Monday, 24 December 2012
Little JW has left the building!
Jackie was going out with Robbo, (Colin Robson). I was not seeing anyone in particular but I definitely had a ‘thing’ for Jackie and I was starting to believe she felt something for me. Her parents had a pub just outside Norwich where Colin, friends and I would meet on Sundays for a free roast dinner and to laze around watching movies generally recovering from hangovers. Colin and I had become great friends and my Mum liked Colin a lot as he’d often come to collect me (when I lived at home) for nights out and was always polite, well dressed and funny. After my return from America Robbo and I fell back into our friendship and we’d regularly crash at each other’s homes; Colin having a flat a mile or so away from my rented house. We shared much of the same interests especially music and at Ricks Place would always be dancing, in between the girls, our trademark swaying moves mirroring one another with the ladies bobbing around and in-between us. Alexander O’Neal, Luther Vandross, Soul and R&B songs never failed to get us dancing and we’d pull unsuspecting girls onto the floor and dance almost all night long.
Robbo had gone out with a few of my ex’s and I with a few of his. In fact along with Tim, Paul and his girlfriend Lisa, the two Gary’s, Nigel and Sarah-Jane, Ian, Elisha and Emma (twins), Helen, Jackie, Michelle, plus a host of other women and men; these girls and boys interchanged with one another over a number years and nobody ever took a slight when after a few weeks of splitting, their ex started seeing another of their friends. So behind this setting of nightclubs and football, music and friendship, my little world was blossoming nicely. Through Dave Bennett, who was always out in town with Neil Riley, Robert Rosario and Malcolm Allen, I was introduced to Andy Townsend (Norwich City) and a host of other first team footballers and easily settled into separate circles of friends, whilst (hopefully and successfully?) managing these friendships and acting as introducer when the circles bumped into each other when out on the town.
I couldn’t decide whether Robbo and Jackie were seriously ‘into’ one another or not and did not want to damage my friendship with Robbo at all, but slow dances at the end of the evening started to become a problem, as I’d invariably stand to the side watching them together and feeling a tinge of jealousy, could not bring myself to dance with anyone else. Michelle, a tall elegantly strikingly pretty girl, with a shock of tight curly black hair had finally asked me to dance one night and a one night stand came out of that, a relationship which would have lasted longer had Jackie not been around. Things started to progress when I would snatch a slow dance with Jackie and with her head nestled into my shoulder, I would take in her scent and feel the soft curls of her hair against my cheek. I wanted more of that scent and the sensation of butterflies I experienced as we’d hold hands walking to and from the dance floor and so finally one night in the middle of the dance floor I plucked up courage and told her how wonderful she was, how marvellous she made me feel, how tempted I’d become and how difficult these feeling were to manage. Jackie looked at me; she had fantastic eyes full of sparkle and life and said she felt the same way. My stomach flipped. The music ended and we walked back towards our crowd of friends hand in hand, but my holding her hand meant something far more to me and her than the simple gesture of friendship seen by the others.
Over the following weeks when in town, we’d snatch moments together to kiss frantically, passionately and quickly lest we be spotted. We’d hold hands or hug when meeting in company trying to restrain ourselves, but that hug or kiss to the cheek would linger just a little longer than normal, the parting of lips or hands slowing down to stretch, for just a moment longer, that brief magical touch. Our subterfuge would include little tricks such as one of us making excuses to leave the room/current company, with the other following some minutes later to steal a kiss around a corner. I’d see Jackie walk away from our group towards the back of a club and I’d take a circuitous route that somehow always led to our colliding out of sight of the others. We grasp hands and find a nook or corner and kiss as if our lives depended on it.
My problems really started one Sunday at Jackie’s Pub after another massive lunch with everyone groaning from overeating and slumped on her chairs and couches. I was helping Jackie clear the plates away with Robbo sat in the room and all I could think about were her lips, her hair, her touch, her scent. We walked down the corridor to the kitchen in the living quarters of the pub put the dishes down and dived at each other with abandon. Hearing the door to the lounge closing behind someone we leapt apart just as Robbo entered the kitchen; although he must have either suspected or seen something he never spoke of it but he did take hold of Jackie and kiss her in front of me. Asserting his position in the pack (an anthropologist might say); pissing me off more likely!
