The car pulled in at the bottom of Silkey’s lane and Dawn began to take photo’s of the area she took one looking down towards the Ralph Gardner school and the playing fields on the other side then one looking down West Percy Road towards “The Ridges Inn’ when they reached number 36 Irene stopped. This is it she said and Dawn took a photo of the house and the surrounding gardens; well if you could call them gardens most were full of old chairs and rubbish. The privet was in dire need of cutting and the grass in the garden was about two feet high.’
Dawn followed Irene to the door and gave it a bang with her fist. There was no door knocker or bell.
After a couple of minutes the door opened and there stood a woman in her forties wearing a pair of slacks and a sleeveless top.
Dawn was behind Irene so she wasn’t seen until Irene stepped aside after saying; someone wants to meet you.’
Alice looked at the girl in front of her and her face turned white and she fainted. She fell into the passage and Irene shouted for Brian. He came running then saw his wife lying on the passage floor then looked out and saw the girl. Jesus it’s a ghost he said as his wife was now coming around after Irene had gone in and got a cup of water.
Who are you asked Brian?’
“I’m Dawn your granddaughter.’
“What do you want we have nothing here for you.’
“I want to know more about my real mother can I come in?’
“You better had or the whole neighbourhood will be out in a minute.’
Dawn clicked the camera unbeknown to both Brian and Alice as she walked into the house. She could hardly believe her eyes at the way people lived here.
There was dampness everywhere and very little in the way of furniture. Two chairs stood in the room and a small table at the window. There was a rug by the range and there was a kettle placed on top. There was also a set of shelves and a bucket of coal in the corner. Towels hung over the fireguard and above on the mantle piece a clock and two photos of Heather.
“May I she said as she picked up the photos and looked at her mother on of them must have been taken at school as she was wearing a smart dress. The other was much younger, about the same age as herself she though as she played in the garden.
Please tell me about my mother she asked Brian as he sat with his head down in the chair.’
Heather was a happy child he finally said; always smiling. No matter how bad it got rain, hail, or shine she smiled. She was a hard worker an aal.’
“I heard that she was very clever at school and could have gone on to grammar school.’
“Yes she was very clever alright.’
“Were you there when she died?’
“There was a long silence before her grand mother spoke very softly. “ Yes pet we were there. She was very weak after having you. Heather tried to hide here pregnancy from us you know.’
“It was the shame you see, said her grand father almost looking for an excuse.’
“The shame of what Granddad?’
“It was the shame of bringing a child into the world without a father to support her.’
“She was fifteen granddad, and so was he.’
“They should have known better then.’
“So when my mother died you left me in the hospital to be adopted.’
“You could have brought me home and brought me up.’ Why didn’t you?’