Sometimes our secret meetings nearly went wrong. There are two distinct moments I remember very well.
In the spring there was a country fair in Histon. Barbara was sure she was allowed to go, so we agreed to meet each other there. When Barbara was about to leave, Barbara's mom decided that she wanted to go to the fair as well. By that time Barbara didn't have time to warn me. At the moment they entered the fair I was there already parking my motorcycle. Luckily I saw them and I was still wearing my helmet. Barbara of course recognize me but she was smart enough to distract her mothers attention and gave me signals with her eyes that I should leave immediately. I could have stepped on my bike and leave. But I didn't want to, not when I was so close to Barbara now. Therefore I followed them into the fair. At first Barbara was really annoyed that I did this. She tried every time she had a chance, to signal me to clear off. Soon she realized that I wasn't going and she had to put up with me and her mother that afternoon ("You and my mother is like taking care of two big kids", she said later). We played that afternoon a sort of hide and seek game. At a distance I followed them and every time her mother was being occupied with some kind of entertainment activity, I tried to get Barbara's attention. It was great fun (at least I thought so).
In Cambridge it was custom for the local Chinese to come together at Monday night to play Mahjong. Often Barbara had to go too. But sometimes she managed to find an excuse to stay at home. Then she would phone me and ask me to come to her home to join her. I get on my motorbike then and drive to Histon. At the beginning of Station road I switch off the engine, just in case someone could hear me and I hide the bike at place far before and out of sight of the fish and chip shop. We then stay the whole evening in Barbara's room so that nobody could see us.
Normally I left long before her family came home. But one time we fell asleep and we woke up the moment we heard the car of Barbara's uncle being parked on the drive way of the shop. The only exit of the apartment was by the stairs that ended in the drive way. In other words there was no way I could get out of the apartment without being seen. Panic! There I was laying in Barbara's bed, while I could hear thru the thin walls her mother and uncle coming up the stairs only meters away from where I was. To make things worse, Barbara told me that her mother had the habit to come into Barbara's room to chat before she went to bed.
I didn't know what to do. Good thing Barbara was more in a control than me. She pushed me out of bed, threw blankets over me so that I couldn't be seen and told me not to move. This wasn't very pleasant, laying on the cold floor covered with blankets. I hardly dared to breath, afraid to be discovered. To avoid her mother coming in her room, Barbara got up and tried to act normal, hoping that I wouldn't make any noise. Barbara must have been very cool headed and an good actress in able to chat with her uncle and mother as everything was as normal.
When her mother and uncle finally went to bed, Barbara came back to her bedroom. She whispered to me that I was not to move till she told me and I had to stay quiet. There was no need to say that, I was so scared just by the thought of meeting her mother in the early hours of the morning in Barbara's bedroom. Just imagine what their reaction would have been, it still gives me goose pimples. I must have been laying there for hours. Finally Barbara whispered that the I could go. It was a challenge going down the stairs without being heard. Barbara waited on the top of the stairs just in case someone would wake up. I went down the stairs trying not to make a cracking noise and hoping that the dogs wouldn't start barking. Finally we reached the gate,. Barbara opened the gate and while she let me out she said "well this was exciting". This was certainly a close escape.
(translated by Zhi)
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