Well this is a new page in my blogging experience. It is a space where I shall share some poetry and other writings that inspire me. There maybe a photograph or two which has inspired the particular piece of writing/poem. So I hope you enjoy this space. Constructive criticism is accepted.
To begin with: An excerpt from my novel “The Italian Man” (copywrite exists on this title) – which is still a work in progress.*-
Mrs Susan Mason 2013
Susan Mason has asserted her right to be identified as the author of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
This novel is a work of fiction. Names and Characters are the products of the author’s imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.
” Saturday evening and Melanie was getting ready for Suzanne’s leaving dinner when Frankie said they needed to talk. “Can it wait until tomorrow, and then you can have my undivided attention,” Melanie responded and kissed him on the back of the head. Grabbing Melanie’s hand, kissing it “of course,” Frankie said “shall we go.” “I’ll just grab my purse, do I look okay?”
“Just fine”, responded Frankie.
Melanie sensed a foreboding but resolved to ignore it until tomorrow. Tonight was Suzanne’s night.
Paying the cab driver, Melanie and Frankie entered the restaurant; saw Suzanne and her fiancé Richard already seated at a table with Beth. After greeting everyone, the arrival of Jessica signalled cocktails and beers to be ordered. The meal passed with talk of Suzanne and Richard’s move, amid promises of invites to visit.
Richard and Frankie had left the girls at the table and took up stools at the bar.
“Are you back for long?” quizzed Richard
“Actually, I have a three month extended leave as I covered someone’s shift last year. We are allowed to accumulate three shifts and then have to take leave.” Frankie explained.
“Well that should give you and Melanie plenty of time together now she has been made redundant.” Richard said, before regretting it as he saw the look of bewilderment on his face. “When did that happen?” asked Frankie.
Both men turned to the girls and Melanie caught a strange look in Frankie’s eyes.
“I wonder what they are discussing”, Melanie pondered aloud. “Oh typical man’s objectives I suppose,” Suzanne slurred slightly and not with much interest. “Have you told Frankie your news yet?” Beth asked. “No – I was waiting until tomorrow”, Melanie said. At that moment the men re-joined the girls at the table. “Shall we go on to a club,” Suzanne suggested. “No – I’m a little tired,” Melanie started to say when Frankie interjected “why not we don’t have any reason to be getting up early tomorrow – or the next day – or the next for that matter!” Melanie shot him an angry glance but managed to smile sweetly and said “yes but we have a lot of catching up to do.”
Suzanne sensed a sudden friction between the two despite being slightly drunk she said “well, I suppose we shouldn’t be too late as last minute things to pack”, “Waiter may we have the bill”, Richard asked.
Outside the restaurant, the air had got chilly. “Care to share a lift home,” Melanie enquired of Beth,” “Yes, that’s if it is ok with both of you.” “Of course,” said Frankie politely. As they neared Beth’s home, “I shall miss Suzanne and Richard”, stated Beth suddenly “promise me you two will not do a moonlight flit.”
“Not on the foreseeable horizon” Frankie said and laughed but Melanie sensed the tension in his remark. Goodbyes said Frankie drove on in silence.
As they undressed Frankie suddenly said sharply, “when were you going to let me in on your redundancy?” “You make it sound like a secret!” Melanie exclaimed “it happens in economic times like this.” “I was going to talk with you tomorrow, when we had time together,” she finished slipping into bed.
Frankie seemed agitated and standing half undressed questioned “and how are we going to afford this place? Do you have another job lined up? What about the bills?” “What’s wrong Frankie?” Melanie asked with a worried frown “we’re okay – why are you annoyed and getting upset?” “Let’s sleep and we can talk tomorrow”, she said pulling him gently onto the bed. “You’re tired!”
He removed himself and stated that he was going to have a nightcap, turned the bedroom light off and sat in the lounge. Melanie was tired so she drifted off to a troubled sleep and awaking at 3:00am realised that Frankie hadn’t come to bed, wandered into the lounge. Expecting to find Frankie crashed on the sofa and alarmed when he wasn’t there she flicked the light switch on. Wandering into the kitchen she found a note clipped by a magnet to the fridge.
My love, I’m sorry for my bad behaviour last night, you certainly do not deserve that and I’m not sure you deserve the following. I will be frank and honest with you. In my opinion (which I’m sure will not count for much), we have been flogging a dead horse for some time, therefore I have made the decision to leave our partnership. I’m sorry to have hurt you or destroy any feelings you still had for me. I know you will not believe me but I still care for you and could not bear for our relationship to become bitter.
My sincere apologies
Melanie read the note at least three times’, she had sunk to the floor in disbelief. Though it was still early she rose and searched for her mobile, Beth was the first name on her list and that is who she called.
“Hello, Beth speaking”
“Beth, its Melanie – I’m sorry to wake you”, sobbing hysterically.
”Melanie, what on earth is wrong? Come on – calm down”, Beth said in a placating voice. “Slow down – Frankie has left you! I’ll come over.”
