An Evening at Barbarella’s

When I started Sixth Form I bought a denim skirt and a pair of shiny black knee boots.  Unlike at the boys’ school next door, we girls of King Edgar’s High were allowed to wear our own clothes. And like my friends I was going to make the most of the opportunity. I was going to be the next best thing to a 16 year old femme fatale. The plan was to hook myself a boyfriend, but it didn’t quite happen like that.

As the 62 bus pulled into Northfield, familiar faces got on.  One of them was the blonde lady in the brown leather coat who had often sat next to me on the down stairs back seat the previous year. I had admired her style, her blonde bob, her make up. I suppose I had a crush in her and she was often in my thoughts as I daydreamed my way through O Level revision. And now she looked at me, in my skirt and boots, no foundation (I didn’t need it) but mascara and eye shadow.  And, for the first time she noticed me. She smiled.

“Look at you! You were still a schoolgirl last time I saw you.”

“I still am really. But I start Sixth Form today and we are allowed to wear our own clothes at King Edgar’s High.”

“You look fabulous.” She lowered her voice, “You are a woman and don’t forget that.”

We sat side by side, not saying much, but it was as if not much needed to be said. I could feel her warmth and was enjoying the closeness. The bus rattled in along the Bristol Road. Soon it was her stop. She stood up and walked to the exit. She didn’t look back but flashed me a smile as she waited for the bus to move off before crossing the road to the tall building where I supposed she worked. As the bus rattled in towards the City Centre and, before that, school I felt a warm tingling.

It was the following Monday that she sat by me again. I moved a little closer to her, pushed my knee against her leg. She made no effort to move.

“Are you enjoying Sixth Form?” she asked softly.

“It’s good so far. Loving history, We are doing the Stuarts.”

“I don’t know much about that. I never got to go to college and I am sure you are a hell of a lot cleverer than me.”

“Maybe.”

“I got married at 19 and I have been regretting it ever since.”

“I don’t suppose I will. Get married at 19 I mean.”

She laughed.

“Eleven years……..so you can work out how old I am. ”

We journeyed on in silence.  She stood up to get off and took an envelope out of her bag and handed it to me.  She has got off the bus before I could react and was walking head down as the bus passed her, as if avoiding eye contact. I opened the envelope and took out a ticket to see The Only Ones at Barbarella’s, the club near Broad Street. that my lder brother went to sometimes. She has stapled a note to the ticket.

“You are coming to this. No arguments. Meet you in The Grapevine at 7.30.”

So I had a date with her. And I didn’t even know her name.

And I counted down the days, avoided her on the bus, went upstairs to sit with the smokers even as I was afraid that a magic spell might be broken and to avoid talking as I didn’t really have a lot to say and wanted to save what little I had for the day.

She arrived at The Grapevine at 7.30. I had been waiting outside since 7, not wanting to be late, not having the confidence to enter a pub on my own.  She wore jeans, boots and a black leather jacket. She had purple eyeshadow. I could not take my eyes off it. I had never seen purple eyeshadow so close up before.

We drank lager and black and sat not saying much.  I wanted so much to ask her why she wanted go out with me but the words failed me.  So I talked about school, just to keep on familiar territory. I told her about how the Headmistress had decided that some Sixth Form girls were taking liberties with their clothing and had specified a minimum length for skirts.

“You have to go into a squat and the hem of your skirt has to touch the floor. And if it doesn’t you are sent home to put something more decent on.”

“Oh God” she said, “The things some people come up with. Best not tell her you are out with a woman tonight!”

We both laughed.

“Come on” she said, making to stand up. “We have a gig to go to.”

Buzzing from the music, an unfamiliar hiss in my ear, I followed her out into the Birmingham night. I stood, a little uncertain. Should I follow her or not?

“Come with me. There’s something I need to do. Now”

And we hurried off in the darkness. She led me by the hand as we passed the canal boats moored at Gas Street Basin, under the Broad Street bridge into the derelict wilderness beyond. She pushed me back against a wall and picked at the buttons of my blouse as she moved in to kiss me. I froze, but then responded and pushed back against her as I forced my tongue into her mouth.

She pulled my blouse off and unhooked my bra. Now she was working my nipples with her tongue.

On her knees before me, she tugged down my jeans and began greedily tonguing my cunt

“I am going to give you the best orgasm you will ever have” she said. “If you thought you needed a boy, think again.”

And then I felt a jolt as she put a finger inside me and a thumb on my swollen clit and brought me quickly to orgasm. It was like being taken out of myself, lifted high above the drab November evening and set free to float free in waves and waves of colour. Then I landed, gasping for air, shivering. It had all been too much and I had needed it to stop but I knew I wanted more.

She saw my exposed and vulnerable state and stood up to hug me close.

“See I told you it would be lovely didn’t’ I?”

She dusted herself down and said

“We had better go home, hadn’t we? Best we don’t go together.  I’ll wait here and you just get the first 62 that comes.”

So I walked alone down to Navigation Street and got the bus home. I let myself into the house as quietly as I could and made my way upstairs, shutting the bedroom door softly behind me. My blouse was ripped but I could explain that away if I had to. I was shaking, still feeling the aftershocks of the orgasms she had sent pulsing through me.

I woke with a start.  I had slept through the alarm and my mother was knocking on my bedroom door.

“Eve. Get up. You will be late for school.”

I sat up in bed and remembered the note she had left me the night before. I took it out from under the pillow. This made it all real. I hadn’t dreamt it after all. I read.

“Thank you for a lovely night. you are amazing. Please don’t waste yourself on a man. He could never deserve you”

I kissed the paper tenderly and whispered

“I won’t, I promise I won’t.”

 

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13 thoughts on “An Evening at Barbarella’s

  1. I was totally immersed in this Eve! It was fabulously told, and so sexy.

    That could’ve been my sixth form outfit (the black boots I bought myself had heels too high to walk in – rookie mistake!)
    My first gig was an amateur band who performed at my all-girls school, but I well remember how my ears buzzed afterwards.

  2. Oh I loved this! So atmospheric I was there! My man remembers the band “The Only Ones” apparently they had one hit single.
    Great story x

    • The Only Ones were a quite wonderful band who had one well known song “Another Girl, Another Planet” (actually a dark song about heroin addiction) but they recorded a number of fine songs, combining first rate musicianship and clever, often dark, lyrics. Their second album Even Serpents Shine which came out in 1979 is still one of my favourites. Do check it out. All the locations in the story are, or were, real and the Only Ones did play Barbarella’s in 1978. So glad you enjoyed it x

      • i knew they played there – not for sure but from the way you wrote it – and the ticket in the image. I have a very soft spot for the Skids who were also listed on the ticket – Stuart went on to create Big Country and died a few years back – I met him once and never forgot x

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