Rebecca – July 1983
Dylan had lost no time in contacting Charles and making his peace ably supported by Penny who had a soft spot for her husband’ s childhood friend. Caitlin and Penny had thereafter both broached the subject of Dylan’s remorse to Rebecca; telling her of his return to London and his desire to connect with his children.
The news was wholly unwelcome to Rebecca. She had struggled to forget him and had largely succeeded although her second son Reuben’s appearance gave her no true respite. He was the spitting image of his father. To adore the one made it difficult not to think of the other. Gradually she had been persuaded to give Dylan the opportunity to see his sons. Her greatest concern was that he would seek an official injunction through the courts if she didn’t allow him any access at all. They were still married and he may have a case though she would be able to prove desertion easily enough.
Today was Reuben’s fourth birthday and he was to have a party at the Pimlico House. The big excitement was that Penny was coming to stay for a few days bringing Simon and Lucy with her. Jane, Charles’s mother was staying at the Rectory to help look after the six-month-old twins. Suzanne would also be home having arranged a short break from work. It was four years since all four of the girls had been together. The part that Rebecca wasn’t looking forward to was that Dylan had been invited. She had known that she would have to allow him access at least once while he was in London on his assignment and in a weak moment had agreed to his inclusion on the guest list.
Dylan had made sure that he had accidently bumped into Caitlin and Charlotte one morning on their way to nursery. He had made Caitlin and Charlotte laugh with his exaggerated Gaelic charm and had informed Charlotte that he was Tyrone and Reuben’s daddy.
‘Well you can’t be’ she had answered promptly, wrinkling her brow, ‘Tyro and Ben do not have a daddy.’ She supplied matter-of-factly, ‘I do though’ she had added, ‘but my daddy lives in New York.’
‘That’s funny’ Dylan had responded pretending surprise, ‘So do I.’
‘Do you know my daddy?’ asked Charlotte, hopefully. Caitlin cut in on Dylan’s conversation with her daughter.
‘New York is very big, don’t you remember Charlie. Dylan doesn’t know Daddy’.
Charlotte skipped alongside her mother and Dylan, as he showed no signs of leaving them.
‘Are you coming to Ben’s birthday party? He’s four. I’m four and a month.’ Charlotte informed. Caitlin made a grimace at her daughter and feigned a distraction with,
Oh, look Charlie, there’s Bootsie.’ This was Charlotte’s name for a large white cat with black feet and legs that often sat on a wall outside one of the houses that they passed on the way to nursery. Charlotte was distracted immediately but not Dylan.
‘Will you ask Becca if I can come? Please Caiti?’ there was no doubt that Dylan was genuinely desperately keen to see his children.
Caitlin had apologised again to Rebecca when she had raised the subject with her friend. The whole situation made her feel bad but despite everything that Dylan had done she still thought that he should have a chance.
Hence the long awaited birthday party and reunion of the friends had a black cloud hanging over it as far as Rebecca was concerned. Firstly she had no idea what to tell her sons. She had to say something. She couldn’t just let Dylan walk in and announce his fatherhood. After much introspection she had just told them succinctly that their father was on a visit from New York and would like to see them both.
‘Would you like to see your daddy darlings?’ she had asked of Tyrone and Reuben one evening at bedtime. Ty looked slightly anxious, his grey-blue eyes inspecting his mother’s face for a clue to how he should respond. Reuben pragmatically asked if his daddy would bring him a birthday present.
Rebecca – July 1983