“That’s that. Good riddance to adulterous rubbish,” announced his widow, Moira.
“Two-faced – six-timing – bastard,” said his long-suffering girlfriend, Katherine. “Thanks, Moira”, she added between noisy bites of fruit cake, “you’ve laid on a great funeral tea.”
“Yeah,” nodded Eileen, wiping her palms theatrically. “Nice nosh! Good on ya, luv! All the old sod dished up for me was insults. ‘Crude’, ‘crass’ and ‘coarse’ is what he said on the night I chucked him out. Bloody cheek, too, when I think what he liked to do in bed!”
“I’ll tell you worse,” said Dawn. “He got me pregnant; refused to help and then screamed blue murder when I had an abortion. What was he like?”
Angela, Rupert’s P.A. chuckled. “Dunno about that. No hanky-panky with me. I was just there to straighten his tie. But he managed to rook his clients blind without actually breaking the law. What’s more, I’ve counted that he chaired 25 civic and social welfare committees and never did a stroke of work for any of them. Now those nits at the town hall are thinking of putting up a plaque and even arranging an annual lecture in his name. Huh! He fooled them all.”
When Rupert died there were floods of tears at the cemetery.
Gail had hidden behind an oak tree during the burial and was now kneeling by the grave-side clutching a bouquet of weeds.
“Why did you hate us - your women - so much? You betrayed Mum over and over and I’m still paying for my one mistake. Chrissie was only six weeks old when you made me give her away. I traced her, desperate to give her a past; to tell her about Johnny and me. But Families United - one of your pet projects - say she doesn’t want to know. I wish you everything you did to me, Dad. Enjoy yourself – wherever you are.”
(Copyright, Natalie Irene Wood – 15 June 2012)