Life With Mabel: Part Twenty-Six

This is the twenty-sixth part of a fiction serial, in 812 words.

As she was drying herself in the bathroom, something occurred to Mabel. She had not been keeping up with the increase in house prices, but what Reg had said was the cost of the new house semed remarkably cheap to her. So she went downstairs in her dressing gown to speak to him about that.

He was eating a cheese and tomato sandwich sitting in his armchair, and reacted to Mabel’s question with a smile.

“Where’ve you been, Mabel love? Of course that’s not the total price. Houses are going up a lot, and that’s just the price for the building plot The finished bunglaow will double that, but our house is worth quite a bit too, and we can get a small mortgage for the difference, pay it off over fifteen years”. Mabel hadn’t been expecting to have a mortgage in her forties, but the idea of that new bungalow in the nice part of town really appealed to her.

“Okay, Reg. As long as the payments are reasonable, let’s do it. I will be coming to the solicitor to make sure my name goes on the deeds though”. Reg looked a bit hurt that she had said that, but he was so keen to improve his status in the town, he let that go. “I will see my builder friend at the golf club next week, get it all sorted. You can talk to Mr Walker and get our house on the market once we know the completion date of the build”.

While he was in such a good mood, Mabel added something.

“By the way, I have a nice new friend, Elsie Hughes. I met her at the cinema the other day, and we are going to be good friends, I’m sure. And before you complain, I can tell you she is not your sort of person. She works as a waitress, and has a son. But she’s not married”. Reg actually looked relieved. “That’s nice for you, Mabel love. You can get out and about a bit now, be good for you to have some company”.

The next few months were good ones for Mabel. She saw Elsie most Sundays, and they went to the cinema at least once a week too, whatever was showing. Her and Reg paid visits to the building site, and were able to choose the kitchen units, and the configuration of the bungalow to their own taste. Or Mabel’s taste at least, as Reg had little say in her decisions. They saved some money by having the garage attached to the house instead of being separate, and chose a wrap-around garden instead of a large one at the back.

She was getting used to the differences between Elsie and Winnie. There wasn’t the same affection, and never any mention of love, but the rest was far better, and more satisfying. People started to accept them as mature friends. The women at work asked Mabel what her and Elsie had done over the weekend, and she finally met Elsie’s mum and son. She couldn’t take to the boy though. He was spoiled rotten, and despite being in his late teens, he didn’t do any work.

Elsie made excuses for him, saying he had nervous problems, or his weight affected his ability to do certain jobs. Mabel could see through the lazy young man, but kept her opinions to herself. Reg met Elsie one day too, when she was invited round before the move to the new house. He seemed to be afraid of her, and made an excuse to go and see Derek about something.

Not long after, their house was sold, for much more than they had expected. The mortgage was going to be very small on the new bungalow, and easily affordable with Reg’s last pay rise. They got a moving date, and ordered some new furniture. Mabel was happy. A nice new home, a new lover, and everything going smoothly with Reg.

Then just before they were due to move, Mabel received bad news from London, and Reg received news he didn’t like.

Her dad had died, and the same week, her mum had a stroke. Reg got a wedding invitation as his mum was marrying her fancy man. Their world was turned upside down overnight, and they had to take time off to go to her dad’s funeral. With her mum unable to cope alone, they were going to have to put her into an old people’s home, or Mabel would have to take her in. Reg refused to attend his mum’s wedding, cutting off all ties with her. Mabel was sad, and not only because her dad had died. It was awful to see her mum in such a state. She couldn’t speak, couldn’t walk properly, and would need round the clock care.

Everything had been going so well too.

28 thoughts on “Life With Mabel: Part Twenty-Six

  1. Oh Mabel, that’s how life goes, and it’s very sad. Somehow I imagined Elsie’s son with severe disabilities. I guess that’s not the case. Why was Reg scared of her?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Terry is just spoiled, and lazy. He plays the benefit system to avoid having to work.
      Reg seemed to be scared of her because she is a strong and outspoken woman. He’s not used to that.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. (1) Reginald met his building friend at the golf club.
    Reg: “Let’s do this the fair way. I’ll give you some golfing tips if you can tell me how much this is going to cost.”
    Builder: “All I can do is give you a rough estimate.”
    (2) Overheard:
    Mabel: ““By the way, I have a nice new friend, Elsie Hughes. She’s stuck living with a bratty son. Is there anything you can do?”
    Reginald: “You say she’s stuck? Well then, I’ll give her a yank.”
    (3) Mabel is attached to Elsie. They’re truly inseparable. The garage is attached to the bungalow. They’re truly inseparable.
    (4) The boy is rotten to the core. But does Elsie consider him to be the apple of her eye?
    (5) There is more than one Derek in this world. I wonder if Reginald is seeing Bo Derek? Instead of shouting “Fore!” he may be whispering “Ten!”
    (6) “Their world was turned upside down overnight.” That’s more serious than a simple geomagnetic reversal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The reality of life has reared its head and Mabels and Reg’s perfect little world has been disrupted I wonder whether mum will move in or be put in a home either way there will be changes ahead ..Tweeted for you , Pete xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s the kind of thing that happens to people in middle age. The dilemma of aging parents and the balance between your needs and theirs, plus a few other complications thrown in. It’s middle age STRESS. Mabel will cope but will she be deliriously happy? Is anyone, ever? That boy though, ugg.

    Liked by 2 people

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