was doing.
"What sort of cigarettes are they?"
"They’re nice ones. They make you laugh. Don’t they Sybil?"
"That’s right. They have one or two other interesting side effects too. Ever heard of marijuana, Tina?"
I felt a thrill of excitement mixed with fear. In school we’d been warned about drugs but I’d read in the newspapers that lots of rock stars and entertainers smoked marijuana. I’d often wondered what it was like. And now here in front of me was a man rolling cigarettes of it as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Sybil went on "It’s really very nice. Of course they make of lot of fuss about it. The press and police of course. I think everyone should try it, once at least."
Jim looked up at me from his rolling and said:-
"Well don’t stand there looking so shocked. D’you want a puff? Here you are. Take this one. Sybil will show you how to smoke it."
I took the ‘joint’, as I later discovered that they are called, and walked over to Sybil. In spite of the sherry my stomach was now a knot of apprehension and excitement. The thrill and fear of the complete unknown. Sybil lit the joint and showed me how to inhale the smoke and hold it in for a count of seven. It was dry and smelt strange. I coughed and spluttered a lot but managed to hold down three or four good puffs. Sybil looked at me. Her eyes seemed a bit glassy and she was grinning.
"How d’you feel?"
"A bit sick."
"That’s just normal until you get used to it." I smoked the joint down to the little cardboard tip and stubbed it out. I didn’t feel anything at all out of the ordinary. The others were smoking theirs, sucking in large gulps of smoke. I sat back in my chair and watched them. Bill entered from the kitchen.
"Having fun then? How’s our young neophyte getting along then? I notice that you haven’t sent any magic cigarettes out to the chef and his assistant."
Jim spluttered, holding down a large gulp of smoke.
"There’s two on the table for you," he said between his teeth.
He looked so comical trying to talk without breathing that I burst out laughing. This made him splutter even more. His face went red. His eyes started watering and he doubled up in his chair."
"She’s puttin’ de evil eye on me mon.
Colin looked at him in mock horror.
"Oh no man. Paranoia. I think she’s an unusually young and well developed policewoman with a sincere but misplaced sense of social responsibility. She’s been sent here by the Brighton drug squad to lull us all into a false sense of security before they pounce.
"I thought I saw half a dozen fellows in trenchcoats, tweed hats and rubber soled shoes sneaking about in the rosebushes before we came in," said Sybil.
Mohammed came out of the kitchen wearing a pair of chef’s trousers, nothing on his chest and a tall white chef’s hat. He was holding a joint in one hand and what appeared to be a glass of mineral water in the other.
"My friends. In fifteen minutes I shall be titillating your jaded palates with my dish of the day...charcoal grilled spiced lamb with aubergines, cous cous and a piquante desert sauce. This will be followed by ice-cream with pistachio nuts, grated chocolate and stem ginger. Music! Music!"
Colin walked over to the sideboard, lifted the front of what looked like a drawer, pressed some buttons and the whole room was suddenly filled with a resonant, mellow buzzing sound. I lay back in the chair and listened. Then, from what sounded like a vast distance came the sound of a slow, steady drumbeat. Boom, boom, boom, almost like a heartbeat. Slowly it came nearer and nearer, as if I was travelling towards it. Then the buzzing sound grew louder, coming first from one side of the room, then the other. Back and forth, back and forth. I felt as if I was disappearing. I had no body, no thoughts. There was just pure sound, nothing else. And I was that sound. The sound slowly grew fainter, and then from nowhere, like the colours of flowers and the ripple of water a guitar began to sing. It’s sound was more beautiful than anything I’d ever heard. The whole of me seemed to be moulded into and governed by its melody. I was soaring and diving, laughing and crying with it. It was me.
Then another part of me began to recognize that I existed independently of the music. I realized that I was high, that smoking the marijuana had opened up this part of me. I just lay there, letting myself disappear into the music and coming back to my body as I pleased. I’d found another world inside my head.
"How d’you feel?" asked Sybil.
I heard my voice murmur. It had a will of its own.
"You caught a buzz then?"
"You can say that again. So this is what it’s like. Why didn’t someone tell me?"
"Could you describe it to someone?"
"No, of course I couldn’t. How could you describe this?"
I opened my eyes and waved my arm, gesticulating at the room with the seated figures, the dimmed lighting and the music which filled every square inch of it.
I looked at Sybil’s face and she asked me:-
"Are you hungry?"
"Oh yes! I’m very hungry!"
"Mohammed’s brought in the food. It’s delicious."
I stood up. Sybil took my hand and led me over to the table. Everything was so much more real than reality. It was all beautifully laid out. The aroma of the food, the colours of the salads and herbs were all like pieces of an incredible never- before-dreamt dream. We all sat down to eat. It tasted like it looked; exquisite.
For what must have been five whole minutes we sat and ate in silence. Then, suddenly, the idea of the six of us all sitting there munching in silence seemed so ridiculous that I burst out laughing. I looked at Mohammed and the motion of his jaws as they chewed seemed to be the funniest thing I’d ever seen. My laughter got harder and harder to control. Thirty seconds later I was writhing around under the table laughing at the sight of five pairs of legs. They seemed even more ridiculous than Mohammed’s jaws. Sybil’s head appeared under the edge, grinning sideways and at that point I almost died. I really thought I was going to die laughing. It was frightening. I could even envisage the headlines!
STABLE GIRL DIES LAUGHING—CORONER CALLS INQUEST.
This idea made me laugh even more.
"I think we’d better take you home soon," said Sybil.
"So you find my hospitality amusing, Christina?"
I couldn’t answer Mohammed’s question. I was paralyzed.
Half an hour later I was sitting in the front passenger seat of Mohammed’s blue Mercedes. We were driving fast along narrow country roads. I was still so high that I didn’t know anything except that it was all fantastic, funny and unbelievable. The power and smoothness of the car seemed dreamlike and the sunset and colours over the wooded hills kept me spellbound and open-mouthed.
"What am I going to say?"
"About all this."
"Don’t say anything. If they ask you what you did just tell them you had a glass of sherry and talked about dogs."
"My dogs. You remember. Those things with four legs that ran around after us in the garden."
I began laughing again. My body was still in pain from the last bout.
"We’re almost there Tina. Look, you can come over next Thursday. I’m having a big party. You’ll love it."
"Of course you will. Here’s my phone number."
Mohammed handed me a card as we pulled into the stable yard. He wished me goodnight, told me to take it easy and I made my way straight up to my room. I heard his car pull away as I opened my door. I undressed hurriedly and dived into bed without washing or bothering to brush my teeth. All I wanted was to be alone so that I could try to absorb what was happening.
Within minutes I’d fallen into a kind of semi-slumber. Fantastic images kept coming into my head as I lay there. They were so bizarre that I wondered whether they were really the creations of my own mind. How could I imagine Sybil lying next to me naked? And Mohammed and Colin walking around my room naked with huge penises. Sybil was crouching over me and rubbing her hard nipples all over my body. The dream went on until we were all doing the most unbelievable things with each other. And I was enjoying every second of it! How could I? I felt ashamed of what was going on in my head and at the same time I loved it. I fell asleep and dreamed dreams you would never even dream of.
The next day I was still in a dream. I went through a day’s work that felt as though it wasn’t really going on except in some strange place where I didn’t belong.
The day after that I was beginning to feel real again. I mean everyday real. Normal. The evening at Mohammed’s and all that had happened seemed like a fantasy though I knew that it had all happened.
Work went on as usual. I rode out with Derek who seemed to me now to be a kind of anchor in my existence. He was a real horse in a real world. A world in which I knew what was what. I loved his honest ways, his simple affection and his uncomplicated needs. He was a horse. He needed food, shelter, exercise and a little love. This satisfied him completely. He was wonderful. I could feel confused, wondering what on earth we were all doing in our lives and there would be Derek, patiently waiting to be saddled and ready to rub his nose against my neck. Always trusting, always loyal, that horse made me feel humble many times. Thank goodness.
I became a better and better horsewoman, thanks to Derek. He knew just what I could cope with and never did anything which could jolt my confidence.
Rowena and I became closer friends as time went by. She spent most of her time drawing and painting. I always found it hilarious, going into her room and seeing the total chaos she’d created there. There were pads, paints, pencils and papers everywhere; under the bed, all over her desk. Every spare inch of space was covered with her clutter. She could barely walk from one side of the room to the other.
From what she showed me I could see that she had quite a definite talent which was developing fast. I was particularly impressed by an ink drawing she’d done of mare and foal lying in the grass. I told her that she should try to get some of her work published. She said that she didn’t think it was good enough yet and I protested.
"For heaven’s sake girl! You’ve got talent. Let people see it!"
She showed me a drawing that she’d done of me sitting topless.
"I did that one from memory. You remember! That night I came to your room and we talked about sex."
"Gosh, Rowena, it’s really good. I wish you’d another one for me."
"You can have that one if you like it."
"Can I? Really?"
I felt like cuddling her but decided she might be embarrassed so I didn’t. Two years later she won an award and went to a top art school in London. Today her drawings are often featured in fashion magazines.
Needless to say, I went to the party at Mohammed’s that Thursday. It was quite an experience.
Before going I’d asked Bert if I could be allowed to stay there overnight. Mohammed had prompted me to do this, telling me to say to Bert that it was his chauffeur’s day off and that since champagne was going to be served no one would be able to drive me back in the evening. He also told me to ask Bert to ring him if there were any problems about this.
Marijuana and Bert Smith were worlds apart. I don’t think he even knew the stuff existed except as a word in the newspapers. Bert only read The Sporting Life as far as I know and I don’t think there were any horses called Marijuana. Mohammed’s manners on his visits to the stable had convinced Bert that he was a proper sort and that I’d be absolutely safe (and bored) in his company. If only he knew what had gone on that evening! I was becoming devious, a quality for which I have little regard. But then I was keen and curious to experience the world and I told myself that what needs doing must be done.
Mohammed came himself to pick me up this time. He was casually dressed in jeans and a red shirt. I wore a white silky top and pair of very tight fitting jeans. I wanted to look my best. I’d tied my hair up in a way which I fancied made me look more grown up too.
On our way to his house Mohammed told me that he would soon be going back to Saudi Arabia for a month. He said that his father was getting old and frail and that he wanted to see him as there were rumours in the family that he might soon die.
"Would you like to visit Saudi Arabia, Tina?"
"Me? Gosh, yes. I think so. I’ve never been across the Channel even. I’ve been to London once, though."
"Eight hours on the plane. That’s all it takes. I’m taking a trip back in three weeks time. You know we have horses there too. There are stables at my home in Riyadh. We could use a good girl like you at our stables."
What sounded like an offer almost staggered me. Saudia Arabia! The other side of the world.
"I’m still only fifteen, though. I don’t think my mother would allow it, Mohammed. D’you mean you’re offering me a job in Saudi Arabia?!"
"That’s exactly what I mean. But of course you don’t have to take the job just yet. I’d pay you five times what you get here and you’d have your own air conditioned apartment on top of that. And the use of a swimming pool. But as I said, you don’t have to commit yourself now. Wait a year or so. My offer will still be open. But you could come over and take a preliminary look. Who knows, you might not even like it."
"But I couldn’t afford the fare!"
"Don’t be silly Tina. I would naturally pay your ticket. I am a very wealthy man in case you hadn’t noticed."
"But why...me ...I mean I’m just very ordinary ‘, "So you think you’re very ordinary, do you Tina?" He looked at me with a kind of humorous, quizzical look.
"Well I am. Except perhaps for these .
"Yes I do understand what you mean. You don’t have to mention the fact that you have an extremely attractive body. I’m not one to mince words, as you English say. But your body and your ability with horses are two separate things."
"But there are lots of girls who can ride much better than me," I protested.
"Tina! Don’t put so many obstacles in the way. Answer me now. Do you want to come and take a look? If so, say so. If not, so what?"
As he said that I almost felt sorry for him. There was I, an ordinary village girl and he was offering me a chance that I’d never contemplated in my wildest dreams. Saudi Arabia! A huge salary. I couldn’t believe it.
"I’m lost for words, Mohammed. I’ll have to ask... Look I’m only fifteen...but I want to thank you...yes. Of course! If I can."
"Then you’ll come!"
"Then that’s that settled."
He thumped the flat of his hand on the steering wheel.
"Get yourself a passport and your mother’s written permission. We’re flying on the twentieth. End of subject."
What could I say to that?
The party was a laugh. I have to say that even though Jim tried to get my blouse off behind the rosebushes after I’d had four glasses of champagne! Mohammed found out and he was absolutely furious, telling him to leave and never come back again. That shocked me. I’d never seen him angry and asked him not to take it so seriously. But he was adamant and told me to put the whole thing out of my mind and enjoy myself.
Sybil and Colin and Bill were as friendly and funny as usual. Apart from them there were about thirty other people of all kinds there. And lots of pretty women among them. Colin said that Mohammed had bought eighty bottles of champagne for the occasion. There were crates of the stuff piled high in the kitchen and the sink was full of ice and bottles which Mohammed personally supervised, keeping a continuous flow of chilled champagne available to all.
I loved drinking it, I have to confess. It was unlike anything else I’d tried. It made you feel light headed and boisterous, but clear at the same time. I think everyone was pretty merry after a couple of hours.
Amongst the other guests was a second Arab. His name was Mustafa. Mohammed introduced him to me as a business colleague. What sort of business I didn’t feel it my place to ask. But I didn’t like him. Of that I was sure. He was short, fat and judging by his appearance, very wealthy. He had a ring on his little finger with a diamond as big as a sparrow’s egg. I’ve never seen one like it before or since. When we were introduced he didn’t shake my hand or smile. He just looked me up and down as if I was a horse. Then he and Mohammed turned away and had a short conversation. I just forgot him and went off to enjoy a joke with Sybil who was entertaining a little crowd with a story she was telling. There was music and dancing too. Everyone was having a good time.
Time flew. At two o’clock in the morning most of the crowd had gone and Mohammed told me that I’d better get some sleep. I didn’t want to go to bed but he told me to be wise and consider that I had to be at work in four hours. This sobered me up a bit and he showed me to a small but prettily furnished bedroom. I undressed, fell asleep, and before I knew it, Mohammed was knocking on the door with a cup of tea in his hand telling me that in half an hour his chauffeur was going to drive me to work. That was the end of the party.
Back at the stables there were some inquisitive glances.
"You’re looking a bit tired this morning, Tina."
"Been burning the midnight oil then?"
I was tired and still a bit high from the champagne so I managed to muddle my way through my duties. On Saturday I wrote a long letter to Mum telling her about Mohammed’s offer. I begged her to give her permission explaining that it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance for me. I posted the letter feeling sure that she wouldn’t have the heart to refuse me.
