Part II: Bring It On Home
I stood in front of the door for a moment and took a deep breath before entering.
A bell dinged agaisnt the door as I pushed it open.
The smell of old paper and stale cigarettes filled the small room. Along the walls were posters and framed photographs of old blues singers and newly found rock ‘n roll bands, that sat above the numerous shelves of records, antiques, band merchandise, and t-shirts. I followed along the shelves to the back of the store toward the scent of perfume and fresh smoke. I leaned against a shelf in the middle of the room where I found a large desk.
On the desk were sandles worn by small feet. I followed along the legs that were attatched to the shoes, with my eyes. They seemed to go on for miles. I looked up at the pretty bird sitting in the chair behind the desk. She had her eyes closed and a cigarette hanging from of her mouth. Beside her was a record player. I listened closely to the song she had on.
‘… At the party she was kindness in the hard crowd.
Consolation for the old wound not forgotten.
Yellow tigers crouched in jungles in her dark eyes.
She’s just dressing, goodbye windows, tired starlings…’
I smiled and waited for the song to finish before I cleared my throat.
Her eyes flashed open suddenly, and went wide as they focused through the cloud of smoke, letting the cigarette fall from her full lips. In a quick and graceful movement she placed her feet on the ground and bent down to pick up the ciggie. She laughed quietly as she threw it in the ashtray.
“You startled me.” She accused, standing from the chair.
“Sorry, love.” I looked her up and down. A burning feeling in me screamed, making me ache to touch her.
She noticed my staring and blushed slightly then looked down. When she seemed to collect herself again she lifted her head and looked me in the eyes. “Can I help you with anything?” She said commercially, smiling widely.
I laughed at her mocking tone. “Well actually, yes you can.”
“What is it, your looking for?” She tilted her head to the side in curiousity.
“Well you see, I’ve never been here before so naturally I don’t know my way around. And I was wondering if a lovely young lady like yourself would allow a lonely gentleman to take you out to dinner.”
She was slightly taken aback. She opened her mouth to speak but quickly closed it again, not sure what she should say.
I stepped closer to her so I was only inches away, “May I take you to dinner?” I repeated smiling.
She smiled, not intimidated at all. She slightly narrowed her eyes than answered, “I suppose you could.”
She gave me her address and a time to pick her up. Before I left to go back to the hotel I bought a Muddy Waters record I owned back home, but didn’t bring on the tour with me.
Once at the hotel, I made my way back to my suit. I played the record and looked at the clock. It was only 5:30, I had an hour to wait. I decided I would get Robert’s approval on an outfit.
I dialed for the front desk, the receptionist answered in a wiry voice, “Hello Mr. Page, what can I do for you.”
“Can you ring me in to room 243?”
“Hold on one moment please.” He answered before a loud beep sounded, then the phone began to ring again.
“Yeah.” Robert answered.
“Ey, mate would you come over here I need you’re help.”
He sighed heavily but agreed and found his way over within a couple minutes. He knocked heavily on the door.
“Come in!” I yelled as I dug through my suit case trying to find something adaquite.
He walked in and found his way through the suite to the bedroom.
“You lazy twat! I’m literally two doors down, and you had to call?” He stared exaggeratedly in disbelief. “What do you want help with?”
“I need to find something nice to wear. I’m taking that bird out to dinner…” I looked at my watch, “… in about 40 minutes.”
“You can be such a girl.” He teased smacking my head lightly.
“At least I don’t hit like a girl.” I mocked giving him a dirty look.
“Don’t start with me Page! You know I can kick your small ass.” He laughed.
It was probably true but I would never admit to it out loud, especially to him.
I dug out a burgandy button down blouse, “What about this?” I held it up so he could examine it.
He stuck his nose up to it and made a disgusted noise.
I rolled my eyes and threw it aside and dug out another shirt, a colourful striped sweater-vest.
“Hmm…” He contemplated for a moment before answering, “No…” He shook his head and nudged my arm. “Move over, you are absolutely hopeless.”
I sat on the bed and stared at the ceiling while he dug through the bag. I let the music that was playing, take me away as I thought about Jade. I smiled to myself as I considered how her body could ignite such a spark in me and marvel at the fact that she wasn’t easily intimidated by me.
