Rebecca – September 1978
Almost four months after Caitlin’s wedding Rebecca gave birth to a baby boy. Tyrone Alexander was perfect in every respect; Rebecca fell in love. Her mother was with her for the birth Dylan not quite up to the occasion. Mary was delighted with her new grandson. She had given up all hope of Rob, her older child, ever marrying and having children.
Dylan visited Rebecca in hospital soon after the birth clutching a large bunch of Irises. He took in the scene of mother with baby clutched to her breast suckling greedily and felt a rush of jealousy. He tried hard to control the feeling but the two women cooing over the baby made him feel excluded and unwanted. A nurse took the flowers from him with a smile and brought them back minutes later in a simple vase. Dylan shuffled uncomfortably acutely unsure of what to do or say. After a few more minutes the baby finished feeding and after a tiny mewling cry went to sleep. Rebecca cradled him proudly in her arms,
‘Come and see him?’ she offered Dylan, ‘Isn’t he the most perfect, adorable baby you ever saw?’ To Dylan he looked like any other baby he’d ever seen but he obliged Rebecca with a half smile and,
‘Sure, he looks OK, Is he alright?’ he asked meaning was everything present and correct. ‘He doesn’t look much like me though, more like Charles.’ Dylan added referring to the blonde hair and blue eyes. Mary interceded,
‘All babies are blue eyed. He’ll get darker as he matures.’
Dylan examined the child without touching it. He looked at Rebecca hopeful of reassurance scared by his tumultuous feelings. Her head was bent back over the sleeping child her whole being absorbed by it. Dylan struggled with the rejection he felt cursing himself for getting emotionally involved. He managed a question,
‘When can you’ he hesitated not able to say the word home, ‘get out of here?’ the wording reflecting his dislike of institutions of any kind.
‘They have to stay here tonight to make sure everything is alright’ Mary responded on behalf of Rebecca, ‘all being well, tomorrow afternoon the nurse said. I’m going to come and stay for a few days to get Rebecca and the baby settled.’ She informed Dylan.
‘Right, I’ll be off then.’ He bent awkwardly to kiss Rebecca on the cheek aware that he must control his growing temper in front of Mary. ‘See you tomorrow.’ He was off without a backward glance. Rebecca was too wrapped up in her newborn to notice.
The next day Rebecca and the baby were pronounced fit and able to be discharged. Mary arranged for a taxi to take them back to Rebecca’s flat. The small second bedroom had been made into a nursery for baby Tyrone, the decorating having been accomplished by Dylan and Rebecca together over several weeks. Mary would be uncomfortable sleeping on the living room sofa bed but she was keen to get her daughter and grandson settled into a routine before she left. Mother and baby slept for an hour or so in the afternoon.
Feeling refreshed and less tired Rebecca took Tyrone down to the shop floor to be greeted by cries of delight and admiration from the Palmerstone staff. The girls all crowded around and took turns in holding the baby. Never in his life before had Dylan been surrounded by women and been completely ignored.
Suzanne called by in the evening after she finished work. The women embraced affectionately and Suzanne admired Tyrone with little less enthusiasm than had the Palmerstone girls. Dylan realised that he was in an alien world; he was uncomfortable in Suzanne’s company at the best of times. He found her intellect intimidating and she had made small effort to disguise her mistrust of him. Suzanne’s gift of flowers for Rebecca and clothes for the baby were met with far more enthusiasm than Rebecca had shown for the Irises he had brought or, indeed, on seeing him.
Dylan was slowly working himself up into a state of self-justified anger at Rebecca. He had given up his freedom to marry her and now she had the baby she was completely ignoring him. She had led him on and got herself pregnant on purpose to ensnare him. He watched Rebecca and the baby, Rebecca and her mother, Rebecca and her friends through narrowed eyes his mouth twisting unpleasantly reflecting the inner turmoil of his embittered mind.
Rebecca – September 1978