A Girl Called Len
Chapter 8: Where are you Len?
Copyright© 2010 by Texrep
Len had never been far from my thoughts in all this time. I had left messages for her, and whenever she got back to London she would call me. My news I had related as each step on the way was taken, and she was really enthusiastic about my venture.
"Danny, they must think highly of your abilities to do all this for you." I passed it off as a joke.
"Hey, Kid (I had spent too much time in the States) I know how to make the tweaks and get things to perform properly."
"I know Danny. You made my body perform properly." Her giggles came down the line to me.
"Is that Dance or Bed related?" I asked
"It's both, Danny." She whispered, and then giggled again. "I shall need tweaking again soon."
"I can't wait, Len. When we make love I lose myself in you."
"Oh!" There was silence for just a moment. "That was a lovely thing to say. You take me places I have never been before. I want to go there again, but I can only be there with you." Needless to say, conversations like this became painful as memories of making love together, built a frustration that both of us realised could not be assuaged for some time.
I called her flat in London quite frequently. I knew I would not speak to Len, but leaving messages on her answer machine somehow allowed me to feel better about the enforced separation. At the beginning of September Len should be back in Paris, and I was making plans to join her for a weekend, as soon as she let me know what date she would be there. I got no call. At first it wasn't a worry, as our contact had always been sporadic. However I began to get worried by the middle of September. I had it in mind to call her parents to see if they had heard from her, and also the Theatre in Paris to talk to Gerard Moiret, but my business was just getting off the ground, and I was so busy that I wasn't getting home until ten o' clock at night, and simply collapsing into bed, all thought of making those calls gone.
At last I remembered to call her parents. They hadn't heard from Leanne, and were quite worried. The last they knew was that she was in Germany until the first of September and would go direct to Paris from there and into rehearsal. I promised that I would ask in Paris and let them know what was happening. Now I had to call Gerard. I had gone from mild worry to deep concern.
"Danny! I am so glad you called. Can you tell me where Lee is? I have had to book another act to replace her." That answered the question I was about to ask.
"Gerard that is what I was going to ask you. I haven't heard from her, but of more concern, neither have her parents."
"L'enfer, maintenant je me suis vraiment inquiété." (trans. Hell, now I am really worried.) I think I understood what he had said. I got the word inquiété. It sounded too much like unquiet, good enough for me.
"Danny, I have already spoken to her Agent over here. I will call him again. He may know something."
Deep concern turned into panic. I left work and went home to pack a case. I had no idea where I was going, just that I knew that I would probably be going somewhere as soon as some information, any information got to me. Gerard got back to me within twenty four hours.
"Danny, Her Agent knows nothing. He suspects that she has met someone and just gone off. I know that cannot be true, and you know that as well. I am going to ask the cast tonight to see if any of them have heard from her. Ne pas inquiéter, je suis sûr que nous la trouverons. Oh I am sorry, Do not worry, we shall find her."
Worry? I was well past worry. Suddenly the full impact of my feelings came to me. I could not be without this girl! What I had told myself that it was a really good friendship wasn't the truth. I loved Len! Even the hit and miss relationship we had would be better than life without her. Yet at this moment in time I could do nothing. I would jump on a plane to go to her, but what plane? And where would I go? I was useless at home, at work, I could do nothing. The sheer futility of my situation angered me, yet I could do nothing without even the faintest clue as to where she was.
Work came very low down my priorities. Why? I wouldn't be able to work at anything with my full concentration, there was also the fact that the number I had given Len's parents, and Gerard was my home number, and I had to stay around just in case they or anyone called. I brought work home with me and arranged with the phone service to transfer calls to my home number. I rushed to the phone each time it rang but usually it was work not news of Len. The days went past and it was in early October that the phone rang just before eleven. I was pouring hot water into a mug when it happened. I think I put the kettle down properly, but in my haste to get to the phone it was of little matter. I answered the phone.
"Danny? It's Janey."
"Janey? How did you get my number?"
"That doesn't matter, but Lee needs you now."
"Where is she, I am on my way."
"She's back in Paris. Meet me at the Bistro by the theatre. I have got to tell you things, and then I'll take you to Lee. When will you get here?"
"I'll leave now and go straight to Heathrow, and get the first flight I can. I'll have to call you when I know what time; can you give me a number?"
"Call M. Moiret at the theatre. He will get in touch with me. Please hurry, Danny. Lee needs you."
I was out of the flat in ten minutes, picking up the case that I had the foresight to pack. Train or Car? I went for train, the A38 and the A303 would be bottleneck after bottleneck, my temper would not have responded kindly to the delays. I was lucky. There was a train leaving in five minutes, so within thirty minutes of leaving the flat I was sitting comfortably and on my way. Paddington always had a rank full of Taxi's and my cabbie was happy to hear me ask for Heathrow, this was a good fare. I negotiated with him for the quickest journey he could make, and with thirty quid on offer (1966 prices) he didn't mind exceeding the speed limit. Three and a half hours after leaving home I was at the Air France Desk booking a ticket. I could not get on the next flight, but BEA had one leaving just half an hour after the Air France, they got me onto that. I phoned Gerard at the theatre and told him I would be there about five in the afternoon.
