31. The Summer's  Ending

31. The Summer's Ending

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson
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A SUMMER UNDER THE SUN. Part 31

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Well,” sighed Rona Bingley as Darren picked up his school bag and made for the door, “aren’t you going to say goodbye to me?”

I’ll be back this afternoon, mum,” reminded Darren, “I’m not going to Uni yet awhile. And maybe never.” He sighed. “I’ll have to do pretty well in my “A” levels or I’ll be on the bins, like dad was. So I’m going to get my head down and do some work.

And you’re walking to school with that girl next door?” his mother asked, “she’ll be a distraction, pretty as she is.”.

If you mean Jennifer, yes,” he said, irritated by the fact that his mother had never quite accepted that the Sagebrush daughter would ever be interested in him, “and she’s got work to do as well, if she’s going to medical school.”

I hope she does, too. Anyway, have a good day, love,” she said, and he went.

Jennifer was waiting for him. Somehow she had managed to make her school skirt look shorter than it should be. Maybe it was some trick of hers or maybe simply that she had extraordinary legs. But she knew what she looked like and she knew that she liked what she looked like, and while the last remnants of summer persisted into September she was going to take full advantage of it.

I hoped to catch you here,” came a voice just as Darren was absorbing the love of his life and her legs with eyes that looked to have swollen to become saucers.

It was Marion Bisset. The woman who had accompanied the deceased Percy Condor until he died in the park. What, wondered Darren, might she want?

Yes?” asked Jennifer.

I’m on my way to the Primary school, where, for my sins, I teach,” she said. Darren shuddered when he noticed the bright vermillion lipstick that was slightly crooked and made her look as if she had an open gash on her face. She was dressed in what he took to be an old fashioned school ma’am style, one that looked as if it had been specially designed to remove any attraction that her gender might have bestowed on her. He recalled the leggy woman who had accompanied an old man during his dying weeks and wondered about the morality of it.

You won’t say anything, will you?” she asked anxiously.

About what?” asked Darren, trying not to sound insolent.

Mr Condor dyinglike he did, in the park and with me looking after him. I wouldn’t like my husband to suspect anything. He didn’t know. He works in a bank and the last thing he wants is a tax fiddle in the family. But honestly, the Crouches didn’t pay me enough to be worth bothering the taxman, and it was always cash in hand… I was really only helping a friend out. It was a charity, you see, one that he can mention when he’s in parliament. I suppose it makes him look good, though he doesn’t do much.

Helping a friend who happened to be in politics?” asked Jennifer.

Politicians have different rules from the rest of us,” she said, “they must have, because they’re in the public eye. So it was perfectly all right, the way they paid me…”

But not the way you received it?” asked Darren, “oh I get it: you’re part of a Westminster fiddle. Well don’t worry, I for one would prefer to forget the whole unhappy affair, and he was old. Old men do die, you know, it’s perfectly natural.

And so would I,” put in Jennifer, “though I’m not entirely comfortable with your acknowledgement that there’s one rule for our rulers and another for the rest of us!”

I’ll also forget that your mother works half a day a week cash in hand for Spooks,” said Marion, almost slyly, as though it was in some way a threat.

Darren was about to explode and suggest that maybe he and his girlfriend would find themselves telling the world about the summer’s unhappy events, but Jennifer could see the expression on his face and stopped any further conversation dead.

We’re going to be late, and our education is important to us,” she said crisply, “if you’ll excuse us…”

And taking Darren firmly by one hand she marched him off, weaving between other groups of youngsters on their way back to school after the summer break.

Of all the filthy cheek!” exploded Darren when they were far enough away for Marion not to hear, “that was tantamount to blackmail!”

I know,” agreed Jennifer, “it just shows how toxic it can be, this fiddling of things like tax and the belief that somehow politicians are free of any moral obligations. But let it be. The coming year is going to be too important for both of us to have distractions like Mrs bloody Marion Bisset to trouble it.”

That’s the first time I’ve heard you say that word!” joked Darren.

What? Bloody? It’s the first time I’ve felt angry enough to use it. Taken all in all it’s been a wonderful summer, the best I’ve ever known, with my best ever friend, and I don’t want anything to spoil the memory.”

Two deaths,” reminded Darren. “My dad, just before we broke up, and then the old man on the park.”

It was still the best few weeks ever,” sighed Jennifer, “and we discovered so much about each other.” Then there came a mischievous twinkle in her eyes, “I found out what you keep inside your shorts, for starters!”

What?”

In the tent? Remember? We did spend the night together, you know. Or have you forgotten already? And it was fun.

Of course I haven’t. I love you, Jennifer.”

I know,” she whispered, so that her words were almost lost as they walked along, “and I love you. Now and forever.”

How long is forever, though?”

Not soon. I know, I’ll tell you in fifty years…”

I’ll hold you to that!”

You do that. And in fifty years we’ll still be young enough to love beneath a summer’s sun.

THE END

© Peter Rogerson 30.05.21




© 2021 Peter Rogerson


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Author

Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom



About
I am 77 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..

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