More intrigue, shopping and a mystery letter. What will Cathy do? Read on and find out - assuming she ever decides!
Easy As Falling Off A Bike.
Dr Thomas was very supportive as usual, she understood my reluctance to go to my mother's funeral, especially given the likely reaction of her friends. She asked if I had plans for seeing my father again, I told her that I was simply thinking about it. Given my previous experience, she urged caution.
I told her about the escapade with Mork and Mindy outside my room and she offered to write to the housing trust. I declined her offer but asked her to be prepared to stand bail for me should the two injured parties make a complaint to the police. She thought that was very funny, but I wasn't laughing, it could still happen.
I should have been attending lectures, but had effectively been excused them by my professor. I should therefore have been writing my dissertation, or really just tidying it up because most of it was already written. Guilt or responsibility got the better of me because I thought I'd better do some more work on it so I went home, getting some fresh milk and one or two items of shopping on the way.
"How is your brother?" asked the shopkeeper who seemed to have bought the fib I told the last time I saw him.
"Slight improvement, but my mother has died since I was here last." I watched his eyes open wide and I'm sure he thought I was telling lies.
"I am very sorry," he offered.
"Thank you, she died suddenly in hospital in Bristol."
"I am sorry," he repeated, "when is the funeral?"
"I'm not sure, I don't get on with my father, so I might not go."
"Oh dear, that is very sad, but surely you must mend bridges and go for the sake of your mother."
I hadn't really thought of it as a duty before, perhaps I wanted to avoid getting involved with my own grief and so had possibly used my differences with my father as an excuse not to go. I hadn't thought, I must go, rather that I musn't. Geez, isn't life so bloody complicated?
"You must bury the hatchet with your father and go to say cheerio to your mother. It is your mother after all."
A day or two ago I'd have buried the hatchet in my father or he in me. Now this man I hardly knew was explaining the facts of life as he saw them, and maybe he was right. I didn't know any more.
I thanked him and paid for my purchases. My entry back home was very pensive and had nothing to do with Wordsworth nor his bloody daffodils. I rarely had any mail, so what made me check my post box, goodness only knows. There was a letter with a typed envelope addressed to, 'Miss Catherine Watts'. The postmark was blurred so I couldn't read it. I put it in my shopping bag and went up to my room. I stored my bike, put the shopping on the table and using some nail varnish remover I had just bought, wiped off the graffiti from my door. It had made a statement, my removal of it made another.
I settled down with a cuppa and a biscuit, essentially trying to work up some enthusiasm for my dissertation. It seemed a losing battle. I was about to make a second cup of tea, when I remembered the letter. I took it from the otherwise empty bag. I still didn't recognise it nor was expecting anything, so who knew about me? Not many. Then I assumed it must be from the Dean or student health, except they usually use envelopes with a return address, this one had no such addition it was a plain white envelope.
I nearly didn't open it, because it was unlikely to be important, but at the last minute I did, curiosity got the better of me. Inside was a typed letter and a cheque.
No matter what you think of me, I do think of you often and with affection. I'm sorry you didn't have a chance to talk things through with your mother, whom I'm sure you miss as much as I do. I hope you will be able to attend her funeral at St Clements Church on friday at 2.00pm.
I am trying to understand your position although you will understand how difficult that is for me, being outside my experience. However, I hope you succeed in all you try, including your new life style. I'm aware that will mean some outlay for new clothes and things, so please find the attached to help with that expense.
Please do come to the funeral, I'm sure your mother would have wanted us to make peace.
I examined the cheque, it was for a thousand pounds! I nearly dropped it in my tea with shock. Can leopards change their spots? No matter, he had plenty of money and I didn't, so I would take his blood money and use it to expand my wardrobe as I needed to.
An hour later I was at the bank and then the shops! I bought a black pinstripe skirt suit and a pair of glossy black court shoes with three inch heels. Next was a white blouse in pure silk with a vee neck. I bought more bras and pants, adding to my Sloggi collection, and went home. I was now equipped to go to the funeral all I needed was to make the decision.
I'd bought some notelets and used one to write a very brief thank you to my father for the cheque. Courtesy costs little and at least I knew I had acted properly. I made no mention of the funeral or my attendance. I posted it in the pillar box across the road, he would get it the next day.
Returning to my dissertation was a waste of time, I just couldn't think my mind kept returning to my father's note and the advice of the shopkeeper. I felt morally blackmailed into going to the funeral and also a nagging feeling that by avoiding it, I would regret it once the stress of the past week was over and normality returned.
I tried calling Stella but she was out, probably in work. So I did the only thing that was left open to me in such situations, got my bike out and went for a ride.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudo!
Click the Good Story! button above to leave the author a kudo:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.