My thanks go to my friend SH, for proofreading this little tale of misunderstanding, or maybe it's better described as misinterpretation of motive.
Clarification:- "TWOC" British police acronym for Taking a motor vehicle Without the Owners Consent, i.e. a "twocker" is what at one-time often referred to as a joy-rider, but without the connotations of innocent fun. Youngsters -- and innocent bystanders -- get killed in/by stolen cars, and twockers' poor driving skills often result in serious damage to the vehicles involved.
That particular evening I was propping up the end of the bar, in the pub that at one time in my life had been my favourite watering hole. It had been a great place to spend an evening back then, full of people I'd grown up with and casual acquaintances. Time -- and life -- inevitably moves on though and it had been some years since I'd even thought about the joint, it certainly was a pail shadow of my once regular hangout.
That evening for some inexplicable reason, I'd been feeling just a little more melancholy than usual. And ... well, I'd stuck my nose in the "Pig and Whistle" to see if any of the old gang – those guys I'd hung around with when we were teenagers – were still frequenting the dive.
Unfortunately in the intervening years the establishment had gone down the pan some; or maybe I should say, its clientèle had. The place was pretty well crowded with the younger generation that evening; well, from my perspective they were not far off teenyboppers. But, if I were being honest with myself, I'd have to admit that most were probably of the age we had been, when my friends and I started frequenting the place.
The trouble was, there'd been a marked change in the way the younger generation thought and behaved. The pub was full of the binge drinking, lager lout set, who wouldn't recognise a decent pint of beer if it were presented to them on a golden platter.
You know the sort of crowd I'm talking about, their idea of a good time is to get blind stinking drunk as quickly as they possibly can. Then the following morning they find themselves pondering where they picked up the bruises and the odd black eye, or how come they came to have spent the night in a police cell.
Anyway, there was one face that I did recognise, Randy Ralf. And I really think I might have preferred it if he hadn't been in the lounge bar when I stuck my nose in there that evening.
Maybe I'm not being fair. Ralf was an all right bloke really, except that conversation with him was always a little one sided and somewhat repetitively boring. Ralf only ever had had one topic he liked to discuss and/or apparently one topic on his mind, sex! And, what's more, he always had been under the misapprehension that he was god's gift to the female gender of our species, even if that wasn't a universally accepted opinion.
Don't get me wrong, whether I liked to admit it or not, Ralf was a pretty good-looking bloke. Much more handsome than I ever considered myself to be, and I have to also admit, that he'd always had the gift of the gab when it came to the ladies.
When we were younger, Ralf used to drive all of the guys crazy by diving in first, and grabbing any tasty bit of talent around. Mind you, he'd always had a pocket full of cash as well, and that can sometimes have a bearing on success in the female chasing sweepstakes. Consequently Ralf -- or Randy as he was often referred to by the rest of the guys -- was generally considered an acquaintance, more than a friend.
I'd better add, that if you were inclined to believe Ralf's somewhat repetitive rhetoric, it had an air of self-congratulation about it. Personally, I always considered it should be taken with a very large portion of scepticism.
Shit yeah, Ralph was a braggart; he always claimed to have had a remarkable high score rate as well. We're talking first outing home runs here, fella's! But I'm not at all convinced, that many the ladies came back for a return fixture all that often though. Anyway, that really was none of my concern.
Whatever, Ralf being the only member of the old crowd in the pub that evening, I'd accepted his offer of a pint and fallen into conversation with him. Or rather, not wishing to appear impolite to an old acquaintance, I was trapped for a while, listening to his tales of fornication with younger women. By the look of most them in the bar, I say at least ten years his junior.
I'd been standing there leaning against that bar, getting an earful from Ralf about some little teenybopper he'd banged the previous evening for about twenty minutes. When suddenly something, or someone, behind me caught Ralf's attention. I figured that most likely a reasonable looking bit of skirt had just entered the bar, and with any luck, very shortly I'd have an opportunity to extract myself from my conversation with the bugger and get the hell out of there. Sod-it, I was well passed the age where stories of fumbling around in the back of a car with a bit of jailbait, were of any interest to me. But it was apparent that Ralf hadn't moved on in life and was still living his teenage years.
