Part 1

Episode 9

 There were more events to come in that year. More quite nasty and horrible events and they all run into each other but their were also were  periods of calm and even jollity. 

It had been around a week between James first going weird and him kicking her in the kidneys.

 In that time she knew she definitely was pregnant. In the two weeks that followed; the journey carried on taking all four of them into the Peloponnese, Mycenae, and Sparta before trekking back up through Italy once more over the Alps and into France before returning to England.

Without any real conscious doing, Ruth shared the tent with James, ate in the restaurants with him. While she spent her time looking out the window of the van as they drove focusing on the scenery. 

 The worst thing about this that Ruth feels on reflection is that she knows that for three brief months she loved James so very much. The man she had fallen in love with anyway and she stopped loving him pretty much there and then. She doesn’t know what it was, what emotion, what aspect that replaced the love but knows she felt decidedly unwell and a bit sick. 

They all had a funny old time on the border. High up in the mountains on the Italian French line.  The guard’s saw a clapped out old Bedford van and their suspisitions were alerted. They chose to search them.  Four weeks of dirty washing in rucksacks and the detritus of travelling, it was a shit heap.  James had rolling tobacco and they found the Rizlas….

 The guard said “If I find drugs in this van, you will never see England again.  

They had all wet themselves with laughter!! They dined out on the story for years…  while this guard was busy with them a Dutch hells angel drove through! Ha ha!

By the time she reached West Brow Avenue again and was sat with a cup of tea, much of the day before, the week before the holiday had gone from her memory.

 Not completely, not enough that she couldn’t hold a conversation about the places she’d seen but just enough for the things that actually mattered to fade. 

She does not know what took its place. Ruth did not recognize or register this as an event of course, not at all, she just chewed her nails and sat. She was feeling nauseous again.

 

 At some point in the days following their return , she remembers lying sitting up in James’ single bed crying while she told Jenny she wanted to leave, that she needed to get rid of the child growing inside of her, that James didn’t love her and that really she must leave.

Jenny agreed that the baby was a bad idea. Something Ruth is forever grateful for. On the other hand Jenny also said that Ruth was being silly about leaving, Jenny said of course James loved her. Jenny said

In the softest tones and with the gentlest of smiles

“You can’t leave Ruth” “ we love you”” what would we do without you?” James can’t live without you”

Jenny was a little bit tearful and Ruth liked Jenny, she liked and respected Jenny. She valued Jenny’s opinion and advice, so she took it.

 Ruth did know Jenny was wrong somehow but there was a huge part of her that wanted what Jenny had said to be true and Jenny was so convinced that Ruth was not thinking straight because of the baby.

She was so convincing in her belief that Ruth didn’t really want to go, that it had been a lovely holiday. 

There was also an even larger part of Ruth that knew she could not explain why she felt the need to go. It was too hard to explain to Jenny or anyone else. Ruth knew she would meet resistance, meet something awful if she tried, what that awfulness was Ruth would have been hard pushed to describe.

Ruth believed Jenny had her best interest at heart. Ruth didn’t have any of the events on the campsite in Italy in the forefront of her mind that day, all she knew was she felt awful. Her arms and legs like jelly with a mad tingling and her heart rate ten to the dozen. She felt like she had a parasite growing inside her and wanted rid of the sickness. She cried to Jenny that she had to leave…. 

Ruth has tried to explain the horrible thoughts and feelings that come to her when she thinks of pregnancy and can only explain as from the viewpoint of the film  “Alien”. It wouldn’t have mattered who she was in a relationship she did not want children and never has, it was and is nothing personal.

 

Ruth went to the doctors with James and she competently explained about the pregnancy. She was booked into a local clinic for an abortion the next week.  

James and Jenny made it absolutely clear that James father was not to know about it and that no one else should either.  

Ruth had been meant to go to a folk festival with her mum. She can’t remember how she broached the subject with Mog but she knows it was uncomfortable and over the phone. Ruth asked her mum to keep it private and to make the necessary excuses.  Looking back, Ruth is not sure why her mum did not rock straight on over and come to the hospital with her but she is fairly certain it’s because, she asked her mum not to. Ruth felt it better if she wasn’t involved, James hated her mum so deeply and her presence would only antagonize him.

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