“What are these? … Oh god Page what in the actual hell is wrong with you.” Robert broke my concentration.
My eyes shot open as I remembered what was in there. Robert sat there with his eyebrows raised, holding leather straps in one hand and a whip in the other.
“Give me those!” I snatched them away and threw them in the bedside table drawer.
“You’re a freaky little bugger aren’t yeah.” He laughed then turned back to the bag.
About ten minutes later he came up from the pile of clothes and a look of accomplishment plastered across his face.
“I’ts a miracle!” He yelled to the heavens as he threw the clothes at me. “Now go put them on!” He ordered pointing toward the bathroom.
I did as he said and came back into the room wearing a pair of tight fitting jeans that flared slightly at the bottom, a pale coloured long sleeve shirt and a black blazer atop it.
“I suppose it’s good enough.” Robert commented. “You are only going to supper not a wedding. And besides, I’m sure you’ll find your way out of them shortly.” He giggled at his joke.
There was a sudden knock on the door and the loud voice of Peter sounded after it. “Robert are you in there?”
“Yeah man.” He answered as he stood up and opened the door.
There stood Peter with a young girl with dark hair and small brown eyes, looking innocently at Robert.
“You’ve got a visiter.” Peter smiled.
“Well hello darling.” Robert said before nodding to me and closing the door behind him as he left with the groupie.
I fixed my hair in the bathroom mirror and took one more look at the outfit. I decided to add a silk scaf to the ensemble, then went over to Peter’s room and told him to make sure there was a car and driver ready for me in 10 minutes.
I went down to the lobby to wait. I lit a cigarette and watched as Bonzo scored his women in a loud and obnoxious way and Jonesy who seems so innocent, used his quiet and cool exterior to deviously find himself a pretty bird to fill the lonely void that a night on tour held.
Although it was a small town, and most people thought we were staying in a hotel in the big city, I still for some reason expected more groupies to fill the empty lobby and halls. As I finished off my cigarette the car pulled up to the front.
I slid into the back seat and handed the driver the address. I stared out the window at the darkened streets, only lit slightly by the moon and pale light from the small lamp posts. We drove through the main street, never turning untill we reached a street sign stating the board walk was coming up around the next turn. The car turned down the street and stopped infront of a studio apartment.
“This is it.” The driver stated as he put the car in park. “Is this where I’m dropping you or are you going to another destination?”
“Another destination, I’m just not sure where.”
“May I recommend a restaurant sir?”
“Yeah actually that’d be great mate.”
“The River Bistro… Five stars. I heard they have amazing service and food.” He smiled assuringly.
“Sounds great.” I thanked him as I got out.
A man standing in front of the building opened the french doors of the apartment for me with a bright smile. The Inside was luxurious, carvings on the walls and chandeliers. I wondered how she could afford to live in a place like this when she worked at such a small record store.
All of my thoughts were pushed aside as the elevator doors opened and out walked the tall statuesque woman I had met earlier that day, sporting a short cut, blood red, lace dress that hugged her small curves perfectly. The neckline went just below her collar bone, connected to her shoulders, turning the lace to see-through as it ran down her arms stopping just below her elbows.
She smiled when she saw me standing in the middle of the lobby staring like a fool.
Her lips were bright red, eyes bright with a thick line of black eyeliner painted on her eyelids with perfect presition. Her hair was pinned back from her face so the loose curls ran down her back. Once again I was following her legs for miles till they stopped at a pair of matching red heels.
I was mesmerized by her. She walked toward me an expression of concern on her pretty features.
“I’m afraid I’m a touch over dressed.” She looked down at what I was wearing. “I should go change.”
She started to turn but I caught her hand in mine.
“You look perfect.” I breathed looking down into her pale blue eyes.
She smiled and giggled quietly. “Shall we then?” She gestured toward the door.
I held the car door open for her. She slid in to the other side as I hopped in after her.
“Ready then?” The driver asked smiling into the rearview mirror.
I nodded and we were off. The driver gave us some privacy and closed the window, seperating the limo in half.
“Fancy.” She teased, crossing her legs. “Where are we going?”
“Uhm the driver suggested some fancy place called The River something.” I laughed trying to remember the name.
“Oh no… we can’t.” She was suddenly alarmed.
“Why whats wrong?”