“No – I’m fine.” Melanie sobbed. “You’ve got college to attend.”
“I’m coming over. Put the kettle on”
Twenty minutes later Beth knocked at Melanie’s door, loaded with ice-cream and chocolate. Melanie managed a smile as she stepped back to let her in.
Melanie made the tea, and then showed Beth the note. Beth’s face was astonishment and then deep concern as she saw Melanie’s face crumble. Gathering Melanie in her arms she let her cry it out and listened while Melanie explained the former conversation she had with Frankie and how she was going to tell him of future plans but never had the chance.
After a while probably more from exhaustion than desire, Melanie fell asleep in Beth’s arms. Manoeuvring herself to a more comfortable position Beth made a call to her college lecturer and then made another tea.”
What would we do without a cup of tea? Well, I hope that raised some emotion in you, my reader. Let me know? and now for some more further on in the novel ….
Melanie was in shock – her conversation with Poppy had not been good and she felt that she hadn’t been supportive enough. Packing her bag ready to visit became the focus. Suddenly she remembered Vincent and the cinema – she would have to blow him out again. Leaving a message on Vincent’s mobile she hurried to the train station.
Arriving at Poppy’s house she felt anxious. Poppy greeted her warmly – her smile hiding the anxiousness she felt Melanie enveloped her sister in a warm embrace. “It’s been too long”, said Poppy. “You’re developing well”, replied Melanie, “I suppose any partying is tame now,” joked Melanie and she was pleased to see Poppy smile. “Tea or coffee,” asked Poppy after Melanie had deposited her luggage in the spare room. “Tea – please.” “Any Jammie dodgers or are they banned as well?” Melanie teased. “Biscuit jar by the fridge,” responded Poppy.
Over tea Melanie quizzed Poppy about their previous conversation and whether Mitchell had revealed more. Poppy started to sob. “He’s leaving me – he’s found someone else and that’s all there is to it. I’m going to be a single mum and I don’t know how I’m going to manage,” sobbed Poppy.
“Are you sure – he’s not just over reacting to the baby news,” asked Melanie gently stroking Poppy’s back.
“No, he was quite certain about everything – it’s me who’s been blind for at least the past six months. This (pointing at growing bulge) is an accident no less. Seems he only had sex with me to cover his tracks. “His words exactly – no sparing my feelings,” Poppy stated matter of fact between gritted teeth. “I HATE HIM”.
Melanie was lost for words – she knew that she should support Poppy and duely hate Mitchell but found this hard. Mitchell had always been nice and kind, quite attentive when he found out what had happened recently. Maybe that was it – he was flirting with her – his wife’s sister.
“What shall I do Melly?” asked Poppy plaintively. “Should I have this baby – it has crossed my mind to abort it but I can’t so that leaves adoption or keeping it.” Poppy was rabbiting on. “Melly I’m scared!”
“Oh Poppy there’s nothing to be scared about – you’ve got me.”
Poppy was sobbing harder now. “Poppy come on you don’t want to upset the baby, I’m here to help you.”
“I love you Melly you know that don’t you?”
“Look why don’t you come back to mine – we can do things together – make new plans – this can be a new beginning for both of us. A new life-plan.” Melanie said to encourage Poppy as she sensed a despairing tone to Poppy’s voice.
“Yes that sounds like a good idea,” Poppy said smiling. “I’m sorry it must be the hormones I get terribly emotional at the slightest thing.” “Also I forget my manners you must be starving – what do you fancy for dinner?”
“I’ll order something in – Pizza okay?” “Yes fine.”
Both Melanie and Poppy were tired so an early night was agreed and then they would pack some clothes etc and go back to Melanie’s.
Melanie awoke early, made some coffee and pondered on what lay ahead – maybe she wouldn’t leave for Spain as early as recently planned. Poppy awoke and immediately felt sick. The pregnancy wasn’t going as easy as hoped. Half hour later she wandered into the kitchen looking slightly dishevelled. Melanie could tell that she had been crying but decided not to draw attention to it. “Coffee or something lighter,” she quizzed. “Coffee is fine.” “This will pass.” Poppy stated through bleary eyes.
Showered and packed ready to leave Poppy overcome with emotion sat down and cried. Melanie knelt in front of her, hand clasped in hers she tried to convince Poppy that she would be better away from the memories in the house.
Slowly Poppy conceded and they started the journey to Melanie’s. Poppy remained pensive and silent. Melanie left her to her thoughts and watched the scenery in reverse to that previous trip only a few hours ago.
Back at Melanie’s, more tea, more tears, and finally exhaustion. Melanie phoned her friend Mandy for some much needed advice.
Melanie slept uneasy that night – it was strange that nothing was going to plan and yet she knew that Poppy needed her more than ever before. Poppy was still asleep when Melanie left for a quiet walk. Contemplating the information that Mandy had said the night before Melanie decided it was a good idea. Poppy was awake when she returned and looked a little calmer. Over breakfast Melanie relayed some of the conversation she had with Mandy.
