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A casual friendship takes an unexpected and exciting turn.
As I sipped it, I thought about how I still couldn't reconcile the intelligent Molly that I knew, that had been here in this flat until a few minutes ago, with the fucking stupid idiot that allowed her life to go so wrong.
For the next three days I hardly had a second to think of Molly and her or my future. Two days were in London, of which a whole twenty minutes was spent reporting to The Old Man. We talked about the possibility of developing the Marston Abbey site, and he insisted that we involve the PR people. Corporations selling off historic buildings, if it turns out to be against the wishes of the local population or some special interest group, can always turn into a PR nightmare. I did also mention that I was considering the future of the Exeter operation, and the possibility of selling them off, or allowing a management buy out, if that's what Stephen Hobbs can put together. That allowed him to finish the meeting with "Exodus 5:1".
As I left his office, I said to Pamela, "Can I borrow your Bible?" and through the open door, I heard The Old Man's voice, "Let my people go."
Pamela looked at me, and we both laughed. Then she rather surprisingly said, "I like Carole."
"So do I." I answered.
"The best of her type in the Group, I'd say."
I looked at her, and very clearly said, "And she's staying in Bristol."
Pamela smiled, "Just testing. Making sure you appreciate what you've got."
As I sat on the train on Friday evening, heading for Bristol, I thought I was becoming paranoid. I began to wonder what Pamela's message of appreciating what I've got was meant to mean. Was it possible that Carole had talked my problem through with Pamela, and this was Pamela's hidden advice? Common sense told me that that was a stupid idea, and even if it wasn't, the advice was wasted because I couldn't see how it applied to me.
By the time I got home on that Friday, I was tired, and feeling grimy from London and travelling. I ran myself a nice deep hot bath and was just about to get in it when Mum phoned. They were now in St Andrews, and Len was thinking of taking up Golf. I did tell her that my thinking was now focussed on trying to understand what happened to Molly that made her marry Peter. I told her about Susan's games, and that kept us talking for quite some time. And, although I made no real progress in my thinking, it was calming and relaxing just to talk all my thoughts through with Mum. She didn't contribute much to my thinking, but was a good listener, and that was possibly the best thing she could have done.
It was about eleven o'clock on Saturday morning that I got a call from Ralph. Could he come and see me? And it was about a quarter to twelve before he arrived.
I let him in, and asked, "Do you fancy a cup of coffee? I'm about to have one."
"Yes, thanks." And he followed me into the kitchen and watched me make a couple of mugs of instant coffee, with little more than small talk about the weather.
When I handed him a mug, he sat on a stool at the breakfast bar, whilst I just leant against the kitchen units opposite. "OK, what's this about, Ralph?"
"It's about that letter that Molly sent you." He paused, "Look Chris, I never knew there had been a letter until you told me that day in my shed. No one had told me about it. But then, Susan couldn't tell me because we weren't meant to be interfering, were we?" There was a sharp edge of bitterness in his voice.
"Even if you'd known it wouldn't have made much difference. You might have stopped her sending it I suppose, that might have saved me some heartache, but the result would have been the same."
"Well, anyway, I talked to Molly about it, or rather she talked to me about it when I asked how Tuesday night went. And it struck me as odd that you and Molly have such different views on it."
"I guess memory corrupts..."
Ralph ignored me, "So I asked Molly all about it.