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.


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He picked up the telephone and rang Sylvia Belsham and told her the news.’


“Do you want me to try and stop her from going?’

“No Mrs Belsham, let her go; I cannot make her stay even though she knows that I love her.’ It’s very complicated Mrs Belsham she has told me things in confidence; I cannot tell you the reasons why she needs to get away.’

“Well it must be something pretty bad if she is leaving the country for so long.’

“Yes, it is.’ that is all I can tell you.’

“Well if you need to talk Russell I’m only on the end of a telephone line.’

“Thank you Mrs Belsham; I appreciate that.’

“Take care of yourself Russell.’

“I will; good night.’

“Good night my dear.’

Russell hung up the phone; he felt no better than he did before. His world had come crashing down on him and he wondered what he was going to do now that Annabella would be no longer around.

Russell didn’t sleep at all that night; he was torn between going to the airport to stop her leaving and going with her.’

He did neither; it was now six o’clock in the morning and her flight was at six thirty. Annabella Michaels would be gone by the time he reached the airport.’

He hoped against hope that she would have changed her mind and come back to him but by ten o’clock there were no calls forth coming.’

Russell got into his car and drove to his office he decided to throw himself into this project. This was the only way that he could deal with Annabella’s absence.’



 Going to the toilet as she always did each morning Shirley got the fright of her life as she looked down into the toilet bowl before flushing. The water was scarlet and it wasn’t a period she was having. They had stopped some years ago. She had gone through the hot flushes and night sweats so it wasn’t the change of life.’ She picked up the telephone and made an appointment to see Doctor McAlister down at the surgery on Railway Terrace in North Shields. She tried not to panic but her heart was going fifty to the dozen as she explained to the receptionist that it was urgent.

“Can you get here in the next hour Mrs Forster?’

“Yes; I will get my coat on now.’

“Shirley fixed her hair and quickly powdered her face and added some red lipstick then hurried out to get the bus. Standing at the bus stop she felt uneasy as the pad she was wearing felt wet.’

She had a spare pad and clean underwear in her bag and hoped that she wouldn’t embarrass herself on the bus.’

She got on board then paid her fare and sat down hoping that she would not stain her dress or even worse her coat.

The bus seemed to take forever to get to Northumberland Square she hurried to the Surgery then went straight into the ladies where she changed herself. Her soiled underwear was slipped into a plastic bag and the blood stained towel placed in a receptacle in the washroom.

The receptionist told her to go straight in as the doctor was waiting.’ She knocked on the door and there was a shout of “Come in from within.’

She opened the door and walked to the seat and sat down. “Now Mrs Forster said the Scot’s doctor what seems to be the problem.’

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