Things are looking up.
Jane could hardly believe her eyes when she walked out of the kitchen and saw Terry sitting in the cafe. Her excitement was immense but she tried to stay calm and reserved. However, she couldn't hide the beaming smile on her face and the moistening sparkle in her eyes. "Terry," she said. "How lovely to see you."
Terry was speechless for a moment as he looked over at her, but then he stood up and rushed over to give her a hug and a kiss on her cheek. “Jane, what a wonderful sight. I thought you were in Sheffield.”
Jane gave a laugh. “That didn’t work out, Terry.” She looked at her assistant. “You can get off home, Wendy. I’ll finish up here.”
“Are you sure?” Wendy said and grinned at Terry. “Yes, well, it looks like you are sure.”
Jane handed her a letter. "Can you post this for me?"
Wendy took the letter and looked at the address. "Who's Gwen?"
"Never you mind."
Jane sat at a table with Terry as Wendy grabbed her coat, turned the closed sign on the door and left with a silly grin on her face.
“Well, tell me all your news, Terry.”
“I’ve been working as a civilian driver over at Uxbridge.”
“Blimey, have you been there all this time?”
“No, I have only been there a few weeks. I have been working with Brian since I left the RAF but I decided to go back to Uxbridge for the memories of you. I have never forgotten you, Jane.”
Those few words made Jane feel good knowing that the feelings she had for him were reciprocated. “We had some good times, and the memories kept me going as well when I was with Bob.”
“Was? You’re not with him anymore then?”
“No, I'm single again.” Jane was not sure if she should tell him what happened between her and Bob, but then she felt she had to, she wanted to. She knew she had always loved Terry and she was devastated how it ended between them. “Bob changed when we moved to Sheffield. He started knocking me about. It came to a head when he badly beat me up one night and left me. I thought he was at his mate’s flat so I went down there and his mate attacked me as well and tried to rape me.” Terry took hold of Jane’s hand and it looked as if his eyes were starting to water.
“I’m so sorry, Jane," he said. “You managed to stop him then?”
“Oh yes. I was not going to let that happen again.” She thought back to Ray some ten years before. “So I smashed him over the head with a wine bottle.”
“Good on yer. I bet he didn’t like that.”
“No, he didn’t. Anyway, I made my way back to the flat and passed some local women and they saw that I had taken a beating and offered to help, but I shunned away from them. It was common knowledge in the block that he was abusing me and the women called the police. I managed to get home and must have collapsed. Apparently, the police got in and the next thing I knew was when I woke up in hospital. They took a statement from me at the hospital and gave me a key because they had busted the lock and fitted a clasp and padlock so at least he couldn't get in again.”
“I don’t know what to say to you, Jane. It seems that this is all my fault. If I had been a bit more mature and not acted like a spoilt jealous idiot.”
“Hey, hey, don’t go upsetting yourself, Terry. None of this is your fault.”
“What a fool I was to let you go. I have regretted losing you all my life. And now I feel terrible at what you have been through. The letters, Mandy told me that he stole the letters and you never got to read them.”
“I found the letters in the flat amongst some of his things after he left me. I read the letters Terry, and I still have them.”
“I meant what I said in those letters.”
“I know, Terry, and if that thieving conniving pig had not stolen them things would have been so different. Anyway, it’s water under the bridge. Bob and his mate were arrested and I got a divorce.”
“So how come you are working here again?”
“About six weeks ago, and after my divorce, I came back to London. I called around your house and there were new people there and they said that the previous family had all moved to Australia. I thought you had gone with them.”
“I did think about it, but to tell the truth, I was reluctant to go because I could never get you out of my mind. Even though I didn't know where you were I could not move to the other side of the world so far away from you.”
“Oh, Terry, that is so nice. I really think you love and missed me as much as I love and missed you."
"You still love me then?"
"Of course, always and forever. Anyway, after going to your old house, I called round to see my brother Tommy. Tommy and his family were so pleased to see me it gave me a real buzz. He bought the cafe, cheap of course, off of our mother because she wanted to continue to keep it in the family and not sell it off like Ronnie wanted. I stopped at Tommy’s house for a while and he made me a partner in the cafe and now I run it."
"If only I had called in here for breakfast before going off to Uxbridge."
"Yes," Jane said. "If only, but you are here now."
“So, do you get on with Ronnie and your Mum now?”
“Ronnie came round in the end when he realised that I really was his sister, but my mother died when I was in Sheffield.”
“So you never got to know her.”
