This is the thirty-second part of a fiction serial, in 712 words.
Melanie got her degree, and a boyfriend too. Not another student, which Annie had once been worried about, but a police officer she met at a night out in Lincoln when she was home for the last summer holiday before graduation.
It must have been fate, Tony thought. Scott was another car nut, and drove a new model Golf GTI. But he also had an earlier version of the same car that he kept under a cover outside, with the intention of restoring it to new condition. Tony teased him about the popular hatchback. “It’s only for boy-racers, Scott. You will need a family car one day”. He was five years older than Mel, and had a two-bed flat in Washingborough, east of the city.
Deciding to return home to take her teaching certificate, Mel was surprised at how independent her mum had got. “You should have learned to drive mum, then you wouldn’t be relying on taxis and buses”. Annie just grinned. “One car nut in this family is enough, love”.
For Tony’s fiftieth birthday that year, Annie bought him a pair of spotlights to fix to the front of his old Consul Cortina. She was a little concerned as he opened the present. “I hope I got the right ones, love”. He held them up, smiling. “Perfect, love. I will put them on the car when I get home from work”.
Scott didn’t hang around, asking Mel to marry him after six months going out together. He bought her a nice ring, and they talked about a wedding for the following year, once she had qualified as a teacher. Annie talked to Tony about it in his workshop one night. “We are going to have to find a fair bit of money for the wedding, love. You must promise not to buy any other cars, you really must”. He stood up and tried to look serious, but started chuckling. “Okay, I will sell the GT, I know someone who wants it, and that will pay for half the wedding. Mel and Scott are going to have to sort out their own honeymoon though”. Annie walked over and hugged him.
Excited about getting a job, Melanie spoke to them one night over dinner. “I have had two offers, and one is from the school in Washingborough. It’s going to make sense for me to move into Scott’s place, as there will be no travelling. Then I can sell my Fiesta and put the money towards the wedding or honeymoon. Will that be okay with you two? And we thought there’s no need for a big white wedding. Me and Scott are happy with the registry office and maybe a nice meal in a hotel”. Annie looked over at Tony and nodded.
He turned to their daughter. “Whatever you want to do is alright with us, love. Scott seems like a great bloke, and you will save everyone a lot of money by having a small wedding. But I’m still going to sell the GT, and give you two the money to spend on whatever you want”.
Mel had something else to say. “What I would really like is for you to take me to the wedding in the green Cortina, and then drive us to the hotel after. I think it will make the perfect wedding car, and be something different we will always remember”. Tony couldn’t have been happier. “I will buy some white ribbons, love”.
Annie wasn’t the sort to nag her daughter about having a baby, but she made no secret of wanting grandchildren. Not long after their fifth anniversary, Mel and Scott arrived with the news that she was expecting the following year. Annie couldn’t stop crying, and Tony even washed his hands and came inside from the workshop to talk about the news. “So, I’ll be a grandfather in ninety-three, will I? That’s the same year as the Consul will be thirty years old. You’ll have to make sure the baby doesn’t arrive on the same day as the Car Show”.
He sounded like he was teasing, but Mel knew he was serious.
Baby Angela missed the car show, arriving two weeks after Tony won the Thirty Year badge for Best Saloon Car.