“Would you like to come to my house after our tea it would save you going all the way home to North Shields then back again? Don’t worry we won’t be alone; my sister Ellen lives with me. Since my father and mother died the house was left to me but rather than see my sister on the street she lives with me. She takes care of me.’
“I don’t know what I would do without her really.’
Alright then I should like to meet your sister very much.’
“Don’t be surprised if she is a little protective of me; she is five years older than I am.
Once again Muriel poured the tea and the two of them engaged in conversation.
It was only when Muriel told Edward that she had to go and stay with her Aunt Ester that Edward became silent for a while.’
“Look Edward we can still write to each other; my aunt has no one else who can look after her.’
“It seems such a shame when I am just getting to know you.’
“It won’t be for long I’m sure.’ “She has pneumonia; and will be bed ridden for a few months.’
“I do like you Edward, and I shall miss you terribly.’
“Will you really he said; as he took her still gloved hand across the table. Muriel still wasn’t confident to remove the gloves because of the calloused skin on them from working on the fish quay and scrubbing paths. She hoped that in three months they would soften and that she would be able to take them off.
“What on earth am I going to do with my Saturday afternoons when you’re gone?
“Well you could visit Mr Stonehouse and collect a few books for me.’
“Yes, I will send you a book each week to read along with my letters.’
“That is so kind of you.’
“It is nothing; if it were not for my work I would drive down to see you.’
“Yes I think that wise; plus I don’t want to leave my Aunt with her being poorly.’
“Yes you’re right of course.’
“Three months isn’t long is it really.’
“No it will soon pass.’
After drinking their tea they were going to walk back to Tynemouth. It began to rain so Muriel put up the black umbrella that she had brought with her. Edward held it under them they came to a shelter near the stop where a tram would be able to take them back. There was no one in the shelter and the two of them were now very close to one another as the rain got heavier.
“Seems we got here just in time said Edward he looked down into her eyes for a moment then he kissed her lips. They felt so soft and inviting that Edward didn’t want it to end. Muriel’s heart was beating so fast she felt that it would surely burst.’ Edward broke away momentarily from her mouth and the two of them stood gasping for breath. He held her with one arm as the other was holding the umbrella. Muriel had both her arms around him she felt the firmness of his body next to hers and liked it.’
They kissed again and this time he kissed both her top and bottom lips with his. Her mouth was now fully opened to allow him to kiss her more passionately and she was swept away by it all until they heard the sound of the tram coming and they broke away from each other. Edward shook the brolly then helped Muriel up the steps of the tram. There were seats downstairs so Muriel sat down and Edward sat next to her. Muriel’s leg brushed his just for an instant and she felt the warmth from it. He took hold of her gloved hand for a moment before the conductor came around then he paid