A Good Runner: Part Fifteen

This is the fifteenth part of a fiction serial, in 717 words.

As he had never been to anyone’s house for dinner, Trevor settled for overkill. He bought a bottle of Liebfraumilch, even though he couldn’t stand the stuff. Then a large bunch of roses, believing you should always take flowers to the house of a lady. As if that wasn’t enough, he added a jumbo sized box of Milk Tray chocolates, and two bags of Jelly Babies for young Amy. The modern two-bedroom house was neat and impressive, as well as being in a nice part of town. He wondered how Stella could afford it, but knew better than to ask her.

Stella seemed to be impressed with what he turned up with, even though she didn’t miss the chance to pretend to be exasperated with him. “Oh Trev, this is too much, it’s just a normal dinner at home”. Little Amy was shy at first, but soon warmed to the good-looking, polite young man who asked her lots of questions about school, pop music, and things she liked to do. The meal of pork chops and vegetables was nothing special, but he enjoyed it just the same. After dinner, Amy went up to bed, and when Stella came down she made coffee. She hadn’t bothered to open the wine when Trevor had said he didn’t want any. “I’ll save it for another time, if that’s okay, Trev”.

By ten o’clock he was feeling awkward, and checked his watch more times than he should have. He had never been much of a ladies man, and Shirley had made all the running when he first met her at the roadside cafe. Unsure how to behave, he eventually stood up. “Thanks for a lovely meal, Stella. It was so nice to meet Amy too, she’s a lovely girl”. Stella grinned. “Sit down, Trev. You don’t have to go yet, and I have some things to say to you”.

He did as she said.

“Trev, I really like you, but we will have to take things slowly because of Amy. I don’t want her getting attached to you if you are only looking for a fling. I’m sure you are wondering about the house, so I will tell you. We bought it when we got married, and when Danny was killed in the accident, the insurance paid off the mortgage and left me with a bit over for later. I’m not looking to get married again, not yet anyay, but I also don’t want to get involved in any pointless relationships or one-night stands. Is that alright with you?”

Trevor told her about Shirley running off with a salesman, and he was honest about his lack of experience with women. Stella patted the sofa she was sitting on. “Why don’t you come over here and kiss me, Trev? Just kissing though, no more. Not yet”.

Driving home just before eleven, Trevor was grinning from ear to ear. Stella was perfect for him, he could feel it in his bones.

Real dates followed, with Stella paying for a babysitter so that they could go to the cinema, or for a nice meal out in Oxford. Sometimes, they settled for a drink in a pub in Witney, followed by fish and chips eaten in the car. Neither had spoken about love, and their romance had never gone past kissing. Then one Saturday night as Trevor stopped the car outside her house, Stella turned to him. “Would you like to stay over tonight, Trev?” He felt awkward, but nodded. “What about Amy though?” Stella grinned. “You idiot, don’t you know Amy loves you? Not as much as I love you of course, but enough”.

He kissed her there and then in the car. With the most passion he had ever put into a kiss.

That Sunday morning, Amy was awake early. She ran into her mum’s bedroom and leapt onto the bed. Trevor woke up wondering what she would make of him being there, but she acted as if everything was completly normal. As Stella woke up and smiled at her daughter, Amy had a question. “Is Trevor my daddy now?” Stella didn’t answer, instead she turned to hear what he would say. Lifting the girl up above his head, Trevor laughed as he spoke.

“Not yet, Amy. But soon, I promise you”.

43 thoughts on “A Good Runner: Part Fifteen

  1. (1) I don’t think Stella is quite over Danny. In the morning, she began singing to the sky:
    ♬ But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow,
    ♬ Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow,
    ♬ It’s I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow,
    ♬ Oh, Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so!
    (2) Trevor took a “large bunch of roses, believing you should always take flowers to the house of a lady.” Coincidentally, Stella had earlier taken a large bunch of roses, believing you should always take flowers to the grave of your dead husband.
    (3) Trevor brought along “two bags of Jelly Babies for young Amy.” I thought Jelly Babies were the newborn kittens of Jellicle Cats. No?
    (4) Liebfrauenmilch is wine produced from the vineyards in the Rhineland-Palatinate city of worms. The worms are known to burrow into nearly all the grapes before they’re processed. Nobody wants to drink wine with tiny worm pieces in it. So I’m not surprised that Trevor can’t stand the stuff!
    (5) “Shirley had made all the running when he first met her at the roadside cafe.” That’s what efficient waitresses do. Customers just sit and wait at the table.
    (6) Bad citation: “Trevor was grinning from ear to ear. Stella was perfect for him, he could feel it in his bones⁠—specifically, the hammer, the anvil, and the stirrup in each ear.”
    (7) Overheard:
    Stella: “Would you like to stay over tonight, Trev?”
    Trevor: “What about Amy though?”
    Stella: “Don’t worry. I told her to put the voodoo doll away for the night.”
    (8) Overheard:
    Amy: “Is Trevor my daddy now?”
    Stella: “Not yet, Amy. Right now he’s just your birthing person’s significant other.”

    Liked by 2 people

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