Dedicated follower of fashion -or O'Lucky Man.
This is a tale that I wrote around 2007. The 'fashion accessory' mentioned in this story was around at the time. It didn't last all that long but it got me thinking.
I first met Julia when I was working as a motorbike courier in London. I was on the verge of breaking up with Sandra, my girlfriend of some nine months. It was clear that she wanted something more from our relationship than I was prepared to give at that point in time. Just seeing her go all gooey eyed whenever we met one of her friends and their babies told me that she wanted to settle down. I wasn't ready for that and if you add to the fact that I wasn't earning enough to support a family, I didn't see any way forward for our relationship.
On this particular day, I was between jobs and was parked up close to the "Agent Provocateur" shop near Covent Garden when I encountered Julia coming out of the emporium of fantasy. I was gazing at the shop window display and admiring the items but knowing full well that they were priced for people in a totally different world from me.
Julia was obviously a "Dedicated Follower of Fashion". She was decked from head to foot in the latest styles and what was so striking was that in her mouth holding it open was a silver bar.
"Oh, I'm sorry," I said as I bumped into her as she left the shop. She fell in a heap on the floor.
I took her hand and helped her to her feet.
"Thank you," (or something similar) she mumbled. The device was acting as a gag.
"Here let me help you," I offered.
I bent down and picked up the bags that she had dropped when we collided. I couldn't help noticing that her black patterned tights were holed on both knees.
"Thank you," she mumbled.
I helped her regain her balance in the obviously very high heeled shoes that she was wearing.
"Come on I said. Let me hold you arm."
Now, here I was helping an obviously beautiful woman with her shopping. I was wearing typical bike courier garb and had a full-face crash helmet draped over one arm, unshaven and definitely in need of a haircut. The difference between us could not have been more striking.
"Do you have a car nearby?"
"Down the street," she mumbled.
I helped her to her car. This was a black Mercedes S Class with blacked out windows. She obviously had money. Oh well I thought, no chance here.
She blipped the remote and the boot sprung open. There was hardly any room to put her latest purchases as it was packed with other designer bags.
She opened the driver's door and sat in the seat and proceeded to swap her heels for a pair of flats. Well, I thought she is not a total bimbo. Yes, she was leggy and blonde to boot.
"Are you ok now?"
"Yes" she replied smiling.
She opened her purse and took out a card.
"Julia Robinson," she said. It appeared that she was getting used to that thing in her mouth.
"I'm pleased to meet you Julia," I said courteously as possible.
She reached into my hand and turned the card over. It had a phone number printed on it.
"Call me later," she mumbled.
I was stunned. Totally gob smacked.
"Yes… Yes I will"
"Bye," she said smiling broadly, well, as broadly as her mouth jewellery would allow.
I closed the door to her car. She started it up and left me standing there. She waved at me.
I waved back.
I sat at home that night holding her card. I could not make up my mind to call her. She was obviously out of my league financially as well as in the beauty stakes. She was a stunner.
After about an hour, I made the effort and picked up the phone. I dialled her number.
"This is Julia. I can't take you call at the moment. Please leave your message after the beep."
"Hi Julia. This is Martin. I'm the bike courier who bumped into you in Covent Garden earlier. I hope you are ok and that I didn't do too much damage to you."
I hung up.
Then I realised I had not left her my number. Oh well I thought. That's done it.
I put her out of my mind and turned to thinking about Sandra.
Strangely, it was actually quite easy to make the decision to end our relationship. and called her. I got her answer phone as well.
"Hi Sandra. This is Martin. I don't think we should see each other any more. I can't cope any longer with your constant criticism of me when we are out. I am a person and not a clone of your father. I do hope you find someone who you can treat with some more sensitivity. I hope that you find happiness. Goodbye."
I put the phone down and felt better straight away.
I was just falling asleep when the phone rang. I picked it up hoping it was not Sandra.
"Is that Martin?"
"Yes," I said sleepily.
"This is Julia. Thank you for calling me earlier."
I was suddenly wide awake. Her voice sounded a lot more sultry without that thing in her mouth.