On the following Tuesday I got her reply. She must have written back at once. She’d consented! I was delighted. But I wasn’t feeling at all well. My head was pounding. My eyes were watering and my whole body felt stiff and aching. I made my way downstairs and told Mrs Rawlings. She took one look at me and told me that I’d got ‘flu.
"You’ve got a temperature too. Back up to bed. I’ll bring you a mug of tea and some toast and a few aspirins. If you’re not feeling any better by lunchtime I’ll call the doctor. Don’t worry. I’ll tell Bert. Now, off you go."
I spent the rest of the day curled up in bed, sweating, shivering and sleeping fitfully. The doctor came, diagnosed influenza and told me to stay in my bed for a couple more days at least. The virus that was circulating was strong enough to put a weight lifter on his back, he said. In the evening Rowena came in briefly. I told her to keep her distance if she too didn’t want to be laid low. She’d come to wish me well and tell me that she would take special care of Derek for me. That lightened my misery somewhat as I’d been worrying about him.
A couple of days later I was beginning to feel a bit easier. I’d eaten breakfast, the first food I’d been able to take for a day, and was lying reading. Then something terrible happened. There was a knock on the door and almost before I’d had time to say "come in" Bert was through the door looking very serious indeed.
"Tina. I don’t want to trouble you like this. But you’ve got to know. There’s been a bad accident. It’s Al Sabah.
"He fell on the downs an hour ago and broke a leg. Rowena’s in hospital with concussion and a broken collar-bone. I’ve just had the phone call from casualty. But the horse is bad Tina. I think he’s a goner, love. Mr Zulfikar’s in London. I haven’t been able to contact him."
I felt as if I’d been hit with a sledgehammer. I couldn’t believe it. Derek? Going to die? Like an automaton I got out of bed.
"Take me to him Bert. I’ve got to see him. Don’t let them kill him before I see him."
"Come on then."
I dressed without a care for Bert’s presence and seconds after that we were both in his Land-Rover on our way up the grassy hill. When we reached the brow of the hill I could just make out a figure, about a quarter of a mile away. Bert told me that it was Michael watching over the horse. A minute later I was kneeling beside Derek who was lying flat in the grass.
I looked into his eye. He knew at once that it was me, and the fear and desperation I saw in him almost made me break down in tears. But I knew I couldn’t allow myself to do that. Not while he still lived. From somewhere inside me I dredged out the strength I needed. I stroked his neck and nose and spoke to him.
"Hello Darling. Now don’t you be scared. Don’t you worry because there’s not a thing in the whole world for you to be scared of. Not when I’m here, because I’m not going to leave you for a second. Not one second. Ever again. D’you hear that Derek?"
As I spoke I could feel his body relaxing from the awful spasm of fear which he must have been feeling. He could understand what I was saying. I’m certain that he knew the end had come for him. He gave a deep sigh and his whole body quivered. Then he lifted his nose and pushed it into my stomach. I sat there and caressed his head and talked to him. I don’t remember what I said or how I found the words inside me. All I remember is that I knew I just had to keep on talking to that horse. Behind us another vehicle had pulled up. I could hear Bert talking to a man whose voice I didn’t recognize. Michael, who’d been searching about in the grass, came over and knelt beside us.
"God Tina! It was the hole from a goddam fencepost. He stuck his foot in it at a gallop."
I could feel that Michael too was on the verge of tears. The man to whom Bert had been talking approached us and began to examine Derek’s forelegs. It was the vet. He began to gently run his fingers up and down Derek’s front left leg. I could feel the horse stiffen and wince. Then to my shock I could see that there was a piece of bone sticking out through the flesh of the leg a foot above his hoof. The vet was murmuring and walked back to Bert. I heard him say "I’m sorry Bert. The horse is never going to stand on his feet again. It’s a very nasty break. I’ll get the humane killer out at once. There’s nothing else for it."
Derek lay there mutely and I just kept on and on stroking his head. I felt as though my heart was cracking but I knew I had to stay there with him right to the end. I wasn’t going to fail him.
Within seconds the vet had put a bullet through Derek’s white star on his forehead. His whole body gave a long shudder and a sigh. The light died in his eye. My best friend Derek was gone.
I must have remained in a state of shock for the next twenty-four hours. Then Rowena came back from the hospital. I could see that she blamed herself for what had happened. She could barely look me in the face when she saw me. I couldn’t allow her to feel that way. Both of us cried. It was bad enough that she’d been hurt. Apart from the concussion and the broken collarbone she’d gashed her right eyebrow in the fall and had it sewn with eight stitches. She looked so battered.
It was a painful episode all in all. But I was still there, alive, and so was Rowena, and everyone else for that matter! Mohammed rang me up and we consoled each other on the telephone. Two days later I was glad to be working again, and glad, in spite of it all, to be alive.
Looking back now on that time and the events which followed shortly afterward I have to laugh, even though at the time it seemed to knock the bottom out of my world. It certainly tested my endurance, but I ploughed through it all, I’m pleased to say. Derek’s death wasn’t enough it seemed. The Fates had another big surprise in store for me.
The time for my visit to the Mystic East was getting near. I’d sent off for a passport and visa and bought myself some new summer clothes as I knew that it could get extremely hot in Riyadh. On the Saturday, five days before I was due to leave, Rowena and I managed to get the afternoon off work as things were quiet that day. We decided to spend the afternoon in Brighton. Rowena had seen an advertisement in the local paper for a man who could predict your future by holding an object which you owned. We were both sceptical but curious. A consultation cost only £3.50 so we thought we’d give it a try. After all, we reasoned, there might be something in this art, "psychometry" as it was called. I decided that I’d give him a bracelet which my Mum said had been in Dad’s family for generations and was one of the few things he hadn’t gambled away. Rowena chose a gold neck chain with a tiny heart on it. It had belonged to her mother who’d died just a couple of years before. Rowena rang up the psychometrist and made an appointment for the two of us at three o’clock that afternoon. By twelve we were on the train.
When we arrived in Brighton we had more than an hour to kill before our appointment so we wandered round the central part of the town, had a look at the Pavilion and bought ourselves an ice-cream on the seafront.
The psychometrist, whose name was Mr Kring, had an address in one of the narrow streets virtually in the centre of the town. We’d found out where the street was and as three o’clock approached we started making our way to his address. We found the door, which was right on the pavement in a little shopping street, rang the bell and waited for our mysterious man to appear. I suppose we were expecting an old fellow with white hair and a beard, something like Merlin at King Arthur’s court. In fact Mr Kring was no more than thirty years old, rather slim and quite ordinary looking. He welcomed us and led us up two flights of stairs to his small apartment which contained a kitchen and a bed-sitting room. He asked us to sit down and offered us coffee. While he went out to the kitchen we sat and looked about us. The walls of his sitting room were covered in strange water colour paintings. There were pictures of angels with haloes and devil-like creatures with horns, animals of different kinds. They were all done in a simple almost childlike style. Underneath each picture was a handwritten text in a language I couldn’t understand. From the few sentences Mr Kring had spoken, although his English was near perfect, I could tell that he was a foreigner, Dutch perhaps, or Scandinavian.
He returned with the coffee, sat down and began talking.
"So you girls would like me to tell you something about yourselves?"
The two of us nodded in unison.
"Well, I will begin by saying that when you give me the objects on which you’ve decided, certain thoughts or impulses, call them what you will, will reach me instantaneously. Over this I have no control, no choice. I am, if you like, just a kind of receiver for them. These are sometimes quite startling, sometimes seemingly trivial. You will be able to interpret their
significance better than I can. Do you understand this?"
Both of us nodded again.
"Regarding specific questions which you may ask, I shall tell you now that I may be able to give you answers to these and I may not. I point out that my own will has little to do with this. I can only pass on what is given to me." He took a sip of his coffee and smiled.
"Now, if you would like to pay me before I begin. Please wait before giving me your objects until I ask you for them as I have to be very concentrated when I actually touch them.""Tension was beginning to grip my stomach. I was beginning to get excited. We each took out our money and put it onto the coffee table round which we were sitting. Mr Kring nodded, then turned to a bureau behind him and took out several sheets of yellow paper and a pen. These he laid on the table in front of him. He walked over to the window and drew the curtains so that the room was in a sort of half light.
"I do this because it helps me to concentrate in this light. It is not intended as a ritual, simply a necessity as an aid to me. Now who wants to be first?" I nudged Rowena. She looked at me and shrugged. Then she took off her gold chain and handed it to Mr Kring. He began talking as soon as it touched his hand.
"This necklace belongs, or has belonged to a person who had a great love of plants and flowers. I don’t think that you are that person. I think that it was another woman. Her hand was injured by fire at some time.
I looked at Rowena. Her eyes were wide open and the hairs on her arms were standing on end. She was covered in goose pimples. Mr Kring was still talking.
"This person is dead now. Yes. She is dead. I feel from this necklace. I feel that you have some artistic talent which will develop as you grow older. You must be very careful with alcohol. In this there is danger for you. Why this is so I do not know. But you must think of this. I see also books and money. For some reason you will be happy working with printing, books, pictures."
He slumped back in his chair, handed the necklace back to Rowena and then began to write down what he had told her. When he’d finished he said:-
"Now you must excuse me for a minute or two. It’s very exhausting work this. I have told you all that I can."
He closed his eyes and lay back in the chair, remaining there for a minute or so. Then he sat up, took a sip of coffee and grinned.
"I’m almost dead for about a minute afterwards. Then I’m back to normal again."
He spoke to Rowena.
"I hope you will be able to use what I have said to you. My intention is to help people. I was given this ability freely and I like to help people."
"I’m very grateful. What you said seems to make sense tome." Then it was my turn. Mr Kring turned to me and said:- "Now, if you’d like to give me the object you have chosen."
I handed him the bracelet. He stood up, holding it clenched in his left hand. He walked around the room. I waited in suspense for his reaction. After a few moments he began talking.
"I can feel that this bracelet is old. It comes from a country where English is not spoken. This bracelet was given to you by your father. He is now a stranger to you"
He hesitated, bit his lip and using his free hand, brushed his hair back out of his eyes. His face took on a pained expression.
"I know also that if it is your intention to travel overseas that you must not take this journey as this will cause you great suffering and sorrow."
As he said this I felt my blood temperature drop two degrees. It was as if the "forces" or "energies" which were communicating with him had decided to give me a nudge to
underline the message. He sat down again looking quite drained. Eyes closed, he stretched out his hand and gave me back the necklace. After several deep breaths, he said:-
"That’s all, I hope this has helped you in some way. Now, I’m afraid that I’ll have to ask you to leave."
He stood up and showed us to the head of the stairs where we mumbled our thanks to him. He smiled benignly and closed the door behind him. I’d taken a couple of steps down the staircase when I felt Rowena’s hand grab my shoulder. I turned my head to see her, forefinger pressed to her lips, signalling to be quiet. She gesticulated theatrically towards the brass name-plate which was screwed to the psychometrist’s door. It read:-
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST - SVEN KRING
We turned and scurried down the stairs out into the street. Out on the pavement we both drew breath.
"Holy shit, Tina. The guy’s a crackpot!"
"The Lord Jesus Christ! D’you mean to say that that guy thinks he’s Jesus Christ?"
"Well that’s what he’s got on the name-plate."
"But what about the things he told us? Rowena, you looked as if you’d seen a ghost when he started talking about your necklace."
"But what he said is true!"
Rowena’s blue eyes were shining like sapphires.
"My mother loved plants. She spent half her life in our garden and greenhouse. She’s dead now. She died when I was fourteen as I told you before. And she did have an injured hand. Tina, she burned it really badly when she grabbed the bar of a electric fire when she was a toddler. She had the scars all her life. God! I could hardly believe what was going on when he said that. And then what about drinking. I wonder what he meant by that?"
"I’d be inclined to take it pretty seriously if I were in your shoes."
She nodded. Her eyes were still so wide open that I couldn’t help laughing to relieve the tension.
"Tina! What about the things he said to you? He said you were in danger, for heaven’s sake. Why are you laughing?"
"Oh dear. You’re right of course."
All of a sudden the humour seemed to drain out of the situation like dishwater going down a plughole. My holiday! The warning. What did it all mean? The details he’d told me about the bracelet were all true. It had belonged to my father’s mother and she, in her turn, had inherited it. And he knew that I was estranged from him too. What he’d told us was all too near the mark to be coincidental. The man had some kind of visionary gift even if he did think he was the Messiah. My holiday in Saudi Arabia? What was I going to do?
"There’s no way I can go now Rowena. Not after this."
"I don’t blame you one bit. This has given me something to think about, Tina, I can tell you that."
We took the train back. Neither of us said much on the way. We were still too busy trying to digest the prophesies of Mr Jesus Christ Kring. I found myself in the dilemma of having to tell Mohammed that I couldn’t (or didn’t dare) go to Saudi Arabia with him. I was sure that he’d think I was crazy and that it would mean the end of our friendship. Monday came and I still hadn’t thought of a feasible way of breaking the bad news to him. I was practically tearing my hair out. After work that evening I was making my way across the yard after work when a car pulled into the yard and out stepped Sybil.
"Hi there Tina! Surprised to see me?"
"Golly. Sybil. Nice to see you. What brings you here?"
"Oh, nothing special. Just a casual social call."
"I’m just going to change. I’ll be eating after that."
"Look. Why don’t you just change and come out with me for a meal. Let me treat you.
I was still deeply immersed in my quandary, hardly knowing whether I was coming or going. Sybil sensed my confusion.
"Hey. What’s eating you? Come on. Get yourself into something clean and come and eat. You can tell me all about it in the car."
I thought that I could perhaps confide in her. I had no other ideas so what did I have to lose? I was, after all, desperate.
"OK then. Just give me five minutes and I’ll be with you.
We headed westward to Portsmouth. Sybil said that she knew a good Italian restaurant there. On the way I gently began to tell her about what Rowena and I had heard in Brighton. I began by telling her what the psychometrist had told Rowena and how accurate his remarks were. I could tell that Sybil was interested by this. Then I told her my bit. When I’d done that her face took on a more serious expression and she seemed to clam up for the last half of the journey. She appeared to be weighing something up in her mind. I sat beside her, silent and gloomy. We arrived at the restaurant and ordered. Sybil poured us each a glass of white wine. After some consideration she said "Listen Tina. I think I can help you, or rather, I think I can offer you some advice on this."
She was choosing her words with care, probing her lasagne with a fork. I sat there in silence. I had the feeling that whatever she said, even if it was the soundest advice, I wasn’t going to like it. I waited for it.
