The Jolly Boys

Shirley Stephenson is a bored housewife who never stops day in day out, its the same humdrum existence. Bob her husband is a lazy good for nothing. who lost his leg in an industrial accident and is claiming benefit fraudulently. he keeps her short and moans because she goes to the bingo. Shirley finds the courage to file for a divorce and free herself. her life is suddenly transformed after she finds all of the compensation that Bob has been hiding from her. she orders a taxi she takes £30.000 and takes a box with some things that her gran had left her.

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11. 11

"Don't be daft, you would have shared with me.'

"Well thank you, now we can definitely have a good drink tonight.'

"So, we are going?'

"Whey aye, let’s have some fun for a change.'

"Alright I’ll go with you. I can get a taxi if you click with the bus driver.'

"Hey you never know, you might like his mate.'

When the first half was over Joyce got change at the bar then came over with a lager and lime and then gave Shirley twenty- five pounds.

"Let’s see if we can double that in the second half aye.'

"Shirley put the money Joyce had given her into her purse and then asked what she thought of Gary the bus driver.

"Well he's slim and he's good looking.' he's got all of his hair.'

Aye,' unlike Bob, he's went bald very quick over the last few years.'

"It may have been the shock of losing his leg in that accident.'

"I remember when it used to come down to his shoulders and he had a waist like a girl and a tight bum an aal. We used to go to all the concerts at the City Hall every week. God I’ve seen some bands on there you know.'

"I saw AC/DC and Rod Stewart, and Pink Floyd. I really enjoyed going to those concerts.'

"I like Spandau Ballet, that Martin Kemp does it for me.'

"Tony Hadley isn't bad either they laughed.'

"Stop it you're getting me all hot and bothered just thinking about them.'

"I tell you what I’d give for a night with either of them two.'

"I bet you could lose yourself and forget the world.'

"I wouldn't get out of bed for a week if they were in it.

"What both of them, you mucky mare.'

"Wouldn't you, given half a chance.'

"Oh, aye no mistake said Shirley as she drank some of her lager and lime and smacked her lips.

"Oh, hell here he comes, the Bruce Forsyth of the bingo hall. Get your flyer ready.'

The girls quickly arranged the tickets on their bingo boards and waited for Alan to announce the game.

He went on to tell everyone about the new game which was to be introduced the following week where they could be entered to win a cruise worth £10.000 pounds if they won. All winners over a month would then play a game to see who would win the cruise tickets.

"Now that's something I would like to win said Shirley.'

"Me as well, just think lying on the deck on a sun lounger in the Med with our bikini's on and all those lovely men on board.'

The fantasy was ended when Alan called the first number.

 

"When the session ended the girls picked up their handbags and headed for the exit they squeezed past the crowds as they made their way outside. They turned right and walked towards Chadwick’s.

"Aren't you nervous said Joyce as they approached the bar.'

"Aye it feels like when I was a school kid going on my first date.' I was meeting Ray Watts who was in my class at school he was sixteen and I was fifteen and we met in the Coach and Horses for a drink before going to Casey's Disco.'

"Eeh Casey's, I remember going there with Paul Stonebanks.'

Shirley opened the door to Chadwick’s and went inside with her friend.  They looked around then saw Gary with another young lad.

Look at his mate, you lucky bugger he's gorgeous.'

Gary stood up and walked towards Shirley then asked what they were drinking.

"I'll have a vodka and coke if you don’t mind.'

"What about you Joyce.'

"Just a lager and lime for me thank you.'

Why don't you girls take a seat next to my mate Ritchie Smith. I'll bring the drinks over.'

Shirley and Joyce went over and Ritchie introduced himself.

Hi Ritchie said Shirley, this is my best friend Joyce Marti.'

Hi Joyce said Ritchie who had a nice smile and light blue eyes his hair was well groomed in a eighties mullet which Joyce liked.

"Gary said that you just met.'

Yes, said Shirley pulling the engagement and wedding rings off her finger under her handbag from under the table. She opened her purse and stuffed the rings inside. Then placed the bag alongside her.

Gary returned from the bar and asked if they'd been introduced before sitting closely to Shirley and handing her the drink she asked for.

"Well then Shirley did you get lucky tonight.'

"I don't know I’ll tell you later said Shirley laughing.'

"I won said Joyce; it was fifty pounds; I shared with Shirley. we always share if we win.'

Do you go to the bingo quite often then?

"Well at least two nights a week if we can afford it.'

"So, is this your local then Gary asked Shirley?'

