It’s time for the penultimate part of our Mother’s Day Round-Robin and it’s Kirsty Ferry’s turn today! Yesterday AnneMarie Brear left off with a shock phone call in the middle Mother’s Day lunch preparations. Where will Kirsty take us? As always, make sure you read right until the end for a competition.
To enjoy this story make sure you read the other parts first:
Part One by Margaret James HERE
Part Two by Jane Lovering HERE
Part Three by AnneMarie Brear HERE
PART FOUR BY KIRSTY FERRY
‘Your dad?’ I burst out. ‘What on earth does he want? He doesn’t make a habit of ringing you, does he?’ I frowned at Lucy, who ducked her head, embarrassed. I noticed that she hadn’t managed to answer the call though. Jack had only let it ring a couple of times and then hung up. I felt a renewed sense of rage on my daughter’s behalf. He couldn’t even give her thirty seconds to answer a phone call?
‘I did ask him to come and have a look at my car,’ muttered Lucy. ‘But I asked him if he could come here to look.’ She compressed her lips and looked for all the world like the petulant little girl she had once been. She flicked her gaze up at Mike and scowled. ‘I didn’t know he would be here, you see. I thought Dad could come and have a look and fix it and have lunch with us.’
‘Your dad won’t want lunch with us!’ I said, horrified. ‘He’ll be doing something with … her. And Luca.’
Lucy glared at me. ‘I don’t see why he should. Luca’s only little and gets spoiled all the time, and Megan is so far up her own backside that she thinks every day and every occasion revolves around her anyway. I’m important too. I’m his daughter. And you’re my mum. And we should be together.’ A big, fat teardrop welled up in Lucy’s eye and she blinked it away. ‘I should ring him back. He’ll be worried.’
I bit my lip, but my own mother vocalised what I wasn’t going to say: ‘He’ll not be worried at all. He’ll be jumping for joy that you didn’t answer because that’s his excuse, you see. “You didn’t answer”,’ she waved her gin around dangerously, ‘“so it’s not my fault.” Nothing was ever his fault. Nothing. Mark my words …’ My mother leaned towards Mike who blinked at so much old-lady-face filling his vision. He could, I suspected, smell her face-powder and hairspray as well as the Chanel No.5. ‘… he didn’t do a good job in the garden.’
‘Mother …’ I said weakly. Mother and gin were never a great combination.
‘Oh, shut up, all of you. I’m ringing Dad back,’ announced Lucy. She stomped into the hallway and huddled at the bottom of the staircase, stabbing the phone.
I closed the door gently and looked at Mike. ‘I’m so sorry. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Lucy doesn’t mean to be obnoxious.’
Mike grinned and filled my wine glass. ‘She’s fine. It’ll just take time. My son hated it when my ex-wife and I split up. He’s great now. He was only ten at the time. Good grief, thinking about it, it’s fifteen years since we broke up.’ Mike shook his head. ‘We’ve been divorced longer than we were married. Imagine.’
I did imagine. Three years or so down the line and it was only now I was starting to feel a bit less raw – and a huge part of that was due to Mike loving me and respecting me the way he did.
The door opened and I turned to see Lucy come in, looking rather pale and red-eyed. ‘He’s busy,’ she said, her voice a little wobbly, ‘but he said he hoped I got it sorted soon. Because it’s Luca’s birthday next weekend and Dad’s asked me to drive over to drop off his presents, because Dad hasn’t got time to come to my flat and collect them.’
My mother opened her eyes wide and her mouth wider, but I put a restraining hand on her shoulder and Mike zoomed in with more gin to distract her. I didn’t need her opinions of Jack and Megan right at this minute. I was too busy screaming inside, myself.
‘Once again, I am so sorry,’ I said to Mike, my voice more controlled than I felt. ‘I wish we’d just gone to the pub like you said. I wish everybody had just stayed away. I think I hate Mother’s Day. It always makes me feel like the worst Mother in the world You’re meant to protect your children and look after them. And not feel so useless. And I’ve been useless to my little girl since her bloody father walked out on us, straight into that woman’s bed.’
And now my own tears did bubble up to the surface. Because being a mum really was the hardest job imaginable.
Awww, poor Jenny. We really feel for her! Can her special lunch be salvaged? You’ll find out tomorrow when Morton S. Gray takes up the reins for what will be the final part of the story. It’s Mother’s Day too! We hope you’re all prepared
To be in with a chance of winning one of Kirsty’s books and some chocolate simply answer this question:
How long has it been since Mike separated from his ex-wife?
To enter, send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading ‘Round Robin Kirsty Ferry comp’ by Monday 27th March. The winner will be picked at random and announced on Tuesday 28th March.