Ginny. ( Part 2)
She held my arm as we walked to the pub. For some reason it didn’t feel strange. It felt natural. I sat her at a table by the window and went to get the drinks. I returned a few minutes later with two large Gin and Tonics. She took a sip and once again those green eyes seem to come alive.
“One of lifes great pleasures. A good G&T with lots of ice and a slice of lemon.”
I couldn’t disagree. Dad used to say the same thing. He was never a big drinker, but on special occasions he did love a gin and tonic.
I could sense that she was waiting for me to ask the questions so I took the lead.
“Tell me about you and Dad. Look, I know this may be awkward but I’m a big boy now, you can tell me. I loved Mum but I also loved my Dad and I knew that he had...a thing...with someone called Ginny. I’m guessing that was you?”
I smiled as I said the words, trying to make the situation more comfortable.
She took a big gulp of her G&T and then sat back in her chair. She seemed more relaxed than before.
“Oh Tommy. I’m so glad you understand. I never meant to come between your Mum and Dad. It just sort of happened.”
I shrugged my shoulders.
“Another one of your Dad’s sayings. I remember the time when we went to the pictures together to see a James Bond film. We were both really looking forward to it and the bloody projectionist was taken ill half way through and we all had to leave. I was livid, but your Dad just looked at me and said those exact same words.”
We both laughed and drank our G&T’s. Both comfortable in our own company. I had a million questions that I wanted to ask but decided to take my time. But there was one question I just had to know the answer to.
“How long were you and Dad...together?”
She went silent for a few seconds, I could see that she was working something out in her head.
“Well, we met in 1968 and we were...together, until the day he died. So thirty eight years.”
I was taken aback at this revelation. I thought she’d been a fling, a sort of romance for a few years, maybe on and off, but thirty eight years? That was a life time. I tried to hide my surprise and carried on.
“How did you meet?”
Once again those big green eyes came alive. It was obvious she wanted to tell me her story.
“I worked in the cafe on the old London Road. Your dad used to stop there and have his breakfast most days on his way out to Southend. We got talking, as you do, and pretty soon we became mates. Nothing more back them. Just mates.”
She emphasised the works JUST MATES. It was as if she was trying to tell me that it was a gradual thing. I was eager for more information.
“So how did you end up working with him at Ludlows?”
This eighty year old lady suddenly became like a school girl. Eager to tell me.
“I was studying book keeping at night school. I told your dad all about it. He said that Ludlows were looking for someone in their accounts department and he’d put in a good word for me. He took my name and address and the next thing I know I’ve got an interview. I got the job!”
There was one more question that I just had to know the answer to.
“And you Ginny? Were you ever married?”
She shook her head and for a second her smiled disappeared.
“No Tommy. Your dad was the only man ever in my life.”
She paused for a few seconds and stared at me. It was as if she was wondering whether to tell me something else. Then she continued.
“Well, apart from Bobby.”
I was intrigued. Maybe Dad wasn’t the only affair that Ginny had. I didn’t want to pry but I wanted to know the answer.
“And who’s Bobby?”
She put down her Gin and Tonic, leaned over and took my hand.
“Bobby is your brother. Well, your half brother. Me and your Dad had a son.”