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Since You’ve Been Gone

By LimeyLady

Copyright Mark C Woolridge (writing as LimeyLady), 2017

Distributed by Smashwords

All characters and events in this publication,

other than those clearly in the public domain,

are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons,

living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Table of Contents

Chapter One - Welcome to the Union Bar

Chapter Two - Charlie

Chapter Three - Christening the bed

Chapter Four - Lesbians’ Corner

Chapter Five - Saturday

Chapter Six - Billie

Chapter Seven - Sex in silence

Chapter Eight - Meeting Madhu

Chapter Nine - Angie’s early night

Author’s Note

Other Books by LimeyLady

Chapter One

(September 1997)

Angie hadn’t been in the Union Bar until now. Months ago, when she’d visited and been shown round the campus it hadn’t been open; nor had any of the three other bars on site. If her memory served her correctly, the Union wasn’t the biggest student drinking venue but it had looked the most promising.

So here she was.

And seen now, at six o’clock on a Friday evening, it looked more promising than ever.

Today was the first day of the rest of Angie’s life. Today was the day she became an undergraduate.

Well, almost. Freshers’ Week would begin on Monday. Ahead of the weekend her parents had driven her a hundred and odd miles north, into the depths of darkest Lancashire. Then they helped her unload her belongings into a rather Spartan room in halls. And then they’d insisted on buying her lunch in a local pub before leaving her to acclimatize.

How exciting was that!

Although she loved her parents dearly, fleeing the nest was a big deal for Angie. Okay, so she’d had to make a million promises she wouldn’t do drugs, but being free at last was well worth it.

And, beer, wine and grass aside, she didn’t do drugs anyway; in fact she had no inclination. Six pints of Guinness could get her in trouble enough. Why complicate matters?

Entering the Union she was first smitten by loud music: Rainbow advising the world that they got the same old dream, same time every night.

Casting around she saw that the room was perhaps three-quarters full, mostly with people about her age. Lots of video machines lined a wall to her right: more recent ones mingled with Space Invaders and Pac-Man. Ahead of her there was a pool table, its occupants arguing about the rules.

‘We don’t do it this way down Bristol,’ one of them was saying, dragging out “Bristol” into fourteen or more letters, and with a W or two thrown in for good luck. Beyond them were three darts boards with stuffing exploding around the treble twenties.

Most of the nervous freshers had formed small groups, she noted, some standing, others sitting at tables. And, closeted away from the madding crowd, two slightly older guys were in the far corner, huddled over a chess board like Spassky and Fischer.

Freaking great, thought Angie, breathing in ale fumes and cigarette smoke. I can do this. I really can.

Then the music changed and David Bowie reminded her that Ziggy played guitar.

Sheer ecstasy! Even if the jukebox didn’t have anything else worthwhile on it, Angie was hooked.

Walking into a bar alone wasn’t anything that had ever fazed her. Tonight it fazed even her less. She didn’t know anybody but right now neither did anyone else. Most established undergrads would have better things to do than Freshers’ Week. The majority of other drinkers were probably all as isolated as she was. And they all had less of a presence, come to that.

Not that she was big-headed, but her chest did bounce into a room a minute or two before the rest of her.

And boys and girls did tend to notice.

There was an old-fashioned mirror behind the bar; one that had pictures of men on horses chasing a fox and the name of a long-gone beer brand. Angie studied her reflection as she waited her turn to be served. Tall, broad-shouldered, skin-headed and devoid of makeup, she didn’t exactly resemble Elle Macpherson. Just lately she was, however, beginning to appreciate herself as a sexual human being.

So too were plenty of others, the barman included.

‘Hello, our kid,’ he said to her tits. ‘What can I do you for?’

There was a forest of hand-pumps along the bar. Angie asked for a Guinness then, after he gave her change, asked the question she should have asked in the first place: ‘What’s the most popular ale you sell?’

‘Marston’s,’ he replied, ‘by a country mile. We sell more of that than everything else put together. And it’s lots cheaper than that black stuff. Not that I’m knocking it, know what I mean?’

‘Marston’s is practically brewed on my doorstep,’ said Angie. ‘My old doorstep, that is.’

‘Maybe it is, but I keep a better cellar than most. You won’t have had it as good as this. Here, you try a sample.’

Angie expected the guy to produce one of those titchy tasting glasses. He didn’t; instead he produced a pint and filled it most of the way up.

‘That’s a sample?’

‘It is for you, our kid. I’ve got the feeling you’re going to be a regular, and a welcome one at that.’

A strange young man approached Angie as she swigged ale that was, she had to agree, the product of a very well-kept cellar.

The young man appeared to be the product of a bygone age.

‘Hello,’ he said tentatively, ‘I’m Craig. I’m new here, are you?’

It was hard to see how Craig was dressed because he was sheathed in a raincoat Columbo would’ve been proud of. He resembled some failed private dick from the 50s. He also looked so lost and lonely that Angie didn’t have the heart to tell him he was wasting his time; that dicks weren’t really her thing, private or otherwise.

‘I’m Angie,’ she replied, ‘pleased to meet you, Craig.’

Somehow she managed not to seem too surprised when he held out a hand for her to shake.

Oh my, she thought, pressing the flesh then swiftly letting go. What have we got here!

Craig seemed to think he’d found a new best friend. For the next twenty minutes he filled Angie in with his life story. He had, he said, a very possessive mother and he’d had to fight to come here instead of his local uni. Mother had wanted him to live at home and go in daily; he had wanted to prove he could fend for himself.

And what a great location this was. Here they were, close to railway lines that linked all of the north of England. It was possible to take a train up to Carlisle then another back over the Ribblehead Viaduct, into the wilds of Yorkshire. Then you could ride another over the Pennines and through incredibly long tunnels to Manchester.