So this game played out on a weekly basis and whilst this was happening I was being overcome by a real feeling of guilt about my treatment of Robbo. On one hand I desperately wanted Jackie to leave him but she felt that she could not as she did not want to hurt him. On the other hand I was experiencing such guilt about how I was misleading the guy that I was becoming physically affected by it, unable to hold a conversation with him, avoiding him and her so as to selfishly make me feel slightly better about myself. All sorts of pathetic excuses were used to carry out this deceit, a deceit not only of friendship but also of loyalty and honesty. I was becoming everything I hated to see in another, a liar and a coward, disloyal and dishonest. But I was still experiencing tremendous feelings for Jackie and the whole nasty business needed lancing quickly. I couldn’t know that two scalpels would be used to cut into my despairing heart.
Glenn had moved into my house rented from my brother Richard, to share costs and we got on fine as housemates. I was working at the Double Glazing factory and he was in sales and he was out most days and evenings. My infatuation with Jackie reached breaking point and we agreed that we had best do something about it. She would come to the house one afternoon when I would take the day off and we’d go to bed. We met up nearby and drove to the house in my car leaving hers in a pub car park. Once inside we headed straight upstairs and into each other’s arms only to hear the sound of the front door opening. Glenn was home! I shot downstairs and he was as surprised to see me, as I was to see him. “I’ve got the afternoon off,” he said. I didn’t know how far I could take him into my confidence so told him I was trying to get some sleep upstairs. He looked at me and said “Who is she then?” “Robbo’s girlfriend Jackie,” I blurted it out without thinking but rather than question me he collected his car keys and said “I’ll go out then” and he left.
I shot back upstairs to find Jackie under the quilt and after stripping off I climbed in beside her. We began to make out but the thought of Robbo and deceiving him crept into my thoughts and try as I might I could get the bugger from my mind. I was also tremendously attracted to Jackie and ‘first night nerves’ were getting the better of me. I rolled over onto my back and looked at Jackie and said I was unable to perform simply because of Robbo and our friendship. Jackie was gentle and caring, trying various ways to help me along but to no avail, I was not going to be able to consummate our relationship so to speak. Little JW had retired for the afternoon as well. Jackie totally understood and made no comment other than we should try again another day, which we did and low and behold, Little JW declined again. I told Jackie it wasn’t her it was me; I mean how could it be her? She was gorgeous, with a beautiful body; those wonderful eyes, that perfume. I just could not get over the idea of cheating on Robbo and that was that. Scalpel number one had made the first cut.
Scalpel number two was even harder to deal with. My failed libido was bad enough for my ego but a few weeks later I found out that Jackie’s parents had decided to sell up and they were moving south to Kent. Along with everything else in my life at that time I was seriously upset at her moving away and although I have never told her this, on the day she was moving I jumped in my car and drove to the village to speak to her before she left. I was going to tell her how much she meant to me, how deeply I felt for her and how much I wanted her to stay. I reached the pub and ran inside to find the barman cleaning glasses behind the bar. “Where is Jackie?” I asked him. “They left an hour ago son,” he replied, “You missed her.” I was gutted! I walked out to my car, got in it and sat there for an age. A thought sprang into my mind and I dashed back inside, “Do you have a forwarding address or phone number?” “No, I’m sorry I don’t,” he said, “They didn’t leave one.” Unlike today and the ubiquitous Mobile Phone this was 1989 and no such thing existed.
Scalpel Number two sliced through the last thread and cut me down. I have not seen Jackie since and throughout the first few years after she left, I often wondered where she ended up, what her life was like, whom she had married and whether she ever thought of me. There I go again! Self-indulgent to the end, why would she wonder about a guy who couldn’t get it up when it mattered and who had simply disappeared when she left town, who had made no attempt to contact her as far as she knew? What became of Robbo and Jackie? They finished their relationship not long before Jackie was due to leave and I was way too late in deciding that it was worth my while in going after her.
Written and Posted by Jonathan Weaver