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Linda Less Than Met The Eye.

             Linda. Less than met the eye.

One night when I was sixteen I was cycling home from my job as an improver welder.  It was about 7:30 pm (I worked 7:30am - 7:30pm and cycled 10 miles each way). As I cycled through my home village of Sandhurst I spotted a girl walking along the  Pavement in my direction. She was all wrapped up in a warm coat and scarf but I  could see her hair and face. She had naturaly blond hair and was absolutely beautiful I had never seen her before.

For those of you who are old enough to remember the actress Claudia Cardinale, this girl was her doppleganger.

Over the next few weeks I didn't really give the girl another thought, except to look out for her as I cycled through sandhurst. I was in fact far too busy working hard for my nemesis, sorry my scooter. Plus I was already going out with another lovely girl called Patsy.

Now, I would like to add here that, this propensity of mine when I was young, to date every pretty girl I saw is not something which in retrospect I'm proud of. In fact I'd like to apologise for any hurt I caused to any girls who found themselves being two  timed by me. I can say in all honesty that, had I realised how rotten and hurtful this behaviour was,  I would have confined myself to one girlfriend at a time.

So on with the story for those of you who havn't abandoned me due to my appalling behaviour.

A few weeks later I was again cycling home after work, but this time it was a Saturday lunchtime. I stopped in Sandurst to buy something at the chemist's.
As I stepped into the shop in my donkey jacket, dirty jeans and heavy work boots my face red from the effort of cycling and my hair a mess from the wind I was stopped in my tracks. She was there! working behind the counter, the beautiful blond vision of a few weeks earlier, even more beautiful at this range than in the fleeting glance that I'd caught of her from my bike I didn't think twice, I decided right there to ask her out. I never gave a thought to my appearance in my dirty working clothes. I allowed another customer to be served ahead of me as the regular salesperson became available then took my turn to  be served by the beautiful blond girl.

I made my purchase and then asked her straight out in front of a shop full of customers.
'Would you like to go to the pictures tonight'?
'Erm.... I'll have to ask my parents'
'Oh, right.. when'? She looked at the senior salesperson and asked 'can I pop home in my break and ask'
'Yes of course'
'Can you come back in about fourty minutes'?
'Yea no problem'.
'Ok see you then'.
'Great see you in fourty minutes'.
I was like a dog with two tails, I never even considered that her parents might not agree. As soon as I got in I asked, 'Have you seen that new girl working at the Chemist' Both my parents had, 'Well guess who just asked her out'? My stepmother was horrified and started going on about her being a 'nice girl
'and how 'I wasn't to try any of my funny business'(a direct quote) and how she'd never be able to face the girl again.
My Father remained silent but couldn't repress a slight 'that's my boy' grin. (The five months that I worked in that job. was the only time in my life that my father and I were almost close).

I ignored my stepmothers cynicism and took the stairs up to my bedroom three at a time.I showered, washed my hair, brushed my teeth and put on clean clothes.I was back in the chemist shop after exactly fourty minutes.

When I got to the counter she smiled and said 'Hello'
'My Dad said ok'.
'Fab', where do you live'
'Over there in the married quarters, No9'. She pointed out the window diagonally across  the road to the married quarters just outside the back gates to Sandhurst Military
'Right I'll pick you up at half past seven, is that alright'
'Yes that's fine'
'Ok see you then'
'Oh what's your name'?
'I'm Robert'
'Oh'She smiled again.
I left her with a big smile.
At 7:30 on the dot I knocked on the door of No9. A tall, broad, stern looking man answered. 'You must be Robert'
'Yes'He offered his hand, I gripped it firmly and shook it, I was standing as straight as I could shoulders back looking him straight in the eyes.'Come in'. An attractive looking blond lady who I took to be Linda's Mum smiled and said hello.

Linda emerged straight away, much to my relief, and we were quickly on our way. We exchanged small talk. She told me she was 17 and had 6 younger brothers her dad was a Sergeant Major in the R.E.M.E. (royal electrical and mechanical engineers) and he'd been posted to Sandhurst a month ago.

At the cinema I bought balcony tickets and we sat at the end of a row next to the wall.  At some point early in the film I put my arm around her shoulders, she leaned closer. Quite soon after I turned my head and kissed her. Linda was no shrinking violet, her  enthusiasm belied he demure good looks. We soon moved the embrace onto it's next natural stage. In the near deserted circle. Walking home through the grounds of Sandhurst we could hardly keep our hands off of each  other I became a little more surprised by Linda every time we stopped for a few moments. Eventualy we arrivd in the lobby of her building. We said a passionate goodnight next to the stairs that lead up to her parents home.

As part of the agreement that had us working 12 hour days we were allowed to finish at  noon on Wednesday although it was slightly frowned on.
Linda and I had arranged to go out for a walk, as back in the sixties Wednesday was early closing day for all shops. We met at 2:00 pm. kissed briefly and set off for our walk around Sandhurst park.

 What transpired that Wednesday over about a three hour period, in a small clearing  surrounded by a dense stand of  Rhododendrons, close growing Silver Birch and thick  bracken, was as surprising as it was enjoyable, suffice to say that it became obvious  that Linda, working in a chemists shop was going to save me a lot of money.

 I went out with Linda regularly for about two months, her passion never abated and as we were enjoying a warm dry early summer our little spot in Sandhurst park was frequently  visited. But all was not rosy in the garden. Linda didn't read, she was not especially  itelligent and it didn't seem to bother her. On the surface she was very prim and proper, prudish even, and telling her jokes was like talking to a wall.

