Oh Dear Yes Dear
Keeping Up Appearances
I do NOT own the copyrights to the Keeping Up Appearance.
I have not attempted to write in English humor - I have written the only way I know how. Please bear with that me.
The river's air caught my nose and I inhaled deeply. I'd not been born in England -didn't even attempt to pretend it was the case- but I did enjoy the smell of water meeting land. It was probably due to being out on my father's boat every summer for a week. The time would have been longer, but mother always insisted I practice the piano and voice lessons. Personally, I thought that was just a polite way of saying 'legal way to torture a child'. Leaving the river behind me I entered a small pub slash diner.
The diner was full -except the counter's stools. Therefore I sat at the edge of the counter not surprised to see Joy working. "Hi." I greeted her as she handed a man - sitting next to me - sporting dark hair ; which was thinning - his drink . I'd heard him called Emmett when I walked in and the woman sitting next to him Elizabeth. I had no idea of their last name, nor did I care.
Caring was something I normally did very well, but I was too tired to bother. I just wanted my pop, sandwich and then bed. Glancing around the room I saw the vicar, his wife - both of which I had never managed to catch a name on. Then there was Onslow, Daisy, and Rose. Those three I knew mostly by their faces -names had been caught in a local grocery store I'd worked at for a short time. The last person my eyes fell on was Richard Bucket.
Bucket - now there was a name that could make you cringe -especially when attached behind the name of Hyacinth. Hyacinth was married to Richard that much I knew. It was also well-known around my apartment I had seriously considered sending an anonymous sympathy card to the man -but I never had. I'd have kept looking their direction out of boredom I dare say except I'd caught sight of a blue and white dress walking our way accompanied with very floppy hat.
The dress and floppy hat belonged to Hyacinth. Number one rule - for me- keep my tough outer shell up and keep my conversation going with Joy; fortunately - for me- she was willing to comply. It wasn't that I really expected the Bucket woman to start a conversation with me, no, my rough manners always kept women like her away, but I didn't want to sit in total silence either, so, Joy and I talked over about my job expecting nothing more than for the woman to sit down and torment…I mean talk… with her husband and friends. So, imagine my surprise when I heard footsteps stop next to me and a request -which came out sounding more like an order- for me to follow her outside.
"Why would I want to do that?" I eyed her so sharply I think the guy next to me about fell off his chair.
"It's very important and a very private matter." Hyacinth spoke with a tone that gave me an urge to tell her I wasn't two - not to mention her volume shouted otherwise.
"Might want to turn off the fog horn if you want things to be private." My voice was kept low so most of the diner did not hear however, the man next to me did - pop was spit out all over the counter. Taking pity on the fellow I stood up and pointed for her to lead the way back out the front door.
The front door couldn't come soon enough for all the stares we got. The one that didn't freeze his look was Richard and he looked -resigned? I would have asked what the look was about but the overbearing woman was already outside.
"So, what do you want?" I asked as soon as I was leaning against my car. I swore everyone in the diner had their faces turned our way.
"The doctor has given me six months to live and …" The woman rattled on and on about her health. So much so I almost pointed out the fact I wasn't a specialist, nor an undertaker, instead I tuned most of what she was saying out. That is until the words 'so you see I think you'd be the perfect woman."
"Not that kind." I really didn't know if my reply fit what she'd been saying but it sure was worth saying for the shocked look that came on her face.
"I wasn't referring to myself, I was talking about my husband, Richard." She stiffened when I replied that my standards didn't allow swinging and I didn't practice polygamy. "Good heavens, didn't you listen to a word I said?" She spoke with her head lifted even higher than it had been.
"Apparently not." Being rude really wasn't my standard practice, but I really couldn't stomach this woman and wasn't in the mood to pretend otherwise. "How about repeating it?" Hyacinth did in a nutshell.
Our audience couldn't hear what we'd been saying but they saw Hyacinth look as if she needed CPR. I turned and walked back towards the diner grinning from ear to ear. It was upon opening the door Joy pounced and asked what on earth I had said to get the woman looking as if she was having a heart attack.