"I don’t know Mohammed awfully well. I’ve been to a few dinner parties at his home and I’ve met him in London together with some mutual acquaintances that we have. He interests me as a person.
I struggled to see where she was going. What was she trying to say?
"He’s different. You know what I mean. Not the normal, run of the mill Mr Jones."
I wanted to say, "Come on, spit it out". I sat there trying my best to disguise my sullen impatience. She continued:-
"What I’m trying to say is that although he interests me as a person, as a study in human nature, if you like, I’m almost sure that he’s not the innocent bon viveur that he makes himself out to be."
"What’s a bon viveur?"
"That’s French for someone who enjoys the good life. You know, women, wine, fast cars and all that."
"You mean a playboy?"
"Something like that, yes."
Were we getting somewhere near the truth? I wondered.
"D’you mean that he’s not honest then?"
"Well. I’m not absolutely one hundred percent sure about this but...well."
She was hedging. I picked up my wineglass and took a big gulp. For some reason the image flashed across my mind of Clint Eastwood in a saloon with four days stubble on his chin. I tried to look Sybil coolly in the eye. She smiled wanly.
"I don’t know quite how I’m going to put this to you Tina. What I’m going to say probably isn’t going to endear me to you. But you’ve got to believe that my dropping in on you wasn’t just a dead casual call. I suppose I had it in my mind to tell you a thing or two. As it happens, your psychometrist friend has forced my hand."
Then it was her turn to take a deep draught of the wine. She lit a cigarette.
"I think Mohammed’s involved in a white slavery racket."
I nearly fell off my chair.
"Honestly Tina, and on this point I’m going to beg you to believe me, I don’t know this for certain. It’s just a horrible gut feeling that I’ve had. When I saw that nasty little fellow Mustafa the other week it almost made my stomach churn. I’ve heard a few whispers about that man. But you’ve got to believe that I’ve nothing to do with his dealings. However well you might think I know him. I’m just an outsider."
"Oh Sybil! What’s going on? The past month has made me so confused."
"He told me that he was taking you with him to Saudi. I couldn’t just stand by and watch. Even if I wasn’t sure, which I am, almost. I couldn’t just stand by and watch. Even if I wasn’t certain."
Sybil’s revelation seemed to add a whole lot of new pieces to the puzzle. The ugly, devious picture was emerging. I felt I’d heard enough.
"I’ve lost my appetite Sybil. I’m sorry, I can’t eat now. "Never mind. I don’t feel exactly ravenous myself. Let’s go to my place for a coffee."
Sybil paid and we walked out. It was getting dark.
Sybil’s flat, as it happened, was only five minutes from the restaurant. It was on the second floor of a house overlooking the sea. I stood staring out at the horizon as she prepared the coffee. I must admit, she made good coffee. But before I’d tasted it she had another revelation in store for me. I heard her voice call me from the kitchen "Tina Darling! D’you know, I’ve just realized something."
"Oh. What’s that Sybil?"
I replied automatically, giving scant attention to her as I watched the lights of the ships out in the Solent.
"D’you know Tina..."
Her voice had a slight but noticeable tremble... I’m trying to seduce you."
Sybil re-entered, carrying a try. She sat down on the sofa and beckoned me to come and take a seat beside her. I just obeyed. Stunned.
"Don’t look so terrified."
I was terrified. But the terror, as it had been on the occasion when I’d smoked marijuana, was mixed with a curiosity and fascination.
Sybil handed me a cup of coffee. I could see that her hand was trembling ever so slightly.
"I’m a lesbian, Tina."
She laughed and put her hand on my shoulder. "We’re just ordinary human beings too, you know." I believed her, although I’d never been closer to a real live lesbian in my whole life. Her hand moved from my shoulder down to my waist.
Don’t be scared of me darling. I think you’re so beautiful that the last thing I’d ever want to do would be to offend you or hurt your feelings."
Her lips touched my cheek. I sat there as if frozen to the sofa as her hand moved to my breast.
"And these Tina. (She let out a moan). They’re so big. So wonderful and soft and huge. You’ve got to show them to me."
She was referring to you know what. I said:-
Then I took the coffee cup and threw it with all my strength into the fireplace. I screamed.
"Seduction! Drugs! White bloody slavery! Horses dying! Lesbians! And you’ve got the stomach to sit here and squeeze my tits while you give me a fucking cup of coffee!"
I’d lost control of all the anger which had been building up inside me and it all came out in a torrent. Never in my life had I been so furious. I took the coffee table and overturned it. Sybil sat there, mouth agape. I snatched her coffee cup and tossed it after my own into the grate.
"You can shove your coffee! And tell Mohammed to go straight to hell! I hope he roasts there! Now I’m going home. So fuck you Sybil! I’ll find my own way out!"
With that I left, slamming every door I passed through. I found my way to the station, took a train to the nearest stop to the stables and then a taxi. I was back before ten thirty.Once back in my room I had time to think. Sybil, having succumbed to nothing more than a tactless sexual temptation had had to bear the full brunt of my rage at the way I’d been manipulated. The next thing that occurred to me was that I had no further motivation for staying at the stables. Derek was gone, Mohammed was a traitor and Sybil, however good or bad her motives, wasn’t the sort of person I felt like getting further involved with. I’d learnt whatever I would learn from my stay there and I felt intuitively that it was time for me to be moving on to something new. I decided to just let Mohammed come to pick me up and find out that I’d gone. Serve him right. I’d even leave him a letter.
I began packing my things there and then. By one o’clock I had everything in my case. My one reservation concerned Bert. On the one hand I felt that I owed him loyalty. On the other, I felt that staying on at the stables would serve no other purpose than the purely physical one of carrying out my job. My destiny lay elsewhere. I sat down and wrote him a letter.
Much as I hate letting you down I’m afraid that I’ve had to leave the stables at short notice. Circumstances beyond my control have forced me to do this. Please trust me when I say that to tell you the whole story would take longer than the time I now have at my disposal. Trust me also when I say that my motives are honest.
Thanks for your help and friendship. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to tell you all about this. Please don’t try to contact my mother. I’m returning home now but I don’t want to worry her. I can handle the problem myself.
PS. Could you give the enclosed letter to Mr Zulfikar?
I sealed the letter in an envelope and put it on my bedside table. Then it was Mohammed’s turn. I decided to make it short and to the point. I restricted it to a minimum.
My only regret was that I wouldn’t be there to see his face when he opened it.
From the payphone in the hall I called for a taxi to collect me from the stables at 5 a.m. I wouldn’t have anywhere to go in the middle of the night. I caught a few hours of fitful sleep and left the stables as dawn was breaking over the downs.
By midday I was home in Somerset with Mum in our little house. I was tired, angry, disillusioned and despondent. But at the same time, glad. Glad that I’d escaped a horrible fate and glad that I’d been able to have the satisfaction of thwarting those who’d tried to engineer it. Tina was no dumb blonde. I felt stronger for the episode, nasty as it had been.
Mum was very surprised, naturally enough, at my sudden reappearance. It was good to see her again and, feeling that her peace of mind was important, I told her that the reason why I left was because the stables had been forced to cut down on staff. As one of the newest members I’d had to be first. Mum commiserated, told me not to worry and made a cup of tea. I’d got out of that corner too. We caught up on the latest news. Mum said that she had been well but had missed me a lot and was glad, in spite of everything, that I was home again.
So, after my brief, but highly eventful stay at the racing stables I was home again. Square one. The bottom rung of the ladder. Life was like a game of snakes and ladders but I was glad this time that I’d landed on a snake. The ladder I’d been climbing appeared to have had a couple of rotten rungs at the top! All that remained to do was to throw the dice again and see where I landed.
I began looking for another job. I searched the job columns in the local newspapers and visited the Job Centre several times. This time there were very few vacancies of any description. I’d made up by mind this time to accept some kind of office work if I could get it. The thought of a routine, a desk and a typewriter didn’t appall me so much. After the racey life in Sussex I needed a little peace and quiet even at the cost of tedium.
After a month my efforts were rewarded. I got an interview for an office job with an insurance company. Mr Brewer, the office manager handled my application and was suitably impressed by my qualifications.
"Well, Miss Small. You’ve got quite an adequate basis here for a job with us. I see no reason why I shouldn’t offer you the position here and now. We’re in dire need of help at the moment. When d’you think you could start?"
Mr Brewer impressed me as a solid bastion of respectability in a country town. In other words, dull. He looked as if he’d been to Weston-Super-Mare for his holidays for the past thirty
years. I tried to envisage him leading a bank robbery or an expedition into the Amazon jungle. Without success.
"I could start on Monday, Mr Brewer, sir.
At the word "sir" his chest puffed up with pride. He stood up and shook my hand.
"Welcome to Bastion Alliance, Christina. You’ve got a solid future with us."
He smiled at me solidly.
I duly began and was quickly shown the ropes. My duties started with mailing out claims forms to clients. After a month or so I was shown how to give a claims form a preliminary check so that it could be handed on to Mr Brewer. (Some clients forgot to put their names on them). I did this job well as the only qualities required were orderliness and patience. My wages were better than at the stables and after a few months I’d settled into a kind of easy, cosy routine. I felt independent because I could contribute to the home, buy myself some small comforts, like clothes, books and records and be a companion to my Mum.
Life, if not exactly exciting, was comfortable and easy. Easier than it had ever been before, for both me and my mother. We’d share the housework and our little home was always warm, clean and well stocked with food. We were both in good health too. Life was like a nice warm bath.
But it couldn’t stay too easy, could it? There had to be a flaw. There had to be at least some mild irritant to establish an awareness of comfort. Such a one was Ursula Roche, secretary of the managing director Mr George Fulton. Ursula was the self- appointed conscience of the company. Swiss by birth she rolled her r’s like a mouthwash full of ball-bearings. A model of teutonic efficiency, she kept files on each member of the staff. I always felt that she was wasted at the office and would have been a godsend to the KGB. One of the men at the office who lived near her told me that when her son Klaus-Erich was a toddler she used to sit him on his pot and tie him to the leg of the table with a black, fishnet stocking. She had a flair for discipline.I came to the conclusion after some time at Bastion Alliance that Ursula had decided that I’d purposely cultivated my bust as a personal insult to herself. Her figure, which I guessed must have measured 34-28-49, with a strange, high backside, must have caused her some distress. She took my work under her eagle-eyed scrutiny.
My working hours were from 9.30 to 5.30 with a one hour lunchbreak. Most of the staff took a packed lunch with them to work and ate it in the office. I used my time to get out into the town. Some days I went to the park near the girl’s school. Mr Tu was still there on his bench every day contemplating creation like a little mandarin on a willow pattern plate. I described my time at the stables to him. He smiled a sweet, inscrutable smile and said "Pain is gleat teacher. But true sage watches sollow and joy unmoved."
It was at about this time that I decided to become a vegetarian. On my way to work each day I used to walk past a butcher’s shop. Up until then I’d accepted meateating as being the normal, natural thing, but the sight of the meat in the window, the smell of blood and sawdust and the red-faced men hacking at the flesh and bones with their knives and saws made me feel bad. Did we really have to kill animals to stay alive ourselves? At first it was difficult to create an interesting diet but after a while, with the help of one or two cookery books, I managed the change and was soon glad of it.
A whole year passed by at an easy, steady pace. My bust kept on growing slowly but surely. Everything else seemed static.
One morning I was passing the butcher’s shop on my way to work and a young blind man came out, led by a guide dog. Just outside the shop he happened to drop the package he was carrying. The dog began to sniff at it and try to tear the paper off it. I stopped, picked up the package and gave it to him.
"Here’s your meat," I said. "You’re lucky that your dog didn’t eat it."
"Thanks very much. It’s actually his meat and he knows it. I’m a vegetarian myself."
"Oh, so am I."
He looked in my direction with his blind eyes and grinned.
"My name’s Barry, Can’t see a bloody thing. I like your voice though. What’s your name?"
He stretched out his hand to me.
"This is Polo. He’s my eyes. I’m a sculptor Tina. What’s your line?"
"I work for an insurance company down the street here."
"Listen Tina. I like the sound of you. I can’t see a thing and for some reason this makes me just say exactly what I feel. I don’t hum and hah about things. I’m simple. I’m on my way home now but I’d like to meet you again. How about having lunch with me today at Finch’s?"
Why not? I thought. I liked his straight-to-the-point attitude. He already felt like a friend.
We met, and over lunch he told me a bit more about himself. He was twenty three years old and he’d been blind for the past eight years. His blindness had been caused by diabetes and he had to take insulin injections twice a day. He worked part time in a rehabilitation centre for drug abusers and people with drink problems.
"We just talk and work together. Everyone takes part in the running of the place. It’s part of learning to take responsibility. Trying to help them build a new life without drugs."
"Is it difficult?"
"Oh yes. Some of them have never had anything but drugs to rely on. It can be a very hard job for some of them to find the pieces of a new life. Many of them have got a lot to offer. It’s getting them to see this that can be hard enough."
"You told me earlier that you were a sculptor. That seems to me a pretty unusual occupation for a blind man.
"Not so strange. Before I went blind I was quite a clever painter. I won several competitions and even illustrated a book which I thought wasn’t bad for a fifteen-year-old. Obviously I can’t paint now, so I sculpt. I use my hands to feel shapes and form them. Mostly I use clay. Occasionally I’ll try something in stone but it has the disadvantage of being noisy. My neighbours don’t appreciate me chiselling away at a big rock all day long. Besides it’s much easier for me to create a form by building it up rather than cutting away the excess. You can make mistakes with clay and still get it right. Stone’s not like that."
"What sort of things do you do?"
"Mostly human heads, sometimes figures."
"I’d like to see them."
"You’re welcome to come round to my place some time. I’m working at the centre this afternoon and this evening. Our group is in charge of cleaning this week so they’ll probably have me mopping the corridors."
"D’you mean to say they get you to do that?"
"Sure. We all share the work. I even go out jogging with them. I just grab one of them by the arm and they haul me round the football field. I have actually tried playing football you know. I cherish the secret ambition of being the only blind first division footballer in Europe. Look, I must dash. I live at 34 Southleigh Avenue. Come on round. I’ll be home every evening after this evening."
"Thanks Barry. I’ll do that."
I got back to my job two minutes late. Ursula saw me hurry over to my desk. She never shut the door to her office in case she missed something which could possibly damage the interests of any of the staff. There was a lad of about sixteen called Glenn Finlay. He did all the photocopying, emptied waste paper-baskets and ran errands. He always made the afternoon tea for the staff. That afternoon he brought me my cup of tea and casually parked himself on the edge of my desk.
"I see that Ursula’s got her beady eyes on you.
"You’d think she’d got more interesting things to do with her time."
