The Secrets of Dovertfield

Dovertfield, a small town in Yorkshire holds more secrets and lies that can ever be imagined. The intermingling family affairs unfolds to create an extravagant story to be enjoyed by many.

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1. Monday

 

                Mary had been sitting at the kitchen table for the best part of ten minutes now, constantly thinking of possible ways to get her out of this mess. Maybe the break-up hadn’t been worth it after all, what was she to know? All of her friends were telling her it was the best thing to do. Maybe this is my fault. Maybe I wouldn’t have been in this mess if I didn’t leave Carl. Sitting there above her complimentary purple bank mug half filled with the local supermarkets own branded tea.

Mary Martin was a petite woman with a husky voice. There was hardly anything feminine about her. She often wore her treasured old blue jeans and she was a fan of coloured vest tops cuddled by a big silver padded coat in the winter. Right now she was wearing her nigh clothes. Her faded dressing gown was thin from all the washes but she still had it draped around her thin body. Her long golden hair that was envied by many was never on display to its advantage, it was near enough always shoved into a messy pony tail that was so tightly pulled back that her forehead seemed to stretch to make it look like she had Botox. Of course Mary hadn’t had Botox, mainly because of two reasons: firstly, it was unnatural and unnatural beauty, in her eyes, was ugly. Secondly, if she had the money, Botox would be the least thing she would want to spend it on, she would rather but bread on the table. Mary had a fairly pretty face; her soft skin seemed to glow even on the worst of days.

Lila Anderson, one of her close friends who lived nearby had owned a hair and beauty salon called ‘My Hair Lady’ and she often offered Mary for a full treatment, free of any charges of course but Mary always seemed to refuse. She simply didn’t have time getting all dolled up and right now it was the least of her many worries.

It was thirteen minutes until eight o’clock as the near enough broken clock on the wall had whispered with its silent ticks and the winter sun was peering in through the blinds. She shook her head, as if it was going to get rid of the problem she was in and took one last thoughtful sip of her cold tea and then spat it right back out when she realised how long she had been gormlessly staring over it.

                After dumping the remaining tea down the kitchen sink she walked across the narrow kitchen and into the hallway and found herself already at the bottom of the staircase after five measly steps. She looked up, listening for any sign of movement, wondering if any of her daughters had woken on their own accord. Who am I kidding?

                ‘Alison....Hannah....it’s nearly seven’ she called. Silence. ‘Hannah...Alison?’ she called once again, reassuring that she had called them the first time. Still there was no response. She walked up the stairs with a creek under every step of her old furry pink slippers that she got at the January sales from three years ago. She turned right at the top of the stairs and took merely a step before she reached the girls bedroom door. The door was firmly shut.

                She burst through it to find their single beds made, with the far side bed holding a mountain of cuddly toys and teddy bears that had been gifted and bought over the past thirteen years. The girl weren’t there. ‘Of course’ she thought to herself. The girls had spent the night at Grandma Jill’s house. How could she forget? Mary had felt ever so stupid…maybe she did have too much on her mind and maybe it was about time she did something about it. But not right now because she was due to start work in half an hour.

                Without further thought, Mary had trotted down the tiny corridor and stepped into the bathroom which was packed with the essentials (the bath, the sink and the toilet.) The bath lay across under the small window which barely let any light into the boxed room. Beside the bath was the toilet and then the sink, the room was then enclosed with a door. With one leap into the room, she could of have touched the far-side wall, it was that small. This never fazed Mary, she was happy to have a bathroom, she was very knowledgeable to what poverty really was and in her eyes, this, that she was living in was far from it. She was getting by…thank God.

                On the other hand, Mary was also proud. She would never in a million years be considered as a charity-case. She would always do the best she could. Her daughters never went without, they would always have the clothes and shoes they wanted, lucky for Mary the girls hardly ever asked for these necessities.

                Mary and the girls had been living in difficulty for the best part of six months now, of course Jill was a lot of help but she had been on the wrong side of fifty for thirteen years now, the last thing she needed was two teenage girls running around her cottage all the time. Although, since her husband, Mary’s step-father, had died the house was incredibly quiet and calm and Jill was always say ‘I am sixty-three years old, I have one daughter who I hardly ever see and two grand-daughters who I can’t spoil whilst Jenna on the corner spends every day with her family like it’s the twenty-fifth of December every day!’

