BERNADETTE CYNTHIA HEALY
EPISODE 8 - PART 1
Polly has promised to arrive no earlier than nine, which inevitably means she'll be here any time from eight o'clock. I've never known a human being, let alone my flesh and blood, to take mornings so seriously. Polly certainly has efficiency down to an art form. I on the other hand prefer a more lackadaisical approach; if I think I can get away with being late, I will be late.
It was something Jonathon and I used to argue about, especially in those early days when we were courting. He would arrive precisely when he meant to, not a moment before (unless of course it was to charm the pants off of Mrs Normanton) and I would still be in the process of choosing what to wear. He used to joke about how I was late for my own wedding, and it became something sacred to our relationship, or to me at least. That is until Jonathon began with slight delays and hindrances. That woman took away an aspect I used to love about my relationship with my husband, but soon tardiness began to instigate an affair.
I don't want to think about Bernadette Cynthia Healy this early in the morning, especially as I've already spent more than my fair share of hours pondering over her request. I also assume Polly and Jack are going to need more than a little time to adjust to the idea of millions, yes millions, as inheritance.
Keith will have to get involved in this torrid little affair eventually. I don't know anyone else I would trust with such personal information, and it's not as if he doesn't know about the affair. More than once he caught me crying in the office when Jonathon wasn't around, and there is no one else I'd rather trust.
I dress into some light cotton trousers and a soft shirt in a navy blue. Even in my dotage I haven't quite succumbed to the 'nana-wear' as my youngest granddaughter calls it. I wore suits and smart attire for most of my life and I do not want to throw that away just yet. It's a little too warm for my jacket, but I carry it down with me, just in case the weather turns.
Putting the kettle on and arranging the cakes and biscuits I bought yesterday after I left the graveyard, I stare out of the window at the beautiful sunshine and reminisce. Even before this Last Will and Testament forced me to remember some bitter memories I have always loved looking back over my life.
I have so much to be grateful for and even in some twisted way I have Bernadette Cynthia Healy to thank, as she brought my husband closer to me for the last fourteen years of his life. I may have had to share my Jonathon for half our marriage, but he was never entirely hers the way he was completely mine.
On our wedding day, back in 1948, Jonathon and I shared what would be my happiest memory until the birth of my children. It actually took him longer than I expected to ask for my hand, but that's because he wanted to finish his education and have enough money in the bank to offer me the lifestyle I was accustomed to, or so he told me. It wasn't until we were married for ten months that I found out from my mother that my father had refused to give Jonathon permission for those very reasons.
It was a rather tense few months following that loud conversation, but what made it worse was that Jonathon had agreed with my father! I remember shouting about how love was enough, and I was rich enough for the two of us and hadn't the war taught them anything? We should seize the day because we never know when it's going to be taken from us.
I will never forget Jonathon's words when he found me crying in the attic of our first home, as I gazed at old photographs taken from before the war, when a time was far simpler. He told me that he wished he could see the world through my eyes. He envied my optimism and my innocence and my hope, but he said that love wasn't enough, especially if you have nothing. Jonathon had never before gone into great detail about his war-time experiences, and he still didn't give me any further information, but the look on his face told me more than I wanted to know.
We were married. We were financially stable. He was a successful lawyer and I was training to be his right-hand, something that was still rather questionable, especially in my social circles. What did it matter when we were married, or if we'd even married at all, as long as we had each other and each other's futures in mind?
Even after eleven years I still miss my husband and my best friend.