By Her Grave


I don't own "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie".


It had been a year since her death, and this was the first time that Teddy Lloyd had gone to her grave. It was a plain, simple marker, inscribed with her name and the dates of her birth and death. The area surrounding her grave was barren, apart from a wilting bouquet of roses – there were not even the brightly coloured autumn leaves she had so loved on the ground. They had been raked up by the caretakers of the graveyard.

He stood there, looking at her grave which gave no indication of the magnificent, beguiling woman who now lay beneath the soil. He heard footsteps behind him and turned.

Gordon Lowther, the man who had been Jean's lover, was approaching her grave, clutching a bouquet of white Scotch roses – her favourite flower – in his hand. He stopped when he noticed Teddy standing there, staring at him.

"Hello, Teddy," Gordon Lowther said to him. His gold wedding ring glinted in the dusk.

"Hello, Gordon," Teddy replied, turning back to her grave. Gordon bent down and picked up the wilting bouquet of roses, replacing them with the bouquet he held in his hand. They stood there in silence for quite some time, until the sun set.

"Would you care to get a drink?" Gordon asked, breaking the silence. Teddy nodded, and they began to walk out of the graveyard. They reached the pub, which was only a block away, and sat down at the bar. They each ordered a glass of scotch.

"She loved you more than she loved me, you know," Gordon said as they waited for their drinks to arrive.

Teddy nodded sadly. "But she gave herself to you."

"No, she never did," Gordon said. Teddy looked at him, confused. "Not completely. We might have... well, you know..." Teddy nodded, urging him to continue, which he did, "but she never truly loved me. You always held her heart."

Teddy looked down, allowing a single tear to slip down her cheek.

"I hurt her so badly," Teddy whispered, "I left her after that one night we had together, and she never forgave me for that – I never forgave myself for that, for putting my wife before her, the woman I loved."

"I did the same," Gordon said mournfully. "I left Jean for Heather – and I didn't even have the decency to tell her."

They looked at each other, seeing their own sorrow reflected in the other's eyes. Their drinks arrived, and they raised their glasses in a toast.

"To Jean Brodie, woman and teacher, magnificent in her splendour and dedication," Teddy said.

"To Jean Brodie," Gordon echoed, and they clinked their glasses together, each of them downing the liquor in a single gulp. Gordon stood up, placed a few banknotes on the table to pay for their drinks, and exited the bar. Teddy stayed, looking down into his empty glass, and thought of the woman that he – and Gordon – had loved.