Becky: Part Eight

This is the eighth part of a fiction serial, in 760 words.

When I finally managed to calm her down, I got to hear what was wrong. Her grandmother had died in the town where she came from, and she had been very close to her. It had been her ex-husband who had called to tell her, as he had got the number from her grandfather. I was a bit surprised at just how upset she was, to be honest. I had cried when all of my grandparents had died, but nothing like the display of grief I had just witnessed. I put it down to different culture or whatever, and suggested that she go up and wash her face while I made her something to drink.

As soon as she came down, she asked me to look online for flights to Lithuania, insisting that she had to go home. I told her it wouldn’t look good with her new job, but she didn’t care, and said she would take some urgent leave due to bereavement. She even started to send her work an email as I was looking at flights. I found a one-way flight from Luton Airport leaving the next afternoon, and she reserved that, paying online with her bank card. Then she asked if I would drive her to the airport, and of course I agreed. The curry was dumped, and I cleaned up the stuff that had leaked as best I could. Justina went upstairs to pack, refusing all offers of food, and I settled for six slices of toast instead of the anticipated Indian feast.

On the way to the airport, I tried to chat about her grandparents in a friendly way, and also asked about her parents. She had already told me her mum was dead, and had been divorced from her dad, who Jusitna had never really known. Apparently, her grandmother had more or less raised her, and the shock of her death had hit her hard. She wanted to get back to her town to help out her grandfather with the funeral, and make sure he was okay. I would like to have askd her a lot more, but she kept crying, so I left it.

In the short time we had been togther, I had deliberately avoided probing into her background. If it was going to work, I had to trust her. There had been some questions that day I took her to Neasden to collect her stuff. Like why wasn’t I allowed in, and why she hardly had any personal posessions. I hadn’t asked them at the time, so I wasn’t about to go backwards now. When we got to Luton, there seemed no point in parking, then hanging around until her flight left. So, I just dropped her outside the terminal, and she kissed me goodbye as she grabbed the holdall off the back seat. “Francis, thank you. I will phone you soon”. At least she hadn’t said “Justina will phone you”.

Then she went into the building, without looking back.

I didn’t hear anything later that night, and spent Sunday worrying that she was alright. That was a new experience for me, missing someone. I gave in at six that night, and sent her a text. Nothing heavy, just checking that she was okay. By the time I went to bed, there was no reply, and I didn’t get to sleep easily.

On the Monday, I phoned my mum, and told her the news. She said all the right things, then told me to leave Justina alone for a couple of days, to let her sort things out. Going home to the house to be on my own felt strange. How soon I had got used to walking in to the smell of food cooking, and a welcome hug and kiss. The place felt small and cold without her standing there, so I phoned up for a pizza delivery and sat checking my phone as I waited for it to arrive. I had eaten three of the four sections when a beep from the phone made me jump, and I grabbed it as if someone was tryng to steal it.

To say I was disappointed with the text was an understatement.
“Dear Francis. The journey was fine, funeral on Thursday. I am busy. Justina. xx”
Not what I had expected from someone I lived with, and claimed to be in love with me. Three beers later, I just rang her number. I knew I was going to get angry if I didn’t speak to her.

It went straight to answerphone.

33 thoughts on “Becky: Part Eight

  1. Oh, poor Francis. I feel for him. Glad you remembered to clean up the spilt curry. I’m very late getting to this as I was sitting reading in the sunshine in the garden all afternoon and out for a walk this evening. I thought about waiting until tomorrow and have the pleasure of reading two instalments in one day but I couldn’t resist.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. (1) “I found a one-way flight from Luton Airport leaving the next afternoon…” Big mistake, Frankie! A one-way flight? Once she’s in Lithuania, Justina will stay in Lithuania. She won’t be considered a flight risk.
    (2a) “I settled for six slices of toast instead of the anticipated Indian feast.” Oh, I don’t know. I think some Indians might consider six slices of toast a feast.
    (2b) It’s too bad the curry was dumped. Justina could have put the curry in a container and taken it on the plane to Lithuania. Airlines permit curry-on luggage.
    (3) “Apparently, her grandmother had more or less raised her…” If only Justina could have raised her mum from the dead. “I’ll raise you, if you raise me!”
    (4) “If it was going to work, I had to trust her.” Blind trust only works as a financial arrangement.
    (5) “At least she hadn’t said ‘Justina will phone you.’” Proof that she’s not herself today.
    (6a) “The place felt small and cold without her standing there…” This is a common complaint of divorced Eskimo men who live in an igloo.
    (6b) “I phoned up for a pizza delivery and sat checking my phone as I waited for it to arrive.” Eskimos who phone up for a pizza delivery have learned to expect a very long wait.
    (7) “The journey was fine, funeral on Thursday.” It was nice of Justina’s grandmother to send her this message from the afterlife. It can be tricky navigating that tunnel that leads to the light. It’s also comforting to know that her spirit will be attending the funeral.
    (8) “Three beers later, I just rang her number. I knew I was going to get angry if I didn’t speak to her.” In Becky:Part Nine, Frankie gets angry.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nine beers in, I rang her number and instantly began speaking in third-person. “Justina, Frankie has had way too much to drink. Do me a favor and put Justina back on the next flight home. If Justina doesn’t like curry, Frankie will whip up something else.” At which point, Frankie began singing, “You must whip it—whip it good!”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well she not going back, who will look after Grandad? He won’t follow, which is a shame as it would be the best thing he could do (speaking from experience, in totally different circumstances) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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