"The thing is Tina, she’s trying to get it together with Brewer. She’s divorced you see. So’s he."
"Is he really? He doesn’t look like a divorcee."
"You’d be surprised Tina. He’s a man of many surprises is our Mr Brewer." Glenn winked at me knowingly. This made me laugh. I don’t think he’d even started shaving. This embarrassed him and he protested "I’m not joking. Old Brewer’s a bigshot in the local National Front."
"Are those the ones that hate Jews, negroes and Pakistanis?"
"I don’t believe you."
"All right then don’t!"
Glenn puckered his brow and stuck out his chin defiantly. He hadn’t given up.
"Look Tina, Sue says that Ursula’s got a picture of him dressed up in a Nazi uniform. She keeps it next to her bed."
"Come off it Glenn!
By this time his face was red with frustration.
"Honest Tina. I swear it. Sue drove her home last Christmas after the office party. She was too smashed to drive herself. Sue even had to help her undress. That’s when she saw the photo. Der Fuhrer, Heinrich von Brewer. It’s a dirty old world Tina."
He retired to the kitchen tut-tutting over the iniquity of the world.
The following week I took up Barry’s invitation. I arrived at his flat one evening and my first thought was that I’d wasted a journey as all the lights were out. But when he answered the door the penny dropped. Blind people don’t have a lot of use for electric lighting. I asked him to switch them on for my benefit. "Oh of course, it’s dark isn’t it? Glad you could come.Polo, the dog, wagged his tail and sniffed me. Barry went on:-
"My last electricity bill was £4 and something. I cook and heat the place with gas. Being blind as a bat does have advantages you know. It’s not all black. Actually lots of people have asked me what I see, whether it’s actually just black inside my head. In fact it’s a sort of mottley grey, not black."
There were no curtains in Barry’s flat. All along the window-sills were rows of heads in clay. Otherwise there were no pictures or ornaments of any kind. The total furnishing consisted of two armchairs, a dining table, a carpet and a large dog basket.
"Take a seat. I’ll get you a coffee in a moment. No doubt you find it all a bit spartan. But if you look at it from my point of view, there’s no clutter. I can get on without flying ducks. If it gets a mess I don’t notice. Good eh?"
He walked out into the kitchen, feeling for the doorway. There he filled the kettle. His hands flitted warily among the jars on the shelf finally settling on the coffee jar.
"You see, I’ve learned to use my other senses to a much greater degree than I ever thought possible before I lost my sight. They can compensate for a heck of a lot. Sometimes I get a bit fed up and think, "Why did it have to happen to me?" But I can feel and smell and hear much better than any seeing person."
He spooned some coffee into two mugs, cautiously poured in the boiling water without overfilling them and passed me one.
"Help yourself to milk and sugar. What d’you think of my sculpture?"
I surveyed a row of clay heads on the kitchen windowsill.
"I do them all by touch. If there’s anything I’d really like to catch a glimpse of it’s them. But if I could see them I’d never have made them. Hmm."
The heads, in raw, red clay were all lovingly made, detailed down to a whisp of hair across a brow or a mole on a cheek. Only the eyes were oddly lifeless although perfect in all detail.
"I’m amazed that you can make anything so detailed. I think they’re marvellous. How d’you find models?"
"Oh, just people I work with or bump into in one way or another. I choose the voice first. If the voice interests me then I can be almost sure that the person’s a good model. You’d be amazed at what I can read from a voice."
The statement seemed to me to contain some sort of cryptic hint. The thought that my voice could betray details of my anatomy made me uncomfortable. Somehow, the fact that Barry had been unable to see my tits had made our relationship easy. I was beginning to realize how attracted I was to him. He was good looking, intelligent and creative. I didn’t want anything to upset our friendship.
"Then when I get to know someone better I just ask if I can touch them."
"Their faces of course. Don’t misunderstand me, please."
"And that’s how you make your models."
"You’ve got it."
"I don’t know any of those faces so I can’t see how lifelike they are."
"They’re all pretty near the mark apparently. Or so my friends lead me to believe."
We sat at the table and sipped our coffee in silence. I wondered if Barry was going to ask me to model for him.
"I’d like to have a try at you.
I could read minds it seemed. I said nothing because I’d just realized that I was in love.
"You don’t sound very enthusiastic."
"I am. I was just surprised..." I lied.
"So you will then?"
"Yes, if you really want me too."
"Oh I do!"
Did his voice betray a tiny hint of longing? My heart was beating like a drum! What was this feeling? Suddenly I was in love. Barry’s easy outgoing manner had suddenly changed into a sort of reticence. The kind of reservation mixed with longing that you feel when a kindred soul suddenly shows up in your life like a bolt of thunder from a blue sky. We were like two magnets in the middle of a huge force field, ready to click together in an instant of time but hovering, waiting, teetering on the brink. I had the sort of feeling that made me wonder how I’d ever imagined that I could have been alive before this happened. Before this man stepped into my life outside the butcher’s shop. He stretched out his hand to me.
"Let me touch your face."
I took his hand and guided it to my face. There was a vibration like electricity as we touched. Did he feel it too? His fingers touched my hair and searched the contours of my cheeks and eyebrows.
"Yes. I can do that. Your hair is beautiful Tina. What colour is it?"
"Blonde? Oh how I wish I could see it Tina."
Then, as suddenly as it had come, his mood changed. He laughed aloud and slapped the table with the flat of his hand.
"When can we start then? I’ll have to get some more clay so it can’t be tonight. When can you come again?"
"How about Friday? I can come on Friday evening."
"OK then. We’ll settle for that. Now I’ve got to get some sleep because I start work at six thirty in the morning. So I’ll see you on Friday evening. You can come here straight from work and eat if you like. That’ll give us more time."
I left, went home and waited for Friday to come round.
The sculpture took a long time to make. The very first stage, which took up more than the whole of the first visit, was the building of a wire framework on which the clay was to be formed. I used to go along to his flat twice a week on different evenings because he often worked late at the rehabilitation centre. If you can imagine how he used to agonize over the formation of an earlobe or the shape of a nose then you’ll understand what a time it took.
I sat still while Barry’s hands flitted between the clay and my face. By the end of a session I would be covered in a thin film of red clay. My face actually looked like the finished product. The model gradually grew and grew and after a month I could begin to see that it was actually my face that was beginning to materialize out of the lump of earth on the table.
He worked in almost complete silence. The only words spoken being his expressions of delight when he felt that he’d succeeded in capturing a form and annoyance when he got it wrong. Sometimes he’d have to remake a line ten, twelve, fifteen times before he’d be satisfied with it, never asking for my opinion, he worked totally from his own judgement. I would sit still and he would shape contours, rubbing and shaping the shiny wet clay with his fingers or one of the many instruments he had for this purpose. After an hour or so of work I would stop and make a coffee.
Throughout this time, which lasted several months, my feelings towards him remained the same.
At work during the daytime I would sit and look forward to seeing him again. Western Alliance was beginning to bore me.
An opportunity had presented itself for a job at a local travel agent’s. I’d earned a living at Western Alliance but there’d been very little stimulus and Ursula’s petty minded ways had annoyed me from time to time. But I’d felt content enough in general to just shrug them off. I did however send off an application for the new job. I soon received a reply inviting me for an interview the following week. The next day I told Mr Brewer that I had to go for a medical check-up that day and asked for time off. He consented at once.
The interview at the travel agent’s was with a Mr Smythe. He was a prematurely bald headed man in his thirties with an olive complexion and a rather large hooked nose over a whispy moustache. I didn’t much like the look of him. He browsed through my papers, stopping from time to time to eye me up and down across the desk. I couldn’t help noticing how his eyes settled frequently on my breasts. Having assumed an impression of what sort of girl I was, he pronounced:-
"Yes. We could use you here."
He had a strong northern accent which seemed out of place with his appearance.
My job, he went on to explain, would be to sell and arrange bookings for package holidays and business trips abroad. I would have to learn to book seats on planes and boats and trains all over the world. It was, at certain times of the year, very busy. He asked if I thought I could handle a lot of stress and still keep my head. I said yes. He looked me up and down again and smiled.
"You’ve just got to see things for what they are and get on with it."
I nodded. To say that I didn’t have certain misgivings about the job would be a lie. Mr Smythe seemed to me to be a rather bossy sort of man. He went on:-
"All you’ve got to remember is that I’m the boss here and what I say goes. But I’m very impressed with your qualifications. I think we’ll get along fine."
I wasn’t quite as confident of that as he seemed to be but the thought of a new challenge was irresistible.
"Does that mean that I’ve got the job, Mr Smythe?"
"I’ll have to give a week’s notice at Western Alliance."
"So you can start a week on Monday?"
"So we’ll see you then Christina."
"Thank you Mr Smythe."
I’d got a new job. I was looking forward to being more in contact with the public. Being up front instead of in an overheated back room.
I mentioned to Barry that evening at our sitting that I’d found a new job.
"That’ll be a good place for a pretty girl like you Tina. You’ll pull in a bit of custom for them."
"I hope so."
The modelling progressed. My feelings for Barry grew stronger and stronger. I was mad about him. Sometimes little things he said or did made me feel certain that my feelings were reciprocated. Then he’d suddenly revert to a casual, offhand manner and treat me just as if I was a pal, a friend, but nothing more than that. I didn’t want to be just a friend. I wanted to mean as much to him as he did to me.
I started my new job as scheduled. Learning the ropes at Smythe Travel was a lot more demanding than anything I’d done before. The stack of international timetables was enormous. It took me a fortnight before I began to know which ones to refer to. Which was the quickest route from Iceland to Singapore? Which was the cheapest? How does a man get his five-year-old daughter over to London from Copenhagen for a holiday? Will the stewardesses take care of her on the plane? Is it legal to fly alone at that age? It took time to learn these little things. Slowly, however, I became more capable and independent at my job. Mr Smythe was complimentary but he always dished out praise in such a way as to suggest that to impress him was very special indeed.
After I’d been at Smythe Travel a month Barry announced that after the next sitting the sculpture would be finished.
"Blood, sweat and tears Tina. But it’ll soon be there. Another couple of hours on Wednesday and your flowing locks will be immortalized."
"I’ve enjoyed sitting for you Barry."
Was that a tone of endearment? Was he pleased? We parted that evening and I was as convinced as I’d ever been that he was in love with me too. Perhaps when the work was finished he’d say something. I felt hopeful.
The next day at work a surprise was in store for me. At ten o’clock, Marcia, one of the girls, told me that Mr Smythe wanted to see me in his office after our lunch hour. I wondered what this could mean. Had I done something wrong? I waited on tenterhooks until two o’clock, then walked over to his room at the back of the building and knocked at the door.
His deep voice boomed from behind the door. He smiled as I entered. Perhaps everything was OK after all.
"Take a seat Christina."
I sat down opposite him.
"So you’ve been here a little while now. How do you like your work?"
"It’s fine Mr Smythe."
"Really you don’t know how lucky you are to have landed a job like this. But I’m glad to hear that you like it here. I’ve noticed that you do your work well."
"Thank you Mr Smythe."
"I might add that your very attractive figure has given rise to numerous admiring comments from our customers."
Tits again. But I did like acknowledgement for other resources.
"In fact, you’ll be glad to hear that I’m very pleased with you so far."
He emphasised the last two words.
"You could go places with this company you know."
He sat back in his leather chair and looked at me uninhibitedly.
"You’re a very lucky girl you know."
"Yes Mr Smythe."
"Now, you may or may not know this Christina, but I’m a very powerful man."
He did have a bull-neck and a fleshy, protruding lower lip.
"I’m a Taurus you know. Astrologically that is. D’you know anything about astrology?"
"Only very little. I’ve read a few articles in womens’ magazines."
What was he trying to say?
"Well, Taurus is an earth sign. I’m an earthy person. I feel very comfortable in the material world. I like my comforts."
"Yes Mr Smythe."
"And I’ve got all the comforts money can buy."
He paused for a few moments and toyed dreamily with his moustache.
"Now I’m going to put a proposition to you Christina. One that you’d be wise to consider very carefully. There are good promotion prospects for my employees in this firm. Yours could be especially good. Are you listening carefully?"
"Now, relationships in business are very important. You give a little, and you take a little. You try to promote " harmony. His face had taken a sort of humble look. He went on:-"You do someone a favour and they do you a favour. Now what sort of favours do you think you could do for me Christina?"
"I’m not sure what you mean Mr Smythe."
Was he talking about overtime, I wondered?
"Do I have to spell it out for you, young lady? Listen, I’m a man, right? And a very powerful one too, as I’ve said before. And you’re a woman. Now there are certain things...well... things that men and women do together which..."
"Mr Smythe. If you’re suggesting that I...that we...if you’re suggesting what I think you’re suggesting then I refuse!"
His face blanched and his lower lip began to tremble. He looked like a little boy about to burst into tears. His voice trembled as he replied.
"I’m a very powerful man Christina."
His gravity was pathetic.
"I’ve got powers you’ve never even dreamed of!"
"You can’t buy me Mr Smythe. My body’s not for sale."
He began shaking his head from side to side, his chin lowered to his collar. The rumbling of his voice was cracking with restrained tears.
"You re seriously jeopardizing the privilege of your job young lady. You’ve spat in my face you know."
"I haven’t spat in your face."
"This won’t do Christina. I’m going to have to give you immediate notice to quite my employ."
"You can’t do that."
"Oh yes I can!"
And he did. The worst of it all was that in the midst of this farce I felt pity for the man. He’d tried to buy me, and then through his own absurd self-importance, sacked me for not accepting. I felt disgust mixed with pity that a grown man could be so duped by his own pomposity. One half of me wanted to take the water jug on his desk and crack it across his bald head but the pitiful childlike vulnerability behind the ridiculous conviction of strength held me back. He’d snatched my livelihood away at a whim.
"You ridiculous pig of a man!"
His chin sank further into his collar.
"Don’t you speak to me like that! You’ve no idea who you’re talking to!"
He was almost blubbing. I stood up and walked out. I’d lost my job. I’d been fired on the spot because a pitiful creature behind a desk had discovered that he couldn’t use me like a plaything. Power, that was what it was about. When he found that it wasn’t as great as he thought, he used it to deprive me of my living. Who could help me? I’d heard Smythe mention on several occasions that his brother-in-law was a Chief Inspector with the local police. I could count them out. It was also common knowledge in the office that he was a shareholder in the local evening paper.
I was alone. Mum was there and would always stand by me, but what could she accomplish? I knew I’d have to take it on the chin alone.
I spent the remainder of the afternoon wandering around the town in a daze. I’d been beaten and could see no way of fighting back. My world was rocking again.
The next day I was due to have my final sitting for Barry. My friendship, or rather love, for him was an oasis in my otherwise creaking existence.
