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Posts : 353
Join date : 2009-04-03
|Subject: chapter 27 Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:52 am|| |
Once more Jenny carried on the routine of running the station with the knowledge that Garrick would not be at the house when she returned. He had called when he had arrived in Cape Town but considering where the assignment was going to take him he had no idea when he would next be able to make contact. That had been nearly two weeks ago. Jenny understood his need to work, not just because he felt that he needed to contribute to their relationship financially more importantly because photography was in his blood. It was not something he did, it was who he was. She understood exactly how he would feel if he could not take his photos because it was how she would have felt if told she could no longer run the station. Jenny smiled at her thoughts. Many assumed it was her writing that was her passion and to an extend it was but deep, deep down it was the land that held her captive. She needed to feel it under her feet, ride across it, breath it in. She would never ask Garrick to give up something that meant that much too him as she knew he would never ask her to give up her home. Jenny knew they loved each other and seeing the joy on Garrick’s face each time he returned to her was enough to get her through the days he was absent. He always returned and she would always be waiting.
As she sat at her desk the crackling of the radio brought her from her thoughts, smiling hearing Luna’s voice as loud and as energetic as the woman herself.
The two women had become friends much to the shock of those around them. After the accident Jenny had kept an eye on things at the Paterson Station but it was soon clear that Luna was very capable of the task at hand including her nephews.
“Morning Luna. How are things?”
“Good, good. Boys are doing fine.”
Jenny sighed a little before her next question. Travis had returned home but his father and mother were still in Adelaide. “Including Travis?”
“Yes. Was a little wobbly there in the beginning but once the other two stop treating him like a broken pot things came good.”
“Glad to hear it. Is this a social call or can I help you with something?”
Luna laughed across the air waves. “Bit of both. Seems I can run a cattle station with no problem but when it comes to computers.” there was a pause. “Even Travis gave up. He has no idea what I did to the damn thing but now it will not work.”
It was Jenny’s turn to laugh. “Not sure I can be of any help then, I usually call Travis but if you call Wayne Mason he might be able to talk you through it. If not you are going to have to ship it into town so he can have a look at it.”
“Great. I’ll get right on it.”
“And the social aspect of the call?”
“It’s Travis’ birthday in a couple of weeks and he asked me to invite you and Garrick. It doesn’t look like Bill will be home in time.”
Jenny’s voice held a little sadness. “I know, I spoke to Adele but it is the right thing to be doing so they get through the rehab and give him the best chance he has. Tell Travis I would be honoured to attend but I am not sure if Garrick will be home by then.”
“Will do. Thanks for the computer referral.”
Sitting back in her chair looking at the blank computer screen Jenny knew that since their conversation had been aired the news as to Bill Patterson’s rehabilitation would not take long to spread.
Flicking the computer into life Jenny opened a file received from Dr Bradley, the information which it contained she had kept to herself. It was information that would change their lives, information she needed to share with Garrick but something she needed to do face to face. Until that time came she would immerse herself in her work, creative and physical.
Jenny received only two more calls from Garrick while he had been away and in their last conversation he said he would try to get home a little earlier to attend the birthday party. As it was he arrived in time to be to late but right on time for Jenny to pick him up from the airstrip on her way home from the Patterson’s. Malcolm Patterson had surprised his younger brothers by paying a visit and Jenny had organised for the all the boys to speak to their parents via a Skype connection to the rehabilitation clinic. Now it was her turn to enjoy Garrick’s return.
Leaning against the Ute watching the plane come in for a landing Jenny waved to the pilot and waited for the door to open. Garrick and the pilot disembarked together with the pilot helping Garrick carry his bags. Jenny smiled, more to herself than at them. It did not matter how many bags he had or how many people he had to help carry them Garrick always kept his camera case close to his side. Once all the bags were duly dumped into the back of the Ute and Gully given a welcome home scratch on the top of his head Jenny gave Garrick a small kiss on the cheek then shook the pilot’s hand. “Uneventful trip I take it Gramps?”
Garrick gave the pilot a surprised look. “Gramps. You said you had no kids?”
Gramps laughed. “To answer your question Jenny. The trip was fine; Rick here had a few stories to hold my interest.” Then he turned his attention to Garrick. “Gramps is the nickname I got lumbered with when I first signed up for the Air Force. I was the oldest in the class. Only by three years but it stuck. Now I guess I am old enough to have grandchildren.”
As much as she just wanted to get back to the station Jenny was polite. “Will you join us at the pub for an early tea Ian?”
Having spent the last few hours with Garrick he knew that food was the furthest thing from Garrick’s mind so he graciously declined. “Maybe next time. I’ll refuel than head out. Thanks for the offer.”
Jenny and Ian shook hands before she and Garrick got into the Ute and instead of driving to the pub Jenny left town for the Station. Garrick placed his hand on her knee as she drove. “You miss me Mrs Rowe?”
“I always do Mr Rowe.”
“I am glad we are not staying in town.” Jenny did not answer but Garrick saw the side of her mouth crease into a smile. “How are the Patterson’s?”
“Coping. The three youngest were very happy to see Malcolm. He’s staying for a week then back to Uni. Luna has the place running like a well oiled machine.”
There was a pause before Garrick asked his next question. “And Bill?”
Jenny kept her eyes on the road as she gave him the facts. “They moved him to an intensive rehabilitation facility a few weeks ago and Adele said he was doing much better. The treatment is aggressive and he already has more movement in his arm than they ever expected so she is hopeful it will continue. He won’t get it all back, enough to be able to look after himself but not enough to work the station like he used to.”
