Sam’s Story – part of a novel
Sam’s story was inspired curiously by Lyme Regis, its quaintness and history. Part of the Jurassic coast and the film, the French Lieutenant ‘s Woman with Jeremy Irons and Merryl Streep. Seems a long time ago now. This was the only bit I could find saved. Anything else written about Sam and Ginny was written on an old Amstrad back in the late 80’s and I only have hard copy………….
The room smelt of incense, a strange smell mingling with the smoke of his cigarette. Music played softly, the kind that spans a generation with lilting musical rhythms and anarchistic voices. The kind that buries itself and is sublimely non disruptive. The curtains were drawn giving an illusion of softened atmospheres, in the transient half dark, half light. Sam’s breath quickened as he watched her remove her dress, pulling it upwards with slow redolent movements, swaying in time to the music revealing not her flesh as he had expected, but a silken petticoat which covered her breasts and fell just on the top of her thigh, it lifted slightly as she stretched her arms ever higher.
As he watched her he saw himself mimicking her movements, moving his hands up her long straight arms, in doing so moving his body against her silken form. When her head was free, but still captured by her arms, he kissed her lips bending her backwards, so that she like a willow and he with the force of the wind grew together. In his mind’s eye he could see it all as she moved towards him, she leaned forward and breathed words at him which were so soft he did not hear; just caught the sweet sensation and felt the pulse within him, closing his eyes in order to stop the trance in which she had placed him. As she laid her kiss he clenched his jaw as the sensations of pleasure, desire and guilt fought for recognition. In one moment he had broken her spell, grabbing her arm he flung her with exemplary passion, and as she sprawled on the floor he pointed and screamed at her.
“You won’t do this to me, I won’t let you not this time, not ever again.” He paused running his hands through his hair.
“D o n ‘t… d o…t h i s…t o…m e.” He said slowly, staring ahead of him, not looking into her eyes. “I can’t do this,” he said more quietly. The moment had passed. She lay on her back, unafraid of his size and strength, his youth which so encapsulated his actions.
“Why,” looking steadfastly at the ceiling.
“What am I doing to you.” She wanted him to say it, so that she could be innocent and remain like an unwilling party, to deny herself of her own feelings.
“You will learn to hate me, and I in turn will hate you for it.” He left not hearing her whisper, but heard her call his name.
“Sam.” A beseeching cry. But like replacing a receiver on an unwelcome phone call, Sam shut her out and continued walking.
Bliss, bliss, sweet bliss, the word wandered around his head as he sat with his eyes closed, and leaned against the bar. The whisky leaving a dry stinging sensation at the back of his throat. It was his fifth that evening, his sole intention to drink himself to oblivion.
“Watcha mate.” A hand clapped onto Sam’s shoulder like a stinging wound, the realisation of pain coming between his thoughts. Keith the tit man of suburbia had come between Sam’s thoughts.
“What’s this, drinking alone, must be a bird, nice tits has she, wife found out, eh!” Keith laughed and nudged him, winking in a stupid way. Sam looked through him. “Come on Sam, life’s not that bad.” Keith slurped his beer and the two men were silent. Sam bought himself another whisky. “Hey steady on man, how many of those have you had?” As Sam had fumbled in his pocket spilling his change on the floor.
“Leave it.” He groaned as Keith stooped down to pick it up then handed it to him. Sam put it clumsily back in his pocket, and it fell again. Keith left it and looked at him.
“You coming down the club, we can pick up some tarts. You’ll forget it.”
Sam wouldn’t forget it, wouldn’t forget her. Sam didn’t want a tart, didn’t want his wife, just wanted Ginny, and all her seductive ways, and all her experience, but she didn’t love him, not as he loved her.
“Look come down the club, bury your head in some tits, get your hand round some nice arse, come on.” Keith was still talking. His beer went down in a few last gulps and he smacked his lips. “Come on…club.”
Sam finished his whisky and followed him somewhat unsteadily, his unbuttoned overcoat swaying with him, his black hair sitting uneasily on his collar and the semblance of a shadow now darkening his jaw line. His rugged good looks would get him a tart as they had before, it would get Keith one too, as they had before.
Having reached the club Sam entered the dry smoky atmosphere, the sensation of heat was overwhelming as his overcoat felt heavy on his shoulders, but he did not take it off, instead he plunged his hands deep in his pockets and flopped into a seat in a dark corner. Keith went to the bar looking at Sam as though he expected more life from him. Sam lit a cigarette and left it drooping from the corner of his mouth, the smoke spiralling into his eyes, he lifted his head squinting as he tried to focus on the scene, his skin now wet with perspiration as the heat clung to him under his clothes.
It was dark and noisy with music and laughter. People moved around as if in slow motion, girls standing in groups sipping their drinks, moving their eyes from man to man clutching shoulder bags, wearing short skirts, cigarettes burning between their fingers. He found himself staring, she caught his eye pulling her skirt down, then turned away to speak. She looked again, this time a sneaky glance from her friend. Sam didn’t have to try in this world, he just had to sit and look, but in Virginia’s world he felt like a small spot on the horizon, not yet big enough to command attention.
Sam got up to command attention, he walked towards the bar the cigarette still hanging from his lips. As he walked past the girl his coat brushed her leg so slightly as only to cause a small change in temperature. She turned her heavily made up eyes following his dark shape. He looked at Keith who smiled.
“That’s my boy, that’s more like the Sam I know.” Keith put his arm round Sam’s shoulder and handed him his drink.
“Give them….what, five minutes. Then those two’ll be over here.” Keith turned his head slightly then leered as he turned his back to the bar and slurped his beer.