I said nothing to my mother about what had gone on at work. The next morning I got up at the usual time and left as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. I needed time to gather my strength again.
I spent the whole day wandering about the town thinking. I’d never get a reference from Smythe. What sort of work could I get now? I drank coffee at various places and tried to think out a plan, to no avail. The minutes ticked by. The shops closed. People started leaving town for their homes and evening meals. Then came the period when nothing was happening. Work had finished and the night-life hadn’t yet begun. The public library was the only place to go.
An hour went by as I wandered round the bookshelves. I stopped at some large illustrated books about painting through the ages. There were many pictures of nude women in the books in varying poses; lying on a chaise longue, picking flowers in a garden, sitting on the edge of a bed. There were nude women in groups, even nude women descending from out of the clouds. There was one of a naked girl at a picnic surrounded by men in full dress who were looking as if the whole situation was as commonplace as smoking a cigarette.
What struck me hardest was the fact that not one of these women had breasts which remotely approached mine in size. Mine were several times the size of even the biggest-busted women in the paintings. So the doctors had said that my condition was nothing very out of the ordinary, but I could see that my body was nothing like the ideals of feminine beauty which painters had extolled and immortalized through the ages. Was I really a freak after all? Judging by most of the men who’d made advances to me in my life, it seemed that I only attracted those who wanted to use me. To buy or sell me.
Thank God for Barry. This was my thought as I set off from the library for our final sitting. My only misgiving concerned what our relationship was going to look like when it was over.
When I arrived at his flat the lights were out as usual. But he was home. He invited me in and threw a couple of switches so that I too could find my way about. I’d already decided not to mention what had happened at work until he’d finished the sculpture.
"Hi Tina. Last sitting today. We’ll be finished in an hour if all goes according to plan."
I was very, very tense. Barry began by talking about one of the fellows at the rehabilitation centre who’d actually been dealing in drugs whilst he was receiving treatment. It had taken a week before anyone had spilled the beans. He’d taken off and done a runner. He knew he’d get a jail sentence if he was caught. Barry said:-
"It’s funny how you can be fooled like that. Pete seemed such a helpful out-going sort of guy. The kind that I’d be very optimistic about. And yet he’d been cheating on us all the time. We called an emergency meeting to get him to speak for himself but he was up and gone like a flash. It was the hepatitus that finally sank him. The bugger’s eyes were turning yellow so he knew he’d be sussed. Anyway. Let’s get on with it. You’re quiet tonight."
For an hour he worked with his clay and tools as he fashioned the last locks of hair to go onto the sculpture. I still had the same feelings as he touched my hair. Before long he was done.
"That’s it. Finished? I’ve done it! What d’you think?"
I turned and looked at his work. It was uncanny how those final touches had brought the thing to life. There I was. A piece of clay on a table. But it was me. A lump of earth, but with his hands he’d taken something from me and put it into the clay to make it live.
"It’s absolutely beautiful Barry. How do you do it?" "Dunno!" He laughed.
"You’ve worked so well Tina. Thanks for being such a great subject."
"I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,’ I said truthfully. "Have you really? Didn’t you ever get bored?"
I looked at his face. He’d become hesitant. He was struggling with something inside himself and I knew what it was. He stood up and took a deep breath. His hand was shaking
"Tina, would you mind if I kissed you?" I was trembling too. "No Barry. I wouldn’t mind."
His hand fumbled with the back of my chair as he bent his face towards mine. I turned my head so that my mouth found his. It had happened.
He raised his head and smiled. "Shall we do that again Tina?"
"Yes. Let’s do that again."
He leaned over me again. His hand touched my cheek, as we kissed and moved down to my neck and shoulder. Every pore of me was alive.
I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then? But sucked on country pleasures childishly?
I’d done that poem for my "0" level! "You’re so beautiful to touch Tina." His fingers moved to my collarbone and slowly downward. We stopped kissing to draw breath. Our lips touched again. He put both his hands under my arms to lift me up to his level. He wanted me to stand so that both our bodies could meet full length. I stood up and put my arms around his neck. We kissed again. This time his hands moved downward to my waist. Then his whole body gave a start.
"Tina! Are you pregnant?"
"No! No, Barry. I’m not."
"But...but you feel so..."
His hands fumbled awkwardly over the front of my body. He wanted to find the truth and he soon did. He took two sudden paces backward, bumping the table hard. The clay head, my head, fell over, a crack appearing from eyebrow to cheek.
"What’s the matter Barry?" I shouted.
He found a chair and sat down head in hands as if in despair.
"Tell me what’s the matter Barry. Please, speak to me! I’m not pregnant! Those were my breasts you could feel!"
He remained mute. Head still in hands.
"Please answer me Barry!"
"Yes. I know. I know that that’s what they are."
"Then why...why did you..."
He looked up sightlessly and began speaking.
"Listen. Please go Tina. Just leave me alone."
"Barry. How can you say that? Please? How?"
He sat there and turned his head away towards the window.
"Speak to me Barry. That’s all I ask! Just tell me why!"
I stood there shaking. The truth was clear to me even if he couldn’t say it. My body disgusted him. He sat there rigidly, head turned away, frightened, confused and defiant. I’d lost him.
That heralded the beginning of the hardest period of my whole life. Barry was gone, although with me every moment of the day. I had no job and could see neither prospect nor point in getting one. My breasts, the direct cause of all my suffering, just kept on growing and my interests in life from that day onward only diminished.
My time was spent mostly at home, shut away in my room. For days after I’d left Barry’s flat I cried but in time even the source of my tears dried up. I felt like an empty, drained shell of a person with nothing left inside me. My only solace at this point was reading. And what a miserable solace that proved to be. The books which seemed to fall into my hands only served to deepen the state of despair into which I was rapidly sinking. In my impressionable state books like Dostoevsky’s "Crime and Punishment" or Albert Camus’s "The Stranger" only seemed to confirm to me that the darker side of human nature was the more powerful. Ugliness, greyness, greed, lust, all became more real to me than the happy things of life. For me these things slowly got swallowed up by the dark mists of depression. Every book I found seemed to strengthen this impression more and more. "Madame Bovary", "Othello", "Tales of Mystery and Imagination". I swallowed them all.
I also took to studying painting and pictorial art in the cocoon of misery that I was weaving about myself. Of course it was only the darker side of the art that could speak to me in the state of mind I was in. Edward Munch’s painting "The Scream", was one I could easily relate to. My life seemed to have become a reflection of all these dark things. Betrayal, deformity, deception and isolation.
I began eating less and less and taking no interest in my appearance. When I wasn’t at home I spent my time wandering about alone in the countryside.
My Mum, of course, noticed the deterioration in my condition at once. I’d told her that I’d left my job because I couldn’t cope with the stress and left it at that. She tried and tried to cheer me up to no avail. I’d forgotten what it felt like to be happy and just kept on sinking into the darkness.
But darkness gave me no peace. I was restless and nervous. I slept badly and woke early in the mornings, listless and tired. I began having nightmares which frightened me more and more with their bizarre contents. I was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to sleep but I was terrified of the world into which I stepped whilst I slept. One of the dreams which I can most clearly remember went like this I was sitting alone in a strange room. In front of me was an easel, on which stood a painting, brushes, paints and turpentine. I was painting. Somehow I knew that someone was going to enter the room, but I didn’t know who. I could just hear slow, heavy footsteps coming up the stairs. The door burst open and there stood the most horrifying creature that I’d ever seen. He (it was formed like a man) stood about seven feet tall with huge, powerfully muscled shoulders and arms that could tear a lion limb from limb. His skin looked like dark, uncured hide, blackish brown in colour and his face was the most horrible thing I’d ever beheld. It was a devil.
I realized at once that I was in terrible danger, but also that there was no possible way I could escape. All I could do was to scream out my terror. Help! Help! Help! Then, in the next instant, the creature was standing chained by its wrists to a huge stone pillar in the hallway. I knew that in this state even he was helpless so I started looking for an axe or some other deadly weapon so that I could kill him. I wanted to hack him to pieces. I can never remember feeling such violent hatred. No injury would have been too horrible to inflict on that creature. But I could find nothing. Nothing but a wooden coathanger. My attack on the beast with this instrument was futile, but I tried.
I woke up thrashing my pillow with my arms. I was scared and sweating.
The worst thing of all was that I couldn’t communicate to anyone around me about what was happening to me. Everyone else seemed to be just going about their business as if everything was just fine. And yet there was I, locked up in this frightening world which had swamped my imagination and grasped me with sticky tentacles that just would not let go, however hard I struggled.
Mum insisted that I went to see the doctor. My eyes had begun to stare like flaming orbs. She couldn’t understand what was happening to me. And neither could I! I couldn’t sit still and had to keep walking around. If anyone called I tried to pretend that I was OK but the tension inside me was so obvious. I think I scared people.
I remember sitting fidgeting in the consulting room with the woman doctor who’d taken over from Dr Terpilowski. She told me to start getting out and about to meet people. Join a club. I thought that I was teetering on the edge of the dark abyss of insanity. The idea of enrolling in evening classes made me want to shriek. It felt as if I was roasting in the fires of hell and some well wisher had offered me a copy of "Woman’s Own" to take my mind off things. She prescribed some tranquillizers for me and I went home. Later I realised that what I was suffering from was a severe nervous breakdown.
The tablets helped me to sleep. I knew from the beginning that it was a mistake to take them. Something inside me said that. But I was so desperate that I’d have taken anything to relieve my nightmare. I remember how I used to swallow two of the pills with water and wait for the warm feeling of drowsiness that used to come creeping over me. Slowly, my whole body would relax and then everything would seem less important and terrifying. They would blank things off temporarily but the ghosts were still waiting to jump out at me again as soon as they got a chance. I hadn’t swept then away and I knew it.
Throughout this time which lasted for many months my breasts kept on and on growing in spite of the fact that I as a whole was losing weight. This horror, as I saw it then, caused me terrible anxiety. I had visions of me shrinking away leaving nothing but a gigantic pair of breasts. This fear came up in my dreams too, again and again.
One which recurred was a nightmare in which I was lying strapped to a table, (something like an operating table) only it was in the middle of a forest. As I lay there helpless on the table my breasts grew visibly bigger and bigger. They grey slowly until they covered the whole of my body. Then they began to cover my face. They were soft and warm and heavy and slowly I started to have trouble breathing. Then came the terrifying feeling of panic. I struggled to catch the tiniest gasps of air, but it was no use. I couldn’t scream because I’d lose the last precious breath I had. The dream used to end with men in white coats heaving my breasts away from my face and carrying me away. Just as in the devil dream, I was saved from the ultimate horror, but the problem still remained.
I suppose that the tablets provided an escape for me. But it was only a blind alley and my morale was by this time so low that I didn’t even dare go to the village store to get some shopping.
By this time I’d started thinking about suicide.
The thought terrified me at first. But I also found it attractive. I said nothing about it to anyone. Who could understand my position? I was, after all, a freak. What was there for me to look forward to?
I remember at this time seeing a film version of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" on television. One scene which really cut deep was the one in which Quasimodo, the hunchback, was up in the belfry of the cathedral looking down on the mob below who were howling for his blood. He was thinking about his love for the beautiful Esmeralda. Holding onto one of the stone gargoyles, he said:-
"Why was I not made of stone, like you?" I knew exactly how he felt, as I looked at my body in the bathroom mirror that evening.
It was about a month after this that I decided to take the plunge. The big one. I’d pondered on what was the best way to do it. The thought of dying in my sleep seemed the easiest. Just to fall asleep and never wake up again. The most terrible thing in all of this was the way in which I knew it would damage my mother. How could she possibly cope with such a thing? How could I just leave her with a terrible burden like that? But on the other hand how could I live with myself? A kind of Monster, an accident of creation like a two headed dog. What had I done to deserve my fate? I felt like the brunt of some sort of cosmic joke. The fall girl!
I can remember going out for a walk around this time and being horrified that the daylight had begun to turn green! At the same time I felt as if ants were crawling around beneath my skin. Not only was my body malformed but my mind was sick too. Existence was becoming more and more of a horror to me for each day that passed. Life, living in a physical and mental nightmare, or death, and the awful knowledge that I’d cause terrible suffering to someone I cared for. The choice was there for me.
And what about God? What would happen to me afterwards? What was on the other side? Was there such a thing as Hell? Was there peace? I wanted there to be nothingness. Huge, eternal, black nothingness to swallow me up so that not an atom of my consciousness remained. Coming back to the present and sanity, (I’m actually sitting in a railway station waiting-room at this moment) I have to laugh, pinch myself and say, "The nightmare’s over, Tina".
But it wasn’t over then. I was right in the middle of it and it was getting worse.
Could I jump off a building? I knew every building for miles about and there was none high enough for me to jump off and be sure of ending it. Besides, did I have the courage for such a leap? Railway lines were another possibility. Blood and steel and crushed bones. And someone else being accidentally instrumental in my death.
The last time I’d gone to fetch a prescription from the doctor, which I did every two weeks, she’d asked me in a matter-of-fact way whether I’d had any thoughts of suicide. I feigned surprise and told her I was beginning to feel better. My eyes must have told her a different story.
"There’s not enough for that in one of these prescriptions you know. You’d need twice as many at least."
She looked at me sternly. Admonishment, but no way out of my fate. No doorway to the light either. Just a wagging finger. But I needed much more than that.
By then I’d made up my mind. I was going to go. How I’d do it wasn’t yet sure but I’d at least resolved the agony of indecision. The unknown waited for me and I wanted to say my goodbyes to the physical world. I felt a surge of sorrow as I looked around on the way back from the doctor’s. The trees were all dropping their leaves and the tall ones on the hills were already naked and stretching their branches up through the thin sunlight. –I’m going soon... Goodbye trees, goodbye grass, goodbye sheep. –So you’re leaving us Tina. –Yes, I’m going. I’m going. Going far, far away. –How far Tina? –Oh, farther than you’ve ever dreamed possible. Farther than the farthest star. Way, way out into the stillness where nothing moves and nothing is. –What are you going to do there Tina? –Nothing. Nothing at all. –Why do you want to go Tina? Why are you going to leave us? –I don’t have to tell you that. It’s a secret. This place is only hurting me. It hurts to be here and it hurts me to go too. But I want to go away and sleep. –Are you tired of us Tina? –I’m not tired of you trees, or you grass. You don’t hurt anyone. You just whisper and grow and stand there. You’re not like people. –What are people like then Tina? –They tell you how you’re supposed to be. And they tell lies. –Is that why you want to go? –Not just that. –Why then? Tell us, Tina, tell us. –I can’t tell you. I can’t. –Oh Tina! Oh Tina!
