Life Begins At Thirty : Chapter Two


Hannah

“We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day”

“Why do you insist on playing that old timey music Hannah” Caroline said walking through the door of the flat that the two students shared. “Every day is like reliving World War Two with you!”

“I’ll admit the air raid siren alarm clock was a mistake” Hannah laughed her blonde hair falling across her eyes as she looked up from her book.

“What are you reading?” Caroline feigned interest and Hannah knew it.

“Umm nothing really just something for class” Hannah pushed the hair back between her ear.

Caroline reached down and stole the book before Hannah could protest. She turned it and checked the dust jacket. “Blitz Love” she read before turning to the back “Great a World War Two romance novel”

Caroline looked at Hannah’s bookshelves. Full of war novels, picture books, studies. “Hannah darling what is it with you and the war”

Hannah’s face turned scarlet as she mumbled something inaudible into the hair which had once again fallen into her face.

“What?”

Hannah sighed looking away avoiding Caroline’s gaze, humiliation was coming. “I have dreams. Have done since I was a child. Dreams about the war, that the love of my life was sent off to battle and never came home, memories of love from a past life”

Caroline didn’t laugh but Hannah knew that she wasn’t taking it seriously. Nobody did.

Not her parents.

Not her school friends.

Not the psychiatrist they sent her to.

Only her Grandmother, who had been seventeen in nineteen forty-five, had believed her and encouraged her.

Hannah had loved her Grandma with all her heart right up until her death ten months ago. Hannah had spent entire summers of her childhood at Crockwell House, the stately home in the sleepy village of Rollinsborough where her Grandma lived. She had eagerly awaited each evening when she would curl up with her Grandma in her giant armchair and listen to her romantic stories from the war. Hannah had pictured them in her mind’s eye so vividly with herself in her Grandmothers place and the same gorgeous American serviceman in full uniform who came from the nearby airstrip to flirt with her and tell her tales of New York City each night after lights out.

“You think you’re gonna find him in a book?” Back in the present Caroline was asking the first of what surely would be many questions.

“Maybe”

“Hannah, we need to get you laid, by someone born after nineteen forty-five if possible but if we have to we can go down the nursing home”

“Sex is your solution to everything” Hannah smiled.

“If it gets you out of the flat so I can have some then so be it” Caroline laughed.

“If you want the flat to yourself just text and I can go the library, just don’t ruin my things like last time” Hannah shot Caroline a knowing look.

“Oh yeah, I said sorry about that” Caroline replied absentmindedly. She had moved to Hannah’s wardrobe and was flicking through her clothes. “Good lord even your clothes are from the blitz, don’t you have anything remotely slutty?”

“No” Hannah was getting frustrated now. Hannah had endured exactly the same conversation twice before and on both occasions had ended up alone in a bar surrounded by dirty, smelly guys whilst Caroline got off with one of their much more attractive and well-groomed friends in a dark corner.

Hannah considered herself plain and ordinary, except for the dreams from a previous life of course, but certainly a guy wouldn’t be interested in those. She had told them to one of her exes, a brute called Smith, who had made fun of her the next day and she had dumped him.

Caroline was ambition, boobs and excitement, it was easy for her, she didn’t have to try, didn’t have to force herself or hold anything back. Hannah wished she could be like Caroline.

“I give up. You’re wearing my clothes”

Three hours later, a smokey bar in Soho, Hannah stood pulling at her bra and pants under the ill-fitting cocktail dress that Caroline had leant her. It was black and short and would have showed off Caroline’s 34D’s magnificently but Hannah had to keep pulling the dress up to keep her modesty. It had been the best of what were, for Hannah, a bad selection. Pretty much all of the dresses Caroline had picked out were uniquely suited to her ample bosom.

As usual Caroline had ditched her at the slightest smell of testosterone from the throng on the dance floor and Hannah had been nervously standing in a corner trying to be as invisible as possible. It had worked too. Too well in fact as several people had walked into her as they exited the door behind her which had turned out to be a bathroom. She considered leaving but the thought of the tube alone at this time of night scared her.

After what seemed like hours, but which her phone described as ten minutes, Hannah decided to get a drink and made her way through the crowd in that general direction. Soon she found herself in the middle of a sea of gyrating bodies when suddenly someone grabbed her by the hand and pulled her through the dancing bodies.

“Hannah are you okay?” A familiar voice spoke in her ear.

She wiped her eyes again and looked up to see Assam staring back at her.

Assam was a second generation Middle Eastern guy in her history class. He had rescued Hannah from a tower of World War Two books at induction. Hannah had reluctantly asked him out at Caroline’s insistence a few weeks later at which point Assam had introduced her to his boyfriend Maurice. Maurice cheated on Assam with Caroline the following weekend and they had broken up. Hannah felt guilty for introducing them and had avoided Assam since.

“Are you okay Hannah?” Assam asked again.

“Yeah thank you” Hannah coughed.

“You here with anyone?”

“Caroline, but she’s done one.”

“Probably off shagging someone else’s boyfriend huh?” Assam joked. He had taken the break-up of that relationship much better than Hannah and had remained friends with Caroline.

“Most likely. She’s probably back in our room right now using Mr Snickers as a sex aid again” Mr Snickers was a soft toy that Hannah had gotten from a fair when she was little. It had been the victim of one of Caroline’s sexual conquests who had ejaculated all over him when he had hurriedly pulled out whilst they were having sex on Hannah’s bed during the first week of term.

“Are you hungry?” Assam asked. “We were about to go and get Dim Sum upstairs”

“Yeah that sounds good” Hannah was glad to have an excuse to leave the club.