"Oh. Hi Julia."
"I hope I didn't call at an inconvenient time?" she asked.
"I was just thinking about going to bed."
"You didn't leave a number when you called so I dialled 1471 and here I am."
"Are you ok? I'm sorry for the collision earlier"
"That's ok. I am sorry I could not speak properly earlier so that sort of makes us even then?"
"What was that thing?"
"That 'thing' as you so aptly put it was a fiendish device that my now former boyfriend bought for me."
"Yes ex. I went to meet him at a restaurant after leaving you. I tried to get it out of my mouth but couldn't. He wouldn't help me. He just sat there giggling. It was a joke with all the rest of his friends. So, I stormed out and left him. I got home and eventually removed the beast. It has taken me several hours to get my mouth working again so, I want to thank you for helping me see sense today."
Totally bewildered by all this, I replied.
"I really didn't do much apart from making to hole your tights. Just as long as you are ok then I'm happy."
"I'm fine now. Thanks."
I was lost for words.
"As thanks for helping me see what a fool I was, I would like to buy you lunch. How about tomorrow?" she continued.
"I'm working until 8pm tomorrow. Friday is always a busy day."
"Can you call in sick?"
"I don't like to do that. If I miss a day then I not only lose my pay for the day, but I get put at the bottom of the jobs list and only get the ones that the others don't want." I replied.
"Fair enough. What about Saturday then?"
"That's fine by me," I replied.
"Ok, I'll pick you up," she volunteered.
"I live in Wood Green."
Thoughts including the words Bimbo, dumb blonde etc went through my head.
"Where do you live?"
"Chelsea verging on Fulham."
No surprise there then.
"What if I meet you outside John Lewis on Sloan Square at Midday?" I said mentioning a place that every 'Sloan Ranger' knows about.
"Ok. Then that's a date then."
We said our goodbyes and I hung up.
I didn't sleep much that night as I considered all the possibilities for Saturday.
Eventually, I decided that once she found out more about me she would drop me like a hot tin can after all, I'm only a bike courier and not the sort of person someone like her usually associates with. I fell asleep thinking that Saturday would be a 'one off' and that would be that.
All through Friday, I was looking out for her black Merc in the West End but I didn't see it. Sadly, none of my jobs took me further west than Park Lane so she may have been frequenting one or more of the famous emporia in Knightsbridge or the surrounding area.
On Saturday, I took a long time to get ready. I dressed casually with an open neck shirt and casual jacket. I tucked a tie into the pocket just in case we went somewhere that required one.
I wandered down to the local Tube station having decided to leave the bike at home. As I travelled towards my date I got increasingly nervous. It was silly. I knew that this was going to be a one-time date and to expect more than that would be just stupid.
I got to Sloan Square some 15 minutes early. In order to kill some time, I went into the store for something to do. The first department inside the door was the cosmetics and perfume dept. I soon rebelled at the overpowering smell of perfume and quickly exited.
I liked to smell nice but that was way too much for me.
As I did so, I wondered if this was a deliberate ploy to keep men out?
As I exited the shop, an old and decidedly battered Range Rover drew up alongside the kerb. I looked at the driver and it was Julia. I had sort of expected the Merc but as I was rapidly learning that with Julia, nothing can be expected. She leaned over and released the passenger door.
"Hi Martin. Jump in and we'll be off."
"Good morning Julia. You look fantastic."
She was wearing a short dress with a scalloped neck. It was something like stretch jersey due to the way it clung to her slim figure. There were no obvious signs of a bra either. In the passenger well, was a pair of high heeled sandals. She was driving in bare feet.
"Flattery will get you everywhere!" she replied jokingly.
I got in and closed the door. She took off before I could even buckle my seat belt.
"It's a lovely day so I thought we would go out into the country for a picnic. I picked up something on my way here. It's on the back seat. This old banger is a bit more suited to where we are going."
I turned my head to see a huge wicker hamper almost filing one seat in the rear.
"Where exactly are we going?" I asked.