I hurried home to my secret plan. I even wanted to hide from the trees and grass.
Having understood that the tranquillizers weren’t enough in themselves to make a peaceful exit, I pondered again on how the deed was to be done. My only reflections, having made the decision, concerned divine retribution. I’d remembered one of the girls in school who was a born-again Christian saying that if you committed suicide you would go to hell. Of course I wasn’t sure of what was to come but the idea of hell and damnation seemed to me to be an outrage. Anyhow, where did the concept of hell come from? Wasn’t it just a tool in the hands of the powerful? A way of using fear in order to gain power over others? The same girl, I remembered, had said that even Adolf Hitler, had he asked for forgiveness on his deathbed, would have gained a place in heaven. "Sorry God, it was all a bit of a mistake, I was just trying to get the Aryan race together and it sort of went to my head. I’m terribly sorry about it now though, so if you’ve nothing against it I’d like to take my place in the realm of paradise." Nothing that religion had to say made any kind of sense to me, so the step was really a gamble.
Mum was making tea when I got back. She herself had begun to despair of the state I was in. All her efforts to brighten me up had failed. I’d decided that the future, despite any longings I might have, held only misery for me. I was a misfit with two gigantic tits on the front of my body. After drinking my tea and picking at a scone I went up to my room to look at my tablets. The time was drawing near.
I knew from experience that two tablets would make me sleep. If I took three or four I’d be groggy for hours the next morning. God knows how long I’d sleep if I took the forty-eight that I’d just got from the chemists. I knew that alcohol made the effect much stronger. There was a warning on the bottle. I knew that there was a small unopened bottle of brandy in one of the kitchen cupboards. This had surprised me as I knew that Mum never drank. This was a legacy of Dad’s excesses. I’d never asked her why it was there.
So my way was clear. I’d take the tablets with the brandy. Then I’d go outside into the night air and sleep. The combination of drink, tablets and cold would kill me.
I went to bed in a kind of ecstasy of terror mixed with relief and expectation. I lay listening in the dark as Mum went through her bedtime routine. Finally I heard the click of the switch on her bedside lamp and the creak of her bed as she settled down to sleep. After half an hour I got out of bed, took a sheet of paper and a pen and wrote her a note.
This is surely the most awful letter I could ever write to you. I’ve decided that I can’t bear to live any longer. I feel like a monster and a misfit.
Goodbye and love, Tina
I swallowed the tablets, washed them down with brandy, left the note on my bed and crept downstairs into the back garden. From there I went out into the field beyond and lay down in the grass beneath the hedge. I looked up into the sky and fell asleep.
I don’t know how long I slept but I can dimly remember waking up again and making my way to the house. It was still dark and I couldn’t understand how I was still alive. But alive I was. I felt sure of that. In the kitchen I found a sharp knife and made my way up to my room. I sat down on the bed and with the knife I began cutting open my wrist. I was still only half awake and numb so I could feel virtually no pain. Blood started to come, but slowly. I had to cut again. This time it started flowing, spurting out in little jets in time with my pulse.
After a few minutes I’d lost a lot of blood. The bed was soaked. I was getting weaker and weaker but the blood kept on clotting and after what seemed like an age I no longer had the strength to cut. I lay there in the warm sticky mess of blood, drained and defeated. But still alive. Using the last of my strength I got up and tottered into Mum’s room, woke her and held out my wrist. I was too tired to speak.
Ten minutes later I was in an ambulance with Mum and on my way to hospital. I can remember a doctor with a mask on his face and nurses around me working quickly to stitch up the wound. I was then wheeled off into a little room and left there on my own.
Some time later a doctor walked in.
"Hello Christina. I have to ask you whether you were really serious about what you did?"
"Then I’m going to have to insist on your going into psychiatric care. You have to realise that that’s the law. It’s for your own protection."
I nodded again. I didn’t care what they did to me.
Then Mum came in. She took a chair and sat down, looking at me at face level. I could see that she couldn’t find words to say to me. I closed my eyes, not being able to face her. Finally she spoke "I don’t know what to say to you Christina. The doctors told me that you’ll have to go into hospital. I think that at the moment that’s the best thing for you. I can’t look after you when you’re like this."
She was in tears. I looked at her but couldn’t feel anything. I was just a pair of eyes with nothing behind them. No more will, no feelings, no desires.
She caressed my hair, stood up and left the room.
I fell asleep and woke up in another room. There was a plastic tube attached to the back of my hand. It led to a bottle on a chrome stand. There was a young girl in a white coat sitting next to my bed reading a magazine. I was wearing a stiff, blue cotton nightie.
"You’re awake then. How d’you feel?"
My body felt as stiff as a plank. I could barely move and my stomach was aching. I felt like a "thing."
"My name’s Allison. Is there anything I can get you?"
"I’d like some water. My mouth’s so dry."
She fetched me a plastic mug of water. "Did it get that bad?"
"But you’re still with us."
"Yes, it looks that way."
"C an you sleep again? You probably need it."
"I don’t know."
I lay back on the pillow and looked at the bottle dangling on the chromium stand. The room was dimly lit by a lamp on one wall. Allison spoke again:-
"There’ll be someone in here all night. You’re in the admissions ward at the moment but when you’re strong enough to get up you’ll be moved to another ward."
I fell asleep again.
The next few days passed in a haze. I just did what I was told. After two days I felt strong enough to get up and take a few steps. My body was still in a kind of cramp spasm which I guessed must have been the result of the overdose and the cold. After three days the cramp had eased enough for me to go out of my room and into the day room to drink some tea. I can’t remember much more than that. Mum came to visit me once but I just sat there in a chair still barely able to find anything inside me to say. My blood was tested every day to see that it was getting back to normal. They said I’d lost about three pints.
Dreadful as I felt at the time, there must have been something left of the will to live left inside me as I remember going into the TV room to watch a programme after about four days. I was sitting there together with several patients and some staff when a man, unshaven and ill looking came tottering into the room dressed only in a striped nightshirt. He looked confused and frightened.
"Oh! I can feel they’re coming again. I hear their voices. Can you do something please?"
One of the staff said:-
"Go back to your bed Mickey. Just go and lie down. You’ll be OK."
One of the patients who was sitting next to me said softly:-"They’re drying him out. He’s a wino. Looks like he’s in for a bout of DT’s."
"Delirium tremens. It’s your body reacting to abstinence. Bloody awful. You see things, horrible things. And hear voices.
The man in the nightshirt had gone and reappeared again. Sweat was glistening on his brow.
"It’s getting worse and worse. Get the doctor please, will you?"
"Look Mickey. Go back to bed, will you? The doctor’ll be here in half an hour."
He left again. Two minutes later he was back, looking, if possible, even worse. This time he collapsed on the floor and started shaking violently. His eyes were wide open but only the whites were visible. The staff members leapt on him to hold him still. One of them stuck the corner of a cushion into his mouth.
"Fetch Dr Morgan. Quick!"
A minute later a young doctor appeared. The man had stopped shaking and he’d been covered by a blanket. A staff member entered carrying a steel tray with a syringe on it. The doctor stuck it into the man’s buttock. He was unconscious.
The man next to me said:-
"They should have done that half an hour ago!"
After several more minutes Mickey began to stir. He slowly opened his eyes but there was no recognition in them. Only fear and bewilderment. The doctor looked down at him, his brow wrinkled with concern.
"How d’you feel Mickey.
The man beside me nudged me. He was grinning.
"Well that’s got to be the stupidest bloody question I’ve heard for a long time, don’t you think?"
The next day I was transferred to another ward on the fifth floor of the same building. Here I was interviewed by a consultant psychiatrist called Dr Everard Newman. Beside him sat a younger doctor. The consultant eyed me sternly.
"Well Miss Small, how do you feel now after this attempt to take your life?"
I cringed. Did I have to face an inquisition?
"I feel terrible."
"Yes, I’m sure you do. You’ll be staying here for a short period and then it’ll be time to re-adjust yourself to the outside world again. Is that clear?"
The doctor beside him said nothing.
Re-adjust myself to the world? I didn’t want to see the world again. I was terrified of the world and they were already talking about sending me out there again.
As an aside at this point I could add that a year or so later I heard that the consultant, Dr Newman, had himself been committed for care under the mental health laws and was a patient at a large mental hospital fifty miles away.
Needless to say, I left the consultation feeling considerably worse than before. Where was I? What had gone wrong? What was I doing there?
Whatever the purpose of treatment in a mental hospital, I think that life itself proves to be the only real healer. I was given several tablets a day and another two to make me sleep in the evening. As soon as my blood had got back to normal, which it did after a fortnight, the staff started to try to make me regain an interest in life. "Why don’t you go down to the cookery class?" or, "If you’re not interested in food why don’t you go down to the workshop and learn to repair bicycles?" I wasn’t interested. The thought of mending a puncture or sandpapering a bread board seemed like a joke. I didn’t want to live at that point.
After about a fortnight in the new ward I was allowed out for walks in the hospital grounds, always accompanied. There I saw, as I had in the ward, people who were really disturbed and deranged. Some were younger even than I was. All were being preserved, conserved in this retreat from the outside world.
I could understand at once that many of them were hopelessly ill-equipped to deal with the world. They were really "mad". Mad people who lived in a world which had no relation whatever to anyone else’s world. They had their own private worlds into which no one else was allowed. I at least could communicate even if no one could do anything about what had happened to me. I began to see that I was luckier indeed than many others.
At about this time I had a conversation with one of the younger doctors. Here I felt able to talk about what had brought about the state of affairs I found myself in. I was able to talk freely about my breasts and the pain they had indirectly caused me. He listened carefully as I told him about my relationships and how I wondered why it was only the crazy ones who wanted to approach me. Also how, when I thought I’d found a genuine friend, his reaction to me was one of disgust and rejection.
"You’ve got to build up your confidence in yourself as a person again Tina. I don’t know how you’re going to do it. I don’t have a formula for you. I can sympathise with your
suffering, but what good will that do you? None at all. What I can say is that I believe you’ll come through. Somehow. However bad things may look for you at the moment, they’ll change and you’ll get strong again. Are you eating properly?"
I wanted to believe him.
The following day a young psychologist, who introduced himself to me as Ronnie, came up to the ward and asked me to come and do some tests. He said they’d be perfectly simple. All I had to do was answer some easy questions. Off we went to his office on another floor. He offered me a seat and started to explain.
"Now, I’m going to show you some shapes on a screen and I want you to tell me what they remind you of."
I couldn’t understand the purpose of this. He switched off the lights and a form flashed up onto the screen.
"What does that remind you of?"
"It looks to me as if someone’s splashed a blob of ink on a sheet of paper."
I couldn’t see his face in the darkness but I could feel that the answer I’d given seemed to catch him off guard. "Yees, Erhumm. You could say that. Now, what about this one."
"That’s another inkblot."
"Yees. You’re quite right of course. They are of course inkblots."
"But what I’m trying to establish is whether these inkblots remind you of anything."
"Are you trying to make fun of me?"
"Christina, this is an internationally known and respected method of testing people!"
"Testing people? Testing them to see if they can recognize an inkblot?"
He switched on the light again. His face was red. I thought he looked stupid. He was wearing a sort of headband made of beads which he then shifted a fraction of an inch to one side. I think it helped him regain his equilibrium.
"OK. We’ll try another test."
He sat down behind his desk, and from a drawer he produced a white billiard ball which he placed on the middle of the blotter in front of him.
He propped up his face on his forearms, palms to his cheeks, gave me an "I’m in charge of this" smile and said:- "If I were to tell you that this was an orange..." He looked down at the ball. "...what would you say to that?"
"Well. I’d say this:- You peel it-I’ll eat it."
I almost began wishing that I was back with Mr Smythe. I asked him whether he’d found out what he wanted. "Yes, I think I’ve been able to draw certain conclusions."
"And what are they?"
"Don’t you worry too much about that. I’ll be making out a report in due course. "I think this is stupid."
He looked at me as if to say "Look little girl, we understand all this much better than you, so just keep quiet and do as you’re told." It didn’t fool me.
And that was the last I saw of him. Thank goodness.
After I’d begun to get better physically Mum started visiting me every day. She spent an hour with me every afternoon. Slowly I began to open up to her. Piece by piece I told her everything; Mohammed, Derek, Sybil, Mr Smythe and Barry of course. She amazed me by the way she took it. No shock or outrage, she hardly batted an eyelid.
"So you’ve been carrying all of that around inside you, without telling a soul? You should have told me, love. I might not have been able to do anything, but at least you wouldn’t have had it all to yourself."
I felt ashamed that I hadn’t trusted her enough to tell her anything before that. But at least I wasn’t alone any more. From that moment another spark of life had been lit inside me. I’d been through the worst and now things were going to get better.
"I want to come home again Mum. This is no place for me."
"Then you must do that Tina. You’ve got to start living again and forget about all those things."
I asked to see the doctor again and we talked. I said that I had no definite plans except that I wanted to get out and go home to live with my mother. I said that we’d drifted away from one another but that now we understood each other better. He was right behind me and seemed glad that I’d found the strength to get out.
"I wish you happiness Tina. Don’t let your breasts weigh you down! You’re looking much prettier already. Keep right ahead. And what you told me about only the bad guys fancying you is rubbish. If I was ten years younger and didn’t already have a wife and four children I’d try my luck with you myself!"
So home I came! To begin again.
The first step of my new life, I’d decided, was to get myself a driving licence. Mum, (how she’d done it I’ll never know) had saved up enough money to buy a car and thought it would be fun if we could get around more, see more and enjoy life more.So what could I do but have a try? My experience of seeing people in far worse states than me in the hospital had made me realize how strong I really was. And the psychologists and psychiatrists, who were supposed to know all about such things were just fumbling in the dark with their tests and books. All they were doing was hiding behind another facade than the one I happened to have.
The driving lessons went well. I decided to have two every week and by the time I’d had six lessons the instructor told me that I should apply for a test date. By that time I’d had another six lessons and was beginning to feel at ease behind the wheel of a car. On my test day, the instructor drove me to the centre, ran through some theoretical questions which he said I might be asked, and wished me luck. Then the examiner came into the waiting room.
"Christina Small?" I stood up.
"If you’d like to escort me to your motor vehicle then we can begin the driving test."
We both got into the car. He snapped on his seatbelt and I was about to do the same when I noticed him staring at my bust. He was grinning.
"Have you had a special, extra-length seatbelt fitted to this vehicle then?"
I felt confident enough to handle any wise guy. "No I haven’t actually. I like to squeeze the belt in between them. If you’d like to watch, see, it fits quite snugly into my cleavage."I’d never been so confident. My concentration was razor sharp. The examiner sat with his clipboard on his knee and during the whole test I only saw him write on it once. After about half an hour he asked me to return to the centre. There he asked me some easy questions on the Highway Code which I answered without any problems.
