[Back to the present day and carrying on with the story]
Kylie was the first person I’d ever been told all the gory details. I wasn’t including Gloria, Robert, Julia or Charlie in that because they are all part of the story. It felt rather strange to have spent a good 2 hours reciting the events, the highs and lows of how I came to be here.
“So that’s who Gloria is! I would never have guessed.”
“They are quite a person all right.”
“I hope you don’t mind me asking but do you fancy men?”
“God no. I would hate to kiss someone with stubble. I would like to find a good woman but so far… no luck.”
Then she looked me right in the eye before asking the killer question.
After a pause, she came out with it.
“Don’t you fancy me?”
“That’s a silly question.”
“Why is it silly?”
“Because you are far too young for me and you were in need of help when you and I first met. Now you are a friend, a real and proper friend and not the romantic sort.”
Kylie came and gave me a big hug.
“What was that for?” I asked when she’d let me go.
“For being honest with me and being the one thing I need in the world and that is a true friend.”
“Are you going to be alright with me? Now that you know who and what I really am and how I came to be here?”
She laughed and showed maturity well beyond her young age.
“At least you won’t be after me for my money, well if I had access to it that is?”
Then she added,
“How did you choose the name Monica? I don’t think I’ve ever met another person with that name.”
I gave a little chuckle.
“Friends,” I said simple.
“The TV series. Monica was one of the three women. I always liked her as a character. That good enough?”
“It rather has to be doesn’t it? It is your name now.”
“What are you going to call yourself?” I asked trying to change the subject.
“Holly. I had a close friend at school named Holly. She was rather a tormented girl. She was gay but couldn’t tell her parents. In the end, it killed her. I always liked her name so I think I’ll call myself Holly.”
Then she asked,
“You really like helping people don’t you?”
“Yes, not the typical tyke eh?”
“What you call someone from Gods own County, Yorkshire. But yes, I do like to help people. I don’t like to just splash the cash even though I could do that. I like to get people to help themselves. If I learned one thing from my problems was that the saying that my parents used to drum into me is very true.”
“What was that?”
“Oh, it is so simple. ‘Those who ask don’t get’. I used to get a thick ear if I asked for something I didn’t deserve. If I can give a leg up to someone so that they can make it on their own, then I’ll do that. I really prefer to remain in the background for fairly obvious reasons.”
“I think I am starting to understand you now. You know before, when I left, I felt that you were trying to take over my life. Now I realise that it is you being you.”
“Thanks. Please do me one thing?”
“Anything. What is it?”
“Please don’t tell anyone about what I told you about… well everything. I really only want my really, really close friends to know the truth about me.”
After a short pause I added,
“Am I being silly in not telling anyone?”
Kylie just sat there looking at me with doleful eyes. Then she stood up and gave me a big hug.
“No, you aren’t being silly and yes, I’ll keep your secret. It is the least you deserve for all you have done for me. Now how did you get your name changed?”
“It’s a long story,” I replied.
“I’ll put the kettle on then…”
The following day, I took her to Carmarthen so that she could get the train east.
“I really have to give it one last chance,” she said with watery eyes.
“I know you do. Family and all that. Now just be careful and get rid of any evidence that you have been in this neck of the woods before you get to London.”
“That’s why I’m staying in Portsmouth tonight. The hotel is close to the docks as we agreed.”
Then it was time for her to get on the train.
“There is always a home here if you want it.”
Then she hugged me.
“I know and thank you for everything but as Arnie said so well, ‘I’ll be back’”
As the train disappeared I started to wonder if she would keep her promise or not.
Kylie returned a week later. Her tail was very much between her legs.
After some grovelling on the phone to Charlie, the court case was rescheduled for a week the following Tuesday. This allowed us to take a trip to Cardiff to get her kitted out with a properly fitting crash helmet and some boots.
On the appointed day, we left home for London in the very early hours of Tuesday morning. The court case was not due to be held until that afternoon. The traffic was light and the weather fine so we made good time. We stopped for a couple of comfort breaks and to give Kylie a chance to stretch her limbs. She wasn’t used to riding pillion for hours at a stretch. Even so, we arrived at out hotel a little before 08:00 in the morning. I’d chosen a hotel had a basement garage and was not too far from the Court.
We checked into the suite I’d reserved despite the receptionist having some doubts about two women wearing Motorcycle gear arriving so early. The production of my Black Amex card soon persuaded him that we were good upstanding citizens and able to pay the bill even if we did a runner.
After breakfast and a shower, we went shopping. We needed some decent/respectable clothes for the court. The thing about the City of London is that quite a few of the more pre-eminent Savile Row Tailors have branches in the Square Mile so it didn’t take long for us to get a pair of Business suits. In case you are wondering, yes, they do cater for women… A few shoe shops later and we were done and headed back to the Hotel.
A little after midday, Charlie arrived at the Hotel to escort us to the Court where we met and had a brief discussion with the Barrister, Claire Sampson that Charlie had engaged on our behalf. There was something that Charlie wasn’t telling us but I guessed that it was not bad news so I didn’t press things.
We were called into court only a few minutes late. When the case began, Claire outlined the reasons behind the request for a restraining order. Then she went on to add a formal request for Charlie to act as Kylie’s legal guardian until she reached the age of twenty-one.
The other side outlined their arguments opposing the orders before Kylie was called to give evidence.
“Why do you want to estrange yourself from your Family?” asked the Judge.
“I want to live my own life not as decided by my father. This is not the Victorian era when a young woman did what their father required. This included marrying the person selected by your family and not by you. My father wants to control me and get his hands on my trust fund because this is probably the only way he can remain out of Bankruptcy himself. To be honest, I’d rather give the whole of my inheritance to charity than let him get his hands on it.”
“What would you do for money?”
