Wednesday 22nd February
And there on the leather back seat of the Bentley, half asleep, Jane first heard them. The Beatles, of course – ‘Love Me Do’, and instantly she too knew this was different, this was something else, this wasn’t just music; this was Music. What a fabulous co-incidence that Jane was eleven when she first heard them. She was eleven and Harriet was thirteen, the perfect ages to first hear real Music, music that mattered, that spoke to them, straight out of the cloth covered speakers and into their consciousness.
Harriet had mentioned them, ‘The Beatles’, but Jane hadn’t taken it in properly, she hadn’t realised how important it was. They sat in stunned silence for all of the two minutes of the song and then when it had finished they just looked at each other in amazement. She was right. Well of course Harriet was always right, but this time she was Right; absolutely Right, this was different. This was like electricity straight into the brain cells and it jolted them both awake. They grew up in the two minutes of that song, and they never looked back again. They were dumb-struck; it was a tiny moment Jane would always remember. They had heard the future and were desperate to hear it again, but they had to wait a whole week until they did.
* * *
One time the lovers almost got caught; luckily, they had already done it. They had their little routine, hurriedly stripping off and almost before her bottom hit the bed Ted would be inside her, and be plunging in and out and bringing June to a quick sharp little come, sometimes two, before he came inside her. Then they would lounge around and kiss and stroke until they built up for their second and real time. This time they would take it slow and last for ages, and Ted would turn her over and take her from behind, his calloused hands squeezing her bum, or groping for her breasts dangling beneath her. Or they would lay side by side like two spoons in a drawer, barely moving, just rocking gently and she could feel him deep inside her, or he would hover almost inside her, gently nudging her lips with his sex, every slight move bringing another wave of pleasure. And they would plant kisses all over each other’s bodies, on his back and on her breasts and even on her bottom.
This was the time she liked the best even though she often didn’t climax. But they were always conscious of the clock; she would have loved to drift off to sleep in Teds arms but they often only had just an hour or two before the girls would be coming back from school, or Ted had to be back on the farm.
And one time they were lucky not to be caught, they were dressed and saying their slow and reluctant goodbyes when they suddenly heard the click of the back door. Quick as a flash Ted grabbed his jacket and was into the front parlour and squatting down behind a sofa. It was Phil, he had forgotten some papers, and had nipped back home, it never crossed his mind to question whether June would be in. He was in and out in a couple of minutes, he didn’t even ask her how she was, he barely noticed her. He just darted into his study and was out, waving the papers in his hand.
‘Found them, I knew I must have left them at home. See you later. I may be late, don’t keep dinner waiting for me.’ He half spoke, half muttered in his mad dash.
He may not have even noticed Ted if he hadn’t made his heroic exit so deftly, though what excuse they would have come up with, heaven knows. June went and found Ted as soon as Phil left. They burst out laughing but heaved a big sigh of relief too, and learned their lesson to at least lock the back door next time, as Phil never carried his keys with him, so he would have had to knock giving them time to at least get dressed.
* * *
Phil nearly got caught once; he had stupidly left one of his more important client’s papers in his study at home. It wasn’t really a study, just a room he escaped to, and where he kept any correspondence for stuff on the side in an old wooden desk he’d rescued from a house clearance one time. He dashed back to the house for the papers and by mistake picked up a couple of letters about some deal he was doing with one of his cronies, who was definitely not one of the firm’s clients. He hadn’t notice at the time, but when he handed Janet the client’s papers for filing the letters were there muddled up with the firm’s papers.
Janet knocked on my door about ten to five and just placed the letters on his desk and said in a somewhat knowing voice, ‘I don’t think you meant to give me these. Mr. Wilkinson, they seem to be personal.’ She placed them face up on his desk, and said as if nothing were amiss, ‘I’ll be off in a few minutes Mr. Wilkinson, unless you need anything else.’
Phil was never sure if she had noticed him blushing bright red. He felt sick to the pit of his stomach. Janet knew damned well that they weren’t any of their clients’ letters, and she knew they weren’t personal either. he just hoped she wasn’t clever enough to put two and two together and make five. Maybe she had but just decided that keeping quiet was her best option. She never referred to it again, but for weeks Phil was nervous whenever Jones wanted to talk to him in case Janet had spoken to him. But somehow he seemed to have got away with it, either that or Janet just took it in her stride, and knew it would cause more trouble for her if she said something. It made him realise just how dangerous his situation was, how easy it would be to be found out, and even if Jones decided to overlook it, things would never be the same again. Once that element of trust is gone things can never be the same again. Phil knew he had had a narrow escape and would have to be far more careful in future.
* * *
Harriet was always on the look-out for this new music; Jane might be content to just hear it by accident, but she had to find out all about it, she wanted to be in on it from the start. She would go into Ipswich to the big library and ask for music magazines like ‘Fabulous’ and ‘Record SongBook’ that none of the Stowmarket shops had ever heard of, and she begun to read up about the whole Mersey scene. Harriet simply devoured everything about them; they seemed to be the epitome of what was happening. Okay it wasn’t exactly happening here in Suffolk, but it would be soon and before it did she wanted to be the one who knew all the names of the groups, the songs and the next hits, before they came on the radio. It was their time, the time of the young, she grasped that straightaway. Her parents might tap their feet along to Gerry and the Pacemaker but they never understood that this was the beginning of a new movement that would sweep the old generation aside. And music was just part of it, part of the revolution in ideas and Art and fashion and everything that was breaking as surely as a wave breaks upon the shore, and more than anything she knew that she, Harriet, was going to be a part of it.