"No actually, Ritchie and I live in Shiremoor. We both have a bungalow in Bywell Grove.'

"Is it your own or rented?'

"It’s our own.'

 "Driving a bus must be a canny living, then is it?'

"No actually the pay is not great but it keeps me afloat, I was able to buy the house with the inheritance my Gran left me.'

"I have a mortgage said Ritchie.' 

I was pensioned off from the parachute regiment in Aldershot after I tore the ligaments in my left knee at Goose Green during the Falklands War said Gary. They offered me a desk job but I refused.'

How many years did you serve?

"I joined when I was eighteen, I’m thirty-two now.' I did four tours of Ireland.'

"Do you miss it.'

"Army life yes,' I miss the comradery with the rest of the men whom I served with.'

"What rank were you?'

"I was a Staff Sergeant.'

"So, have you got medals?'

"Yes.'

"Did you kill anyone asked Joyce.'

"I'd rather not talk about that if you don't mind, it is something I'm not proud of.'

"I see.'

"Excuse me a moment will you.'

When he'd gone to the toilet Ritchie told them that Gary had received a bravery award for saving the lives of twenty men when he single handily took on enemy fire. "They were pinned down by heavy machine gun fire at Goose Green. Many men were killed, including Colonel H. Jones VC.'

Left with no choice, Gary ran at the machine gun nest using a L85A2 rifle and grenades; he killed all that were there.' That's how he did his knee running in the boggy ground.

"Bloody hell, Gary's a war hero.'

"Don't let him hear you say that because in his eyes they were all hero's, he lost some good friends during the conflict.'

"The poor man, no wonder he doesn't want to talk about it.'

"How do you know Gary then asked Joyce,'

"We were in school together. His accent has changed somewhat with being amongst the lads from all over the country but Gary is still the same as I remember him. He is dependable and very loyal to his friends.'

"I will go to the bar before he gets back, same, again is it?'

"Yes, thanks Ritchie.'

"When Ritchie had left to go to the bar Shirley looked at Joyce. "Wow I’m completely blown away by that story. You wouldn't think that he'd been through so, much would you?'

"No, never, whoops stand by your beds here he comes, oh he's gone to help Ritchie.'

"So, do you like Ritchie then or what?'

"He seems nice enough.'

"Nice enough to jump into bed with?'

"Christ Shirley, we only met an hour ago and you’re talking about me hopping into bed with him.'

"Like I said there's no harm in a bit of fun is there.'

"Are you going back to his bungalow?'

"I might if he asks me.'

The lads returned and Gary said I hope your ears aren't burning because we've been talking about you both.'

"Oh aye, and what do you think.'

"I think we should order a taxi after this and have a drink at my place.' what do you say Shirley?'

"Sounds good to me.'

"What about you Joyce?'

"I don't know, I mean we hardly know each other.'

"What would you like to know?'

"Are you both married.'

"To answer your question, no, both Gary and I are free and single.'

“So, have you ever been married.'

"Yes, I was said Ritchie, big mistake; I got married too young. I was nineteen she was eighteen. We were hopelessly in love and decided to marry after just three months together. "Then it all started falling apart. She turned into this woman who I didn't know.' Luckily for me that there were no children involved. We divorced when I was twenty and I’ve been single ever since.' "What about you two?'

"I've never been married said Joyce.'

"Are you in a relationship now?'

"Well sort of it's complicated; he works away all the time and we only see each other for a few days when he's home.'

"Are you happy with that?'

"No,' I’m not.'

"I see, so would you consider going out with me then?'

 "I might, yes.'

"What about you Shirley?'

"I'm with someone and have one son and a daughter, but i'm seeking a divorce.' My relationship is going nowhere and I feel as if I’m trapped.'

"Are you still living with him asked Gary?'

"Yes, at the moment.' does that bother you Gary.'

"When do you plan to divorce him.'

"I saw a solicitor just this Wednesday and the papers will be sent out to him next week.

"Does he know that you are divorcing him?'

"No, I am going to tell him tomorrow.'

"The sooner the better I would advise.'

"I cannot tell him tonight because he's working.'

"Were you going to wait until the letter drops on the mat before telling him.'

"No,' look this might not be a good idea after all. why don't you let me buy you both a drink then we can just go our separate ways? There's no harm done.'

"I'm sorry Shirley, I didn't mean it like that. Please stay, I like you a lot.'

"The same goes here Joyce, you can walk away if you want to and no one gets hurt.'

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