‘The wind that dull day was neither soporific in its draught, nor arduous in a cyclone, yet simply magnanimous in the breeze of pleasant sail, not unlike T.S. Elliott’s prose of perfume.’
...Then the pencil snapped between his fingers, and he chose to leave it there for today. He drifted over to the sofa and renewed his nightly seating position, sitting with his favourite pure white fluffy cat named Oscar. William began to reminisce. The cat had just come in from the cold, sat beside him on the sofa and as he gently stroked it, he noticed a single drop of liquid on one of its lower eyelids. Was he crying? Surely not! Then a second droplet appeared and subsequently fell onto the sofa. Being startled and a little amazed Will looked straight into its eyes for assurance. Can cats cry? He oddly thought. All appeared normal otherwise, so Will sat back smoothly on his divan to eagerly watch ‘The Tempest’, at which point sweet Oscar made a strange sound. A sound of severity, faster and one that was both more energetic and loving, more so than his usual husk of deep purring. Did I give him a new pleasure, or did he simply love Shakespeare? Either way, Will loved caressing the beautiful ball of fur, with its enchanting eyes, one blue, the other yellow, all the while attempting to catch the faint dialogue from the supine delivery on screen. However, any ham could effortlessly be cured by the diaphanous ability of a certain H. Mirren.
Looking into her eyes, he was reminded of a sweet Danish girl he once knew and had begun to reminisce about their second date extravaganza at the Natural History Museum in London some years ago. Her name was Franciska, and she was a tall, natural blonde with robust features and cheekbones like wing mirrors. The Dane had yet to visit the museum as she had only been in London for a few months and was completing her Master’s degree in ‘Art & Politics’ at Goldsmiths College. Will had been enthused by their first date at the British Museum, followed by dinner at a trendy American style Diner in Soho and then finally to his favourite place in London, ‘Ain’t Nothing But’. A live blues bar that rocked when the bands were on stage as the place was always wild with enthusiasm. It was a venue of style, vigour and cool blue repercussion. Will felt truly at home in its bustling environment, still finding it easy to strike up a conversation of warmth with every other blues fan, which gave solidarity to his Irish roots.
And so back to the second date, at the Museum of Natural History. The day was Friday. Will especially remembered this because it was the last of the month and this meant that the museum was open late, until ten. He had planned it a few days before, but it wasn’t until the night before he had a most adventurous idea, which he only felt brave enough to share with Ciska once they had both arrived. Will turned up a minute or two before her, wearing a check shirt over a tight V neck plain white T-shirt. Feeling he looked mildly sexy and just attractive enough to highlight his potential interest in her should she be dressed in a similar vein. As he walked into the main room, with its giant dinosaur skeleton erect in front of him and with about a hundred young, exciting people all bustling and chatting, drinking cocktails and champagne, he swiftly circled the mayhem and then headed back to the entrance. His primary focus was to call her. As he straightened his collar, with the phone in hand, she came through the door smiling. She looked devilishly pretty, with a thin black silk dress on and a modest cardigan covering her bare shoulders, possibly to hold onto some modesty about her feelings toward Will, or at least that’s how he read it.
Nonetheless, she swooned over to him, and they tenderly embraced with a kiss on the cheek. She left a hot red set of lip marks on his left chop, to which they both giggled playfully. The lipstick she wore was fiendishly scarlet with intent, and this immediately started his heart, loins and desires rumbling. How was he going to hold onto his lust and play it cool, to have any sort of conversation would be an epic achievement over the next hour?
They both timidly walked through the crowds, gaily wandering in any direction, making the occasional comment about the million-year-old crustaceans in jars or the grand dinosaur figures, towering above them. After a short time, Will felt giddy at revealing last night’s radical thought to her and what her reply would be. ‘I had an idea last night...’ She turned to him and looked genuinely interested. ‘I think we should find a dark corner and stay in here all night...what do you think?’ And in less than a few trembling hearts beats from courageous Will she simply replied, ‘okay’ with a grin to match her provocative ice-blue gaze. They continued to bounce forward through the museum, and Will kept pace, thrilled at her calm but positive response. They were going to do this. They were somehow going to stay there all night, and if they failed to manage it, then at least he looked brave and confident and thus hopefully becoming physically irresistible.
