Chapter 40 – Pimlico House

Rebecca – September 1985
Rebecca was worried about Caitlin. She still hadn’t made any decisions about what to do. Her father had returned to New York still ignorant of his daughter’s pregnancy. Ariel had been sworn to secrecy, under protest as she didn’t like to keep secrets from her husband. Caitlin was seeing Michael on a regular basis but she hadn’t yet broken the news of his impending fatherhood. Rebecca was not at all sure how he would take the news either. She had caught the hastily masked look of dislike that had crossed his features as he watched Charlotte monopolise her mother. Everything was too much like history repeating itself for Rebecca to be comfortable.
Suzanne had returned briefly to Paris after which she was going to be posted to Rome. Suzanne had been excited about the new opportunity she had been asked to take on. She would be an overseas security manager for the British embassy. Once again Caitlin had been able to offer Suzanne a place to stay. She had mentioned it the night before Suzanne had returned to Paris.
The three had gathered together at the Pimlico house for a last supper before she left. Rebecca had elected to cook and Jack had poured drinks and absented himself for half an hour or so as was his custom. Suzanne had brought Caitlin up to speed with the recent events in her career. Caitlin who genuinely thought that Suzanne was incredibly clever and important voiced her admiration before issuing the invitation.
‘I have a place in Rome you could use if you’d like to Annie. It’s not as big as it was when Becca and I stayed there. Do you remember?’ she asked unnecessarily to Rebecca who would never forget that Christmas in Rome. ‘I gave half of the apartment to Mario to use as his Italian business base in return for him renovating my half into a more usable apartment. I’ve not actually seen it yet except in photos that Mario sent me.’ Caitlin paused disconcerted by the outburst of merriment from her friends, ‘What’s funny’ she asked, genuinely puzzled. Suzanne tried to speak but couldn’t as her and Rebecca’s eyes caught each other and they burst into uncontrollable laughter. Tears rolling down her face Suzanne finally managed to apologise before enquiring straight-faced,
‘Do you have a spare apartment in every city Caiti?’ Rebecca burst once more into howls of laughter.
‘It’s not funny’ Caitlin defended herself, realising that it probably was to most people and despite herself was caught up in the general merriment. When they had wiped their eyes and calmed down it was agreed that Suzanne would use the apartment for which she was very grateful.
The three girls started to hatch a plan for a visit to her once she had settled in. Although Rebecca had mixed feelings about revisiting the apartment she knew that she was being irrational. A retail opportunity with her best friends in Rome would be too good to miss.
Meanwhile she had problems of her own to contend with. Since the invitation to go with the boys to Dylan’s had been issued she had managed to side step the issue. Her feelings towards Dylan had softened over the summer but Caitlin’s present predicament and Suzanne’s immanent removal to Rome had both served to reminder her of the bad times she had suffered at his hands. Her cautious reserve had kicked in big time.
Her children in contrast seemed to be fixated on getting their parents together and she found herself being constantly badgered by one or other of them to invite daddy or to visit his place with them. She suspected Dylan of putting them up to this and kept wondering about his motivation. Her whole peace of mind had been disrupted since Dylan had returned to London and sought a relationship with his children. Rebecca wished to return to the status quo and cursed the day she had met Dylan Byrne only to remind herself that without him she wouldn’t have her much adored Tyrone and Reuben. The whole situation was mess.
Her mind was preoccupied with these thoughts when an unexpected ring of the doorbell announced the arrival of Caitlin.
‘Hope it’s not inconvenient?’ Caitlin asked immediately, ‘I just called by on the off chance.’ Her face showed that there was something important on her mind.
‘No, course not; come in’ Rebecca responded, ‘what’s up?’
‘He’s asked me’ Caitlin responded baldly,
‘And?’ prompted Rebecca
‘I said no and then I said yes and then I said I’d think about it…’ Caitlin clutched her head in exasperation.
‘Mm, nice and decisive then’ Rebecca responded dryly, ‘I think that perhaps this situation calls for a glass of wine.’ Caitlin nodded dumbly and allowed herself to be propelled into the kitchen.
‘What am I going to do?’ Caitlin half wailed, looking woeful.
‘Do you love him? Like him even?’ Rebecca asked, attempting to help Caitlin out of her deadlock. ‘Incidentally does he know about the baby yet?’
‘Yes, well sort of…I told him I may be pregnant after he had asked me to marry him.’
‘How did he react to that?’ Rebecca was genuinely curious. Had she imagined the look of distaste that she thought she had observed?
‘He recommended that I saw a doctor for verification’ Caitlin replied truthfully, aware that it was not a ringing endorsement of the possibility.
‘Do you think he will make a good father for Charlie’ Rebecca asked vainly. She instinctively knew that Caitlin had made her mind up to accept. In Caitlin’s world marriage was primarily about suitability. A multi-millionaire British Knight of the Realm scored highly in her circles. Rebecca hoped that it would not all end in tears for her friend.


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