“Is that is all that you want?’
“No, I would like more but she is in love with someone else.’
“Are you in love with her?’
“Hopelessly I’m afraid.’
“Poor man, does she know.’
“I think so.’
“Why do you torture yourself?’
“Because,’ I would rather her be a friend than not see her at all.’
“I see so this way you still get to be close to her.’
“Yes.’ it’s silly I know but I live in hope that she will fall out of love with this man and then come to me.’
“You may never be able to replace the love that she has for this man Gerald.
“I could make her happy Ester.’
“You can never make a woman love you Gerald no matter how much you try; believe me I know.’
Gerald had drunk the last of his whiskey when Charles came into the room to inform Ester that dinner was now being served.
Thank you Charles we will be in presently.’
They both stood up and made their way to the dining room Ester asked Gerald to sit on her left as Muriel came down with Abigail.’
“Hello Gerry, nice to see you.’
Hello Muriel and how is Abigail?
“I’m fine Mr Sedgemore.’
“I see you’ve had your hair styled.’
“Yes, I just had it cut today.’
Muriel bought me a new modern dress and a pair of shoes to wear for the party on Sunday.’
“So you are going to Drayton Manor this Sunday.’
“Yes, aren’t you?’
“No unfortunately I haven’t been invited.’
“That’s a shame; what on earth are you going to do? it’s Christmas Eve.’
“Don’t worry about me I will be fine.’ There are other parties going on that I have been invited to but I think I shall just stay in and get quietly drunk.’
The soup arrived which was wild cream of mushroom Gerald took his napkin and placed it on his knee then added some pepper to the soup before eating it.
“I thought that you might be going home for the Christmas to spend time with your family and the man in your life.’
“No I plan to stay for at least another month; that’s if my aunt will put up with me.
“You are welcome to stay as long as you like Muriel.’
“Thank you Aunt.’
“Do you not visit your parents during the Christmas holidays Gerald?’
“Yes, they live in Oxford so I may drive down on Christmas Eve and surprise them.
“I should think that would be more sensible than just getting drunk don’t you.’
“Yes, but I do enjoy a single malt.’
The servants took away the plates and a nice roast was brought out.
“I do like beef said Gerald.’
“Would you care to do the honours Gerald asked Ester?’
“My Pleasure said Gerald as he stood up and carved several slices from the Joint. The plates were passed up as Gerald placed sliced meat on each plate then sat down. The