Garrison Fields

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Chapter 42 - The morning after

The clearing up from the night before had already began when Mrs Dunbar went into the lounge bar.

‘Eeeh Jane, I thought it was Sarah, what are you doing in this morning? You should be at home!’ She had startled Jane, who had her hands full taking several empty glasses back to the sink to be washed.

‘You did give me a start,’ she exclaimed. ‘I nearly dropped the lot, I didn’t hear you come in.’ She continued ′ I said to Derek last night, after all you had done for us... Well, you know I couldn’t.′ Mrs Dunbar broke into the conversation, she was a woman well used to starting multiple conversations and finishing other peoples, when she had got the gist of them. This was a skill she had picked up, during her years in the noisy environment in which she worked.

‘There’s no need to keep thanking us, we were pleased to do it. You did have a good day, didn’t you dear?’ What could she say in response to this question! It was a day that she had never expected. If honesty were to be told, she had been uncertain if it was the right thing, not for her sake but, but for the boys. Even up to the point of saying ‘I do’ but now, this morning she had reflected on events, events which seemed to have taken control of her in the last few days.

When she thought about yesterday, she was thinking of it in very different light. This morning she had risen early intending to bring Ted with her, she had found things strange in Derek’s house. That was to be expected, it was all new to her, he had been a bachelor after all. She smiled as she thought of breakfast and how Ted had looked at him. How he had talked to Ted and laughed and joshed with him, just like Albert would have. It was now that her thoughts turned back to Mrs Dunbar and answering her question.

‘The more I think about yesterday, the more convinced I am that it was the right thing to do. He’s different to Albert, in so many ways. I know, he will do his best to look after me and the boys.’ Mrs Dunbar was now emptying the heavy glass ash trays and looked and stopped for a moment and looked up.

‘You are so very lucky my dear to find two men, in your life that mean so much to you. Let’s get finished here, we can have a cup of tea and a well-deserved sit down before the flood gates open again.’

They worked quickly finishing the tidying of all three bars Sarah joined them briefly but was dispatched immediately by Mrs Dunbar to Bob Jenkins pub.

‘We’ll sort the General out, you get yourself up to the Royal Oak, they were short with Bob being down here and him never sitting down all day yesterday. What with looking after three bars!’ The bars were cleaned and after their respite, Jane threw open the bolts on the heavy doors, flicking over the Closed signs to Open. It was the start of a new day, hopefully a new era for her. She pulled open the door and welcomed in a few of her regulars who even at this time were already waiting.

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