“No, and that is something that I regret. I would have loved to have gotten to know her. I know she abandoned me in that store, but she must have had good reason to do such a thing, it couldn't have been easy. I just wish I could have sat with her so she could tell me why.” Tears began to run down Jane's face as began to cry.
Terry stood and took Jane up into his arms to give her a cuddle.
“I’m sorry,” Jane said. “I’m all right, really.” She sat back down and took out a tissue to wipe her eyes. “So, Terry, you are not thirty yet so I assume you are not married or did you change your mind?”
“I don’t mind getting married now.”
“If you find the right girl,” she said.
“I found the right girl years ago, but I lost her, and now she is sitting in front of me.”
Jane gave a brief laugh. “Behave yourself, Terry. If you think those words give me a thrill, then you are bloody well right. I am so overjoyed to see you, Terry, really I am.”
Terry smiled. “I feel the same. Come on, let's go for a drink to celebrate.”
“Okay. Help me wrap up in here and I’ll get changed and tidy myself up.”
"Do you have to go home first then?"
"No, I am home. We own the flat upstairs as well."
"TERRY!" The shout went across the bar-room as Brian spotted them walking into The Guildford Arms.
“Deja vu,” Jane said.
“It's great to see you again Jean,” Brian said.
“It’s Jane, Brian. My name is Jane. How is Marion?”
“Pregnant again. So are you two back together?”
"Hello, Brian,” Terry interrupted, amused that Brian was deliberately ignoring him.
“Oh, is that you, Terry? I forgot you were here.” Brian said. “Haven’t seen you for over a month. Anyway, it’s so good to see you two together again. So you did meet up back at Uxbridge?”
“No,” Terry said. “Jane works at Carol’s old cafe.”
Jane corrected him. “No, Terry, I part own Carol’s cafe.”
“If I’d have known that, me and Marion would have popped in to see you.”
“I’d love to see Marion again.”
“Well, Jane, do you think you can talk some sense into this fool and get him back earning a good living.”
“No Need. Nothing for me at Uxbridge, it was a mistake.” Terry said. “So, is my job still available?”
“You shouldn’t even have to ask. I’m looking for someone to run a demolition job in Barking. The old lemonade factory. It starts in two weeks. The job is yours if you want it.”
“That's great. I need to give a week’s notice at the base, but then I am back here.”
Brian bought a round of drinks and they chatted about old times, but then he had to leave.
“When do you have to be back at camp?” Jane asked.
“Not till Monday morning.”
“That’s good. I'd like us to call and see Tommy and his family tomorrow if you don’t mind? I’m sure he would like to see you.”
“I’d love to. I’ll look forward to seeing them again; they were so good to both of us. Listen, do you want another drink?”
“Not really, Terry. To tell the truth I’m a bit stressed with the excitement of us meeting up again. I could do with going back to the flat and having a really good massage,” Jane said and then laughed.
Terry could not hide the beaming grin on his face. This was the confirmation he hoped for. He felt as if his life had meaning again and looked forward to a wonderful future with the girl of his dreams.
The following Wednesday, Terry had returned to Uxbridge to complete his week's notice and Jane was behind the counter in the cafe serving a builder with a cup of coffee. The door opened and a young woman walked in and looked over at Jane.
“Gwen, what are you doing here?”
“I’ve been trying to find you for ages,” Gwen said. “When I got your letter I nearly broke down in delight. I was going to write back but thought it better to call here and see you. Dad was so happy as well.”
“Mother died six months ago.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Jane said. She turned to Wendy. “Take over for a bit while it’s quiet. Any problems or if it gets busy give me a shout.” She looked back at Gwen. “Let’s go upstairs.”
They got to the flat and Gwen looked as if she were about to burst into tears. “I am so, so sorry, Jane. I was wrong to take his side over you and it has affected me so badly ever since. I’ve missed my big sister so very much.”
“Don’t go getting upset now, Gwen.”
“I caught him, you know. Doing it with Kathy. My bloody friend Kathy.”
“Your ex-friend, I assume.”
“Yes, my ex-friend and my ex-boyfriend.”
“You didn’t marry him then?”
“No, thank goodness. I’m married to a nice man now. You will like him. So, I did a terrible thing and treated you so rotton. Send me away if you want, I deserve it I suppose, but please try in your heart of hearts to forgive me?”
“Nothing to forgive. We are sisters, sisters are very close but although they may sometimes fall out with each other, they are always sisters.” Jane held her arms out. “Come and give your big sister a cuddle.”
End of text.