Paula stopped off at a clothes shop and bought herself two blouses, a new bra, and a pack of five pair’s knickers. Then she went to boots and bought a hair brush, some make up and a tooth brush. She hadn’t even spent twenty pounds.
Dougie met her coming out of Boots the chemists and asked if she had everything. “Yes, here’s your change.’
“You haven’t spent much.’ Can we do a bit of shopping whilst we have the car? Yes of course.’ They went to the coop then the butcher shop and then the bakers. They also went to the barrow beside Woolworths and bought vegetables. They bought a bag of biscuits from Woolworths.
“Doug buy the broken ones they are cheaper said Paula.’
He bought her some sweets from the Pick’n’mix then came out Paula had parked the car up the street and they walked up to it.
“Right we need to go to Basek’s house now.’
“I need to get petrol Doug I’m running low.’
“Okay we can get that on the fish quay after we’ve been to Basek’s.’
“I won’t go in if you don’t mind said Paula I will just get upset again.’
“I’m sure that he will understand.’
“Where does he live?’
They drove along to the house and Dougie spotted the truck parked outside.
Cezar and the others were all sitting at a table outside playing dominoes.
“Good morning sir they all said and stood up and shook their boss by the hand.
“Look I cannot stay Paula is in the car, I guess Basek has told you about her mother.’
“Yes my friend it is a very sad day for her. Please tell her that she is in our prayers.’
“I will and thank you.’
Dougie gave them all their wages in the sealed packets with their names on then said goodbye. “We won’t be fishing again until after the funeral so spend wisely.’
“We understand; goodbye my friend.’
Paula was close to tears again when Dougie told her what they had said.’
She drove to the petrol station and Doug filled up the tank so it was full he paid the petrol attendant who checked the oil and the tyre pressure. He placed a pump over each adding a few pounds in each. “She will run more smoothly now Miss said the man.’
“Thank you said Paula then drove back to Dougie’s house. She helped carry the shopping in then set to work making the dinner. Dougie wanted to do it but she insisted that she needed to keep busy.’
She made a steak and kidney pudding with some fresh vegetables. They sat together in the scullery eating. Paula was still very quiet Dougie didn’t force conversation with her but asked her if she would like to go out somewhere.
No not really, “Is it okay to stay with you until after the funeral.
“I will ring the university for you and inform them if you like.’
“Would you do that for me thanks I don’t fancy speaking to anyone for the time being?’
I would like to go down to the Dock Hotel today at some point. You could come with me to help tidy the place up because after the funeral I would like all her friends to meet there afterwards. We can open the place for one last time and have the wake there.
“Yes, of course I can come with you.’ I would ring the station to ask if they are finished with their investigation first.’