I began to regret the shoddy way that I'd treated Patsy. In personality Patsy was the  complete opposite of Linda. In looks Patsy was very pretty with an Elfish little face. different but equally pretty. Everything that Linda was happy to do that had made her at first irresistable, Patsy was adamant was NOT about to happen but, Patsy had a fantastic sense of humour, she was clever, intelligent, curious and always great fun. A personality to be celebate for.

I began a campaign to get Patsy back, while gradually seeing less and less of Linda.
Patsy was playing hard to get (who could blame her) but always left me with a little
glimmer of hope. Linda was always on the telephone to me.

By the beginning of August I was in limbo. Patsy was giving me some of my own medicine,
an on off unsure relationship. And I struggled to get through an evening with Linda.
The girl had had a personality bypass.

At the beginning of August a mate at work set up a blind date between me and a girl
called Lorraine.

Lorraine was a whole other story.







AlmostAristotle AlmostAristotle 61-65, M 25 Responses Jul 27, 2011

Your Response


Hmmmmm really nothing to be proud of but you learned to treat women nice since then. ;-)<br />
I'm eagerly awaiting the continuation.

That's a great story, Ari. I really enjoyed it. How typical that Linda was hot but dumb and Patsy just the opposite.<br />
<br />
What's "doppleganger"? Also, OrangeTas used the word, "gobstruck" which drew a blank in me. (Thought I'd get an English lesson in two words since I'm asking.)

Thanks for commenting Mary. Just for the record, Patsy was a very pretty girl, but a very 'good' girl.
A doppleganger is your double in the world.
Gobstruck means struck dumb.

Funny! Doppelganger is actually a German word but we say Doppelgänger. Sadly I'm old enough to know Claudia Cardinale.

Oh....that one!<br />
I'm still waiting patiently :-)

Well which one do you want to read about?


This is indeed one of my favorite of all your stories! I'm going to have to search through your others to see if you ever did tell us about Lorraine...

Ah Lorraine. I'll write that soon, that's not the one I have the problem with.
Thanks for commenting dat.

Your comments are quite a delight for a writer. Thank you Vignette.

I enjoyed your story, Ari. Nicely written! You captured the excitement of youth and took me back to those years. I escaped in your words and that's always a delight for a reader!

This is an amazingly well writen story and you are such a ladies man. I wish I knew you back then, but unfortunately I wasn't alive then so that have been a little difficult! <br />
<br />
It really is a great story, but I do feel sorry for Pasty. She had a hard time of it with you by the sounds of things. <br />
<br />
Great story and can't wait for more<br />
<br />

Thank you J. I did made a conscious effort to be a bit more expansive in this story. I think I'm more confident now that readers won't get bored.

WoW! My darling Robert! I very much enjoy how EP has helped you grow as a writer. This is another one of your wonderful stories, however, parts of this one stand out much stronger than in others. Your tone, voice, and characters have developed splendidly. Keep up the good work! I am very proud of how far you've come!!! :D All my love ~J~

Your story is charming and told with tender skill. *holding her cup out for more, please*

I guess we're just all made different needs.

How do you have the guts to approach a girl you just I can barely approach the girl I love :(

Great story Ari, or should I say Robert, I wish I could have known you back then. I bet you were the lady's man. You probably had to fight them off with a stick. LOL

Wow, this was an AWESOME, " verbal snapshot" out of your youth. I LOVE it, but like others, I was sooo sorry when it ended. You weren't such a cad. You were 16!! It was a glimpse into a typical teenagers thoughts and ways. <br />
<br />
I was no angel at 16 either... :D<br />
<br />
I love reading stuff like this cause it does put you right into a piece of the person's life and personal history. Thanks sooo much for taking the time and effort to share it with us.

It was a lesson foolish. About the importance of personality.

Thank you datura just............................THANKS.

I, like CherryMay, was left wanting to know more! A paragraph poorly written can seem very long, but an interesting story well told always ends too soon!<br />
<br />
Make no mistake about it, you ARE a talented writer!

Praise indeed from a very talented writer.<br />
Thank you datura praise always means so much more when it comes from someone you admire, I'm feeling quite talented now.<br />
Glad you enjoyed the story, I was afraid readers might find it a little long.

It's so interesting to peer into the mind of a teenage boy in a story told by a grown man who seemed to learn some lessons from his adventures.<br />
Ari, you have a gift of telling and a way with words. Loved it.

Thanks deliah, well written is always good to hear. And so is held my attention. Especially in a longish story like this one is.

I seem to have been lucky with the number of girlfriends I had up until around 40 It's quietened down a lot since then.

Wow, interesting. My early teen years weren't as "exciting" as yours.

Thanks deliah, you didn't say what you thought of the story. But thanks for commenting.

When I broke my back that autumn, it was still on off with Patsy. Patsy, Linda and Lorraine, all wrote to me in hospital, promising to be there for me.<br />
I saw Patsy when I was discharged. It was weird. I was no longer the tall athletic 'jack the lad' that had first met her. I had NO desire for her.<br />
I rediscovered myself at college for disabled.<br />
See 'At Q.e.t..c.'<br />
Yes that is my real name.

My thoughts after reading the story:<br />
<br />
1. You were such a heartbreaker!! And at 16??? *Sigh*<br />
<br />
2 . I felt instant sympathy for Patsy, reading this. Did you manage to get her back or was it totally over after she gave you this 'on and off' treatment?<br />
<br />
3. Don't forget to tell us about Lorraine next time!<br />
<br />
4. Did you, by any chance, use your real name here? ;)