“Why the hurry,” said Poppy “Why can’t I stay here with you?” she questioned, and then more quietly “Don’t you want me here?”
“Of course I do” countered Melanie “it’s just I thought you would benefit from someone who has been through the same feelings and emotional ups and downs.”
“Also, there is the question as to how long it is before I have to sell this flat. I mean Frankie has a right to half the flat.” She continued slowly.
“Why did you bring me here if you knew you had these problems pending? Asked Poppy tearfully – “have I not got enough to think about?”
“I’m not trying to be selfish or unfeeling I thought you might be able to think more clearly if you weren’t in your house. Stay as long as you want and I will help you in any way I can but I’ve never had a child, therefore my friend might be able to help you too.”
“I’m sorry”, Poppy stammered “it’s just all so different to how I imagined.” Tears overwhelmed her. Melanie embraced her sister wandering what to do. Deep down Melanie was yearning to go to Italy and in her mind saw no reason for them both not to go; hospitals were as good in Spain as anywhere else.
“Hush now, she murmured “you will upset the baby.” “We can work things out.”
“Let’s go out for a walk – get some fresh air and perhaps we can grab something to eat and you can meet Vincent.”
“Yes – that would be nice. Can we go shopping – I need to get some new things,” asked Poppy.
“Sure!” said Melanie.
After an hour in Topshop and suitable laden with bags, Melanie and Poppy caught the train back to the area where Vincellos restaurant was situated. “What a pretty building!” exclaimed Poppy; Melanie stood and looked, considered the statement and agreed with her. Vincent came out holding two cappuccinos. “Welcome to Vincellos!” he smiled, kissed Melanie “and who is this lovely lady”, he exclaimed, handing the drink to Poppy. “I’m Melanie’s sister, Poppy,” she said smiling broadly.
“You crafty minx”, Poppy exclaimed. “He’s a real dish.”
“Shush! He will hear you.” Melanie whispered and she smiled at Vincent as he left the table he was serving.
After eating chicken and salad, followed by beautiful chocolate muffins, Poppy walked across to a hat shop. Poppy had more hats than you could shake a stick at but undeterred she entered the shop and there on one of the boutique tables was the most glorious red velvet cloche hat with a beautiful ornate black/red flower. Melanie settled up with Vincent, promised to phone him and followed Poppy into the shop. She had by now put the hat on. “Poppy, you don’t need another hat!” exclaimed Melanie.
“I know – but it’s gorgeous!” said Poppy.
“If your name is Poppy, then the hat was made for you,” interjected the shop assistant, hoping for a sale.
Melanie glared at Poppy hard. She knew how stubborn and foolish her sister could be.
“Anyway, it’s about the only part of me that isn’t going to change over the coming months,” Poppy said rubbing her stomach.
“Oh your pregnant – of course you should treat yourself now – everything will be about the baby once it arrives,” the shop assistant encouraged.
“Poppy you are going to need your money when the baby comes,” chided Melanie glaring harder at the assistant. She felt her remark far too personal. Luckily the phone rang and the assistant excused herself. “I know how you feel, that it might cheer you up but it will be short-lived, I spent some money after the break-up and regretted it in my more sane moments,” Melanie remarked.
Poppy still wearing the hat stared defiantly at her image mentally adding up all the outfits it would put the finishing touches to. Melanie came and stood beside her sister who in high heels was a couple of inches taller. Poppy pouted and Melanie had to admit it was a fine hat.
Ten minutes later and several pounds lighter Poppy and Melanie emerged from the shop to see confusion over at Vincellos. Police had arrived and an ambulance came to an abrupt stop to the left of the restaurant. Walking forwards they could see two men lying on the floor with pools of blood on the pavement. One of the men was Vincent. Melanie pushed forward and tried to get to Vincent but a policeman prevented her, “this is a crime scene you can’t go there.” “But he is my boyfriend,” Melanie spluttered, “Please let me speak to him.” “Wait till he is in the ambulance,” the policeman said more gently and I will take you there.” Poppy’s arms around her they walked to the ambulance. Melanie felt sick and couldn’t believe her eyes, Vincent lay on the bed, pale but awake. “Vincent, what happened, are you ok, well not ok, where does it hurt, why you?” Melanie quizzed. “I’ll be okay – he smiled weakly – don’t worry, I’ll phone when they’ve patched me up.” Vincent was driven off, the policeman who had spoken to Melanie before asked her to sit down and a coffee was bought and placed in front of her. “Are you up to answering some questions,” he asked more seriously. “Yes I’m fine, do you know why this happened?” she quizzed. “We will get to that in a moment, can you confirm your name and address and your relationship to the gentleman in question?” he asked.
Melanie went through the details, Poppy held her hand soothingly. The policeman suddenly asked Poppy what her relationship was to the gentleman. “Poppy is my sister,” interjected Melanie “she has only just arrived here and is staying with me during her pregnancy.” Sensing Melanie getting angry the policeman knew he would have to explain certain things in a very gentle manner.
Well that will keep you guessing dud dud dah!!!!
That’s all for now