"Well Miss. I’m glad to tell you that you’ve passed your driving test. Here’s your certificate. You drove very well."
I was a driver. My confidence was soaring and I was ready to take on the world again. The following day Mum and I chose a nice mini from the used car columns in the local paper and we spent the next fortnight driving all around the West Country, visiting people she knew, going to places we’d never seen before and generally having a good time. One day we even drove across the Severn Bridge to Wales. Mum had never been out of England in her life before.
But I needed a job. I had to work again so I began looking through the newspapers. This time I saw an advertisement that really interested me. It was from a firm of enquiry agents who needed a girl for office work and various other jobs.
I rang and spoke to a friendly man who said that he was one of the partners in the firm. I told him something of my background, that I had a driving licence and a car, and asked if he thought I would be of any use to them. He told me to come and see him the next day. His name was Jonathan Wright.
They were based in a town about ten miles away from our village. I found their offices in a building above a chemists shop. They had three rooms full of filing cabinets, copying machines and telephone directories.
"Hello Tina. Jon Wright. Take a seat."
He was going to be easy to get on with.
Now you can type you say. That’s good. We’ve got a backlog of typing up ‘to the ceiling. You’d obviously have to do a lot of that. But it wouldn’t only be clerical work. You might even get to do some tracing. Are you a good actress? Well you look as if you are. Well for tracing you ve got to be able to lie, make up stories, talk all kinds of bullshit to people. Could you do that?"
"Well I’ve had enough experience in listening to it so I think I’ve learnt a thing or two by now."
"You’d be trying to find people who borrow things and then disappear. People hire Rolls-Royces and run off with them. They do all kinds of daft things. Most of the punters are pretty thick so it’s not that difficult to find out what they’ve done. You do get the odd smart-arse who’ll give you the runaround though. But we’re usually just a little bit smarter."
He pointed at a pile of telephone directories.
"Most of your work would be done on the phone. Those are reverse directories. They give the addresses first, street by street, so you can ring up people’s neighbours. Neighbours love to gossip. You’d be absolutely amazed what they’ll tell you about a punter."
It sounded sneaky. But it could be fun. He went on:-
"Now you’re a young girl, so there’s nothing you’d be asked to do that would place you in any physical danger. I think you could handle it. How about you?"
"I’ll give it a try," I thought.
"Sometimes it’s a laugh. Other times it’s nothing but pain and aggravation."
From the Monday of the following week I was employed at the enquiry agents’. I typed letters, invoices, affidavits. I learned how to trace people on the phone. Sometimes the things we said and heard were so funny that we laughed all day. I made the coffee, delivered papers to clients. One day I even painted the walls in one of the offices. Sometimes I had to work late. It was a good job. I felt I was learning and most of the time it was fun too.
On one occasion I did what was known as an "undercover". I was planted as a trainee manageress in a shoe shop in Bristol. The shop was one of a large chain and the management were worried about the losses incurred at that particular branch. They suspected the manager of the shop of working a fiddle. It took me a month to find out what was actually going on. During this time I had to play the part of a keen trainee. One of the delivery trucks used to arrive late every week. The driver used to ring and say he was held up in traffic. The manager used to stay behind after the shop had closed to take charge of the delivery. All the rest of the staff were sent home as usual. I used to watch the van arrive from a telephone kiosk across the street. They’d unload and then spend up to an hour together in the shop. This fact was enough for the company’s own internal security to work out what was going on. All they needed was a pointer and I’d given them that.
I stayed at the firm for a couple of years and got on well with Freddie and Jonathan, the two partners. Aside from work, we had quite a good social life, meeting people from the most varied backgrounds. I was happy there.
One day tragedy struck again.
I returned home from the office and found the house empty. I called to Mum but there was no reply. I assumed she’d gone out to visit one of our neighbours. I went upstairs to take a shower and there I had the shock of my life.
Mum was lying unconscious on the bathroom floor. Her face was a bluish colour. At first I thought she was dead. I realized that I had to keep my head and act quickly. I felt her pulse. It was very weak. Then I phoned the ambulance which was there in minutes. One of the men gave her heart massage. He said she’d had a heart attack. Her neck was also burned where she’d lain against a hot water pipe. Ten minutes later she was in intensive care at the hospital.
I sat outside the ward all night drinking cups of coffee from the automat and waiting anxiously for the doctor’s report. She hovered between life and death all night. At six o’clock in the morning a doctor came out to see me.
"I think your mother’s going to make it, Miss Small. It’s been a struggle and we’ve used all our resources to get her through. Her pulse has stabilized. I can give you no guarantees of course but I think she’s going to live. How strong she’ll be after this I wouldn’t like to say. But there’s nothing you can do here at the moment. You look exhausted. You’d best go home and get some rest. Call us this afternoon and hopefully I’ll be able to give you some better news.
I went home and tried to sleep. I managed to drop off for a couple of hours. In the evening I rang the hospital. Mum was conscious but unable to move the right side of her body. The doctor said she was through the worst. The following morning I visited her. She was still so weak she could barely talk but I could see she was fighting to recover. I visited her every evening after that. She slowly picked up but her paralysis remained.
Six weeks later Mum was home again and an invalid. She could eat her meals with one hand, wash her face and comb her hair. With everything else she needed help.
This involved a big decision for me. I had a job in which I was happy. It gave me a reasonable income and some social life. I had a certain amount of freedom. Now my mother was chronically ill. She herself begged me to let her go into a nursing home where she could be looked after and that possibility was open to her as her disability was so severe. But how could I live with that? My mother had brought me up single-handed with very little money and helped me in every way she could all along the line. How could I leave her to go into an institution on the first occasion when she really needed my help? I just couldn’t. Life had turned out that way and I somehow had to see it through. I gave up my job, not without regret, and stayed home to nurse my mother.
I can’t honestly say that I was happy with the way things were. In a sense I was a prisoner in our home practically twenty-four hours a day. Sometimes Mrs Knotting or one of our other neighbours would call and ask if I needed help. They would occasionally volunteer an evening or part of the day so that I could go out. Going into town to the cinema or a visit to the library became an exceptional treat to me at those times.
But Mum was a great patient. She used every ounce of her strength to accomplish the little that could be reasonably expected of her. She read a lot. In the summer she could sit in the garden in the sun and read all day. She never complained about her lot. Music was another pastime she had. She used to spend hours listening to my collection of rock records.
It was at this time of my life that I began to notice a peculiar change in me. It wasn’t one that you’d see on the outside, but more a sort of shift in perception, a subtle change of awareness which crept up on me from behind, so to speak.
I began discovering things about me which I couldn’t explain-even to myself. I had to maintain a more or less constant vigil over Mum which meant that whatever I was doing-like housework, or reading, or even just sitting and thinking to myself, I always had to keep an ear open for Mum in case she needed something.
Because of this moment by moment alertness which I was having to practice I started firstly to notice a marked improvement in concentration, along with...something else, which I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I also began noticing that this concentration seemed to actually give me energy instead of, as you’d expect, draining it from me.
Then began the coincidences.
The first was when I bumped into Mr Tu. And I mean literally. Mrs Knotting was with Mum at home while I had gone out for some groceries. I was deep in thought about these strange feelings I had been getting, and didn’t notice Mr Tu as I bustled out of the shop. I gave him a bit of a bump, apologised and said that I had been ‘miles away’ trying to fathom out what made me tick.
His face lit up then and I realised I had never before seen him smile. He said:-
"You have begun long and painful journey of self-discovery. Introspection first step of ladder. When self is known, all things are known."
To tell the truth that didn’t actually make a lot of sense to me. I thanked him for his interest and said I had to dash.
I reached home, put my key in the door, and opened it just in time to hear Mrs Knotting say:-
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God, then shall all these things be added unto thee."
I walked into the living room to find her reading from the Bible to Mum. I had the most intense feeling then that ‘bumping into’ Mr Tu and hearing what he had to say, and then hearing Mrs Knotting’s recital from the Bible were somehow significant to me, though I couldn’t have said why.
I put the shopping away in the kitchen and re-entered the living room to hear Mrs Knotting say:-
"The kingdom of heaven lies within."
What was that supposed to mean? I knew deep inside that all these statements meant something of great value to me, but on the other hand they seemed senseless.
What did they mean? What was self-discovery? And what, for that matter, was ‘self’.
Thus began for me what was to prove both an excruciatingly beautiful and agonisingly painful process of what I can only describe as ‘inner detective work’.
Over the months that followed, as I delved deeper into this mystery of who or what exactly I was and as I kept up my vigilance over Mum, some extraordinary things began to occur.I had always thought (not that I’d actually given it that much thought) that ‘I’ was my mind, in other words, the content of my brain. But as the days progressed and my ‘vigilance’ became a kind of habit I noticed that I began to grow detached from things. In one sense, everything was exactly the same as it had always been. I still thought the same kind of thoughts and I still had the same kind of feelings I’d always had, but with a subtle yet remarkable difference.
One day when I was washing the dishes I became intensely aware of my hands moving across the crockery at the same time as I was aware of the sounds coming from the garden, where Mum was at that particular time. I was also aware of what I was thinking, of what I was feeling, and the exact position of my body. I was aware, in fact, of everything that was within my field of consciousness at that moment.
Suddenly ‘the penny dropped’ and I knew what it was that had been happening to me. At the same time I felt an enormous elation, a feeling of freedom and lightness and joy that I had never, never ever come close to experiencing before.
What I had realised was that although I had thoughts, I was not those thoughts, and although I had feelings, I was not those feelings, and though I possessed a body, I was not that body! And I knew, as strongly as I knew I existed, that I had always existed.
At that moment everything seemed to turn inside-out. I knew that my true nature was above and beyond all earthly things, that I had existed before them and would exist after them. I knew that what ‘I’ really was, was consciousness itself. I saw very clearly that consciousness was not a mode of my mind, but that my mind, with all its thoughts and perceptions was contained inside my consciousness.
It was as though a key had been turned and a door that I had not known existed was opened to me. The realisation became stronger and stronger. I seemed to have become a container into which vast amounts of knowledge were being poured.
Colours seemed to be brighter to me. In fact all my senses seemed suddenly to have become ‘switched on’, as if, before that, I had been half-asleep. Though I couldn’t hear the words it seemed that some divine being were showing me the answers to all the biggest questions one could think of.
That state was with me for the rest of the day. After that I began to read. And read. And read. I read everything I could lay my hands on about philosophy, religion, psychology, and even modern physics. I read books from the West and books from the Orient. I learned of an exalted state that, through perseverance, could be attained by any individual. It was variously called enlightenment, illumination, liberation, God-realisation and Self-unfoldment. I found the common points between religions, philosophies and science. I began to understand what had happened to me, what a ‘revelation’ had been revealed to me.
Since that day the same sort of state has occurred to me several times. And each time it seems to cleanse me, to purge me, and to reinforce the truth of itself.
We are not separate from the Universe, we are it. And anyone can prove it for themselves by attaining, through any of the numerous methods of meditation and other practices taught today, this state for themselves. I call it ‘at-one-ment’.
This state transcends all thought and feeling. It is a state in which one knows, without the need for belief, reason, scriptures or the testimonies of others, that one’s ground of being, one’s basic fabric of existence is common to all parts of the Universe. We all share a common heritage. Essentially we are the same thing. We are all sparks from the same fire, drops in the same ocean. There is no need to fight over borders, to squabble amongst ourselves. We are each other.
Does chance exist? I wonder.
In 1978 things changed again for me. By chance? Every event or action has to be the result of a preceding action which, in turn results from a preceding action and so on backward ad infinitum. I think they call that an infinite regression. Order exists in the tiniest entity, the atom. Even existence on this tiny scale is governed by cause and effect, without deviance. So tell me how chance can exist? Even the subtlest manifestations, such as thoughts, are the products of preceding thoughts.
One Sunday in 1978 I was taking a train trip to London. A young man entered the train and sat down, by chance on the seat opposite me. He smiled, said ‘hello’, and took from his bag a photographic magazine in which he soon appeared to be absorbed. I noticed that from time to time he cast a glance in my direction. When our eyes met he smiled politely.
"Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?"
This error of course was not new to me. I didn’t feel inclined to say "these happen to be my tits" in such a public situation so I merely smiled and shrugged my shoulders non- committally. For the rest of the journey he continued reading.
When finally the train arrived in London I stood up, picked up my bag and opened the carriage door. The young man looked up momentarily and then looked down again. He raised his head again, blinked several times. He’d realised his error. I stepped out onto the platform and began making my way towards the exit. Seconds later he was at my side.
"I’m sorry if I offended you with my question on the train. I really had no idea that..."
"That these are my breasts you mean?"
We both started laughing.
"Well exactly. You gave me quite a shock when you stood up. I think the least you could do is to let me buy lunch to help me recover.
I was hungry despite my sandwiches. He looked like good company so I accepted.
Lunch was interesting. He told me that his name was John Xavier and that he was a photographer. I insisted on eating vegetarian and we found a little place quite close to the station.
Over lunch he told me that his speciality was photographing women. He used the phrase "romantic photography".
"You mean you photograph nude women?"
"Yes, sometimes. Beautiful women. Sometimes nude, sometimes semi-nude. Nudity is only one element of my work."
He took a folder from his bag.
"Here’s some of my work. Have a look."
I liked the pictures. Most of them reminded me of old paintings. Some of the women were dressed in period costume. There was a softness about the prints that gave them a sort of dreamlike quality.
"D’you like them?"
"Yes, I do. Some of them are beautiful."
"Some of them?"
"Let’s say all of them are beautiful, but some of them are even more beautiful than the others."
"Relativity. I’m glad you like them. I put a lot of thought into those."
That was it in a nutshell. Attention to detail. He poured me some apple juice.
"Listen Tina. You don’t mind if I call you Tina? I know a bit about photography. It’s an art that flourishes best when its a business. It’s more dynamic then. I can tell you two things straight away. The first is that I could make some beautiful pictures of you. The second is that you could make yourself an excellent living as a photographic model. Look at you! You’re absolutely unique!"
"I don’t think I’m enough of an exhibitionist for the kind of thing you’re thinking of."
"Tina. The way you are you won’t need to be an exhibitionist. All you need to do is be You."
That statement impressed me. But what impressed me even more was what followed. As our conversation progressed I found out that John practiced meditation regularly, and often intensely for periods of weeks at a time. We were kindred spirits. We spent the afternoon discussing our various experiences of altered states of consciousness and ended up working on some test photographs together. That day was the start of a special relationship between us.