"Holy Moses, she's back. So there is a God in heaven after all!" Ralf exclaimed, still staring over my right shoulder, and with that old familiar, lecherous, smile on his face.
I didn't turn around to look at her right away. Whoever she was -- going by mean age of all the other talent in the pub that evening, and taking into account Ralf's apparent penchant for the ... Yeah well, young and naïve -- I doubted that I would find any interest in the bird.
At twenty-eight I preferred my women to be at least old enough to vote and preferably over twenty-one. I'd been caught once in my life by a spiteful little bitch and by that time in my life, I preferred my women to be old enough to understand what love, and marriage, is really all about.
"Oh my, this is the third time she's stuck her nose in here lately. I think I caught her eye the other night, but I was with that bit of stuff I was telling you about. You'll have to excuse me if I dash off mate, can't let something that looks as good as that, get away again!" Ralf babbled on.
"Jesus Ralf, don't you ever give it a bleeding rest, its just a ... Oh my Christ, Sadie the sadist! What the bleeding-'ell is she doing in here?" I found myself blurting out.
As I'd begun speaking, I'd snatched a quick glance over my shoulder to take a gander at this so-called vision of loveliness that Ralf was raving on about. And ... well, standing there, just inside the pub door, her eyes scouring the bar's patrons -- obviously hunting down some poor sob (S.O.B.) in particular -- was the devil incarnate herself; Sadie Bishop!
"Sadie Who?" Ralf asked. But my mind was not really concentrating on what he was saying anymore.
I'd known Sadie Bishop for about eight years by then; she'd been the best friend of my one time wife. To say that Sadie and I had never got on from the moment Katrina first introduced us to each other, would be putting it mildly!
I'm not sure what it was about the woman that got to me. I have to admit that Sadie always had been one fine looking piece of real estate; I had to agree with Ralf on that one. And well, thinking back to the odd occasion, I'd seen Sadie about town years before – well before I had started going with Katrina ... Well, I suppose I've got to admit, that given half the opportunity I would have chanced my arm and had a go at chatting her up! It had just down to the fact that that opportunity had never presented itself.
But then, after Katrina and I got together and she eventually introduced me to her good friend Sadie ... Jesus, was I glad that that opportunity to chat the bird up, hadn't presented itself.
When Katrina did the formal introduction bit, there was something about the look Sadie gave me that day, that I hadn't been able to get my head around for a very long time. Sadie had smiled at me graciously, and yeah, she seemed friendly enough; if not a little ... er, I don't know, maybe reticent to make my acquaintance. But there had definitely been something that I read in her eyes that that said ... Well, for a while at least, I wasn't quite sure what those eyes were saying to me really; but whatever it was, that expression put me on my guard for some inexplicable reason.
It was only a short time later that I worked out that Sadie didn't think much of the fact that Katrina and I were dating. I hadn't realised at the time, but I finally got it figured that those eyes were actually trying to say to me, "Hey arsehole, get your grubby little mitt's off of my best mate; she can do a lot better than the likes of you!"
Now I wouldn't like for anyone to get the idea that Sadie was ever openly hostile towards me. Quite the opposite actually, sometime she would be too damned friendly! Like all devious people, Sadie apparently welcomed the news that Katrina and I were dating with open arms. It was only later that I began to get some idea of what the bitch was really playing at, and even then, it took me a year or so before I was absolutely sure.
It was all the nasty little - whispered - asides that Sadie made to Katrina, in my presence - and I was always convinced, purposely loud enough to be for my ears as well – that I thought were quite definitely intended to make Katrina draw comparisons between myself and the previous – long standing and Sadie preferred – love of Katrina's life, John Fillmore.
.... There is more of this story ...