‘He probably would have killed you though.’
‘Probably, but I’d got to a point where I didn’t care.’
‘You certainly played close to the wire, the least my dad would have done was ground me and take away my allowance. I can imagine the punishments he would have subjected you to.’
‘I would have been thrown out or sent to a nunnery knowing him.’
‘He wouldn’t have thrown you out – surely?’
‘He would have and did in the end; he was that type of man.’
‘Yea, he was,’ Lucy said.
‘But he never found out, even when I was still a little tipsy when I helped out at the jumble sale. Mum just said I was coming down with something, gave me a hot water bottle and sent me up to bed. It was shortly after that I found condoms in my drawer.’
‘My mum did a similar thing to me. I reckon it was because she got up to the same thing.’
A photograph caught Laura’s attention, of her mum sunbathing.
‘That was at the old Lido, we never did get much swimming done,’ Lucy said, laughing.
In another snap of the past her mum was holding a copper medal aloft. ‘Mum looks great in pink.’
‘Doesn’t she just, Martha, me and James did a fun run together, raised over two thousand pounds as I recall,’ Lucy said.
‘James, was that an old boyfriend?’
‘No, he was her cousin, your second cousin.’
‘Mum never mentioned him, were they close then?’ Laura asked.
‘Like brother and sister, but they lost contact, it was a shame, but he could never get his head around Thomas.’
‘Have you got any pictures of James?’
With a quick flick of her hands, Lucy rummaged through. She picked out a strip of four. Each small picture, had Lucy, James, and her mum making faces for the camera.
‘Wow, they look alike,’ Laura said, and placed the strip in her hand.
‘Where one went, the other wasn’t far behind.’
‘Are you still in contact with James?’
‘The last I heard he got married and moved to Australia. I did try to keep in contact, but I lost his phone number.’
‘Do you think he would mind if I tried something, if you have a last name, I reckon I could look him up on Facebook.’
‘I never would have thought of that, his last name was Shaw.’
‘It’s a fairly unusual name, it’s still a longshot though.’
‘He would love to hear from you, I’m sure of it.’
Laura pulled out her mobile and went on to her Facebook account. One search later, twenty pictures filled the screen. Eliminating most of them, she picked out a picture that was most like James.
‘Do you think that’s him?’ Laura asked.
‘I don’t know, could be.’
Laura’s fingers hovered over the keys, and she typed in a message My name is Laura and I think you knew my mum, Martha Shaw. I would love to speak to you if that’s okay. Laura pressed send.
A whole new family on the horizon and it meant everything.