A Mother's Day Visit
A UFO Challenge Story for the Sci-Fi Forever Forum
Written by Matthew R. White
©May 3, 2011
Based on the Characters and series created by Gerry Anderson
Historians Note: This story is written in the Soul Mates universe and takes place in May of 1984 just before the episode The Long Sleep written by David Tomblin.
In her quiet home on the outskirts of Brighton, Lynn Lake was in the midst of preparing dinner. Her daughter was due to arrive any moment, and she had not seen her in almost a month. The last time this happened was because Ginny had found herself a gentleman friend, thought Lynn as she removed the roast from the oven. As she set the pan down on the trivet, the doorbell rang.
Lynn closed the oven and strolled into the parlor to answer the door.
"Virginia, come on in," she said as she embraced her daughter.
"Hi Mom, Happy Mother's Day," said Ginny pausing for a moment. "I hope you're not cooking, I was going to take you to dinner."
Although she was a Brit, Lynn had adopted the American nickname of mom, instead of mum, as a tribute and gift to her late husband Robert. When he found out his wife was with child, he would spend hours talking to his unborn daughter, even though he didn't yet know their baby was a girl. Lynn had just started to show a few weeks before her husband was killed in action during the war.
"That's very sweet of you dear, but I would much rather we ate here, than some noisy restaurant in town. They'll all be very busy and I would like to talk with you over a quiet meal. I'm just about ready to put everything on the table. You can help me if you like."
While the two women set the food and drinks on the table, Ginny told her mother about her busy studio schedule, her business trip, and most of the other things that were happening in her very busy life.
"I do have those pictures that you wanted me to take of Loch Ness, but I forgot to grab them before I left today. I can drop them to you next week if you like," she finished as they sat down to eat.
"That will be fine. It will give you a reason to get back down here," she said.
"I'm sorry that I haven't been by as much as I should, it's just been hectic at work."
Lynn gave her daughter a wry grin as they dished out the food.
"So what is his name dear?"
"I beg your pardon?" Ginny asked looking genuinely surprised.
Lynn however was not to be fooled and she gazed at her daughter knowingly.
After a few seconds of silence, Virginia said, "I never could keep a secret from you. All right, yes, I have been seeing someone. His name is Ed. We started dating about six weeks ago."
Virginia was grinning like a Cheshire cat that had just eaten the canary.
"I thought as much. Well good for you. I glad to see you socializing again. He must be somebody very special."
"Yeah, I think so, and you should know that I'm very particular about who I spend time with," said Ginny.
Lynn chuckled at that, "You wouldn't be my daughter if you weren't. I just worry about you Virginia. Life is too short to spend it alone. I had gotten my hopes up when you met that nice man last year. It's a shame about what happened to him….Ginny I'm sorry, maybe I shouldn't have brought that up."
Virginia had told her mother a while back about Craig's untimely death.
"No, it's all right Mom. I'm okay now. I had a good cry back in December on the anniversary of our first date, and it really helped me come to terms with the loss."
"Sometimes that's the best way to deal with it," said Lynn. "Let yourself grieve when you need to. Don't stuff the emotions."
"Is that how you handled Dad's death? I mean how many hours did you spend telling me about him. That must have been hard on you."
"I cried every single day, right up until the day you were born. When the nurse put you in my arms, I decided that you had the right to know how wonderful a man your father was and telling you about him, especially when you were young, helped me put matters into perspective."
They ate in silence for a few minutes and Virginia asked, "Why didn't you ever remarry Mom?"
Lynn Lake looked out the window as she contemplated the man that she would have married, had he lived. Lake turned her gaze back to her daughter.
"While you were in the states, I did meet someone," said Lynn. "He reminded me of your father in so many ways, driven by duty, loyal, loving, a zest for life. We even shared the same spiritual beliefs. He was a US Air force Colonel stationed here in England. Jim introduced me to him not long after you got married. Jerry was a widower. His wife had been killed in a plane crash a few years before."
"Oh my God," Ginny said, with a wide eyed expression. "I never knew any of this."
"Virginia, your dear mother still has a few surprises up her sleeve."
"I wish you had told me that you had another man in your life Mom. Why didn't you?"
Lynn was lost in thought for a moment as she stared out the window. She turned back to her daughter, "He was killed in an accident in late 1973," she answered wistfully. "You were going through your divorce and I didn't want to burden you with this, on top of everything you were facing. Besides, I had friends that I was able to lean on, Jim and his wife were very supportive.
Virginia paused for a moment before she quietly continued, "I'm very sorry. Can you tell me what happened?"
"Well, let's see, Jerry was driving down here for the weekend. It was a Friday night and the storm that had hit was one of the worst I had ever seen. Thunder and lightning filled the sky, and it was raining like the day of the great flood. I had told him before he left to wait until morning, but when you're in love and you miss someone, you don't always make the right decision. He was driving down the M23 when his car exploded. The police report stated that the vehicle had been struck by lightning and the vapors in the fuel tank had ignited."
