Judy and Kenny part company. Retro fiction.
Locksford Cheshire. 1963.
Kenny returned from Liverpool that night and things carried on as normal. But Judy was nervous and worried that Rachel might say something to Kenny and it often played on her mind. She soon got another job as a forecourt attendant at the local petrol station but did not tell Kenny the real reason why she had left her job at the factory.
Two months later Judy got the news from her doctor that she was pregnant. Despite her fears, Kenny took the news well.
"I thought we had been so careful as well," he said. "But I supppose it's only to be expected, and if you are happy, then so am I."
"I better go to Barfield to tell my mother and my brothers. I should think my mother would want us to get married."
"Yeah, well let's take one thing at a time. This is the sixties, not the fifties and that pre-marital stigma is not as bad as it used to be. There are quite a few unmarried mothers now."
"But wouldn't you like to get married?"
"Like I said, one step at a time. Let's get a healthy baby and then go from there."
Judy didn't like the insinuation but kept her thoughts to herself.
On Saturday, a few days later Kenny was walking through town when he ran into Rachel.
"So, Kenny, I hear that Judy is pregnant. Are congratulations are in order then?"
"Yeah, so it seems. I am happy with it I suppose."
"I just hope that you are the father."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"I'm sorry, Kenny, I didn't mean to say that. It just slipped out."
"Why, why would you say such a thing?"
"It's nothing to do with me, Kenny, I should just keep my mouth shut."
"A bit late now. If there is something I should know then you had better tell me. So out with it then and if I find out and you are lying to me there will be trouble for you and your family. I know where your dad drinks."
"There is no need for that sort of talk is there? You don't have to get nasty, Kenny. We have been friends for years."
"Well, I'm waiting, are we gonna remain friends or what?"
"Kenny, I'm worried about telling you. When I found out I pulled Judy up about it at the factory but she attacked me and beat me up. I had to take time off work and she got the sack. If she finds out I told you she might come after me again."
"She didn't get the sack, she quit."
"No, Kenny. Everyone saw her attack me. She is lucky the police weren't called. But she did get the sack for it. You can go down and ask at the factory if you don't believe me."
"I'm still waiting, Rachel."
"Listen, a lot of girls at the factory know about it. They saw it, I didn't. You will have to say someone else told you."
"I'm getting really fucking angry now, Rachel. What did they see?"
"Look, let's not talk on the street. Can we go over the road in the Sportsman Bar, it'll be quiet this time of day?"
They crossed to the bar. Kenny bought himself a scotch and a Cherry B for Rachel before they walked over and sat in a quiet corner of the bar room. "Come on then," he said.
"A couple of months ago, when you went to Liverpool, me and Judy went out for a drink at King's. This lad came in. I've never seen him before but Judy seemed to know him. She went over to speak to him and when she saw me looking she came back over. Well, I went to the ladies and when I came back she was gone and so was the lad. I didn't think no more about it because I didn't think that Judy was the type to get up to anything."
"No, nor did I, and maybe she didn't. But are you sure you don't know who the lad is? It might have been her brother."
"I've seen her brothers, Kenny. It wasn't one of them. Anyway, the next morning... Please don't tell her I told you?"
"No, I won't. Get on with it."
"The next morning some of the girls were on the bus to town and they saw a young lad leaving your house."
"It could have been something innocent."
"It could be. But when I pulled her up about it why did she tell me to mind my own business and then attack me?"
"I don't know, but I'll find out. Don't worry, I'll keep your name out of it. Come on then drink up and let's go."
"Where?" Rachel said, with a look of concern on her face as if she thought Kenny was going to take her to confront Judy.
"It's my Saturday off today."
"I'm not asking you to go to work, I just want to hear what you have told me from the other women there."
They were soon at the factory and after leaving, Kenny set off back to the town centre. It had not been good news but he was not going to believe what he had been told until he had spoken to Judy. Hoping for the best but feeling that if he found it to be true it would destroy his relationship with her. He made his way to the Ring O'Bells and found Badger in there with Tommy.
"Hey up, Kenny! Any truth in the rumour that is spreading round town?"
"And what rumour would that be, Tommy lad?"
"You are gonna be a dad."
"Maybe. And have you heard any other rumours? Like someone having it off with Judy behind my back."
"Where did you get that from, Kenny, that can't be right. Not Judy, she idolises you."
"Can't trust a woman," Badger said, and then gave a laugh.
Kenny gave him a stare that sent a chill through him. "And what's so bloody funny, Badger?"
"Sorry, Kenny. I didn't mean any offence."
"You were living in Altrincham. You haven't been back in town that long have you? Not many people know you, and you don't have a girl now do you? Playing the field are you?"
Badger was suddenly in a panic. "Kenny, you don't think... I wouldn't dream of it. I wouldn't dare."
"Don't go jumping to conclusions, Kenny," Tommy said. "Have you spoken to Judy about this?"
"I will when she gets back on her break from the forecourt." He looked at his watch. "Which will be in about ten minutes."
Kenny stared at Badger.
Badger kept quiet but Tommy spoke. "He has his own girlfriend, Kenny, Vivien and a right rude thing she is." He looked at Badger and grinned. "So I'm told."
Kenny turned his attention back to Tommy. "You are a good mate, Tommy lad. I'm going over the road but I want you to wait here for me because I might need a good mate when I've had it out with Judy."