"Oh, a little place in the country. Somewhere with fantastic views and where we won't be disturbed," she said in a matter of fact way.
My heart rate leapt higher momentarily. Then common sense prevailed. I repeated to myself that the odds were that this was strictly a one-time date so I must not get my hopes up for anything more than that.
We headed south west into Surrey and beyond that and into Sussex. This was almost foreign territory to me. We talked almost continuously which was strange for me. Before I knew it, we were there.
"There" it turned out was, the high up on the South Downs to the east of Goodwood Racecourse. It was a lovely early summer's day and the sun was shining. A perfect day for such a trip indeed. The views over Selsey, and even over to the Isle of Wight were stunning. Julia was right in that the rutted farm track we traversed was no place for a 500SEL. The 'Rover was much more appropriate.
The picnic was a great success. I suppose it was fuelled by the excellent Champagne and other delights contained in the hamper. What amazed me was that our conversation never lapsed or repeated itself. Often, when in the company of women, I was lost for words but today just the opposite was the case. Being with Julia was magic in more ways than one.
I got to know Julia that day. I mean really got to know her. Sometime in the afternoon I realised that any romantic thoughts I had had were probably going to be dashed but I realised that I had made a real friend. She had money and lots of it but to her it didn't matter that I had virtually none. I just felt comfortable with her and being with her. I sort of got the feeling that she did too.
We ended the day sitting wrapped in a blanket watching the sun set over the downs. It was almost dark by the time we packed up and headed back to London.
The next two years saw us become and remain firm friends. After a decidedly wet and cold Winter, I decided that being a courier was going nowhere so with a good deal of help from Julia I might add, I became a Foreign Exchange Trader in the London Market and a few months later I moved from my bed-sit in Wood Green to an apartment in Docklands. I was earning lots of money so I spent some of it.
In that time Julia had many boyfriends but none really lasted very long at all. Her search for Mr Right was going nowhere but it was not for want of trying. I escorted her to several family weddings, christenings and even a couple of funerals. Some of her relatives even thought we were "together" but over time, our insistence that we were just friends seemed to get through. I often asked myself why she would be a real friend to me and how from that one encounter such a deep friendship could develop. Still, I enjoyed myself whenever were out together.
I had several girlfriends in that time as well. In many relationships, the crunch point comes when you meet the parents. With me, it was when they met Julia. None lasted very long after that. One actually fled the scene very soon after meeting her. They could not take in the fact that we were friends and in no way romantically inclined. In hindsight, perhaps they could see the real relationship that we had.
Julia would often call me to discuss what she would wear to some hot date. It was just to get the "Male Perspective" or so she said but I pulled no punches and always told her what I thought.
Julia and I would meet probably every two weeks for a meal and a chat or to go to some event. She moved in circles I could only dream about but I was always a willing partner in her social calendar. She never put me down or made fun of me and for my part, never embarrassed her in front of friends or family. I got on really well with her family. They were 'old' money people. Julia's down to earth nature clearly came from them. Her father asked me regularly if I 'had a thing' for his daughter. He always laughed when I said that we were just really good friends.
I actually acquired several DJ's (one black tie, one white) at her bequest even though I hated wearing them. I would much rather have been wearing her clothes.
Yes, I am a closet Transsexual. She knew nothing of this whatsoever as I had been very careful to keep that part of my life from her until the one night that changed our lives forever.
I was relaxing at home on a Friday night after a pretty hectic week on the exchanges. When there is pressure on a currency there is a lot of crystal ball gazing and hedging of bets. This also means lots of stress.
To relax, I would often take a long hot bath and then dress myself in something nice, put on some heels and read a girly story or a "chick flick". My mind could then switch off from work things and I could relax.
I really got into the dressing up when I was a courier. I worked the whole week in bulky biker garb and horrible heavy boots. To wear flimsy clothes that fitted well and made me feel nice was great. Sometimes I would wear tights especially if it was cold and one time I wore a bra all week with even some padding. It might sound a bit silly but to me, it was a bit risqué.
