Community Spirit – Episode 68

“WHAT did you say?” Jeannie held her breath.

“I told him exactly what I thought of him and what he needs to do about it. I said if he can’t be a proper father to both his children then I don’t want to see him again.

“OK, so you and he split up and that was horrible and everything, and now he’s got another family, but why do I have to be caught in the middle?

“Loads of my friends at school have parents who aren’t together and most of them manage to see their dads without feeling they’re in the way.

“In fact, most of them say they’re spending too much time with their fathers when they’d rather be out with their friends!”

“What did he say?”

“What does he ever say? That it’s hard for him, that I’ll understand when I’m older, that life isn’t simple.”

A small smile crept over Tasha’s face.

“I told him I’d make it simple for him – that until he was prepared to be a proper father to me, I didn’t want to see him any more.”

“Wow!” Jeannie replied. “Good for you.”

“To be fair, he looked like he felt bad after that and tried to say all the right things, but I told him to save the words and that I would be judging him by his actions!”

Jeannie smiled back.

“I’m impressed! I wish I could be that strong.”

“About what?”

“Oh, nothing. So what do you think will happen now?”

“I’m not sure, but it’s up to him to make it up to me.”

“I’m sure he will. He was always a good father,” Jeannie commented.

“Until he left,” Tasha added.

“This might be just the thing to bring him to his senses and make him realise he needs to put in the effort for both his daughters.”

Tasha’s phone rang and she fished it out of her bag.

“Hi, Cally.” After listening in silence for a few moments she agreed to whatever it was that had been proposed and rang off. “We’ve been invited over to the Mucklebury Arms. I said we’d go.”

“Oh, I don’t know if that’s a good idea.” Jeannie frowned.

“Why not?”

“I’m just about to start dinner.”

“Save it for later.”

“I’m not sure I’ll be welcome over there.”

“Of course you will. Come on, we’ve got to go now.”

“Why now?”

“We just do, that’s all.”

Tasha stood up and tried to pull Jeannie by the arm.

“No, Tasha,” Jeannie persisted. “I can’t. It’s complicated, but Nate needs a bit of space at the moment.”

Tasha stood over Jeannie and smiled.

“I’ve taken on one parent today. I’ll gladly take on another if you don’t get going.”

Jeannie stood up.

“Let me turn the oven off, and I’ll be there.”

“You might want to add brushing your hair to that list,” Tasha teased, grinning.

Alison Cook