Rebecca – December 1985
Palmerstone was very busy in the lead up to Christmas and Rebecca’s time was largely taken up with her business. The shops were flourishing with all-time record takings from each of the three shops. Her business success was her main consolation. Away from work she was beset by problems. She missed Caitlin more than she could have thought possible. The almost every day camaraderie that they had shared through their mutual support network and childcare arrangements was impossible to replace.
Rebecca didn’t like to ask Jack to collect the boys from school all the time so her work days were constantly disrupted by collecting and dropping off her boys for school and their various after school activities. To add to her woes she had not seen or spoken to Dylan since Caitlin’s wedding. As she had predicted she had overstepped the mark. Dylan had resolved to put Rebecca out of his mind forever.
Dylan had thought that he would be able to get to know his sons without becoming emotionally involved with Rebecca. He had hope that she may relent towards him but had never had great expectations. Unfortunately for him his love for Rebecca had reawakened and strengthened over the time he’d spent in London. When he looked at his sons he saw Rebecca’s looks and expressions, a little furrow of the brow as Reuben concentrated on his homework, a tilt of Ty’s chin as he determined to do something difficult.
Dylan was finding it increasingly hard to bear her dislike. He had repeatedly turned down offers of lucrative contracts in New York in favour of more modest fees that kept him in London. He began to consider returning to the States where he may be able to lead a more normal life. His existence had been monastic in London despite the continuous temptations that were offered to him.
A week before Christmas the boys returned from a Wednesday night visit to their father’s house with long faces. They carried between them a wrapped present for Rebecca obviously a picture by its shape.
‘Dad’s leaving London.’ Informed Tyrone, his young face impervious, reflecting an expression inherited from his mother.
‘I don’t want Daddy to go’ Reuben wailed, ‘I love him.’ He ran to Rebecca and threw himself into her arms sobbing disconsolately. ‘Why does Daddy have to go to New York?’
‘I don’t know sweetheart.’ Rebecca responded with a lump in her throat. She ruffled her baby’s curls and held out her arms to include Tyrone in a hug. Stony faced he shook his head. Somehow he knew that it was his mother’s fault that his father was leaving. It was because she didn’t like him. Tyrone didn’t understand it but it hurt. Rebecca also knew that it was her fault. She felt like crying herself.
Rebecca was miserably aware of her sons’ grief. It was heart wrenching to see their pinched faces and woeful expressions. She wondered if she went and begged Dylan not to go it would make a difference to his resolve. She was too proud to try. The usual excited expectations of Christmas were much muted in the Pimlico house. The only thing to look forward to was Suzanne’s return for the festivities.
Rebecca – December 1985