“That restaurant is really really expensive.” She bit down on her lip again, sending that same burning feeling through me.
I fought it and gained control of myself before speaking, “Trust me love, I can afford it.” I laughed.
We arrived at the restaurant then. I helped her out of the car and held her small hand in mine as I led her into the place and to the front desk.
“I think we need a reservation Jimmy.” She raised her eyebrows.
“Oh we’ll be fine without.” I winked.
I turned to the waitress who was playing with her nails.
“Table for two please.” I asked.
“Do you have a reservation?” She asked rudely without looking up from her nails.
“Unfortunately no, but I’m sure you can still give us a table, darling.”
She looked up with an annoyed expression on her heavily painted face. The annoyance quickly fading as she looked at me. Her thin lips turned up at the corners to an unflattering smile. “Yeah actually we do have a table open.” She quickly said.
“See.” I said smugly as the waitress led us toward a quiet table.
Jade playfully smacked my arm playfully and rolled her eyes.
“You’re waitress will be with you in a moment.” She smiled widely at me before leaving us alone.
I looked around at the other tables where older couples sat in suits and fancy dresses.
“Looks like your dressed perfectly for this place. I believe I’m a bit underdressed.” I laughed. I hated Robert right now.
“You look great.” She smiled reassuringly.
We sat silently for a few minutes as we sipped at our drinks. I wached as she intricatly wrapped her small fingers around the condensing glass. She looked next to her, staring across the room — it seemed as though she was off in her own world — as she raised the glass to her tender, full lips. She looked back at me suddenly, confusion and curiosity flooding her eyes.
“What?” She asked lightly.
“What are you thinking about?” The words came out without a single thought.
She laughed lightly before answering. “If I knew, I’d tell you.”
“What do you mean?” I asked completely confused by her strange answer.
She smiled and rolled her eyes at my questioning. “My mind always seems to wander off without permission or warning.” She took a sip before continuing, “There’s about a million different images, songs, and senerios that run through my mind as it goes off into its own world. So unless you have all the time on earth, I wouldnt be able to even begin to tell you all the things I think of.”
We talked through the evening, about her life, music, interests we shared, poetry, places we had both been, drugs we experimented and so much more. She asked me questions about how I felt or what I was thinking when I would create and write music. She seemed really interested in my life before session work and bands. She wondered what I was like as a child and my life back home in Middlesex.
I told her about playing in a skiffle band on BBC and about wanting to pursue a career in Biological Research, but how quickly that changed as I grew older.
Although it was nice to go down memory lane, I wanted to know about her.
“Can I ask you something? — Its actually rather rude of me to ask but I am curious…” I trailed off, kicking myself internally for even bringing it up.
“Yes.” She shrugged her shoulders without a care.
“How can you afford to live where you do? It looks rather expensive.”
She smiled warmly, understanding. “My father owns the building.”
“Oh… do you live with your parents?” I wondered.
“No. My dad lives in Chicago or New York City. I can’t remember which one it is. He moves around a lot and my mother has been in the hospital since I was 12.” She said, wandering off into space as she tried to recall.
“I’m sorry.” I murmured. ”It must be hard for you to be away from your father then. You must miss him.”
“Oh you don’t have to apologize. I never really got the chance to get to know him. It’s hard to miss what you never had.” She smiled. “And trust me, it’s not hard at all to be away from him. I do visit my Mother a lot. I don’t really remember that much before she left. I just remember her smile. I don’t get to see it often.” She reminisced.
“How old are you?” I asked suddenly as curiosity flooded through me at the realisation that I had no idea of what her age was.
“18.” She answered matter-of-factly. “What about you?”
“25” I laughed as surprise filled her pale eyes.
It amazed me that she wasn’t like most girls I had met before. She wasn’t spoiled. Despite where she lived, she didn’t need or want to live a luxurious life. She saw herself and the world as one living thing.
We talked a bit more, until it was time to get the check. When it arrived I pulled out my walet.”
“Put it on my fathers tab.” Jade smiled at the waitress before I could pull out the money owed.
“No no, I’ll be paying for it.” I protested quickly.
“Don’t listen to him, he’s delusional.” She told the waitress laughing. “Put it on the tab. Thanks.”
The waitress left then without a word.
