As usual Sid’s was buzzing. The dance floor was full of wall to wall girls all dancing to the Motown beat.
I always stood just inside the door on my arrival, taking my time, looking at so many beauties in one place, making mental notes of any that caught my eye.
Looking back I realise that the girls played the same game, the semi-concealed glance, the quick smile and the flash of soft eyes were all designed as a come-on.
I rarely asked dark haired girls to dance, for natural blondes with long hair were my prey. I had no idea why. I never started with any preconceived ideas but my mind seemed to always steer me in a blond direction, my eyes taking in the curves on offer.
I walked to the bar joining my mates in a pint of real ale, having a laugh, yet scanning the room, ready to make a move on some ‘lucky’, yet unsuspecting girl. And when the Four Tops - Reach Out I’ll Be There – screamed out from the speakers, I made my move into the welcoming arms of a lovely blonde.
But this time would be different for emotions would run high and my attitude to life would change forever.
Her name was June, she lived in nearby Balham and she had one sister. Two years younger than June, Angela Tayler had the type of face that would grace the front page of any glossy magazine, a body that other girls would die for and men would desire.
Yet Angela didn’t stir me like her older sibling did, for June had this look, a look of a million experiences, so serene, so caring and so unique that my mind whirled as never before. I noticed little else as I spoke to June, not even Angela desperately trying to attract my attention.
We danced, our limbs flowing as one as we moved around the floor, the flashing lights enhancing our bodies. And did we dance, she was a perfect match for me and as she told me later, I for her.
Yet these sisters were closer than conjoined twins with June being Angela’s guardian. It eventually made sense to me when I realised that every boy and man lusted after the beauty of this gorgeous unblemished girl of seventeen summers.
But alas for me, Angela had fallen in love.
My mates began giving me earache when I told them that my Friday night outings would now cease. June and I started courting and my life changed, even my parents told me that my selfish side had all but disappeared. And it was all down to the loving June Tayler, a girl with endless patience and the heart of an angel. She could understand my every move as I could hers.
June and I had made plans for the future, there was no doubt that we would be together, our forever love was growing day by day. Yet the spectre of Angela refused to disappear from my life, for June told me that her sister’s infatuation with me now bordered on an all consuming obsession. Angela believed she was head over heels in love with me, hated June for being my girlfriend, and the heated rows were tearing their close knit family apart.
Something had to give and none of us could have foreseen what would happen.
After another huge row with Angela accusing her sister of stealing her boyfriend, June decided to move out. We would look for a small flat, live together, eventually marry and have kids. Her parents approved, not least because the arguments would now fade away, but because they liked me. Walking into their house was like going home, they had always made me feel so welcome from the first time I entered their house.
Angela had over ideas.
She slashed one wrist and ran to her parents.
June’s world collapsed in an instant. Fearing for her sister’s state of mind she clung to me for support, yet her feelings for Angela bordered between love and hatred.
Within days I saw my beautiful girl change to an older woman, her deep set eyes full of hurt.
It took some weeks for us to discuss our futures rationally, but in the end there was only one option.
We held each other tighter than any bear could, our tears flooding the carpet as we said our goodbyes. The front door slammed and June was gone.
I never saw her again.
And with my life in turmoil these days, I always wonder ... what if?