Both joyfully strolled along, looking at ancient fossils and having titbits of academic conversation about what they had just read or seen. They then found themselves at the far west end of the museum and in an area with no one else around. They separately walked down a few steel steps and down to the right, with the left fascia now being a massive wall of glass looking out onto the damp night sky. Will didn’t want to feign interest in talking anymore, and as soon as she stopped and turned on her heel, he pounced and kissed her deeply on the lips. He then retracted, paused for a moment, unsure of her interest momentarily but was soon assured when he again engaged with her ruby red lips. The two joyfully kissed for a minute or so in a secret romance.
As they slowly made their way back into the bustling main room, a tannoy announced that the museum would be closing in ten minutes. Franciska looked at Will for confirmation of how to proceed. He wavered momentarily before taking her hand and leading them through the unchartered territory in search of that elusive dark spot in which to hide. They rushed and swivelled, turned and giggled but could not see a potential place. They stood in the main foyer, breathing heavily and searching with their eyes for anything that might just keep this fantasy alive. It was with surprise and delight that Will heard her say, ‘the disabled toilets?’ As more of a statement than a question, so Will rapidly gave the nod and walked at pace, trying to remain incognito as he rushed through the empty restaurant, where a handful of staff was finishing cleaning up, and into the toilets. They looked around nervously before embracing excitedly, passionately kissing against the mirror, with a broad naughty smile on both their faces and a hungry heart to pass the next half an hour engaging in the sheer sensual activity once in the spacious, innocent smelling toilet. After only a few minutes, the door opened, and a female attempted to enter. Still, upon seeing two partially naked people, she immediately retreated, apologising as she did so with her head bowed. They both stopped and thought that the game was up, surely this was the end of their gallant attempt to defy conformity and spend the night with each other, genuinely making history a reality of epic proportion.
After approximately thirty minutes of calm and no fuss, they were surprised at a security guard not coming and raging at the dying of their night. They were joyfully puzzled and then keenly, but cautiously tiptoed out of the toilet and into the restaurant where they were amazed to be met by complete silence and not a single person in sight. Was it true? Had they managed it? Surely not, as they slowly entered the main hall and passed by a half dozen kitchen staff and an official female talking into her radio. But with steely determination, because Will thought he had come too far now to let this wild adventure end, took Ciska’s hand and walked confidently into another hall. One that was devoid of people and hid behind a wall and again began kissing hungrily. The two giggled and in true male adventurer style Will repeatedly assured her they were doing nothing wrong, and they would not be in trouble should anyone catch them.
The two began to relax after about half an hour, as it was now half-past eleven and all seemed fine. The pair of relic surrounded lovers remained in an interactive room and engaged with the science-based games, testing memory and powers of observation, as this room was about human biological makeup and all its beautiful force. Still unsure if the museum had closed, due to the electricity in the machines and lights still being on. Will gave the impression he was calm but was instead giddy with trepidation. They gingerly walked out into the hall, when as they looked left, back into the main entrance they saw a security guard walking through and twirling his flashlight. They jumped back into the room, hugged one another and hysterically giggled. ‘God! That was close’ she said, and the thrill level revved again up to a maximum. This was a well-needed break from the norm of what he often thought was a pretty mundane life, and to have found a girl who shared his love for excitement was a big thrill.