He was going to do it often, he assured her.

Personally Angie only had use for trains that got her from A to B in the shortest possible time. Craig’s ambition to cover a couple of hundred miles in an aimless circle was . . . well, creepy.

So too was his avowed intent to stop off at remote stations and “collect numbers”.

Okay, so Angie wasn’t a complete heathen. She’d been to the National Railway Museum in York and liked the look of all the old steam engines very much. They were powerful, sleek and sexy with names that resonated. Compared to them, looking at identical, characterless modern diesel trains, scribbling down their numbers . . .

How could anyone find a modern diesel sleek and sexy? They didn’t have names and all looked alike. Who gave a toss about their frigging numbers?

‘Hello, hello,’ a new voice said from somewhere close behind her. ‘What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?’

Chapter Two

For an instant Angie thought she was looking in the mirror again. The girl addressing her was just as tall as she was and had a similarly shaven head. Then she looked a little closer and saw differences. The girl had a nice enough pair of tits but her shoulders were much narrower than hers. Her face was equally makeup free and attractive in a way all of its own. And she had cute, kissable freckles on her sexy snub of a nose.

Hopefully the signals zinging between them weren’t imaginary.

‘I heard this was the place to be,’ said Angie, returning the girl’s appreciative stare.

‘It’s certainly looking up. I’m Charlotte, by the way. Friends and lovers call me Charlie for short, spelt the male way.’

‘I’m Angie, and it’s not short for anything.’

‘So you’re not an Angela?’

‘No. I was meant to be Angela Anne, but Dad stopped to wet the baby’s head on the way to register me. Mum still hasn’t forgiven him for that.’

Charlie laughed. ‘Angie suits you.’

‘And Charlie definitely suits you.’

‘I’m Craig,’ the trainspotter volunteered.

Oops, Angie had forgotten about Craig.

‘We were just discussing the Ribblehead Viaduct,’ she told Charlie.

‘Who said the art of great conversation was dead!’ Charlie pointed to Angie’s glass. ‘I’m going to try to recruit you into the university’s very best society,’ she continued, ‘so I’d better buy you a drink. I take it you’re on Guinness.’

‘I’ve just been converted to Marston’s by the barman.’

‘That’s a good move, as long as that’s all he’s converted you to.’

So far Charlie hadn’t spared Craig as much as a glance. Still completely ignoring him, she ordered a couple of pints.

‘I’ll get my own,’ he said to nobody in particular. Then, although it was obvious Charlie wanted him to do a fade: ‘What is this society of yours, Charlotte? Is it LGBT?’

That got her attention. ‘No,’ she said, coolly appraising him. ‘LGBT is my second or third favourite. I’m on the hunt for new members of the Lesbian Society. That’s why you’re buying your own beer.’

‘Can’t I join the Lesbian Society?’

‘No you can’t; not unless you’re female and either lezzie or bi.’

‘Sounds like discrimination to me.’ Craig laughed to show he was only joking.

Or was he? The guy looked as if he’d never had sex with anyone, anywhere, ever. But suddenly there was a gleam in his eye and determination in his voice. He might not be such a weed after all.

‘Why would you want to join anyway?’ Charlie asked. ‘Do you get off on watching lesbian videos or something? Or are you genuinely interested in the gay community?’

Craig shrugged and sipped his drink.

‘If you are genuinely interested LGBT might be the place or you,’ Charlie went on. ‘There’ll be plenty of opportunity for you to join on Monday.’

‘Are you interested, Craig?’ Angie added, intrigued.

‘I might be,’ he said, ‘if it’s LGBTQ.’

Charlie seemed to be surprised he was so well-informed. ‘Are you questioning or queer?’

‘I’m maybe a bit of both.’

‘Go speak to Tim, then.’ Charlie indicated a thirty-ish guy who was reading a newspaper at the far end of the bar. ‘He specializes in G, B and Q. He’ll tell you everything there is to know.’

Craig nodded and toddled off obediently. Angie watched him approach the older-looking guy and fall almost immediately into conversation. Two seconds later he was buying them beers.

‘I had him down as a trainspotting mummy’s boy,’ she confessed.

‘I’d say you assessed him quite accurately,’ said Charlie. ‘But he’s Tim’s problem now, not ours.’

‘I take it Tim’s not . . . well, dangerous. He looks as if he can handle himself.’

‘Tim’s a big pussy cat. He won’t propose anything Craig doesn’t want him to propose. Now forget all about them, Angie. You can’t go through uni worrying about waifs and strays.’

Charlie’s eyes were alluring. Angie accepted her advice without any consideration at all. ‘Okay, then. Tell me about you.’

‘I’m a final year student and, as you might have guessed, I’m a dedicated lesbian. I’m also hoping you might be interested in being recruited.’

‘I always intended to join LGBT,’ Angie admitted. ‘But I didn’t know there was an alternative. What is this Lesbian Society, exactly?’

Charlie grinned at the admission. ‘Oh thank You, God,’ she said. ‘You just made my day.

Angie prompted her with a polite cough. ‘And the Lesbian Society is . . .’

‘LGBT is an admirable organization,’ Charlie replied, ‘but it covers a wide spectrum of interests. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a member myself and so are most other members of the Lesbian Society. Our USP is that our interests aren’t quite so wide. By being female only, we can focus on matters that matter to us. Not that we’re selfish. It’s a complementary society, not a replacement.’

‘Okay, you’ve talked me into it.’

The quick reply made Charlie laugh out loud, ‘That didn’t take a lot of persuasion.’

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