A Page Especially for Women
I couldn’t help feeling excited as I got on the train last Friday night. It’s rather good in a way to have two sets of family. I almost think of Sheila as one of the family now. She’s a few years younger than mum, I think, or maybe having young children just makes her seem young. She’s not at all sensible, like mum.
I’d been on the train quite a while before I realised there was a young bloke in the same carriage who kept looking at me. Even when I went along the corridor to the restaurant car he followed me, and I began to feel a bit nervous. Mum’s parting words, as always, were “Now don’t talk to any strangers...” By the time I finally reached my destination I was glad to get away from the train. When I saw him get out at the same station I nearly panicked, until I saw dad waiting, then I forgot all about him.
It was quite late and the two children were already in bed, but dad, Sheila and I sat up drinking coffee and talking until about midnight! Dad said he’d been promoted at work.
“And I’m pregnant again!” said Sheila triumphantly. I knew what mum would think, but I looked suitably impressed.
“Are the other two pleased?” I asked.
“Well, they don’t really understand. Petra seems a bit bored by the idea – she remembers Lucy as a baby, I think. And Lucy asks every morning if the baby’s arrived yet.”
“Will you have enough room?” I asked. They’re cramped for space as it is.
“Well, that’s it” said dad. “We’re going to move. Now that I’ve been promoted we can afford to. We should be able to get a much larger house now, maybe not quite so near town.”
Petra and Lucy were delighted to see me the next morning. They flung themselves upon me with kisses and hugs. Petra is five and Lucy nearly three.
“Take us to the park!” demanded Petra after breakfast. In the end we agreed that we should all go, and make a day of it.
We had a great time and towards the end of the afternoon, we went into the restaurant for some tea. I looked up and suddenly saw the bloke from the train standing by the door, looking at me. I could feel my stomach turn to ice, my natural reaction to fear. My face must have changed, because Sheila said: “Whatever’s up, love?”
“It’s him!” I blurted out, pointing.
“Who’s ‘him’? said Dad and Sheila, almost together, as they turned to look in the direction of my pointing finger. By that time the doorway was clear. They turned back and looked at me as though perhaps I’d had too much sun. “Who did you see?” said dad.
“There was this bloke, on the train. I thought he was following me. He got off at the same station.”
“Must have been a coincidence. I suppose he just lives near here,” said Sheila.
Now that I’d talked about it, it didn’t sound nearly so sinister, and I had to agree with her.
It’s when I stay with dad and Sheila for a few days that I get to realise what I’m missing. Mum and I are very happy on our own, but they are a family, and I only really get that family feeling when I’m with them.
We were all rather subdued when I went to get the train. They all came to see me off. We piled out of dad’s station wagon with a few minutes to spare.
“I expect I’ll be enormous when you see me again!” laughed Sheila.
I waved enthusiastically from the window, laughing at the way Lucy was jumping up and down in excitement, until finally the station was out of sight. I sighed and sat down in my seat by the window, opening one of the magazines dad had bought me before I’d got on the train.
I looked up idly, the way you do before you settle down to read, and let my eyes wander over the people in the carriage. And there, in the opposite corner, by the corridor door, was the bloke I’d travelled with on the way up. My heart gave a lurch, and as if he sensed my eyes on him he turned his head slowly and looked directly at me. What was I going to do?
To be continued when a copy of Mirabelle magazine dated 30 September 1972 turns up
Here is a dainty pair of braces for your doggy.
Work on a ribbed welt with two-ply. Cast on eight stitches working in B.3, H.7, Kt. to pawn’s fifth and mate in three purl. Rip out six on the third row, ending at back edge in 4. Pick up rep. val. at side to 7, going straight to 14 ins. Then take a half-gill of peptonised milk essence and pour it into a container leaving the armhole hollow, as shown in Fig. 6.
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