The change on a Friday evening was fantastic to experience. Living this 'lie' did mean that it did limit my experiences with women apart from Julia but I got my fair share. I found that lots of women soon got tired with macho types and looked for someone they could talk and relate to. This was my "USP" and it seemed to work quite well.
It was also easy to buy nice presents at Christmas and birthdays. These presents were usually underwear. All my "girlfriends" marvelled at how I knew the right size to buy. I didn't let on how I knew but, once I had bought things for myself then buying for a real girl was easy.
As I said, this particular Friday, I transformed myself into my alter-ego, Martine for the weekend. Julia was out on a date with her latest boyfriend. I didn't like him and had told her so on more than one occasion but her father had been up at the same Oxford College with his father and so there was pressure of her to make a go of it. So, I had the weekend to myself and had planned it accordingly. The fridge and larder were well stocked and I was looking forward to some time chilling out.
This weekend I had gone the whole hog with my appearance. From my freshly shaven legs, full makeup and I had even put some nail polish on. I was dressed in a long black silk dress. I had seen this dress in Bond St the previous weekend when I was out shopping with Julia for her date this week. I had subtly inquired and yes, they had it in my size so I had collected it after work a few days earlier.
So, here I was dolled up to the nines and was watching a chick flick and drinking some very nice white wine from somewhere in rural France when my mobile phone rang.
I looked at the caller display and saw that it was my favourite lady.
"Hi Julia. What's up?" I said cheerfully.
"Oh Martin, James has proposed to me tonight. I told him I didn't love him," she said tearfully.
"Julia. Calm Down," I said rapidly thinking how long it would take me to switch from my female persona to male again. It was not going to be a quick change tonight.
Julia had been dating James for nearly six months. As I had told Julia, I thought he was a total plonker but this was definitely going too far for me even if it was to please their parents. He was so wrong for her.
"I need to see you tonight Martin?" she pleaded.
I had dreaded hearing that but it was inevitable given our past history.
"Yes of course. Where are you?" I replied as Auntie Martin kicked in. I had done this before with Julia at times of crisis.
"I'm Outside," came her reply.
"Yes, I'm in the street outside your flat. I left James and jumped into a cab. The only place I could think of to go was yours."
Just the answer I didn't need.
I took a deep breath and prepared for our friendship to end that evening.
"Ok, I'll buzz you in."
I hung up the phone and mentally prepared to lose my one close friend possibly forever.
I went into the kitchen and pressed the door release. I took a fresh glass from the cabinet and poured her some wine.
I heard her come in and shut the door to my apartment.
"Take a seat Julia. I'll bring you a drink. I think you need will it," I called from the kitchen.
I gathered my self and went into the lounge to greet her. The heels of my shoes resonated on the wooden floor as I walked towards her. It was a sound that I so adored but at that time I was dreading it.
I just managed to get her name out of my mouth when she was all over me. She was not hitting me as I expected but kissing me hard and with a lot of tongue.
Eventually, I fought her off and sat her down. I sat next to her and held her. The tears came again. Her eyes were full of tears. She could not really see me.
"Martin. I had to see you. When James proposed to me tonight, I realised then that not only I did not love him but that I was in love with you," she said through the sobs.
"Julia, look at me," I said gently.
I took her face in both hands and gently turned her head to face mine.
"Julia, open your eyes,"
She opened them and through watery eyes smiled at me.
"What do you see?" I asked.
"The person I love," she replied finally fighting the tears away.
"Look at me," I said and let her go, stood up so she could see me.
"Look at how I'm dressed… As a woman. How can you even think of loving me?" I asked.
"But I do Martin. I have loved you since that day of the picnic"
"What about me now though?"
"You could do with some help with your colour choices in your makeup but actually you look pretty good."
A small smile briefly crossed her face.
"You are joking!" I replied.
"No Martin. I'm not."
Suddenly she got serious. The tears disappeared and she took my hands in hers.
"Martin, I have known about your little secret ever since you moved here. I wandered into your spare room at the welcoming party you held. I found your stash of clothes. At first, I thought that you were seeing someone I knew nothing about but then I saw the shoe sizes and realised that they were yours. At first, I was shocked but then I realised that I didn't mind. I have just found it impossible to talk to you about this but tonight."
