Rebecca – September 1978
Rebecca took the call from a concerned Penny while she was in the Wimbledon shop showing off her new born son to an admiring staff. She had of course noticed that Dylan had disappeared for the night but somehow she had not been nearly as concerned as had her mother. Mary was very angry with Dylan for disappearing right after the birth and deserting his wife when she needed his support. Her condemnation of him to Rebecca had been vehement. Rebecca was so wrapped up in the baby that she barely noticed the near hysteria of her mother’s reaction.
Rebecca was used to Dylan’s disappearances and didn’t think that much of it. When Penny told her that Dylan had been with them she was surprised and not displeased. Penny told Rebecca in a tactful way that Dylan was feeling rather left out. Explaining that it was normal and Charles had felt this way when she had been so wrapped up in her newborns. Rebecca felt contrite for leaving Dylan out and resolved to make an effort to include him when he returned. She was not aware of the confrontation that had already taken place between Dylan and her mother.
It was over a month before Dylan reappeared. Mary had returned home to Rebecca’s father after three days with her daughter and baby grandson, who she already adored. Before she left London she confessed to Rebecca what had transpired and admitted that she may have overreacted to Dylan’s absence. Rebecca, left alone to cope with the baby and with the added pressure of a growing business, fell back on Plan B.
She had made the assumption that Dylan would not be with her when she had first become pregnant. At this time, before Charles had interceded and Dylan and she had been reconciled, she had made mental preparations for raising the child as a single mother. She now put this plan into action; Tyrone went to work with his mother. He lived in a Moses basket in the stock room where he was fed and changed by Rebecca and entertained in passing by all the girls who worked in the shop. Whenever he cried someone would run and pick him up and rock him back to sleep. The system worked perfectly. He was fortunately a good baby who when not sleeping was happy to look around and be entertained by anyone or anything.
Francesca had left the UK to cover the accession of Pope John Paul II. Dylan was left with time on his hands in which to consider his actions. His anger had faded over time and he had been subjugating feelings of guilt; feelings that he had not experienced before. He had schooled himself not to love anyone, to protect himself from being hurt. He was now experiencing inner turmoil recognising that his feelings for Rebecca were stronger than he had ever meant them to be. He had thought that he could play at being a husband and father in the same way as the rest of his life had been make believe. It wasn’t working out that way.
Dylan returned to Rebecca and Tyrone to a welcome of sorts. Rebecca was pleased to see him in some ways but she too had made some tough decisions. She found that she could cope with the baby and the business on her own. She didn’t need Dylan; but did she want him? She wanted the Dylan of the last sixth months before Tyrone arrived. She didn’t want the Dylan who disappeared without warning and couldn’t offer her the love and support that she needed. She wanted stability for her child. She had already established a routine that suited the baby and herself. Rebecca did love Dylan though and he was the father of her adored baby. She resolved to try again.
Dylan tried hard not to resent the attention that Rebecca bestowed on the baby and he tried to like it himself. He could not seem to feel any paternal feelings despite his efforts. To Dylan it was just a baby that needed constant attention. He made an effort to recapture the happy times they had spent together when they’d first been married but the baby always seemed to interrupt his time alone with Rebecca. Sex was infrequent as she was tired and sore, not fully recovered from the birth.
One day Dylan, at a lose end while Rebecca and the baby were in the shop, made a visit to Sydney Street. Francesca was back on leave. She seemed to be somewhat preoccupied and after perfunctory sex told him that she was going out to the States to work. She had been offered a position as anchor for NBC news channel based in the Rockefeller centre in New York. She would earn big money out there and the move would be great for her career she told him. She was planning to pack up only her personal possessions and then rent out the London house and do likewise with an apartment in New York. Almost on a whim she asked Dylan if he would go with her. He accepted with little hesitation. Rebecca didn’t need him. New York would be fun.
When Dylan left England for the United States in late October 1978 neither he nor Rebecca knew that she was pregnant again.
Rebecca – September 1978