Driving Home for Christmas
Copyright© 2014 by DeYaKen
Drama Sex Story: Chapter 1 - On the journey home, a man remembers Christmases gone by.
It happens every Christmas, the radio stations pick a number of festive songs and play them every hour so that we all get heartily sick of them. Often it's Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade, this year the most popular seems to be Chris Rea's Driving Home for Christmas.
It's just come on again, for the second time since I left my Lake District cottage. As I edged along the motorway, driving from jam to jam, it sounded like Chris was singing from my viewpoint.
I'm driving home for Christmas,
I've got red lights all around.
Well he was right there, we crawled along the M6, and the cars all around are braking to a standstill again. I was thankful that this was the last year I would undertake this journey in the holiday season. I looked across at my wife. She was sound asleep as usual. For the last ten years I'd either done this drive or a much longer one. I pulled into the nearside lane as John Lennon came on the Radio singing So this is Christmas. When John asked, "And what have you done?"
I had to answer, "Quite a lot actually John"
It was true over the last ten years a lot had happened, and most of it on or around Christmas. Ten years ago was supposed to be our first Christmas back home again. The previous year Phoebe had started at university, and David was already there, so Penny and I were empty nesters. This was our chance we thought. We were free to do something useful with our lives. I'd become disillusioned with education and Penny felt she could do something that made more difference to people. We'd both seen TV programs showing the plight of kids in Romanian orphanages. We saw an advert for someone to manage a project that took children out of the state orphanages and gave them a more normal life. We applied and got the job. To tell the truth Penny got the job, and took me along for the ride. We'd been offered a one year contract, so I negotiated a one year sabbatical and off we went.
They prepared us reasonably well. We had a day before we went when we had back to back classes on Romanian culture and the language. Our final class was all about the things we had to be careful about. They told us all about the gypsy beggars and the pickpocket gangs that would be after, not just our cash, but also our passports. The single people in the group were warned against allowing themselves to be seduced by someone of the opposite sex. They were told this was a common ploy for people wanting the right to live in the U.K. Both Penny and I were surprised that people would go to such lengths just to be able to live in Britain.
It turned out that our classes hadn't prepared us well at all. Rural Romania was like going back in time sixty or seventy years. Few houses had running water, and the electricity went off for at least a few hours a week. However, the country was beautiful, and the people warm and friendly. We loved the country but so much needed doing and we felt we were only scratching the surface.
When a leading charity advertised for a project coordinator for Romania and Bulgaria, Penny applied. By Romanian standards the salary was out of this world. The charity provided a flat, car with driver, and an interpreter. Even Penny was surprised when she was offered the job. The remuneration package meant that we could live like kings in Romania. We decided that Penny should stay on, moving to Bucharest, and I should return home to honour my obligation to the college. That August saw me flying home, leaving my lovely wife behind. Penny's employer would pay for flights home three times a year. We planned for her to come home for Christmas, Easter, and August. At the end of her long summer break, we would both fly back to Bucharest.
I can't say that I was happy leaving her behind, but it was only until Christmas. At the airport she waved me off with tears in her eyes.
Chris was back on the radio when my wife gave me a nudge.
"Can we stop?" she asked. "I really need a loo."
"Just one mile to the next services, we'll stop there."
"Typical" I thought."The first time I manage to get up to the national speed limit, and we have to stop."
Slade had just started wishing ever one a Merry Christmas. I switched off the radio, got out of the car, and stretched my stiff body. We made our way across the snow covered car park and into the warmth of the service area. There was still no escaping the festivities. From the PA system I could hear Wizard, wishing it could be Christmas Everyday. We visited the toilets then bought coffee and some overpriced, badly cooked food, and sat down to eat. You don't enjoy motorway food, it's just fuel. While I was refuelling my mind wandered again.
Ten years ago, in 1996, I'd been really looking forward to Christmas. I knew what my best present was going to be, having my lovely wife back, helping me to fill up that big house. David and Phoebe would be home from university, and we would be a family again. As the holiday got closer I got almost as excited as a child waiting for Santa. With one week to go the college closed for the holiday and I got home a little drunk from the Christmas party. Perhaps that was the reason I was slow processing the phone call.
"Allo, are you Mr Andrew Styles?"
"Yes I'm Mr Styles, who is this?"
"Is international call from Romania. I have Doamna Styles for you. Vorbit, vorbit."
"Hello Drew. Drew are you there? Look I've only got this line for three minutes so we'll have to be quick. How are you? Is everything OK that end?"
"Hello Pen, god it's good to hear your voice. I've missed you so much. --Yes everything is fine here. I'm on my own at present but I expect David and Phoebe to arrive tomorrow. What about you? When will you be home? If you give me your flight number I'll meet you at the airport."
There was a deafening silence that lasted long enough for me to think we'd been disconnected.
"Hello, Hello, Penny are you there?"
"Yes I'm still here."
"Well, when are you coming home?"
"That's what I called about. I can't make it. We've got a project running with the street children here. They need my input; I won't be able to get home till February."
"No! No, that's not right; it's not the deal we signed up to. They promised that given sufficient notice they would fit your duties around your availability. You did tell them you were coming home for Christmas?"
"Don't be silly, of course I did, but this project just came up. Oh Drew you wouldn't believe how many street children die over the holiday period. We can't just ignore it."
"I'm not asking you to ignore it, but I don't believe they can't spare you for a few days, so you can be with your family."
"Oh Drew don't make this harder than it has to be. I'll be back for the half term holiday and we can have a couple of weeks together.
"None of us get half term holidays, so we still won't see you. Tell them no. Tell them you're coming home."