She swallowed hard.
"But, when James asked me to marry him, the only thing I could think of was you. I decided 'to hell with it' and after telling James that I didn't love him, I'd come here and I'd tell you that I love you and have done since our first date."
"And you still want to love someone who looks like this?" I pleaded.
"Yes, Martin I do."
I sat down and took a large gulp of the wine that I had poured for her.
I was stunned speechless. I could not believe what I had heard. She didn't mind my perversion.
"Hey, leave some of that for me," she said jokingly.
I gave her the glass. I stood up and went to the kitchen. I retuned with the bottle that was opened, an opener and a second bottle. It was going to be a long night.
As I returned, she opened her volumous handbag and extracted a small box.
"Do you remember this?" she said as the opened the box.
It was the silver mouth thingy that she was wearing when we first met.
She took it out and handed it to me.
"Yes. I thought you would have thrown that away years ago," I replied a bit puzzled.
"Somehow I could never get rid of it because it reminded me of you."
I was trying to think of something to say when she said,
"Please put it in my mouth and then make love to me," she asked.
"Because it is what brought us together in the first place and I have dreamed for a long time about making love to someone I really love wearing it and not having a cheap joke at my expense. The more I thought about it, the more I realised it was you. You accepted me as a real person from day one. Not as someone who looked like a dumb blonde with bags of money."
I thought back to the day we met and remembered that those very thoughts went through my mind until she asked me to call her.
Julia saw my reaction.
"Sorry Julia, I was remembering that very day and how I thought that you were a dumb blonde with more money than sense until you gave me your number and asked me to call you. What sealed it was you waving at me as you drove away. I realised then that there was more to you than that."
"I'm glad you thought so. What about it then?"
"Hold on Julia. This is going a bit quick you know?"
Her answer was to reach over and take the silver thingy from my hand and deftly inserted into her mouth and then started stripping off her clothes. As with everything she did, her actions spoke thousands of words.
I will gloss over the happenings of that night except to say that she didn't leave my place until Monday morning and she had her mouth open for a lot of the time. At least wearing it, she shut up. Julia is a wonderful person but has one fault. When she gets excited, she can start rabbiting at nineteen to the dozen and no one can get a word in until she has talked herself out.
That weekend changed our lives forever. It was our watershed moment. She even persuaded me to change my alter ego from Martine to Martina. She'd known a Martine at school who was real bitch and didn't want to be reminded of her. To be honest, it didn't take a lot of persuasion.
We soon came to an arrangement. I would be Martina at weekends except when she needed a male escort. We went shopping together and with her expert help, I acquired quite a wardrobe. The silver mouth thingy was eventually put away but never entirely forgotten.
Three months later, I proposed to her over dinner on the Orient Express en-route to Venice. She accepted without hesitation. I ordered champagne all round to celebrate.
A few months later, I moved once more. This time it was to a house in Notting Hill. We'd bought it together. I gave up my job and now do day trading from home. Most of the time I am dressed and living as Martina. Julia has taken up knitting as she is now three months pregnant and we are getting married next month. I lost the battle as to who would be the bride but as a compromise, I have a nice wedding dress of my own to wear on our wedding night. Julia has promised to strip me slowly as well as do other naughty things to me. I can't wait as she has become a real tigress in bed.
Our only disagreement is over the size of heels that she lets me wear when we are out together. I am not alone in having a bit of a fetish for very high heels. I'm just over two inches taller than her so she refuses to go out with me if I am taller than her when I'm 'en femme'. If this is the only disagreement we will ever have then I must consider myself a very lucky person. I do get to wear them in around the house and in bed though.
I've had that little silver bar made into a necklace for Julia. I'll give it to her on the evening we get married. It was that little thing that brought us together so it was only fitting that it still plays a part in our marriage. I consider it our lucky talisman.
Whenever I look at her I realise that I'm really a "Lucky Man" but perhaps not a man for much longer.
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