Easy As Falling Off A Bike pt 200

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I didn't want to, I needed some peace and quiet and here was another Cameron telling me what to do. "Erm, Henry, can we leave it a few days?"

"Of course you can, but indulge me and tell me there's no one else."

I felt quite wounded and angry at this remark. "I have to go Henry, goodbye."

Easy As Falling Off A Bike
by Angharad
part 200.

Simon sloped off from the lounge, his shoulders sagging. I didn't know what to say, so I kept quiet. My eyes were still red with tears, and I felt as if the happiness I had considered my future wasn't going to happen.

The woman who had summed up my recent madcap past stood fuming in the centre of the lounge floor. I was sad that she wouldn't be my sister in law after all. I wanted to go to sleep and wake up realising it was all a bad dream.

"Men," Stella kept saying to herself, over and over and I began to wonder if she'd somehow got her tongue stuck like records sometimes do. Then she began pacing back and fore, waving her hands about and still muttering, 'men'.

I wondered if I could sneak out of the room without her noticing me, I needed to wee.

"And where are you going?"

I almost stopped and wet myself, "Please miss I need to go to the loo," came out of my mouth. I felt myself blush with embarrassment.

"Well hurry back and don't fraternise with the enemy."

I dashed out before I had an accident. Whilst sat on the loo I thought about what she had said. It was a bit biased towards me and I knew that Simon is not as selfish as he appears, having loads of good qualities as well as bad ones.

Then, I felt irritation at the way Stella was bossing me about. She might be older and even wiser than I am, but it's my life and I have a right to make my own mistakes. As for fraternising, I don't think Simon would want to anyway, but I certainly don't see him as an enemy.

I went upstairs and stretched out on the bed. I felt exhausted and my eyes closed of their own accord. I suspect I was asleep in minutes.

I don't know how long I slept, Simon had gone off to see his dad and Stella was pacing about miffed that I had disappeared again. I awoke at about three in the afternoon. I felt a little better but not much. I was still aware that I had lost my happiness.

I was wondering if I should go shopping and make us a nice dinner when the phone rang. Stella answered it and called me. I stumbled down the stairs to get it.

"Hello?" I said.

"Hello Cathy, I've some sad news, Stevie died this morning about eight o'clock."

"What? But he can't have, it's much to sudden, he should live for weeks yet."

"Maybe he decided he didn't want to."

"Yeah okay, was his family there?"

"His mother and sister were."

"Do we know when the funeral is?"

"Not yet."

"Okay, thanks Tom." What a wonderful day this was turning out to be. "Oh Tom, what would you like to eat for dinner tonight?"

"Let's go out somewhere, my treat."

How can you tell someone who has just offered to buy you a tasty meal that you don't want to go out tonight? I didn't know so I didn't stop him.

I'd just put the phone down when it rang again. I picked it up and said, "Hello?"

"Is that you Cathy?"


"Yes dear girl, 'tis I, patriarch and ladies man." I could hear the self mockery in his voice.

I chuckled down the phone, though I don't know why because I felt quite sad.

"It's good to hear you laugh girl. I have just had Simon inform me that your engagement is off."


"Well he said you gave back the ring, isn't that a the classic way of ending an engagement?"

"Erm," I had this massive vocabulary.

"Have you really thought it through?"

"Erm," scintillating, isn't it?

"I know he's a bit of a prat, but he's a good lad really and he's extremely upset about this."

"But he rejected me, Henry!"

"I'm sure that was a mistake."

"It might have been, but he repeated it about twenty minutes later."

"He told me why it happened."

"I know why it happened. He was reminded of what I was at a physical level."

"Indeed, very well put darling girl. He is sorry about it."

"So am I, but I can't cope with a man who thinks I'm neurotic, it would get on my nerves."

Henry began laughing loudly over the phone, "Neurotic, get on my nerves! Oh how funny, you should be on telly dear girl."

"I was, which is part of the reason we're in this mess."

Henry roared with laughter again. I didn't think it was very funny.

"Look, can you to get together and iron out your differences and get back to where you were?"

"How do I know?" I said loudly.

"Well I'll give you the name of a good pub and you can talk things over with him."

I didn't want to, I needed some peace and quiet and here was another Cameron telling me what to do. "Erm, Henry, can we leave it a few days?"

"Of course you can, but indulge me and tell me there's no one else."

I felt quite wounded and angry at this remark. "I have to go Henry, goodbye."

I had just told a very wealthy peer of the realm to effectively piss off. I went to find Stella, albeit with mixed feelings, her whole family seemed set on running my life, or should that be ruining it?

"Tom is taking us out to dinner, he told me the Stevie died. Oh and I told your dad to take a running jump."