“I would get a job and earn my own way in the world if I was left alone.”
“Apparently you deliberately flunked your ‘A’ levels. Why was this?”
“It was because I didn’t want to go up to Oxbridge with the aim of meeting some chinless wonder with heaps of money and get married to him.”
“Where would you live if the order was granted?”
Kylie looked at us for guidance. We couldn’t offer any.
“I’d rather not say because if my father knew where I was, I’m sure he’d come and interfere in my life again. If you would like, I can write it down for you.”
The Judge smiled.
“That won’t be needed. Thank you Ms Lane. You may step down.”
“Mr Lane, are the accusations made by your daughter correct? I have statements from several people who employed your daughter only to have you or your agents make false accusations against her for sexual impropriety or drug use resulting in her losing her job. What have you to say for that?”
“I just want what is best for my daughter. I would ask however how she is paying for all this legal representation. As far as I know, she has no money at all.”
“I am not here to look at that. Someone may be paying for her representation or it might be a ‘Pro-Bono’ case. That is not for me to judge.”
Mr Lane went very red in the face.
Things went on for a further 40 minutes before the Judge called a halt.
“I will retire to make my decision. I am minded however to grant the requests but my decision will be heard in due course.”
Then he addressed Kylie’s father.
“Mr Lane. In the interim, you are not to contact your daughter my any means. If you want to send her a message I am sure her legal representatives will pass it on but it is up to her if she responds.”
The Judge then stood up signifying that it was all over.
Charlie made sure that we were whisked away from the court before her parents could intercept her. We all met up in our room at the hotel.
“Well ladies, how do you think that went?” asked Charlie.
I looked at Kylie who looked at me. Then I said,
“The… the summing up. Does that mean we are likely to succeed?”
Charlie looked at the Barrister. She smiled.
“I think the result is more likely to go in our favour than not.”
Then she added.
“You’d all disappeared by the time I came out of the court room. There was a bit of a fuss going on in the hallway. A number of process servers were serving your father. It looks like he is in deep do-do in a financial sort of way.”
“I think his creditors have run out of patience and he is out of money.”
Kylie looked sad.
“Despite everything he is my father. It shouldn’t have come to this.”
There was general agreement amongst all those present.
When Claire and Charlie had gone, we found ourselves at a bit of a loose end.
“What do you want to do now?”
Kylie thought for a few seconds.
“Could we go home? I know you are probably tired but I really would like to get out of the city.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean. It smells something rotten.”
We both laughed.
“Ok, but the first hour or so is going to be slow going but I don’t want to be away any longer either.”
As I’d feared, we caught the full force of the evening rush hour getting out of London. The traffic was starting to thin out when we turned off the M4 at Reading Services for a comfort break.
I was getting us a coffee when someone came up to Kylie and said,
“Kylie? Is that you?”
She turned around with a surprised look on her face.
“William? What are you doing here?”
“Do you know this man?” I asked coming over all protective for a moment.
“Yes, yes I do. William, meet Monica. Monica, meet William. I’m staying with Monica at the moment. I worked for William in the run up to Christmas. That bastard PI came and ruined everything.”
“Is this true?”
He nodded his head.
“That man turned up with her father and made all sorts of trouble for me. The Tax people started an audit which suddenly stopped when she left.”
“I don’t know about you two, but I’m parched. How about we continue this conversation over a coffee?” I suggested.
There were no objections so we headed for the Coffee shop in the service area. I sent the others off to grab a table while I got the order in.
As I sat down with the drinks, I noticed that William was obviously attracted to Kylie. He appeared to be in his Mid-Twenties and was well dressed. He was however, wearing we very well worn Waxed Cotton Jacket over the top of what looked like a very well cut suit.
Kylie and I were sitting opposite him. His eyes were going all misty. There was no doubt in my mind that he really fancied her. There was no chance that he was going to go all ‘gooey’ over me, well, at least I hoped that this was the case.
“So, William, what are you doing in this neck of the woods?” I asked.
“I’ve been standing in for my Father’s head groom at the races in Folkestone. The groom took ill last night so he calls me. He knows I don’t really get on with horses and… well he’s going to be livid when I get home. Our one runner, ‘Lofty Girl’ fell in the race and broke her leg in two places. The vets had no choice but to put her down. Plus, to make matters worse, Johnny Waite, the Jockey broke his collarbone and is still in Hospital. I’m taking the horse box home to face the music.”
Then he looked at Kylie again.
“Seeing you here has made a truly awful day suddenly a lot better. Why are you here?”
I looked at Kylie who couldn’t take her eyes off him. ‘Young Love’ that’s for sure.
“We have been to London and stopped here for a comfort break on our way home?”
“Home?” asked William with a puzzled look on his face.
“A little place in West Wales.”
“So, you have a long way to go then?”
“Yes, and we need to get moving otherwise it will be really late when we get home and we have both had a long day.”
“Why don’t you come home with me? It is a lot nearer than yours.” asked William.
I looked at Kylie. She shook her head.
“No, Monica is right. We have had enough excitement for one day.”
William looked very disappointed.
“Besides, you have some explaining to do when you get home, don’t you?” said Kylie.
“I suppose so. But don’t forget where I am. There is a job for you anytime you want one.”
“Thanks Willy. I won’t forget where you live not for the job offer. I have a few things that still need sorting out but when they are done, we’ll come over for a visit won’t we Monica?”
I didn’t see that one coming.
“Yes. We’ll come for a visit,” I managed to say between giggles.
Fifteen minutes later we were on the road again. We soon passed the Horsebox being driven by William. Kylie gave it a wave. William ‘tooted’ his horn back at us. It was times like this that I’d wished I’d fitted an intercom to the bike but I hadn’t so my grilling of Kylie would have to wait.
[to be continued]
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.