Sam had his back to the girls and fingered his glass, his stooped shape pensive as the girl focused on him. Her friend nudged her.
“He’s nice, shall we go and get another drink.” Her friend smiled at her, she shrugged and thought about it.
“Don’t know.” She replied, “he looks a bit moody, bit sort of dark.”
“I don’t know, he looks like one of those models, y’know the dark sort that are always kissing girls and holding them tight like their having sex all the time,” She nudged her, “could be your lucky night, come on we’ve got nothing to lose.” Just as Keith had predicted the girls went to the bar.
“Scuse me dahlin.” He said. “Would you like me and my friend to get those for you, what will it be.”
“Oh thanks very much, I’ll have a Bacardi and coke, what about you Veronica.” Veronica looked a little embarrassed and asked for a gin and orange. Sam didn’t move. The two girls stood close to Keith who bantered on about gorgeous legs and pop music. Veronica stood behind Sam who still hadn’t moved so she went to the bar the other side of him, to get away from Keith, who she thought a lurid piece of work. She was quiet for a minute while she stole glances at Sam. Presently she spoke.
“Is your friend always like this.” Sam turned to look at her, he smiled half heartedly. Sam was more sober now as the pointlessness of him being there had just begun to dawn on him. He didn’t like Keith either and wished he was in his own bed, but felt the pointlessness of that as well. Virginia had so confused his thoughts. He wanted her so badly and yet could not overcome his mistrust of her, could not feel anything but used by her. As though he were part of some intrigue unwittingly stepping in the way being trampled underfoot. She was ten years older, married, what was his role in her life? The girl was looking at his face, waiting. for an answer.
Veronica shuddered and looked beseechingly at her friend.
“I don’t think I’ll come, I’ll get a taxi home.” Sam looked at her.
“Why don’t we go, we can talk if you like.”
“I don’t know,” she said hesitating.
“Come on Veronica,” said her friend, “come on it’ll be fun.” Veronica agreed and they left the club. They all walked. Keith was loud and abusive, and Veronica’s friend giggled a lot. Sam and Veronica were silent.
The room became smoky as the four drank and smoked. A heady euphoria had again returned to Sam who half lay, half sat on the sofa. Veronica who was now more drunk than sober rested against him, and she giggled with her speaking, and fingered his shirt buttons. Keith and the other girl had disappeared. Sam with his eyes closed felt her pulling at his overcoat.
“Come on, don’t you ever take this thing off.” Veronica helped him off with it, he laughed too at the absurdity of it all. He looked briefly at her seeing her beautiful eyes laying secreted below the make-up.
“You know,” he said, “you have beautiful eyes.” Her body was warm and yielding. Sam knew this world, the world of non commitment where he could gain security from the moment. He kissed her long and hard forcing himself on top of her. Within minutes he was inside her and with his eyes shut, inside Virginia. It was an overwhelming release to take her to oblivion, only on opening his eyes, he was on top of Veronica. He now lay inert, as she did, not yet understanding that in that brief minute Sam had satisfied himself with her body, her panties still around one leg. Her make-up was smudged as she realised it was all over, and her time would never arrive. He moved away from her and zipped his jeans. She started to sob. Sam was unsure of what he felt, but there was compassion. He knelt beside her.
“Look, don’t cry, I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you.” He could do no more, her crying had become a noise in his head. He grabbed his coat and opened the bedroom door, to reveal the sight of Keith’s naked backside. Keith turned his head round.
“What’s the matter mate, can’t you see I’m busy.”
“We’ve got to go, come on we’ve got to go.” Sam was urgent. He strode forward and grabbed Keith’s arm. “Come on, get your clothes.” Keith tried to shrug him off.
“Go away man, go without me.” Keith continued determined not to lose this girl, who was now struggling to get up. “Stay down bitch.” Keith was now struggling with the girl as Sam grabbed him again and forced him to a sitting position. Keith hit out, but Sam caught him square in the mouth. The girl screamed grabbing the sheets about her she raced passed Sam to the comfort of Veronica who was standing in the doorway. Sam went in again punching, leaving Keith sprawled on the floor, blood pouring from his nose and mouth. Then as he had done with Virginia earlier, he left without a word, or a glance backwards.
In the cold dark streets he felt more collected, he could breath again. He came across a tramp sitting in a doorway and sat down next to him.
“Jesus Christ, I hit him, I really walloped him.” Sam spoke as though to himself.
“They always want you to do it to them, these girls. They mince around in their short skirts, and all that make-up. It’s all they want. Then when you can’t control yourself, they get upset. They only want for themselves, just as I do, only they’re different, can’t do it as easily. Then you see it happening, you see how absurd it all is, witness it in all its disgusting state. That’s why I hit him…because I saw myself and it disgusted me.” Sam fell silent. The tramp unable to speak gently patted him on the back as Sam buried his head in his hands. A light rain began to fall making the quiet cobbled street glint orange in the street light.
“You’d best be getting home sonny, it’ll get cold soon. Ain’t no use you getting fucking cold, don’t you go getting fucked up over no girl. You go ‘ome, out this fucking rain.”
Sam walked on down the street, his hair beginning to hang in wet clumps, dripping down his neck. He turned his collar up and hugged himself as he turned the corner of his home street. His wife would be in bed quite used to Sam’s late returns. She never dreamed of his real nature. She was a sweet girl, trusting him because if she didn’t, she may lose him to another.
He showered before climbing into her bed. She stirred murmuring to him about having a nice time.
by Jane Bregazzi