"Sorry about Stevie."

"Yeah, I only met him two weeks ago and already I feel part of my life has been torn away from me." I bit my bottom lip.

The phone rang again and Stella rose to answer it. "If that's Henry, tell him I went out."

I heard her talking for a few minutes, then she came back with a piece of paper in her hand. "Can you ring this number?"

"Who is it?" I said looking at the number which was for a mobile phone.

"Mandy? Stevie's sister."

"Oh shit!" Not exactly the person I would have chosen to talk with. It felt like I was doing a tutorial the last twice. "Can you make some tea?" I asked her.

I picked up the cordless phone and wandered to the dining room. I punched in the numbers and eventually I heard it ring. I hoped it would be answered by voicemail and I could escape with a message. Instead a very human voice answered it.


"Hi Mandy, it's Cathy Watts."

"Oh Lady Catherine, thanks for ringing back."

"No Mandy, not lady, just Cathy." I tried to explain but she wasn't interested.

"Did you get my message?"

"Yes, I'm terribly sorry to hear about Stevie."

"Yes, but he asked me to call you."

Oh oh! The red lights began to flash. "Well I shall be at the funeral if I possibly can."

"He wants you to read the lesson."

"Oh!" Why does this happen to me? I was just going to stand at the back and get away quick once it was over. Now I couldn't.

"When is it?"

"December twenty seventh, they can't do it before Christmas."

Well I could cope with that. I still had shopping to do. Although I wondered if I should buy Simon something or not. I decided I better had.

I accepted that I would be around for the funeral and agreed to this request, not that I could refuse anyway. Oh boy, I do find myself in all sorts of bother for no obvious reason.

I tried to think about presents I had to get. Daddy, Tom, Simon and Stella. I also thought it would nice to get Pippa something and perhaps her two kids. Oh and some fresh hazel nuts for Spike.

"I'd like to get Simon something for Christmas, what do you suggest?"

"A tin of humble pie," she replied.

"You're a lot of help."

"He's my brother, I love him but I don't have to like him. You're my sister, I love you too and I like you loads more than I do him."

What do you say to that? I blushed instead of speaking. I wasn't her sister and if Simon and I stayed apart, I wouldn't be so.

"I love being thought of as your little sister Stella, but if Simon and I don't get back together...."

"Oh sod that, I know when I'm related to someone and I know you were meant to be my little sister."

I wasn't going to argue with her it was pointless and besides, I felt I needed a big sister, possibly even more than a fiance or husband. "Okay Big Sis, what say we hug on it?"

She stood up and threw her arms around me and nearly crushed me with her enthusiasm. "I need a little sister so from now on whatever happens to us, we are sisters. Agreed?"

I hugged her back but not as fiercely, I wasn't strong enough for one thing, but I didn't need to. I was the baby sister and it suited me fine. "Agreed," I said and we hugged tightly again. I was rather glad she didn't have some public school ritual for the occasion, because it was the sort of thing I could imagine them doing in the dorm after lights out and before the bun fight, or pillow fight.

"So what about a prezzie for Simon?" I asked again after we had parted.

"A fountain pen, he likes that sort of thing. I gave him one a few years ago and he lost it. I don't think he's got one since."

"Okay, I'll have a look online and see what's about." I knew what I was going to buy her, a new mirror, the one in her bedroom was smashed and I'd seen one in an antique shop near the harbour some while ago.

Tom, I was tempted to get a catering box of frozen chicken curries, instead I'd get some red wine. I also needed some new nighties for hospital and a dressing gown and slippers.

I wasn't sure what I'd be doing for Christmas, possibly staying here or dashing up and down to Bristol. I wanted to see my dad and I had to get him something, a bottle of Johnny Walker black label would be a start. Maybe I should make him a Christmas sponge and ice it, he didn't like fruit cake or Christmas pud, neither did I, so a sponge, some soup and some home made bread, would have to do.

I noticed the envelope addressed to me on the side table in the hall. I opened it, it was a payslip from the bank. I gasped at the amount. The sum I was paying in tax and National Insurance was more than I usually had in the bank. How could they justify paying this to me as their 'Ecological Consultant'? I hadn't done anything yet. There was two and a half thousand in my account.

I wondered if they would ask for it back if I didn't marry Simon and spoke to Stella about it. She seemed to think not, it was a post they needed and if they got some sticky issues to deal with, I would be expected to sort it out for them. I hoped that wouldn't arise but I knew I was deluding myself. I tried to promise myself that I wouldn't compromise my principles for those of the bank's if they clashed, but already I knew I was compromised in accepting the post, not that Henry had given me much chance and Tom had also put on the pressure.

Why was life so complicated?

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