Angels, Lovers and Songbirds – Chapter 47 – We could all do With a Holiday
In the days that followed she went through every conceivable emotion, anger, guilt, despair, hopelessness and relief.
She also went through a considerable amount of wine and every step of the way Jack was there with her, as a sounding board, a punch bag, a shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold.
He also held her hair while she was sick, made sure she was fed and watered and was on hand for each and every twist and turn.
Eventually the strength of his love for her was enough to pull her through the darkness and back into the light.
But even so there was still the funeral to be arranged which Jack delegated to Sarah Peters who was the master organizer of the parish.
It was exactly one month to the day after the funeral of the much revered Katie Watson that Carl Robinson was laid to rest.
It was a much smaller affair as very few people in the village knew him, but staff from Plaxton Park were in attendance as were Kayleigh’s inner circle of friends.
The wake, such as it was, was held at White Rose Cottage, and it was during that sombre gathering that Gemma Frost said something in passing that planted a germ of an idea in his brain.
“What a year it’s been, we could all do with a holiday”
In the days that followed the funeral Jack devoted every moment of his time to supporting Kayleigh through the aftermath while plotting and planning with Sarah Peters, who in turn plotted and planned with their friend’s.
Jack had given her his credit card again and told her what he had in mind, as it was his idea he was paying for everything, it was the least he could do, and it was a way of using some of the money his Uncle had left him.
He had only received a letter from Curtis, Mitchel and Lovegood, the Morehouse family solicitors, with an update of his net worth, and he couldn’t believe his eyes so he picked up the phone and selected his solicitor’s number.
“Christine Prunot” the voice said
“Christine” he said “I’m in shock”
“You’ve seen the letter then” she said
“I have” he replied “are those figures correct?”
“Absolutely spot on” she answered
“Then the decimal point isn’t in the wrong place?” He asked
“No its not” she said and laughed
The numbers were incredible, easy street incredible, so he had to do something with it and thinking what course of action, to take with what he thought he was worth, had occupied him for months.
But he used the new balance to occupy Kayleigh’s mind as well.
So with his unflinching devotion he nursed Kayleigh through the worst of her grief until she was more like her old self but having had the idea for the holiday though Jack found himself afraid to suggest it to Kayleigh in case she thought it too frivolous.
But when he finally plucked up the courage she said
“I thought you were never going to ask me”
“You mean you knew about it?” he asked
“I’m all knowing and all seeing” she retorted
It was two weeks after the funeral before Kayleigh left the house for the first time and she was quite anxious about it, but everyone she met between the house and the pub exuded warmth towards her.
When they walked into the pub they found organizer extraordinaire Sarah Peters and her sister Hannah sitting at a table in the corner.
“Hello you two” Jack said leaning in to kiss them in turn
“Hello Jack” they chorused but then they turned their attention on Kayleigh.
While the girls embraced Jack bought the drinks and sat down next to Kayleigh just as Gemma walked in
“We haven’t seen you in here for ages” she said
“We came in to chat with Sarah” Jack said “about the details for the holiday”
“It’s all arranged” Sarah said
This did not surprise Jack, as Sarah was a meticulous planner.
However on this occasion she had a problem, namely that her plans had been interfered with.
On the third Sunday in June there was a coach leaving Turnoak and heading for France, where they were going to visit Euro Disney, among other places before returning to the UK on the following Friday in time for Kayleigh and Jack to go away together.
Now when Sarah planned the trip she planned it to the nth degree.
Where they would go, where they would eat, duration of each visit etc.
However Hannah and Elise had thrown a spanner in the works because they wanted to spend a day in Paris doing some girlie shopping and this did not fit into Sarah’s itinerary in any way shape or form.
Just at the moment Sarah said
“It’s all arranged”
Martina Wingrove appeared.
“Hi Kayleigh” she said “I wasn’t expecting to see you here”
Martina had been working at St Lucy’s, chasing a fault in the sound system all day, and had just called in for a quick sandwich.
The two women embraced and then Jack went to get her a drink and when he returned to the table Kayleigh, Elise and Martina had all ganged up on Sarah to get her to give in.
“Come on play fare you lot” she said
“But I’d really like to go shopping” Kayleigh said in a sulky teenager voice.
“Can we delay our special trip by a day?” she asked Jack
“No” he replied, “it’s all booked”
“So that’s that then,” Kayleigh said sulkily
“Well not necessarily” he mused, “there is a compromise solution”
“What’s that?” Gemma asked
“Well we can still do Sarah’s meticulously planned trip” he suggested “but instead of coming home on Friday we go into Paris”
“But we have to get you and Kayleigh back on Friday” Sarah said “so you can leave for your holiday”
“Well we can stay in Paris for two night, the girls can spend Saturday shopping while us blokes can go and look at paintings of naked women in the Louvre” he paused “then on Sunday you can all come back to Turnoak and Kayleigh and I can leave for our holiday from Paris”
“We can leave from Paris?” Kayleigh “Where are we going then?”
“It’s a secret” he replied
There was silence for a short while as they all pondered his suggestion, looking for flaws in the plan.
Kayleigh’s expression changed as she had clearly thought of something and opened her mouth to speak but Jack interrupted her.
“Yes you will need to pack for both trips, but don’t forget you can always treat yourself to some new clothes in Paris”
“It’s a sound plan as far as I can see” Sarah said which, was high praise indeed.
“I think it will be great,” Gemma agreed
“Me too” Kayleigh said and then kissed Jack, it was their first public kiss and then she whispered
“I’ll buy new underwear too”
“That’s a plan then?” he asked and everyone concurred
“Ok I’ll make the extra bookings” Sarah said
On Saturday morning Jack made a full English breakfast for him and Kayleigh after which he got a phone call from Sarah about the changes to the holiday arrangements.
She booked a hotel in Marly-le-Roi in the Western suburbs of Paris and after Jack and Kayleigh had a look at it on line, Sarah made the changes to her holiday pack and emailed it to everyone.
When Kayleigh had gone next door he phoned Sarah again as he needed her to make a change to the time and location of departure for his and Kayleigh’s holiday, which was a secret, and as the itinerary was quite complicated, Sarah acted like his travel agent as she was an organizational genius.
Over the following few weeks Jack and Kayleigh were inseparable and they did everything together, whether it be shopping for the holiday, lunching at the pub or going to St Lucy’s for some spiritual refreshment.
But the time they enjoyed the most was when it was just the two of them behind closed doors at White Rose Cottage where they spoke in depth about the future, their future.
They also discussed the best use for the obscene amount of money he had inherited from his Uncle.
Apart from the obvious candidates like St Lucy’s Church, the Church Hall and Plaxton Park Hospital and a comprehensive list of worthy charities they wanted to do more.
So he spoke to Christine Prunot again and asked her to recommend someone to help him set up a trust fund or something like it and she said that she could do that and said that she would come to the house the following day.
When Jack first discovered just what great sum of money he had inherited he felt more than a little guilty, as he hadn’t earned a penny of it, so he decided that he wanted someone more deserving than him to benefit from it.
After meeting with Christine Prunot he explained what he had in mind, namely two scholarship funds for pupils from St Lucy’s, one was the Carl Robinson Music Scholarship and the other was the Katie Watson Theology Scholarship.