The girl next door

Maxie Forster is a binman who carries out ashes from the coal fires of North Shields the holes in his leather soled boots are letting in water from the rain and he cannot afford to go and take the boots to the cobbler shop in Billy Mill. He tries repairing them with some old lino and cuts the shape out with a stanley knife and glues them with some evo stick then places cardboard in the insides. Looking over the road on his round he spots a family being evicted by the bailiffs - the wagon is loaded with furniture and the woman and her five children stand in the rain as the barrow with everything she owns is pushed down the street.


32. 32

“You have great vision Annabella this is certainly something that I can work on.’

“Are you going to ask me to dance then Russell?’

Yes, of course he pulled out her seat and she strode onto the dance floor like a stalking leopard. Everyman in the room turned to look as they danced around the room.

Russell was an excellent dancer, having been taught by his mother as a child. They liked to play music on the radio gram.’

He swung her around in a pirouette then gently held her as she leaned back. He lifted her with ease and then set her down again.

“You dance very well said Annabella, as she returned to her seat.’

“Thank you; all those times I danced with my mother finally paid off.’

“You know a fair bit about me but I know nothing about you and your family Annabella would you care to enlighten me?’

There’s nothing to tell really my parents came up here five years ago when we lived in Oxford. My brother Gordon died tragically.’

“I’m sorry to hear that.’

“He took his own life because of his sexuality; I was the only one who knew that my brother was a homosexual. He met someone at Oxford University and was in love with him. When they graduated this man went into politics and became a Member of Parliament. It was when he became a high ranking Cabinet Minister that he ended the relationship with Gordon and he was devastated. He was found in a hotel room after taking an overdose of sleeping pills. Mother and father still do not know to this day why he took his own life. They just thought he was depressed. “Your secret is safe with me Annabella.’

“Thank you I would appreciate it if it stayed that way.’

“Was this why you left Oxford?’

“Yes, mother couldn’t bear to live there anymore and we moved here.’

“How are you dealing with your brother’s loss?’

“I don’t think I will ever get over it Russell, he was such a kind, gentle, and loving person and we shared some happy times together when mother and father took us on holiday to the Norfolk Broads where we spent two weeks every year on board a canal barge.’ Those are the times I like to remember about Gordon.’

My mother lost two children in childbirth but my sister Jacqueline who is nearly nineteen now is very close to me.’ “Do you plan to go on holiday this year?’

“Father wants to visit France with the Mayor to visit the war graves in Normandy. He and my mother will be going on November 11th which is Remembrance Day.’

They will be flying over and staying for a few days.’

“You won’t be going then?’

“No, I cannot get the time off work.’

“I’m glad really as I would miss you if you went away.’

“Would you?’

“Yes, I like you very much Annabella. I hope that we can see one another again.’

“I don’t know if I am ready for a relationship Russell; so please be patient with me won’t you.’

“We have all the time in the world.’ Come I will take you home, its getting late and tomorrow I am house hunting with Mrs Belsham.’

“Is the old lady moving?’

“Oh no, it’s for me.’

“I see, do you plan to live locally?’

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