Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (25) A Very Christmas Romance (Part 05)
On Boxing Day he spent much of the day in the Cross Keys and when he eventually got himself home it was dark.
He went in and switched the lights on and he had been home for about half an hour before he fell asleep in his armchair and was woken about an hour later by a loud banging on the front door.
So he dragged himself up from his comfortable chair and dragged himself to the door and opened it.
“Hello Tommy” Justine said
“Hi” he said groggily, not really believing it was her.
“Can I come in?” she asked with a shiver
“Of course, sorry, come in” he said
She pulled off her gloves and stuffed them in her pocket before slipping her boots off and then handed him her hat, coat and scarf.
Justine sat down on the sofa as far from his chair as it was possible to get and perched herself on the edge of the seat nervously.
She wasn’t glammed up like usual, there were no designer clothes, no silk blouse, no tailored skirt or expensive patterned tights and overpriced shoes.
She had wellingtons on her feet when she stepped in the house and as she sat on his sofa she had Tigger socks on her feet and wore loose fitting trousers and a baggy sweater.
“Do you love me?” she said suddenly
“You know that I do” he replied
“Yes but do you really love me, or is it just an infatuation?” She asked
“Do you love me, warts and all, and not just in a sympathetically lit hotel room, or when I’m dressed up to the nines, would you love me looking like this?”
“I love you with all my heart” he replied
“But only enough to have an affair with me” she said coldly
“That was all that was on offer” he pointed out
“But you would be content to continue with that though wouldn’t you?” she asked
“Only if it was that or nothing” he said
“I thought so” she retorted
“No you don’t understand, I want us to be together” he said “All the time, not just when we can connive and scheme for a stolen hour together or a dirty weekend”
“What do you mean?” Justine asked
“I want you to leave Sammi and be with me”
“Do you really mean that?” she asked with tears welling up in her eyes “You’re not just saying it, to get me into bed?”
“No of course not” he said and knelt beside her and held her hands.
“What about the age difference?” she asked “I was fifteen years of age when you were born, you are a young man”
“You say that like its news to me” she replied “I know you’re 15 years older me and I don’t care”
Tommy put his arms around her and just held her for the next five minutes.
“You may not still think that when you hear what I have to tell you” she said as she straightened up and looked at his face.
“Nothing you could possibly say could change the way I feel” he said confidently
“Don’t be so sure” Justine retorted
“I mean what I say” Tommy reiterated and then he watched the woman he loved take a deep breath before she spoke.
“I have left him” she said and his face immediately betrayed his true feelings for her and she gasped when she saw the look of joy on his face.
“You really do love me, for me” she said
By New Year’s Day everyone in the village knew they were a couple and they were a cause célèbre for a while but once Sammi had moved away and her house was sold things settled down and by the following Christmas no one gave them a second thought, which suited them down to the ground.
The Christmas after that they celebrated as a married couple.