That time I came out of hospital on Christmas Eve with our firstborn Etty said and he'd gone and taken the Christmas money from my brother-in-law and said I had said he could have it but I hadn't and there we were just before Christmas with nothing and the brother-in-law said he couldn't have him at the house although me and the baby could stay of course but I couldn't leave him and so it was to his parents we went and his father didn't like the idea what with me bringing home a new baby and his son there being a black sheep of the family so to speak so it was Nellie my mother-in-law who managed to persuade her husband to take us in by saying they can't be out on the streets over Christmas besides it's your grandson we have here can't have him out or living in some place with strangers you know what they are like so we went there having the top two rooms of the house with Edward my brother-in-law on the floor below and it was better than nothing and Nellie was kind and put herself out but he didn't get on with his father and sometimes they wouldn't speak and I'd say to Nellie is Dad all right have I upset him? No Nellie said someone at work's gone and upset him I suspect silly old fool but she had a soft spot for her son although she knew he wasn't up to much as a husband and she'd lend him money when Dad wasn't about or she'd say to me here go get baby something and she'd give me a couple of quid although god knows where she got the money from and so there we were in the top rooms him working when he wanted or rowing because he didn't have the money or his father had had a go at him about something or other and I got my legs bad because I couldn't rest like I ought to have done and I’d be stuck there looking after the baby and then when the baby was sick my mum said you need to take him to the hospital him being sick like that all the time and so I did and they rushed him into the operation theatre with an obstruction in his intestines and I nearly lost him and I don't now what I would have done had he died on me and his father wasn't much help but Nellie was good she walked with me each day to the hospital after the operation to breast feed him and because they thought he might not make it my sister became his Godmother and two doctors became Godfathers and it was a bit of a rush and I thought if I lose him I’ll walk out on his father but he survived and so eventually I bought him home to the top rooms and still he rowed about this and that usually money being short or him having to wear clothes off the peg rather ones he liked made to measure in those top shops in the West End and some days when I managed to get work at the biscuit factory Nellie would have the baby and feed him and take him out in the old pram we were given or my mother would have him and people would say to her gosh ain't he like his great-grandfather look at that hair and those eyes and that nose and when I wasn't working I'd have the baby with me and then the rows would start about one thing or the other and sometimes he'd hit me one and his brother would come up the stairs to him or Dad or call up to him and Nellie said you don't want to take that sort of nonsense from him and she'd have a go at him and raise her fist to him and when she raised her fist then it was trouble because that's the kind of woman she was like that time she chased that gypsy woman up the road or that time the coal merchant tried to short change her and she used to tell me about her time as a dancer on the stage and I reckon she was quite a girl in her day and o she said that's how I caught Dad he was on leave from the War back from the trenches and he and some mates of his came to the theatre where I was and he was obsessed with me and asked me out and bought me flowers and chocolates and then after the War we married and he hasn't been happy since and Nellie would laugh and my sister-in-law Edna and I would laugh with her and Edna said she's a one she is I've never met one quite like her and when both Edna and I both worked Nellie had both Edna's son and mine and be happy as Larry as she would say but Dad wasn't like that some times he wouldn't talk at all not even to Edna and she'd say o dear someone's upset Dad but at other times he would talk and talk sensibly and would laugh in his own soft manner but never about crude things or delicate matters like Nellie did but when he came home from work and we were up in those top rooms he was mostly in a mood about the place and having his father downstairs and say things about me or how trampy I looked I could have done better he'd say or I don't really belong to this family I must have been pick up at the hospital by mistake I can't belong to this lot and I'd say keep your voice down or they'll hear you and he said I don't give a damn if they hear me or not and he didn't and Nellie would say to me the following morning I heard him last night if I did pick him up by mistake then I did some poor soul a favour and we'd laugh and I felt better again and then baby would cry and Nellie'd say here give him to me you go and have a lie down and so I did and dream of being elsewhere somewhere in the countryside with my baby and someone who loved me and maybe I thought hugging myself on the bed maybe I will and laughed to myself thinking funny what goes on in one's head.
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