"Kenny, I don't believe Judy would do anything behind your back, really I don't. It just doesn't make any sense."
Kenny left the Ring O'Bells and went across to his house. He walked inside and sat in an armchair waiting for Judy.
She walked in and smiled to see him in his chair. "Hi'ya love, I'm having a right hard day at work today."
"Are you? Well, maybe it's gonna get a bit harder, Judy."
The smile dropped from her face. "What's with the Judy? You never call me Judy."
"Why have you been lying to me?"
"What are you talking about? I haven't been lying to you."
"I've been to the cosmetic factory. The supervisor told me you were sacked for attacking one of the girls."
"I didn't want to tell you I had been sacked."
"It gets worse though doesn't it? Some of the girls said they were coming into town on the bus and saw a young lad leaving the house. You didn't want to tell me that as well I suppose. You brought him home with you from the King's and he spent the night with you, in our bed."
"No, Kenny it wasn't like that."
"Well, what was it like?"
"I was out with Rachel but I had a lot to drink and I got myself drunk. Next thing Rachel was gone and I was on my own, I remember walking out of the bar but can't remember anything after that."
"That's bloody convenient. I can tell you what happened after that. You brought him back to my house and you had sex with him, in my bed, and slept with him until the next morning, knowing I wouldn't be home until the night."
"No, Kenny, like I said, it wasn't like that."
"Look me in the eye and tell me you didn't have sex with him."
There was silence in the room for a moment as they stared at each other. "Honest, Kenny, I don't remember anything until I woke the next morning and he was in bed with me. I am so sorry, Kenny but I didn't mean it to happen, I didn't want it to happen."
"You did have sex with him then."
"I don't know, Kenny, really I don't"
"You obviously did. So tell me his name."
"I don't know, Kenny, I don't know his name."
"You had sex with someone and you don't know his name."
"Kenny, can we stop this, please? You have no idea how I feel and it is really upsetting me."
"Then tell me his name."
Kenny stood up from his chair. "I am not going to humiliate you, Judy, like you have done to me. I'm going to Liverpool and when I get back in the morning I don't want to see you or anything belonging to you in my house. It's over with us."
"No, Kenny, please don't do this. I love you so much, Kenny, and I know you love me. And there's our baby to think of."
"Your mysterious friend can worry about the baby. If you are here in the morning I will physically throw you and your stuff out into the street so make sure you're gone."
Judy grabbed him as he started to walk out. He pushed her into an armchair. "Cry as much as you like, Judy, I don't give a shit." Judy sat sobbing as Kenny left the house.
Kenny walked across to the bar and straight away looked at Badger. "Are you seeing that Vivien girl today, Badger?"
"I am yeah."
"Well, piss off then, I want to talk to Tommy."
Even though Badger was not meeting Vivien until later, he knew not to argue and left the bar.
"Do you want a pint, Kenny?" Tommy asked.
"No. Look, I'm going to my mate's place in Liverpool for the night," Kenny said.
"I'll come with you."
"No, you won't. Can you get your van and do me a favour?"
"Course I can. It's in the car park. What's going on, Kenny?"
"It seems she's been at it behind my back."
"Judy, I still find that really hard to believe. Are you sure?"
"She's admitted it. Listen, Tommy, she's really upset. Can you go over and see that she's all right. When she has calmed down I want you to take her and all her stuff to her mother's in Barfield. Will you do that for me, Tommy lad."
"Of course I will, but why don't you just leave it a couple of days until things calm down a little. Come on, Kenny, stay and have a couple of beers with me."
"No, I've gotta go. But just make sure you get her gone. I'm really gutted, Tommy lad, I'm really, really gutted. Just make sure she goes because if she is there in the morning things could turn really nasty and I don't want that."
Kenny went off to the station and Tommy crossed the road to Kenny's house.
The door to Kenny's house was unlocked and Tommy walked in while calling out to Judy. He walked into the living room and she was sitting with her head in her hands. She looked up at Tommy and it was clear she had been crying.
"Oh, Tommy," she said. "I suppose Kenny has told you then?"
"He wants me to help you to move. I'm so sorry."
Judy got up off of the chair. "Is there any hope?"
"Who knows, maybe give him some time but it's best to go to Barfield for a while. He's hurting, Judy."
"I'm hurting, Tommy," she sobbed. "I'm bloody hurting."
Tommy put his arms out. "Come here," he said. Tommy cuddled her close for a while and then she eased away.
"I'll make us a coffee and then start getting my things together. I wonder how much a taxi is to Barfield?"
"Don't worry about that I've got the van over the road I can take you."
"That's men for you. You've got it all planned between you."
"I'm not the enemy here, Judy."
"I know, I'm sorry. You are a good friend, Tommy, I know that. Why did this have to happen, now of all times? It wasn't my fault, Tommy, that sod took advantage while I was drunk. Then again I think it was my fault for going out and getting drunk. How I wish I had stopped at home that night. It was her ya'know. That Rachel set me up for this I'm sure of it. She has always been making a play for Kenny ever since the dance school days. What am I gonna do, Tommy?"
"Don't go upsetting yourself again, Judy. You have a nice family at home and you have good friends around you and that includes me. Come on, let's have that coffee, then I'll fetch the van over and we can start getting your stuff packed and loaded."
"Can we call at the petrol garage, I'll have to tell them I'm leaving and see if he will give me my money."
"Oh, you don't worry have to worry about that. I'll make sure you get your money."