The Four Musketeers: Part Eighteen

This is the eighteenth part of a fiction serial, in 783 words.

So now there were three musketeers. Only two really, as Terry was a loose cannon.

He didn’t even come to the funeral, though Keith did, and brought Maddy too. He hinted at a possible engagement later that year, and I said they were made for each other.

Not sure he got the irony.

Baby Stephen Kevin Wellman was born by Caesarean Section in King’s College Hospital. He was four days over his due date, and Susan elected for surgery. He had my fair hair and blue eyes, but like most new-born babies, he mainly looked like a cross between a mole rat, and Winston Churchill.

Just as she had taken to being a wife, Susan was a natural mother. Brushing off the pain of the surgery, breast-feeding from the start, and totally in love with her screwed-up face bundle. Giving him Kevin as a second name after my dead brother was a delight for my parents, and as Stephen had been the name of Susan’s paternal grandfather, her parents were also on board.

Keith showed up once Susan came home, and brought inappropriately large toys for a baby. He suggested we go and speak to Jeannie Simpson. She hadn’t let Georgie back into her life, and was living alone in the family home. I said I would go round on my own that Saturday, so he left early to go and pay his respects. Outside, he mentioned about Terry.

“I heard they are moving further west, as his wife wanted a bigger house, and to have more children. I ring his mum occasionally, just to keep tabs on him”. I said nothing, just waved as he left in a taxi. It made me think about Alice though, so I put that from my mind as I went back inside.

My mum was great. She got two buses each way to come round on a couple of days a week and help out with the baby. Susan made a quick recovery, and liked to go out shopping in the car. Mum looking after little Stephen for a few hours made all the difference. And we almost always still went to their house for Sunday dinner. Though her parents never once invited us to their house, Susan kept them updated on the phone, and her mum even got a cab to visit us one time. Her first sight of our house. She only talked about Keith though, and his bride-to-be, Maddy. I didn’t know how Susan kept her temper.

Unfortunately, Susan’s natural aptitude for motherhood put ideas into her head.

“Why don’t we have another one, while Stephen is still young? He could have a lille brother or sister to grow up with, and they wouldn’t be too far apart in age. Of course, we would need a bigger house, and it might be an idea to change the car. But you are doing well at work, and money isn’t a problem”. I thought she was jumping the gun, and made sure to use protection once we started to have sex again.

But I had to agree she was right about a bigger house, and that I was doing well at work. Performance bonuses had increased my salary by thirty percent, and house prices in England had never been higher, especially in London. Small houses like ours were selling for over twice what we had paid for it such a short time ago. People were buying their council houses, including Susan’s mum and dad, but not mine. Houses closer to the centre of London were changing hands at prices that would have seemed incredible just five years earlier.

Eventually, I went round to see Jeannie Simpson. Not on that Saturday as promised to Keith, but some time later. She wrapped herself around me after closing the door, and sobbed uncontrollably. She had held it together at the funeral, but on our own, she broke down. Later, she told me that she had been in touch with Graham a lot, but he hadn’t come to the funeral because of Georgie. Years earlier, Graham had told his dad he liked men, and Georgie had beaten him so badly, he had left home the next morning.

We had a couple of cups of tea, and I sensed that a visit upstairs to the bedroom was inevitable. When she whispered that suggestion in my ear, I took her hand and led her up there. Cuddling me later, she seemed very sensible. “I don’t expect anything, Danny. But any time you get the chance to come and see me, I will be very grateful. I do love our short sessions”.

You had to give it to her. She understood the situation.

24 thoughts on “The Four Musketeers: Part Eighteen

  1. After Danny observed the baby, a cross between a mole rat and Winston Churchill, he commented, “We have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. (1) When Terry cries, he’s a loose cannon bawl.
    (2) As a bald man once said, “Losing my fair hair was unfair!”
    (3) Just when I thought that ship had sailed, Susan’s parents are on board!
    (4) Keith said, “I heard they are moving further west, as his wife wanted a bigger house, and to have more children.” This was later confirmed by the Midland Reporter-Telegram: “Terry Johnson, County Judge, welcomed Terry Wright and his wife to Midland County yesterday. The Wrights bought a small 1,850-acre ranch south of the city, just off of Texas State Highway 349.”
    (5) When visiting the Roman Forum, I asked to skip the Caesarean Section and go straight to the Brutus Section. My Italian guide gave me a look of disapproval, and said that I was backstabbing Caesar with such a request.
    (6) At first, Danny thought Susan was jumping the gun. But then he realized there were no guns in the house.
    (7) Incredible house prices? I don’t believe it!
    (8) Jeannie said that she liked her short sessions with Danny. “It’s not like, ‘Wham, bam, thank you, m’a’am!’ Well, okay, I guess it’s exactly like that. But I’m not complaining, am I?”

    Liked by 1 person

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