                Jill put on her wellington boots and flung her infamous silver padded coat upon her back and made her way out of the house. She was thankful to God that she had a little front lawn in front of her house, she hated the thought of stepping out of her home and onto the pavement, where’s the privacy in that?

                She locked the front and carefully trotted down the pathway, avoiding the ice which covered the floor. The Martin girls lived on Buckingham Avenue, which I know may sound like a fancy place to live but it was hardly a pretty sight for sore eyes. The world ‘Buckingham’ lead to misinterpretations of the place and fooled many people. Although, Mary liked telling people that she lived on ‘Buckingham Avenue’, it gave her a sense of pride and she was certainly a fan of the Royals. One time, she camped out all night outside Devortfield Hospital when she had been given the misinformation that the Queen of England would be visiting. It was a time that she didn’t like to remember, the Jones across the road laughed at her for months.

                ‘Morning’ a tubby man called out as he was passing by with his bulldog. Have you ever heard someone say that people look like their pets; well in this case it was more than evident. His face was flat and his brows hung over his eyes. His pink cheeks hung low, pulling his upper lip down with them. But he wasn’t as intimidating as he looks. He had a heart of gold and he had been a good friend to Mary since Carl made a mockery of her.

                ‘Hello Jack!’ smiled Mary. ‘I hope he doesn’t stop for a chat, I’m already late!’ she thought to herself. She suddenly had a flashback to when she was hammering on Jack and, his wife, Claudia’s door on that rainy night after she found her husband in bed with a chavvy blonde. Jack had opened the door at two AM and welcomed her in as if it was a planned visit.  They talked for hours by the fire with a cup of tea; of course by then she had already packed her things and left her was-then home, which was on the other side of Dovertfield. Jack and Claudia Monroe were played a huge part in her decision to rent a house close to them, that and the fact that Buckingham Avenue was a fairly cheap area to live in. Not to say, the people who lived there were lovely but also the elderly so they hardly ever had any trouble. Claudia had said ‘There’s a house two doors down and Maureen is renting it out, you know after her old man died…I heard the rent is really low and maybe you could live there. Of course, we could help you with any economical issues you may be encountering…’             Of course, Mary had been facing economical issues but she daren’t ask the Monroe’s, she hated the idea of being an inadequate burden to the few people who cared about her, truly that is. ‘How’s Claudia?’ asked Mary after a seconds silence, stopping at the gate to have a fairly small chat.

                ‘Great! She’s getting better… Dovertfield hospital are discharging her today, it wasn’t anything serious… she’s fine!’ he replied, his face lit up at the mention of his wife’s name.

                ‘Great!’ smiled Mary. ‘That’s great news, do send her my love.’ Mary sheepishly smiled once more.

                ‘Well why don’t you send her love yourself’ he said. For a moment Mary had thought this was a rather sarcastic remark, a demeanour that was worlds apart from Jack’s original innocent ways. ‘Come round for dinner tonight!’ She fell back into her element and felt the rush of familiarisation of Jack’s kind heart.

                ‘I couldn’t. The girls are back today and-‘

                ‘The more the merrier, haven’t seen them girls in a while. Would love a catch up, mind’

                Mary was unable to fight her corner. So she gave in. ‘OK Jack, that’s very kind of you.’

                She loved the idea of her, her two daughters and the Monroe couple sat around their vintage dining table, talking about life but she felt as though she was scrounging off them, as if she was worried about where her next meal was coming from and whether Jack could sense it off her, hence the reason for his proposal. She realised she was being silly.

                ‘I won’t keep you busy lady!’ laughed Jack, noticing Mary’s footing was facing the opposite way. Mary realised her position and foolishly stumbled before correcting herself, standing like a soldier. ‘I’ll see you tonight, at seven…’

                ‘Seven’ replied Mary and gave Jack a big cuddle before heading off. She was half way down the street before she heard is deep voice call after her ‘And don’t you dare bring your own wine’.

                ‘I never would’ Mary laughed and once more waved off Jack, she felt a spring in her step that she had not felt for a very long time.

 

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