The two scallywag’s roared on, finding a modern section for academia and school pupil visits, with a cloakroom and class seating area. The electricity had only just gone off, some ninety minutes after closing time and Will felt peaceful, amazed at this new outing and its execution. He truly felt as if he was finally in the initial stages of falling in love. It was one of the best ideas he had ever had. There was a section over on the west wing, slightly further out than the quiet corridor and surrounded by glass where they could rest for a while, feeling it might be an ideal spot to sleep when such a time came around. Feeling calm and triumphant, they both lay down on a wooden bench, that protruded from the wall, next to the cloakroom. It was wide enough for both of them, and she lay on Will’s arm as he exhaled looking at the ceiling, feeling joy in his head and his heart. She was a girl of few words, and this suited the moment, as he noticed ‘Darwin’ in big letters adorning the above section of the wall immediately to their right. Will generally spoke about nature and the little he knew of it, attempting to impress her. After a few minutes of rambling, he felt a little foolish and overly keen, and so apologised for talking excessively. She simply said it was okay that she liked listening to his voice and encouraged him to continue. Will was relieved and jubilant at the apparent perfection of this girl, and so he informed her of his knowledge of a Shakespeare monologue and would she like to hear it? She positively whispered in his ear, and he gave a tepid rendition of Hamlet’s initial soliloquy. They both remained in one another’s arms, each drifting in and out of sleep for the next hour, listening to the raindrops rapping against the brickwork outside and each other’s smooth breathing.
They now felt well-rested, and their energy levels renewed, once again ready to discover new found lands. They cautiously peered around every corner and listened intently before stepping into every new room. After travelling through a few places and corridors they stepped into a grand hall, consisting of two levels joined by stairs at either side of this oval space, spanning approximately eighty feet long by fifty wide. The upper level was a three-metre wide walkway all the way around because hanging up in the centre of the room was a great Sperm Whale, stuffed and hanging by thin wires majestically, engulfing at least thirty per cent of the entire room. Will stood in wonder, taking a deep breath and smiling at his pure adventurous self and the fun ideas his lonely mind often had. The girl raced up the stairs without Will, and this pleased him. It demonstrated that she was indeed an individual and was just as excited as he was. He raced after her, and they studied the many stuffed animals before sitting down at the far end of the room on an iron bench. Will sat and urged her to join him, and so she sat next to him, looked him in the eye, kissed him kindly before swivelling her legs around and sat in his lap with her arm around his neck. Both embraced for what seemed like an eternity, gazed at by the motionless whale, metres in front of them.
As they became more comfortable, she took off her shoes and placed her leather satchel on the floor. The room was silent, and their voices carried effortlessly. Hence, they kept conversation to a minimum and instead gave way to passion, finding all they needed on that night in each other’s physical delicacy. In one another’s touch, and tickle, presence and poise, meaning and longing, for the need to verbalise was overtaken by every embrace and exchange of stuttered breath. They were signalling each other’s tempered state or surge of sexual excitement, glee and happiness. It was a timeless period, when lovers of equal ferocity gave way to freedom of lust beneath a historical setting, to die and became a relic here, now and in this ever engaging state both were content to do so, should this be their fate.
Instead, their blissful spell was broken by the noise of conversation coming from beneath their feet. Both quietly stood up and edged forward, waiting for the sound to emerge and confirm its existence. Two men with flashlights walked across the room, chatting boisterously about nothing in particular. Ciska panicked and went running off, but Will grabbed her and assured her it was fine, ‘just duck down and sneak gradually around the upper level with me and let them pass through’. Because the plan was to remain hidden until the museum opened its doors the following morning and the pair would simply float out with the stale night air, but she failed to hold her nerve, parting from Will, heading down the stairs in panic and out of the room. Will continued to edge around the rooms top tier, crouching and watching the guards as they stopped at the iron bench, sat down and laughed. Will received a text a minute later, a good job his phone was on silent, from her informing him she had left her shoes and bag behind and had the guards found it. After some ten minutes, the guards left the room, and Will edged back around to the bench where he found no shoes or bag. He was a little baffled about the guards and how upon finding such items, they did not assume that there may have been stowaways, hiding from them in the ship, below deck. Will sent a reply. She was back in the Darwin section again, hiding in the toilet and too scared to come out. So he agreed to rescue her, and after a S.A.S. style operation, they were soon back at the steel bench, looking at Mr whale feeling unsure of what to do, as she needed her shoes and bag, with her phone inside. The hour had just passed four AM, and the thrill had taken its toll, as the pair were exhausted from the danger dodging and it was decided they would hand themselves in. So Will, being the mastermind behind this venture was undoubtedly the one to conclude it. So he strolled out to the main foyer, saw the guards in the distance down the dark corridor and simply raised his voice saying ‘Hello’ in a non-threatening tone while holding his hands aloft. The two guards quickly turned and looked poised, ready to physically engage with the silhouetted figure in the distance who was neither a raptor nor a T Rex that had magically come back to life. It was three-thirty at this point, and Will felt drained.