Lynn knew the police report was a hoax as she had seen pictures of the wreckage, compliments of her former associates in MI-6. The car had been hit by something, something not of this world, she thought to herself.
"Mom, I don't know what to say…" Virginia paused, lost for words.
"It was a long time ago, Ginny," she said reflectively.
"Did you love him?"
"Yes, I did, and I think he was planning to ask me to marry him that weekend, and if he did, I would have said yes."
Virginia seemed to be lost in thought. She finally asked, "What was he working on Mom?"
"I really don't know. Whatever it was it was classified and I didn't inquire further. He did tell me that he had a chance to transfer to the UK permanently about a week before he died. But that is the closest I've ever come to walking down the aisle again. I really wish you had met him. He was so much like your father. As I said, I never told you because you didn't need my problems on top of your own."
After dinner, Virginia helped her mother clean up, and they sat in the parlor talking over tea. They were very close and it amazed her that after all these years, she was still learning things about her own mother.
"So, Virginia, tell me about Ed. What's he like?"
"God, I don't even know where to begin," said Ginny. "Well let's see…he's a perfect gentleman, and his eyes…his eyes are the most beautiful shade of blue I've ever seen in my life…"
Virginia was silent for a moment as she imagined Ed's gaze as they parted the previous evening.
"I'm sorry," she said as she shook off her reverie. "Ed's not an easy man to get to know. I've known him over four years, and I'm finding out how little I knew about him. He is so different in private than he is at work."
"It sounds as if he trusts you. From what you have told me about him, I take it he chooses his friends carefully," said Lynn.
Virginia sipped her tea and nodded, "Very carefully. I think he can count his close friends on one hand."
"I do hope that you're on that list?"
"To be honest Mom, I didn't even realize how close we were until a few months ago. I was away on business, and Ed received a call from his father. You remember. I called to ask you to send flowers when his Dad passed away," said Virginia.
"That's right, did he like the arrangement I had sent?"
"Yes, very much so, and I received a thank you card from his sister Barbara."
"Well I glad they liked it." Lynn Lake paused briefly. "Ed Straker, the Ed Straker?"
"Well, I didn't want to make a big deal of it. Ed certainly doesn't."
"I don't know why I didn't figure it out sooner. It was as plain as the nose on my face. So when do I get to meet him?"
Virginia had thought about asking Ed to come with her today, but the two of them were still feeling each other out. They had become very comfortable with the form that their relationship had taken, and Ginny did not want to upset that balance. She knew that Ed, being ever aware of protocol, would suggest a visit with her mother as soon as he felt it to be appropriate.
"Soon I think. I'm sort of waiting to see if he'll bring up the idea first."
"Smart girl," said Lynn with a chuckle. "So tell me, what do the two of you like to do together?"
"Well, Ed plays piano, quite well, I might add, and we play together quite a bit. He's a pilot so he enjoys flying just as much as I do. We've been to the symphony twice, the ballet, a musical. In fact, he's making dinner for me tonight at his place."
"He can cook?" asked Lynn, seemingly impressed.
"Yeah, Ed is quite at home in the kitchen. He told me that he learned from his father."
"Are you going out after?"
"I think we are going to have a nice quiet evening at his place, soft romantic music playing in the background. We might talk, we might dance…"
"Dance? Your father and I used to do that. We'd dance in the living room for hours sometimes. It was very romantic."
"Ed is a very passionate man," said Virginia. "But I never expected him to be so playful. So Dad was like that too?" asked Ginny.
"Your father was very much the same way. During the war, we lived on the outskirts of London near the field that your father flew from. The bombing raids were mostly over the city, but everything was blacked out. We could see the fires burning from our front window. I used to get quite concerned over it, but your father would put on some quiet music and we would slow dance in the dark. Being in your father's arms chased my fear away."
"I wish I had known him," Virginia said wistfully.
"He would have been very proud of you honey."
Lynn looked at the clock, "What time are you supposed to be at Ed's?"
"I told him I'd be there by six."
"Well you had better get moving, you know how bad the weekend traffic can be down here. I'm looking forward to meeting Ed."
The two women stood, and Virginia retrieved her purse and jacket and gave her mother a hug as they walked to the door.
"Love you Mom, I'll see you in a couple of weeks.
"I love you to dear, drive safe."
Lynn watched out the window as her daughter pulled away. I am so happy for her, she thought to herself. Virginia has been alone for too long.
As Lynn thought about the days of the war, and her husband's fellow pilot friends, she recalled a fighter pilot that was named Straker. She couldn't remember his first name but she knew he was from Boston. I wonder if he is related to Ed.
As Lynn turned on the telly, she found herself praying that Ginny had finally found the right man.