"I can't do that. I've already said I'd stay."
"So that's it fait accompli. Nothing I can do about it. Well thanks for telling me."
"Oh Drew, please don't be like that. I'll make it up to you, I promise."
I just started to speak again when the operator came on the line.
"Time is up, you go now good bye."
All I heard after that was the dial tone. I was left with the job of explaining to my children, why their mother wouldn't be home for Christmas. I smacked my fist against the wall and even the alcohol didn't deaden the pain. How could she do that to us? How could she be so thoughtless? I couldn't understand why she didn't find it as important as I did. I was still cursing when the phone rang again. Thinking it was Penny again I rushed to the phone.
"Drew, is that you?" The posh voice of Lady Caroline came as a surprise. She ran the organisation that funded the children's home we'd worked in for the previous year.
"Drew, I need a favour. Did you mean it when you said you'd help get supplies to Oituz if we needed it?"
"Yes, of course I did. I'll certainly help if I can. What do you want me to do?"
"You know we do a Christmas run every year, with the children's presents and all the festive supplies. We've had a problem, normally we get volunteer drivers from my son's regiment, but they've been sent to Kuwait ahead of schedule. We've got two drivers but I don't think it's safe for them to get there in the time allowed with only two of them. Can you help out? You should get home in time for Christmas."
I sat down and thought about it. "Caroline, I've had a few drinks today and just received a bit of bad news. Can I call you back tomorrow, say about 2pm?"
"OK, I'll try to find someone, but I'm really pinning my hopes on you."
I went to bed and the following day picked up David and Phoebe from the station. I told them all about my telephone conversations, and said that I was seriously thinking about driving on the Christmas run. It was David who came up with the solution.
"Why don't you drive over there with the van? They can leave you in Oituz, and you can get the train into Bucharest and spend Christmas with Mum."
"But what about you two? What are you going to do?"
"We can do what we did last year. We'll go to Gran's house. You know how much she'd like that."
He was right of course. If the mountain wouldn't come to Mohamed, then Mohamed would go to the mountain. When I called Lady Caroline that afternoon she was overjoyed, even when I told her that it would be a one way journey for me.
"Oh, don't worry Drew they can take their time coming back. It's the outward journey that is time constrained. I don't want them driving for too long. If you can get yourself to Dover Eastern docks at 8 am on Sunday. You need to meet with Captain Percy Marshall."
At five to eight on Sunday morning I was standing at the docks with my cardboard sign saying who I was looking for. I walked around for a few minutes before I was approached by a tall, slim, and rather attractive young woman wearing battle fatigues.
"Andrew Styles." she said. "I'm Captain Marshall, welcome aboard."
I must have looked surprised because she went on.
"You were expecting a man weren't you. I'll bet Lady Caroline told you my name was Percy."
"It's short for Persephone. Now Andrew, Caroline says you speak Romanian, is that right?"
"Yes, a little, I wouldn't say I was fluent but I get by."
"Good man that may be very useful. Come and meet my sergeant. We'll have a quick cup of coffee and be on our way."
Sergeant Jacqueline Carter was a short voluptuous woman with a pretty face and red hair.
"Hmm, brought us some new talent then Percy." she turned to me. "Well Andrew, what have you got to offer two defenceless maidens?"
I felt the colour coming to my cheeks. "I can speak a bit of Romanian."
"We won't be there for two days. A fine figure of a man like you must be able to offer something to us weak little maidens on the way."
Percy laughed as my face went even redder. "Leave him alone Jackie, and stop calling yourself a maiden. We both know it's a long time since you were one of those."
They took me out to a cream coloured Volkswagen Sprinter, parked in the queue for the ferry. I was shown all the stuff being sent out to Oituz, which strangely included a washing machine for a helpful council official. There was a mattress and sleeping bag on the floor behind the drivers cab.
"That's where we bed down between driving stints." said Percy. "You sure you're up for this Andy?"
"Of course, I am, and please call me Drew."
We boarded the ferry and one and a half hours later we were in France. We drove in two hour stints, and slept for four hours at a time. By 8pm we were in Germany, driving down the Autobahns. It was my turn to get my head down so I stripped down to my underpants, climbed into the sleeping bag and went out like a light. I woke to the feeling that I wasn't alone. I could feel two large breasts pushing into my back; an arm was wrapped around me. A hand was reaching between my legs. I tried to move away by unzipping the sleeping bag. I rolled over and saw Sergeant Jackie Carter, wearing only bra and pants.
"What's wrong Drew, don't you like girls?"
"Of course I like girls. I like them very much, but I'm a married man on the way to see his wife. I'm sorry Jackie I can't help you."
"Oh, come on Drew. What happens in the van stays in the van. No one will know."
"You wouldn't say that if it was Perce in here with you.--I've seen the way you look at her."
I could feel the colour coming to my cheeks. "It wouldn't matter who it was, Jackie. I love my wife and I won't give her reason to doubt me."
"Your loss, you wouldn't have been disappointed."
I pulled my clothes back on and slipped into the passenger seat next to Percy. She turned to look at me and smiled. As she drove she would keep glancing over at me and grin.
"What?" I said, and she grinned again.
"What's so bloody funny?"
"You didn't go for it then? I told her you wouldn't. I'm sorry that's about as subtle as Jackie gets."
I realised Jackie was right, I did find Percy attractive. Even in the dark I could see her high cheek bones, turned up nose and plump lips. Her short hair was pulled back behind her ear and she wore her army beret.
"Are you really a captain?" I asked her.
"I certainly am; I'm also a nurse. We both are."