Brian calls at Lynn's house again & realises something is wrong.
The front door flew open and I was relieved to see my mother and Carl rush in, after returning home for some reason. Carl shouted to his young friend to go and fetch our father as he pushed past our mother. He ran across the living room and threw a well-aimed punch, catching Mike square on the nose. Mike jumped up and threw his arm round thumping into Carl's chest and sending him careering across the room to tumble onto the floor.
It was my mother's turn and she swung her handbag crashing it across Mike's head. "Get out you filthy bastard," she screamed. She hit him again with the bag and then kicked him as he passed. "He'll kill you," she shouted. "Martyn will be back here in a minute and he'll bloody kill you."
Mike hurried from the house with blood spilling from his nose as a result of Carl's punch.
My mother started to move towards me but I was in shock and still panicking. I jumped up and pushing past my mother I dashed from the room and up the stairs. Carl hurried up behind me and my mother followed as quickly as she could.
I sat on my bed with a hand on my brow sobbing a little. Carl was soon next to me and put his arms around to try and comfort me. I could see that my mother was almost in tears as she looked at Carl sitting on the bed with his arms around me and she rushed over to try to help to calm me down.
It wasn't long until we heard my father arrive back at the house. He was shouting for me as he searched the downstairs rooms.
"I'll go and see him," my mother said. She met him as he was halfway up the stairs and took him back down to the kitchen.
I got up from my bed and sat at my dressing table looking into the mirror at the mess the tears had made of my make-up. Carl sat on the edge of the dressing table and took my hand. He took a tissue from the box and wiped the teary mascara trail from my face. We looked at each other and he gave me a wonderful comforting smile. We didn't say a word but we both felt the same feeling of fondness and love. We could hear our father shouting downstairs followed by a loud crashing sound. I knew he had punched the kitchen door in temper again and had possibly knocked out another panel. He came up the stairs and stood in the bedroom doorway looking in at me.
"I'm sorry," he said. "I'm so very, very sorry. Can you ever forgive me?" I ran over to cling to him tightly and as he gently stroked my hair.
I soon calmed down with my family around me. At nine o'clock, we were talking in the kitchen when I heard Brian's motorbike pulling up outside. My father stood up.
"I don't want to talk to him, Dad," I said. "But please don't be nasty to him again."
He gave me a nod and walked down the passage.
We remained quiet as we listened to what was happening as my father opened the front door. My mother primed to dash out after him if it all went wrong.
Brian spoke first. "The lip has only just started to heal. So if you're gonna hit me again can you do it on the other side?"
"She doesn't want to see you, lad," he said. "Bit late tonight though, aren't you?"
"Just finished work. Can you give this to Lynn, please?" There was a long pause before Brian continued and I wondered if he had brought me more flowers. "Are you all right, Mister McLean? Has something happened?"
"Nothing for you to worry about. Now be off."
"Same time tomorrow then," Brian said.
"Won't be here tomorrow. We're all going out," Martyn called.
"I'll call round Sunday."
"We're going on a day trip to Belle View in Manchester."
"Okay, I'll see you Monday then." There was another pause and then we heard the motorbike start and pull away.
My father came back to the kitchen and put a box, neatly tied with a red ribbon, on the table in front of me. "I think he was more worried about me throwing the box over the hedge than getting another clump."
"I looked at the box and shook my head. "I'm not opening it. I don't want it."
My mother looked at Martyn. "Can you leave us a minute," she said. He went off to the living room with the two boys, leaving me alone with my mother.
"I know we got it wrong earlier but you can't go on like this with Brian. You've got to speak to him even if it's only to tell him to stop calling round."
"I heard what he said to you last time, Mum, but I saw him. I saw him kissing her."
"I know, love, but if he was up to anything I don't think he would keep calling round here facing your father. It may not be how it looked."
"I don't know, Mum. I love Brian but I was so upset when I saw him and all my friends with me as well."
"Give him a chance to speak. Listen to what he has to say and then make your mind up."
"I can't, Mum, I don't want to talk about this, I'm sorry."
"Well, at least open that box. If you don't want to know what's inside it, I do."
"You can open it if you like," I said.
"No, Lynn, it's not mine. Come on, love, open it."
I looked at the box for a moment and then pulled the ribbon and lifted the lid. I pulled out a one-piece bathing costume and gave a small emotional laugh as tears began to form in my eyes. My mother took a handkerchief from her pocket and gave it to me.
"That's really thoughtful. It says more than a hundred love letters. It doesn't make sense, Lynn. Think about it. You could be making a mistake over something that's just a misunderstanding." I didn't answer. I just sat holding the bathing suit. My mother must have thought that this was not the time to continue with the conversation and decided to change the subject. "Why don't you come on the coach to Belle View on Sunday? You've always enjoyed yourself."
"I want to sort my room out and I'd like to go to Minstrels with Pat and Kathy tomorrow night."
"I don't like leaving you on your own after that business with Mike."
I looked at my mother and could see that she was genuinely concerned. "I'll take my clothes round grandma's at dinner time. I'll get ready and go from there. Anyway, I've already told Jackie she can go in my place and she's well-excited."
"Well it's up to you but I'll miss you if you don't go. This is the first time you've not wanted to come with us. You know you're never too old to go out with your mum and dad, don't you?"
"I know that, Mum." I smiled affectionately at my mother. "I know."
My dad looked in the kitchen. "I think I need a drink. I'm just popping down the Rec' for a quick one."
"I'd come with you, but.." my mother cut her statement short.
"That's all right. I'd rather be on my own. I won't be long."