After Jimmy and Craig went out Muriel locked the doors and drew the curtains before filling up the galvanised bathtub. She added some soap flakes then undressed quickly before stepping into the tub then kneeling down. First she washed her hair then using a jug of warm water that she had placed by the side of the tub she rinsed it.
Muriel had already filled a stone bottle from Wilkinson Lemonade factory up with hot water and placed it inside of her bed to warm it up. She then stood up and used the soap on a sponge to wash herself before sitting down in the water with her legs poking out she looked down at them and checked to see if she had any hair growing on them. She was lucky; she had very little body hair at all. She only needed to shave under her arms every six months and she had very little on her sex. She lay for what seemed along time and could hear Edward’s voice saying you are beautiful and intelligent over and over.’ It seemed all Muriel could think about was the man she met today.
She stepped out of the bath then wrapped a towel around herself then slowly using a small pan emptied the water from the tub into the stone sink until the tub was empty. She looked at her hands where she had scrubbed them to get rid of the kipper dye. On Monday she would start wearing rubber gloves like all the other girls.
Muriel sat at her dresser and took out some writing paper and composed a letter to her Aunt Ester pleading with her to allow her to come and stay with her for a few months and to teach her how to talk correctly and teach her table manners so that when she returned she would be able to get a better job in an office.’
When she was finished writing she sealed the letter and then addressed it. Then she got into bed she moved the stone bottle to one side and then took the book from behind the pillow reading the inscription again before setting about reading several chapters.
Muriel was fascinated with how a girl with a broad cockney accent had been transformed and could impersonate a duchess.’
“Could she do it Muriel thought; could she transform herself into a lady; one that Edward would be proud to take home to his parents to meet. The thought of marriage never entered Muriel’s head.’
“She wondered if her Aunt had an old typewriter and hoped that if she did; she would teach her how to use it and also to do short hand which would be necessary to work in an office.’
She carried on reading until she heard the door then put on her night gown and went to answer the door. It was her Father and mother returning from the pub. She could smell the beer on his breath as he walked down the passage and into his bedroom.
Muriel could hear the sound of their lovemaking later that night as her room was the closest to hers. She couldn’t believe that men and women still made love in their fifties.
She closed the book and drifted off to sleep.
Tomorrow they would all go to the trinity church and give thanks to God.’
Both Robert and Annabella were religious people they had been brought up with the church and went every Sunday without fail. Even if either of them were ill they still forced themselves to visit the church.
Robert had given his children a choice; they could either go to church and be Christians like he and his wife or be pagans who would be forever damned and would go to hell.’
“All of his children chose the church.’