“Ah!” she said, “That’s the other reason I’m here.”
“Uh Oh!” he said, “What’s happened now.”
“Well, my son, my, er, favourite son, my son who is so thankful to Mr Pearson..”
“Mum!” he said get on with it.”
“It turns out that Mr Pearson and I are going out with each other – as they say.”
“What!” he said.
“I’ve told Barbara too, but she knew before I did.” Cathy explained to her incredulous son, what she and Barbara had talked about.
“O, my God!” he said, “My Mum and Saint Steve. Who’d have ever believed that?”
“So, how long will this ‘getting to know you’ process go on for, or don’t you know?”
“You know something, Paul, you’re the first one to ask and that’s a really good question. I don’t know,” she said, “and we need to consider how to recognise when that moment will come.”
“When you do know,” he asked, “should we expect wedding bells, or will you just shack up together?”
“Paul,” she said, “Please don’t say it like that.”
“I won’t, Mum,” he promised, “I don’t really want to think about you two oldies getting it on.”
“Paul!” she implored,
“Eugh!” he said, “pass the vomit bucket.”
“God!” she said, “Young people today! But, in all honesty, love, we haven’t thought that far ahead. There are going to be lots of things like that to talk about if we’re ever going to know each other, aren’t there?”
“Did you remember Emily’s birthday?” she asked on her way out.”
“Was it today?” he looked at her horrified.
“You forgot your lovely niece’s birthday?” She asked, unbelievingly.
“Of course not!” he said, “Didn’t you see my card?”
“Sorry, love,” I went in my lunch break and there just wasn’t time to look at them all. There were so many – and we’d had so much to discuss as you may imagine.”
They said, “Goodnight,” as he opened the door for her.
“Good luck with your interview next week,” she said at the doorway, “I’ll send you that email I promised. Don’t forget to let me know how you get on.”
As Cathy walked to her car, she was already mulling over some of the main issues that Paul had raised.
Thursday 28th April Cathy’s House
On Wednesday evening, Steve had phoned Cathy to ask how she’d got on. They exchanged details of their conversations with their children. Both of them were pleased how well their children had reacted. Steve was relieved that Paul had taken the news so well, and he was pleased with the news about Paul’s job. Cathy was relieved that Peter had decided not to tell Marjorie before Steve would be seeing her.
Cathy had told Steve about Paul’s questions. They’d agreed that these were matters that needed to be given some priority and to meet again on Saturday to try to find answers.
Other than that, they’d recapped on what had happened at the dance the previous evening. Steve had said that he expected it would be almost forgotten by the following week. Cathy wasn’t so sure. In any case, their future wasn’t down to anyone else now – they had to work things out together – it was their future, no one else’s.
Steve had agreed. Today, however, Steve had an idea about a change of plan so, that evening he rang Cathy. She recognised his number.
“Hello, Steve,” she said, “I wasn’t expecting to hear from you so soon.”
“I know, but I’ve had an idea that I’d like to run past you. Am I interrupting anything?”
“No, I’m just emptying the dishwasher. I can finish that after I listen to your idea.”
“On Saturday, when you come to my house will you have lunch and stay for a cooked evening meal with me please?”
“Oh, that would be nice. What are you planning?”
“Well, that’s the thing. We’re supposed to be getting to know each other better. I don’t know whether you’ve done your weekly shop yet, but how would you feel about us both going to the supermarket tomorrow evening. You could decide what you’d like to eat on Saturday, and you could throw any ingredients we’d need into my trolley. I’ll do the same. That way we’d be learning about each other’s likes and dislikes foodwise. On Saturday we could perhaps prepare food together and learn a bit about how we work as a team. Does that sound crazy?”
“That’s a great idea. I’d love us to do that. Which supermarket do you go to?”
“I usually do my big shopping at Aldi and just top up at Tesco or Morrisons with stuff that I can’t get at Aldi.”
“I usually go to Lidl,” she said, “but I have nothing against Aldi stuff. What time do you have in mind?
“Well, do you want to go straight from work or later on?”
“Straight from work would be better for me,” she said, “I’ll pick up a ready meal for my tea tomorrow while we’re there. The Library closes at five tomorrow but by the time we’ve locked up it will be five-fifteen or so before I leave. Is five-thirty too late for you?”
“No,” he said, “that will be perfect. I’ll wait for you outside Aldi’s.”
“I’ll see you there,” she said, “I’m looking forward to shopping with a fella again.”
Having opened with a photo of the school at which Steve teaches and which Paul attended as one of his pupils, my featured photo today is another garden scene – some wisteria buds – to indicate that everything in the garden – as a metaphor for relationship between them – is budding nicely.
EXIF data were: Pentax 24 MP cropped sensor dslr camera with a Sigma 70 mm f/2.8 macro lens. 1/25 secs @ f/4.5 and 70 mm: ISO was 100.