Jade turned to me and smiled widely. ”Whats wrong?”
“I was supposed to pay for that.” I raised my eyebrows.
“That’s alright. You can pay next time.” She winked as she got up from her seat.
The car ride back to her condo was silent. When we arrived she turned to me. “Would you like to go for a walk?”
“I would love to.”
It was already dark out, the streets were silent and empty. I slid my hand into hers, as she guided me along the sidewalk.
When we got to the end of the street she stopped in front of a small sandy trail. She pulled her hand gently from mine.
“What are you doing?” I demanded, laughing as she began to take off her shoes.
“If I wear heels through the sand, I’ll break a leg.” She laughed.
She held her shoes by the heels in one hand then grabbed mine with her other, then pulled me along onto the path that was lined with little trees. At the end of the path was a large and empty beach. She let go of my hand again, dropped her shoes and ran to the shore. I ran after her with hesitation. I wasn’t so brave when it came to water.
She suddenly dropped to the sand and layed down.
“I love listening to the waves.” She closed her eyes.
I sat down and watched a smile play on her lips as became one with the waves. She had so much passion for everything.
Suddenly she shot up to a sitting position and turned her head to face me so fast, her hair flew across her face.
“Let’s go for a swim!” She smiled like a child that just descovered the ice cream truck.
She stood up then grabbed my hands and pulled me up with her.
“Um, well actually I’m not much of a swimmer. But by all means you go. I’ll watch.” I offered.
“You’re scared of the water?” She raised her eyebrows.
“I never said that.” I reminded her, “I just simply don’t swim.” I covered. Truth was, I was terrified.
She gave me a disbelieving look. “Come on. I’ll even hold your hand.” She teased. After a moment of silence, she spoke again, ”I’ll keep you safe. I promise” She said more seriously.
I sighed and gave in. “Fine. But if I get hurt, I’m blaming you.” I threatened with a smile.
She returned the grin, then reached behind her to pull the zipper of her dress down. She slid out of it with ease as I watched. She wore a red lace panties and a matching bra. I smiled as I follwed the curves of her body, in delight at how even more beautiful she was. She moved her hand up to her hair and pulled out the pins that held it in place and let her loose curls fall around her.
“Are you going to stand there and stare or are you going to take your clothes off?” She laughed amused.
“Your not very shy are you?” I raised an eyebrow as I started pulling off my own clothes.
In our undergarments, she held my hands as she pulled me slowly into the water.
It was slightly cold on my feet. I winced as a small wave touched my knees.
“Oh Christ!” I yelped as another wave attacked, higher than before. ”I think this is far enough.” I protested as she tugged at me to go further into the blackened water.
“Oh come on, just a little farther.” She pleaded.
I stood there shaking me head back in forth.
She narrowed her eyes before a devious smile painted her face. She let go of my hand then moved further into the water.
“Would you come further in if I needed help?” She raised her eyebrows.
“I suppose I would have to.” I answered not sure what she was getting at.
“Hmm..” She contemplated. “Will you come in further now?”
I laughed loudly. “No.”
“What if I go under and can’t find my way up?” She tested.
Before I could answer, she slipped under the cold water. I waited for her to come back up, watching the bubbles rise as she exhaled under the waves.
After about seven more seconds I was growing worried. The bubbles stopped and there seemed to be no movement other than the waves.
“Jade!” I called out to her. I was get antsy and anxious as the seconds went by.
When there was still no sign of her I took in a deep breath, braving myself before going in further. When I reached where she last was, the water went up to my waist. I felt around the water looking for her. Wishing I hadn’t agreed to this.
Suddenly I felt hands running up my legs and along the sides of my hips. The hands emerged from the water as they reached my waist. They grabbed on to my side and tried to pull me down.
Laughing at her failed attempt I grabbed her arms and pulled Jades arms and pulled her up from the water.
When she came out she gasped for air, her legs buckling underneath her. I held her up concerned.
“Took you long enough.” She gasped between breaths.
I laughed as she gained strength again. I pushed her now tangled hair away from her face and rested my hand on her cheek.
“You’re lucky I even came in.” I tisked her.
She rolled her eyes then splashed me.
“Hey!” I splashed her back.
She reached up, taking my face in her small hands and kissed me urgently.