They approached Will and asked what he was doing in here, to which he responded in a half-truth. ‘Hi, guys... I’m with my fiancé, and we really want to go home. I thought it would be romantic to stay in here all night, as it’s our fifth wedding anniversary and I wanted it to be special, but it’s not anymore, and we are very very sorry.’ The guards were disarmed by this charming piece of soppy drivel and simply asked Will to show them where the girl was. The two bandits were then escorted downstairs to a sub-level, where they were held in a brightly lit security room. Ciska was fretting about what may happen to them, but Will knew they had not committed a crime and was eager for this nonsense charade to be over so that he could go home to bed, but this was not to be. The opposite door to the holding room opened, and a tallish, portly white male with an Eastern European accent walked in with conviction and sat down, calmly flicking open his notepad and asking them both for their names, addresses and any I.D. to prove who they were. Both obliged and were then left to sizzle a little like actual criminals.
Will confidently grinned, and she put her hands on his knees, looking deep into his eyes and smiled with satisfied exhaustion. After about twenty minutes, the rotund security man came back in. He calmly spoke in a smug tone about how he had checked the CCTV footage and ‘it looks like you guys had a little fun ay?’. Will held his nerve and simply answered with a wimpish apology, knowing that the man wanted his pound of flesh for failing to do his job correctly and to be made to look a fool by two wily cats as thee. He went on to inform them both that not only were they guilty of trespassing but that they were now going to be charged with ‘Indecent Exposure’, to which the fair maiden responded with ‘indecent exposure to who?! The whale’. Will felt joy at her sharp reply and held onto his grin for later. Will had judged this guy the moment he sat down, upon noticing a flashy piece of cheap metal jewellery around his wrist and another around his neck, knowing he was of little threat and could be orchestrated quite effortlessly. Surely their quest to break out of jail that night was on the horizon. The man was stumped by her reply, saying ‘Well... I’m no expert in law but...’ Instead of continuing with his feeble line of questioning and inadequate evidence, he again left the room saying he would call his superior and ask if he should ‘call the police or not’.
Once left in the room alone again, Will took her hands and told her with confidence that there was nothing to worry about and they would be out of there in twenty minutes, so just let him do all the talking. She readily agreed and sat back in her chair. Time went quickly, and soon a young male and a female police officer arrived, who asked the same formal questions of the pair and then asked why they were there. The first question from the male officer was, ’Have you broken anything? And this brought out an immediate response of truth from Will, ‘No! I love this place.’ Will then looked mainly at the female policewoman who was sitting opposite him and reiterated the romantic tale they had created earlier. Both police officers were evidently tired, as it was now half four, and the female listened intently and melted at how sweet my idea for the evening was. At the same time, her male partner was indifferent to it all. Both left the room, informing them that a call would be made to the station and a superior officer would be consulted before they could proceed. Will could see the light ahead and once again reassured his sweetheart of their expected release date of between five to ten minutes from now.
The officers came back in with the security man, looked at Will and his big sorry eyes and said, ‘Well, I’ve spoken to my Sergeant, and he informs me that actually, you are not trespassing, and you have not broken any laws, so all that we have to do, is to escort you off the premises...and if the gentleman here wishes to take any further action, that is up to him.’
Hurrah! Felt Will and up they rose, triumphant once again, weary from battle and keen to be free. They strolled alongside the officers to the car and breathed the fresh air of the early morning, then gently slid into the back seat of the very comfortable police car. The car pulled out through the gates, and the sun was beginning to rise as Ciska asked them to drop them off at a specific bus stop. Will was astonished at her brazen request and said ‘it’s fine, anywhere will do!’ But he had little fight left in him, and the car soon stopped at a bus stop, and with a warm handshake and pleasantries from both officers they were free. The bus arrived in less than five minutes, and the romantic pair ended the adventure engulfed in one another’s arms back in her South London bedroom.
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