OF BERNADETTE CYNTHIA HEALY
I have no feelings left to give her any more. I will admit I was surprised, not just by the whole debacle she's created, but that she even bothered to get in contact with me. I suppose there is a tiny part of her that hasn't forgiven me for my own little favour that I asked of her all those years ago...
But surely one can't be that vindictive from beyond the grave?
Normally I spend my Friday's at the office. I travel on public transport to my Jonathon's second home, or rather his eventual second home. I suppose in the two decades that spanned my late husband's affair, her place would have been his second home.
I know that Keith is more than capable of running the entire firm, and my visits are a nuisance more than anything, but I do like to keep myself involved. I am the majority share-holder after all.
Today I want to go and visit someone who impacted my life. I hope that by seeing them I can answer some of the questions that have arisen since the letter and Last Will and Testament fell into my lap. Keith will be surprised that I haven't shown up and will no doubt worry about me. Though I don't really want to give him any cause for concern, there is a wicked side in me that wants to see him try and handle a change in his usually immaculate routine, so I neglect to inform him.
Nobody needs to know where I'm going, and I deign it my right to keep the visit a secret.
Though I do forget about Peter, the postman.
As I lock the front door, my back to the street, I hear my name being called. I turn and I can see that Peter is surprised by my early morning departure. Normally I like to surprise Keith and the rest of the office by arriving when they've all relaxed at around eleven, long after Peter has delivered the post.
'Off somewhere this morning Mrs. Davidson?' he asks and is more polite than he was the previous day.
'Just running some errands Peter. Are you feeling better than yesterday? You ran off without a word?' I want to give him a chance to explain himself, I do not tolerate rudeness.
'I am sorry about that Mrs. Davidson,' at least he has the decency to look sheepish, 'I didn't want to have to explain...' he gestures towards his rather mangled face, though a lot of the bruise is hidden behind his greasy hair.
'And today is different because...?' I trail off as Peter looks at the floor. I shouldn't have asked. I have enough to deal with than some teenage bullying, which is none of my business. 'If you don't want to tell me,' I start as the pause between my questions lengthens.
'No, it’s... I know I shouldn't be happy, but my dad didn't come home last night. Mum's worried sick, but I...' his pauses says more than his words ever could.
I look at him and I refuse to pity him, but I long for justice, as Jonathon taught me to. If his own father could do something like this to his son, then something needs to be done. Peter looks embarrassed and I hate that I've taken away some of his joy, even though it is ill-founded.
'Peter, unless something terrible has happened to your father, he will probably come home eventually. I have no idea what he's like, but I'm sure you can imagine what kind of mood he'll be in if he's not been home in two days. I want you to take this,' I can't just do nothing. 'It's the number of a friend of mine, a lawyer. He can and will help you and your mother if you want it. If you need it.'
Peter gives me my post as I hand him the business card for Keith. I return to my front door, having to unlock it to get rid of the morning's post that I do not want to have to take with me on my visit. I don't expect him to say anything and I don't want to have to explain anything more to him. He'd always been a slightly quiet child, and I knew he was a social pariah – his words, not mine – but I couldn't believe a father could lay a hand on his son, his own flesh and blood, and mutilate him in that way.
He leaves before I turn around in attempt to leave for the second time today. I hope I've done some good.
Public transport is somewhere between a blessing and a curse. I make the most of my free bus pass, even though I have a Jaguar parked at the back of the house. I think Keith last valued that small plot of land at something ridiculous like £600,000, just because of the location. House prices in London these days are astronomical. I am so glad Jonathon and I could help Polly and Jack when they were buying houses for the first time. To think my garage is now going for more than what I paid for my house when we bought it as newly-weds not long after the war!
I have always preferred public transport, though I was always happy to let Jonathon drive. Of course he had to buy British; nothing could have convinced him to buy one of the German models, though everyone was raving about them. In fact I think most people still are.
But yes, public transport. It gave me my freedom after the War and I always loved being able to watch people as we drove through the streets of London, and that past time hasn't changed.
However, the bus drivers are nowhere near as friendly as they used to be, and common decency, such as allowing the elderly to sit on a bus, seems to have vanished entirely. It's the little things that often I am unaware of, which catch me at the strangest moments and make me long for my husband.
Jonathon would never have let some young whippersnapper sit in a seat on the bus while I stood, and though I would have been embarrassed, of course I would have been touched by the simple act of respect he showed me.
Never mind that he'd had an affair for twenty-one years.