"What's happened to her? Gerard." He wouldn't or couldn't tell me.
"Janey will tell all."
My Taxi from Orly did have the super suspension this time, and I encouraged the driver by visibly counting twenty Franc notes as he drove, encouraging him with the little French I knew, "Vite S'il vous plait, vite!" He got the message.
I took a seat in the Bistro at four fifty. Janey turned up five minutes later. I couldn't bother with going through all the formalities, of how are you, and the cheek kissing business. I just demanded.
"What has happened Janey?"
"Danny. Thank God you're here."
"What has happened?" I demanded even louder.
"She's alright, Danny. Now if you want to hear, let me talk without interrupting." I nodded.
"OK, but make it fast, I want to see her."
"She had finished the season in Berlin, and the agent she had here in Paris had been contacted by another booking agent in Belgium. Would she do a single performance at this club near Eindhoven? The Belgian agent told her it was a Theatre Club. The money was good, too good as it turns out; the club was a Private Members Club." I had heard of those in the States, and my heart sank.
"Oh Shit. No."
"Yes. She agreed to do the performance even though there was no pit between the stage and the audience. It all went well until she took her bow; two blokes from the audience came up. One grabbed her and the other started to undo his trousers and pulled her legs apart. From what I gathered the clientele of the club, who were mainly pissed, and expected to see sex on the stage, thought it was part of the act. By the time they realised that it wasn't, and the Bouncers reached them it was too late. The man had got into Lee and had climaxed. The two men were chased from the club by the other customers, seemingly they would have sex with anyone who asked, but didn't take kindly to those who don't ask. The one man got away, but the actual rapist was caught."
"So they called the Police?"
"No. They administered their own punishment. From what I can gather four guys held him and one of the bouncers kicked him in the crutch for about ten minutes. That was long after he passed out. I doubt that he will have any interest in Sex, ever again. They then put him in a car and drove him way out into the country and dumped him. The people who organised the club took Lee to a Doctor then to a private hospital. They kept her there for ten days, she was quite badly bruised. When the Doctor said she was alright to travel the owner of the club arranged for her to be brought back here. She had told him to bring her to the theatre. Gerard wanted to call you straight away, but Lee wouldn't hear of it. We got her a room at the hotel." I had many thoughts but my first and most important was Len.
"You say she's alright?" Janey had been watching me very carefully as she told me the story. She repeated that Lee was OK now, and my sigh of relief and the words "Oh thank God for that." brought the smile back to her face.
"Janey please, take me to her."
"I will, Danny, but you have to know that Lee told me that I wasn't to call you."
"The fact that you asked that question tells me I was right to phone you. Danny, She was raped!"
"You told me."
"She feels that you will not want to know her now that has happened."
"Janey, I love her."
"Danny, there's something else."
"She thinks she may be pregnant." Now that was a shock. I took a moment to examine my feelings, funnily it didn't alter them in the slightest. I held my hand out to Janey.
Janey took my hand and we walked to the hotel. We went up the stairs and she cautioned me to be quiet. As we got to the room she pushed me back so when the door was opened I couldn't be seen. She knocked on the door.
"One moment, Janey." Under any other circumstances this change from French to English would be amusing. Len opened the door.
"Hello Janey. Are you coming in?"
"No. I have someone to see you." I stepped forward and Len's face turned from curiosity to horror.
"No Janey you promised."
"She didn't promise me." I pushed through the door, and took Len in my arms. She was crying, shaking with the force of her sobs. I didn't hear the door close behind me, but Janey must have done so as she left. Eventually Len was able to speak through her tears.
"Danny, I am so sorry."
"Why should you be sorry?"
"For what happened, you don't know what happened to me."
"Yes I do."
"You do?" She almost screamed those two words.
"Janey told me."
"Oh what must you think of me."
"Janey told me, and I am here. Now does that tell you what I think?" She was quiet for a moment.
"You have come to tell me that we're finished."
"No, my darling Len, I haven't. I came here to tell you again that I love you. You have gotten so far under my skin that to get you out of my system would need a major operation. That whatever happened to you, was none of your doing or seeking. It is in the past now Len, what I do want to ask you is, will you put it in the past, and let us be together in the future." The tears continued to flow as she asked me,
"Did Janey tell you I may be pregnant from that man?"
"Yes, she did. If you are, that child will need a father. You know that I cannot give you a child so I would like to volunteer to be this child's father. Also this child's mother needs a husband, and I would also like to volunteer for that job. Do I have to have an interview?"
Len's face was a picture caught between tears and laughter. She did them separately for a while, then both together. Eventually she dried her tears, on my bloody shirt! She was still wearing it.
"Did I hear you say that you still loved me?"
"You did hear that, and I will say it again, and as often as you want. Len I Love you. And if you were listening carefully, there was a proposal of marriage in there as well."
"I think I worked that out, but you do have a roundabout way of proposing. What if I am not pregnant?"
"I will not withdraw the proposal, but you have to decide if you want to go through life with a man that can't give you a child."
"I don't deserve you, Danny. I won't be dancing again."
"Why? You have such a great talent for dance, Len. It would be terrible if that talent was not able to be seen by those who would appreciate it."