Working as a model is hard work. I soon found that out. Sometimes it comes easily, sometimes you have to work for ages to get the results you want. You need patience, energy and a sense of humour to get you through the difficult bits. But the rewards, as with everything, are in proportion to the sacrifice.
John’s prognosis proved right in every way. We made some excellent pictures and I began to make a living for myself again. This time with the big advantage that I could still look after Mum. Another exciting thing was that, via my fanmail I got to know lots of new friends all over the world. Of course it’s impossible for me to answer all the letters (the cost of the stamps alone would bankrupt me) but it’s a wonderful feeling to know that there are people all over the world who think about you.
Since that first session a lot has happened. Or as Mr Tu said in the park the first time I saw him after I’d become a model:-
"All things in the Universe are in constant movement. Only the Self remains still. The watcher who observes all change is Self."
Sometime after we met I got very involved with a religious cult. The cult had a leader who claimed that he could grant permanent enlightenment. I did a lot of questioning at this time and experienced many bizarre things. This is something that I’d like to write a book about in the future.
Working with John meant that I had more freedom, in many ways, than I’d ever had before. I’d never felt so appreciated as a person before. You should see some of the beautiful letters I receive. People can definitely tell a lot about you by your looks. I certainly have discovered that ‘the inside is a reflection of the outside.’
One very tangible result of my modelling was that I was able to afford something I’d secretly had a hankering for years... plastic surgery. On my nose. It may seem ironic in view of my bust but the fact is that when I look deeply into the problem of my proportions I can see that my bust has never actually been a great problem to me...only to others.
I must admit though that I have had some surgery on my breasts. I have had several lumps removed, and, when the skin began to show corrugations which were making them misshapen, I had the skin tightened so that my breasts were lifted. So now they look more like orbs and less like gym bags.
And now readers, all of you who’ve stayed with me along the bumpy road I’ve described to you, it’s time to pull all the different threads together and tie a knot in them.
It’s been an adventure for me to tell you my story. As I told you when I started it wasn’t something I thought would be easy. There were times as I wrote when my stomach was churned up a bit by some of the more painful memories I had to dig up. At other times it was great fun for me. Now the whole thing’s finally there on paper for anyone who chooses to read it.
I’ve learnt enough by now to know that no one can please everybody, but I hope that everyone who picks up this book will find something to entertain them, or something which makes them think a bit. That would make me more than happy.
Yesterday I went down to see Mr Tu in the park. He was still there in his usual place. He knows that I’ve been writing and I told him that I was on the point of finishing my first work in print.
"Each end is also a beginning. Perhaps you have more to write?"
From here, the future. The great unknown, terminating in the greatest unknown of all, namely death. I’ve often thought about writing something about death. But what about life? What about today, tomorrow? As soon as I’ve written the last full stop to this story I shall be beginning work in a film which John Xavier has already started making. This will be something new to me, and, knowing John, something original and exciting.
What about men in my life? I live alone today and although I have a number of close friends who are men there is no one particularly extra special in my life. No one with whom I feel it would be right to share everything.
Do I have any plans in this direction? Plans, no. Desires, dreams and wishes aplenty. My life has taught me not to set much store by plans. It always seems to be the unexpected that prevails. It’s the awful shocks and the wonderful surprises that make life interesting.
I’ll leave you all at that point my friends. All of us with the future, life’s great unfathomable uncertainty before us. Don’t be surprised if it surprises you. Love to each and every one of you.
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tina0203 (Large) copy 5
Posted: 19-Mar-2003 - Resolution: 261 x 400
The MSN Groups service has closed
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How are you? What have you been up to?
I hope you are well. I caught your message the other day reading this message board and I hope you read this. Anyway, Today I was reading some of this biography on a woman also named Tina Small and I can't see how she manages to carry around her 81 or 84 inch figure. What I read I feel pretty bad for her and a lot of other Big Breasted women,"normal"or not. I think what these boys did to her was mean and uncalled for. People naturally are afraid of the Unusual, even me at times. Like I find all these women getting bustier and bustier pretty scary. I don't know why but I just do. I had this friend who had a nice figure, and I did not like this boy I know just only look at her and made a nasty facial expression. I was like,"Hey, Be man enough to talk to her! There is more to her than that!" Besides, I had those same feelings about my friend too. Unlike that boy I took time to get to know her. But about the Tina Small I was reading about I read there was more to her than just big breasts. I feel bad for her mom, Or "Mum" as she referred to her by, about her being concerned for her daughter and taking her to see the doctor. You know, I also read about these women who get breast reductions just because they think their breast are ugly, and that's stupid. They should only get them if they have chronic back spasms or something. If Tina Small had them and she wanted reduction to ease them that's cool. But I like her way of thinking, That she was built the way she was for a reason. And I like my body as well. The Human Body is a beautiful thing. But about certain women, If Large Breasted Women have problems being respected intellectually and they get hazed a lot because of their breasts or they can't find a bra to fit them and they get reductions to cure that problem then I don't know. It's A sad world we live in, and I agree with you, Tina(The One I'm replying too)Us guys do need to understand what it's like to have large breasts. But it makes me sad reading about that stuff all the time...women and their problems with their breasts...and it stresses the need for women to love their bodys and be strong. I admit I am Attracted to large Breasted women. But often I keep this stuff in mind and think of their problems and have trouble looking at or being around them. But i keep in mind they are people too. I wish a lot of other guys would too. It does make me feel better to know there are women who love their bodies. I wish all women would.
Anyway take care and I hope to hear from you soon.
--The commentator Jonathan Sharpe
responses are mixed. One guy wanted to know if he had a place to submit morph work. One claimed to know where to get rare pictures, but nothing yet on that. Most just want to see the results. What I am looking for is rare pictures of her, the ass one mainly shown here and the attachment. The car pictures and so on. I here there is a CD, that has much on it, but I seem to be having trouble getting that. I would also like to see articles on her-British mags, film mags, Sunday Sport and so on. I want to go beyond the Fling stuff I have, her book and those two picture books.
To fully understand her I need about everything that isn't bald face lies or rumor, from strippers, John Fox or confusion with the fakes-Zena,Vickie,Melonie,Cindy and that other one. I would like to Vast material-just for curiosity sake. They are mostly fakes, but who knows one may not. Also I need stuff on this Lanthier woman and those others listed on that Cappy site. Someone once had a bushel basket woman ad in JUGGS or someplace maybe one of the virginal hypertrophy women,allegedly like Tina.
r Also I WOULD LIKE SEE LETTERS WRITTEN BY HER-IF ANY-AUTOGRAPHED PICTURES-I HAVE ONE-SENT TO DURING HER CLUB DAYS, THAT MATCHES WRITING IN THE FIRST FLING ''PHOTOBOOK.''
you may have trouble seeing it, but is addressed to me.the sign is in ink,so someone signed it-that was either the real Tina Small or the woman who pretended to be her? Which ever is true.the background is my own art,so I can id this is someone tries to reproduce it for sale or other uses? Audio tapes of her anything. Birth certificated.Pictures
of her young.whatever.As Fox Mulder ass-I want to believe-the truth is out there-someplace. Maybe in the end, I'll either shatter a myth or find the real Tina Small. Someone found Bettie Page didn't they? Issues of her Tina Appreciation League of North Texas is also welcome. I know I ask alot,but if I no not put the word out, no one says warp factor two,Mr.Sulu-first star to the left-strait on until morning. And the Klingons win again.
Maveric Comics Inc,studios [Sarkhon/Toreus PROPERTIES,INC,]6142 Torresdale Avenue,Philadelphia,Pa,19135-3718.USA.[email@example.com
For further information on the closure of MSN Groups, please access one of the following local blogs:
EXCLUSIVE-84'' WHOPPER-SHE'S A NUN
Date: Wed Feb 12, 2003 8:48 am
Subject: EXCLUSIVE-84'' WHOPPER-SHE'S A NUN
Feb 12 EXCLUSIVE-84'' WHOPPER-SHE'S A NUN - mavericstud
COPIED FROM THE SUNDAY SPORT-printed sometime in 1989-OR AROUND
OR BEFORE 1990
Date: Wed Feb 12, 2003 8:28 am
Subject: EXCLUSIVE-84'' WHOPPER-SHE'S A NUN
COPIED FROM THE SUNDAY SPORT-printed sometime in 1989-OR AROUND OR
TINA SMALL-the girl with the 84 inch whoppers--has given up sex--
And the girl who grew so fast her mum had to buyher a bigger bra
each week has become a part time a NUN
She has secretly joined a strict Bubdhist religous order and
regularly goes on retreats at a centre in Surrey.
While she is there,Tina lives the strict life of a nun,,,dresses in
figure consealing clothes...and meditates along for hours in her
It's a complete contrast to her days.as a the worlds most amazinbg
Her 84 inch bust--the biggest in the world--has appeared in a
reveal-all video,in hundreds of thousands mens magazines,
posters,and her own autobiolography.
But now the worlds biggest cover up job.Her amazing boobs are hidden
by an all enveloping dark grey nun habit.tied loosely at her waist
by a piece of rope.
''I realized I'm never going to enjoy a normal relationship with a
man''said Tina -age 27.
''So I desided to staycelibate.The rewards of getting closer to
heavon..and as the same heavon to us all.whether Buddhist or
Catholic or Protistant or Muslim...are far nicer than the pleasures
of the flesh,''says Tina Small.
Tina comes from a tiny hamlet in the West Courty,whrere she lives in
a whitewashed cottage,with a thatched roof.
nEW PICTURES OF tINA.PAGE 3.
Sex Now Taboo For Buddhist nun Tina.
FROM FRONT PAGE.BY CHARLES REWREW.
She's followed the example of Tom and Barbara in the TV series THE
GOOD LIFE and desided to be self sufficiant.
She grows her own fruite and vegtables--but unlike the imiginary
Suburban good life.there is no backyard pig waiting to be the beacon
for breakfast.''I am a strict vegitarian''said Tina.''My
religion''means.I MUSTN'T KILL ANYTHING--OVER A FLY OR
Posted: 19-Mar-2003 - Resolution: 282 x 400
If you live in the UNITED KINGDOM.AND HAVE SEEN THIS WOMAN-PLEASE CONTACT ME.She is said been near Southsea,Portsmith.the Sussex Village of Iping.London.There no you could missed her. I have researching life story for some time.
MAN LOOKING TINA SMALL
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS WOMAN?
She may either answer or once answered to the name Christina or Tina. Dosen’t if you have seen her recent or sometime in the past twenty or thirty years. It is important, that find about her. I have doing research about a woman of a notorious modelling career Reported unusual body shape for some years. Currently, there is several web sites on this woman, a possible fanzine and maybe one day a possible book or biography on her-if such can be published. I would her input on said career and material printed with an auto biography, she is claimed to have written sometime in the late 1980’s.I am do not want to invade her privacy or create any harm by seeking such imformation-I am though infested in finding a few truth behind her career, if such is possible. Hi-looking a woman knows as Tina or Christina Jane Small-who might once lived or worked this area. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Hi-looking a woman knows as Tina or Christina Jane Small-who might once live or worked this area. She may either answer or once answered to the name Christina or Tina. Dosen’t if you have seen her recent or sometime in the past twenty or thirty years. It is important, that find about her. I have doing research about a woman of a notorious modelling career Reported unusual body shape for some years. Currently, there is several web sites on this woman, a possible fanzine and maybe one day a possible book or biography on her-if such can be published. I would her input on said career and material printed with an auto biography, she is claimed to have written sometime in the late 1980’s.I am not invade her privacy or create any harm by seeking such imformation-I am though infested in finding a few truth behind her career, if such is possible. Hi-looking a woman knows as Tina or Christina Jane Small-who might once lived or worked this area. I am a handsome fella-intelligent, into science fiction, mystery, animals-cats mainly, horse-science, history-comics-She may either answer or once answered to the name Christina or Tina.
Dosen’t if you have seen her recent or sometime in the past twenty or thirty years. It is important, that find about her. I have doing research about a woman of a notorious modelling career Reported unusual body shape for some years. Currently, there is several web sites on this woman, a possible fanzine and maybe one day a possible book or biography on her-if such can be published. I would her input on said career and material printed with an auto biography, she is claimed to have written sometime in the late 1980’s.I am not invade her privacy or create any harm by seeking such imformation-I am though infested in finding a few truth behind her career, if such is possible. Hi-looking a woman knows as Tina or Christina Jane Small-who might once lived or worked this area. Contact email@example.com Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Contact email@example.com
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AMERICAN MAN SEEKS GODDESS
She may either answer or once answered to the name Christina or Tina. Dosen’t if you have seen her recent or sometime in the past twenty or thirty years. It is important, that find about her. I have doing research about a woman of a notorious modelling career Reported unusual body shape for some years. Currently, there is several web sites on this woman, a possible fanzine and maybe one day a possible book or biography on her-if such can be published.
I would her input on said career and material printed with an auto biography, she is claimed to have written sometime in the late 1980’s.I am not invade her privacy or create any harm by seeking such imformation-I am though infested in finding a few truth behind her career, if such is possible. Hi-looking a woman knows as Tina or Christina Jane Small-who might once lived or worked this area. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Hi-looking a woman knows as Tina or Christina Jane Small-who might once live or worked this area. She may either answer or once answered to the name Christina or Tina. Dosen’t if you have seen her recent or sometime in the past twenty or thirty years. It is important, that find about her. I have doing research about a woman of a notorious modelling career Reported unusual body shape for some years. Currently, there is several web sites on this woman, a possible fanzine and maybe one day a possible book or biography on her-if such can be published. I would her input on said career and material printed with an auto biography, she is claimed to have written sometime in the late 1980’s.I am not invade her privacy or create any harm by seeking such imformation-I am though infested in finding a few truth behind her career, if such is possible. Hi-looking a woman knows as Tina or Christina Jane Small-who might once lived or worked this area.
I am a handsome fella-intelligent, into science fiction, mystery, animals-cats mainly, horse-science, history-comics-She may either answer or once answered to the name Christina or Tina. Dosen’t if you have seen her recent or sometime in the past twenty or thirty years. It is important, that find about her. I have doing research about a woman of a notorious modelling career Reported unusual body shape for some years. Currently, there is several web sites on this woman, a possible fanzine and maybe one day a possible book or biography on her-if such can be published.
I would her input on said career and material printed with an auto biography, she is claimed to have written sometime in the late 1980’s.I am not invade her privacy or create any harm by seeking such imformation-I am though infested in finding a few truth behind her career, if such is possible. Hi-looking a woman knows as Tina or Christina Jane Small-who might once lived or worked this area. Contact email@example.com Contact firstname.lastname@example.org