The Secret

By Karen J Mossman

I thought I would share an extract from my 70s love story.

Kerry meets biker Tommy and her world changes as she falls in love. But there is one thing he must not find out, the one thing she keeps a secret – the abuse.  In the 70s, secrets things like that stayed behind closed doors.

Yes, it is a dark story, but it is also one of courage. I have also included humour, because life is like that. Even at the darkest of times, we can still find something to make us smile. And with that in mind, I have chosen this example.

—————————————————————————————————-

“This is where I work,” Tommy said, as we entered a joiner’s workshop. I could see half-built furniture with lots of wood shavings on the floor and various types of cutting equipment. We walked over to one half built piece of furniture.

“This is mine,” he said. “I’m working on it at the moment.” It was wardrobe, and it hadn’t got any doors.

“How on earth do you make these?” I asked running my finger through a pattern in the wood.

“With this, it’s called a router.” He held up some kind of tool. “Just look inside here,” he said, indicating inside of the wardrobe.

I peered behind where the door would be, and saw he’d scraped TS 74 in the wood. “Oh yeah.”

“We all like to mark them somewhere. So should you ever buy a wardrobe,  take a look inside, it might be one of mine.”

I grinned. “You’ll be famous.”

He laughed. “Come on, we’ll go into the tea room.”

We went up some stairs and into a big kitchen. There was a table in the centre and on it were mugs and some still contained tea that had gone cold and congealed. I pulled a face.

“I know,” he said as if reading my mind. “We’re a mucky lot.” He began clearing it piling it into a dirty looking sink. Kitchen cupboards snaked around the sides of the room, both on the wall and beneath the counters. Some of the doors didn’t appear to fit properly and some didn’t even have doors. There was a fridge, but there was also a bottle of milk standing on the top, its contents half empty and I just had the feeling I wouldn’t want to drink it. In fact, everything looked grubby.

“I would offer you a brew…”

I laughed, “Not a chance, some of those cups look like they’ve never been washed.”

“Come over here,” he said, standing by the table.

“Why?” I asked a little dubiously.

“I want you to lie on it.”

I frowned, “Why?”

He looked at me with mischievous eyes and my pulse quickened. “I want to draw you.”

Draw me? I didn’t expect that. Was I disappointed? Did I think he was going to make mad passionate love to me right there on that table top? I managed to giggle and stood on the chair, then onto the table and lay down, feeling a bit silly. I let him maneuver me into position and felt even sillier.

“Relax, Kerry.”

“Do you know how hard this table is?”

He pulled out a chair and sat down a little way from the me. Producing a sketchpad from somewhere, he began to draw.

“Well, this is nice,” I said, feeling the back of my head on the edge of the table as I peered at the ceiling and my hair hung down towards the floor.

“You’ve no idea,” he said, glancing up at me and then down to the sketchpad as his pencil moving quickly.

“Hmm, I wonder what’s for tea tonight. Wood chips? Or wardrobe sausage?” I pondered.

“Keep still.”

“I am still; in fact, I’m so still you can hardly tell I’m breathing.”

“Your mouth is moving.”

“Can you draw an open mouth?” I puckered it.

“Not in the way you mean, shut up a minute.”

I mentally counted to 60 and then said, “My back is aching.”

“Okay,” he said, standing up and snapping the pad closed. “Finished.”

“Can I see it?”

“No, you can’t, I need to finish it first.”

“I thought you just said you’d finished.”

“Hmm,” I loved the rumble sound his voice made. “These are just the bare bones,” he said with a grin. “I’ve to fill it in yet.”

“God!” I huffed, feigning annoyance. “I’ve been called many things, but bare bones!”

He swatted my bum with his hand. “You’ll see it, eventually.”

We were laughing as we made our way back outside to his bike. Is this too soon to fall in love? Because I was falling right over!

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