"I suggested she buy a new hat and loosen her garter belt." I sat back in my seat to the sounds of audible gasps, or right down bursts of laughter - I noticed Richard may have been shaking his head, but his eyes were laughing just as hard as Onslow's voice.
Thunder in my ear woke me and I sat up as carefully as I could as not to wake Richard. Hyacinth had passed on five years ago and Richard and I had been together longer than was 'proper' - if anyone had told me that would happen I would have told them to go take a hike. Now? Leaning against my pillows I couldn't imagine not being married to him.
"You all right?" Richard asked as he too sat up.
"Wasn't trying to wake you." Concerned my movement had indeed been the cause of his interrupted sleep.
"You didn't. Now what's up?" He asked as he put his arms around me and held me close.
"I dreamt about the first time Hyacinth brought up the subject of me marrying you when she passed on and my response." I couldn't help but giggle as Richard laughed saying he remembered full well his own horror when his first wife said it was her 'duty' to find him someone before she died.
"I thought she'd flipped truth be told. All I could think was 'Oh, Dear...Yes, Dear.' Richard whispered as he did not want to wake Beth -who was sleeping in the next room. Think she's admitted to herself the truth yet about me, or do you think she's rolling over in her grave?" I asked as I snuggled even closer to my husband.
"Both." Richard's chest rumbled at the thought. "She insisted you were just being modest when you said you were not a full-fledged secretary, and doubled as the cleaning lady."
"Ya, and she insisted I was only joking about my age - that it would be an embarrassment to admit I was over forty." I felt my husband shake his head.
"Tried telling her you weren't playing down your age and that you really were only thirty-two." Richard started beaming I could fell it in his touch. "I could have cared less, the more time went on and sicker Hyacinth become I noticed you were the one that took care of her the most. Sure, Elizabeth helped, and her sisters, but you stood up to her in a way no one else dared." He tilted my head and gave a peck on my forehead. "You quickly become a good friend -and when she passed on it only seemed natural to start seriously dating you."
"Sheridan had a fit over us dating and getting married so quickly after his mother's death. Your son still won't talk to us." I hadn't cared back then -and I still didn't.
"If he was upest over that it was his own fault -both his mother and I told him everything up front and he said he was fine with it. And as far as him not talking to us now?" Richard snorted, "It's because you have enough backbone to call a spade a spade, not to mention you told him to do a very strange thing."
"And that was?" I asked readjusting myself so I could see my husband face to face.
"Grow up and get a job. And don't forget the other cardinal sin." Richard as having a hard time not laughing.
"And that was?" I asked wondering what he was talking about.
"You gave him thirty days to come get any childhood memorable or it was going. AND…" he winked. "…you backed me up chucking pink out of this room." Richard laughed as I cringed about the color pink. Female or not, I hated pink.
"Think Emmett's forgiven me yet?" I asked as I remembered the fist time Emmett found out I could indeed sing and play the piano - it was at an old friend's concert last month.
"Yes, but he still doesn't like the fact you practiced in secret." Richard knew why I had and hadn't complained, but was very happy when I'd finally 'busted' out of my own shell.
"In some ways you are nothing like Hyacinth -especially in not turning me away after Beth was born - but, in one way you are."
"And that would be?" I asked pretending to be pout out.
"You are one very strong -opinionated -female." He smiled softly and asked me if I knew what the best thing I'd have done for him.
"What?" Curious as my daughter's pet cat to know the answer.
"Taught me no one is ever too old to laugh, live, or love." He patted my growing belly and whispered, "By the way, thanks for selling that place in the country and getting the finances straightened out so efficiently. At least when I go, you will be able to take care of the children."
"Think Sheridan will try to cause problems?" I ask half thinking he might.
"He can go hang. I changed the will. Like I said, I'm more concerned about you raising Beth and the baby then a grown man who should be able to take care of himself." Richard's tone took on a hardened tone it seldom brought out of the closet.
"You die before this baby is at least fourteen and I'll kill you." He only laughs as we lay back down and fall asleep in each others arms.