“How will that affect the family?”
Jenny sighed. “Luna’s a smart women, she knows what might happen and has already decided to move back. She told me she would rather her than Malcolm, she wants to give him a chance to spread his wings for a while. I put her in touch with Gerard and he has already smoothed the way for her to leave they city, placated her agent.”
When Garrick did not ask another question Jenny took a quick glance at him. “Why do you have such a grin on your face? Did I say something funny?”
“I was just thinking of Gerard being tangled up with you and Luna.”
Jenny smiled. “Do you mind being tangled up with me?”
Again Garrick squeezed her leg. “Well the beginning was a little scary but now…..I am very happy to be tangled up with you.”
Garrick felt the atmosphere in the Ute change at her next words. “I am very glad to here that as I have something to tell you.”
Immediately his stomach knotted, his throat grew dry as he waited for the hammer to fall. “Bad news?”
Jenny sighed, not talking her eyes off the road. She had wanted to wait until they got back to the house but the words were out of her mouth before she could stop them and there was no taking them back. “No…..Well I don’t think so.”
Garrick twisted in his seat, staring side long at Jenny. “Jenny what is it?”
Again, without taking her eyes off the road she let the words wash over her lips and waited. “I’m pregnant.”
Garrick’s world stopped, he stopped breathing, everything stopped, he no longer heard the humming of the road underneath the wheels, he just stared at his wife as his voice caught in his throat.
The silence was too much for Jenny. “Garrick please say something.”
When he finally found his voice it was not what she had expected and it unnerved her. All her old torments clamouring to invade her senses. It was going to happen again.
“Pull over.” When the Ute did not slow down Garrick asked her again. “Please Jenny pull over.”
This time Jenny pulled the Ute off onto the shoulder but once they stopped she remained in her seat hand clasping the steering wheel while Garrick had jumped out as fast as he could. He was standing by her door before she realised it and as she turned to face him his heart sunk, she was crying and they were not tears of joy. He could see pain etched in her face. A pain he had not seen in a long time.
Garrick almost wrenched the door off its hinges he was in such a rush to get to her. “Jenny what is it? What’s wrong?”
Slowly Jenny unfolded herself out of the cab of the Ute with no escape, Garrick right in front of her and the Ute at her back.
Garrick got hold of both her arms, it was then that he felt all the old tension, another look into her eyes and he saw the old, cold darkness creeping back in. “Please Jenny tell me what is wrong. I don’t understand.”
“You don’t want this baby.”
Her words shocked him and it showed. “What!!!!!!! Why would you think that?” All of a sudden her past, Dean Farmer’s part in her past raced through his mind as he pulled her to his chest, hugging her tightly. His voice soft and tender as he spoke. “Oh Jenny, no…..Nothing could be further from the truth. You surprised me that is all. I just wanted to pull over so I could show you just how happy I am for you…..For us.”
Jenny raised her head to look up into his face and Garrick felt the tension leave her. “You don’t mind I am going to have a baby?”
“God no.” Garrick smiled. “Jenny, this is great. You are going to make me a father.”
Jenny laughed a little and Garrick brushed away her tears before pulling her into another tight hug. “Congratulations Mom.”
This time Jenny let out a cheerful laugh and poked him in the chest. “That will never do. You’ll have to practice calling me Mum.”
“I thought I just did.”
They both laughed before Garrick brought the conversation back to a more serious tone. “How long have you know?”
“Few days after we got back from the Patterson’s.”
“Then why wait to tell me?” When he saw the look in her eyes he knew his thoughts about Dean Farmer had been right. “Jenny I’m not Dean, I would never do such a thing, surely you know that?”
“I do, I’m sorry it was just when Dr Bradley told me I……….Can you forgive me?”
“Jenny I know things were bad for you but don’t let the past rob you of the happiness you have found. We have found.”
Jenny lowered her head. “I’ve hurt you…”
She began to pull away from him but Garrick gently turned her back. “No…. I’m okay. We said we would go forward right? We have and we will. I love you Jenny, you make me happier than any man has the right to be. When I am away from you I can think of nothing more than getting home. Now we are going to have a baby I don’t think I ever want to leave your side.”
Jenny frowned. “You’re not going to be one of those husbands that follows me around twenty four seven?”
Garrick laughed. “Maybe.”
Jenny punched him playfully in the arm. “Remember I own a gun.”
Garrick looked over to the back of the Ute. “And one very loyal dog.”
Jenny’s laugh was stifled as Garrick covered her lips with his own.
Jenny saw the realisation in his eyes the moment he had made the connection. “Is that why you were sick… On the drive to the Patterson’s that time.”
Jenny nodded her acknowledgement and before Garrick could voice his concern she put his mind at rest. “I’m fine, well most days I am fine, there have been a few odd mornings where things have not been good.” Garrick frowned a little. “Rick I am perfectly well and according some of the reading I have been doing much better off than a lot of pregnant women.”
Garrick could not stop the smile from spreading across his face he was so happy. “I really and very happy we are going to have a baby. Who else knows?”
Garrick knew by the look on her face before she spoke that apart from Dr Bradley no one else would know, she had told no one.
“I needed to talk to you first Rick but I guess now you know you’ll want to tell your family.”
Garrick was a little concerned at her answer. “You’re not going to tell anyone?”
Jenny rubbed her stomach. “People will know soon enough. Besides I don’t want a fuss.” She gave him a cheeky smile. “I think you’ll be enough to handle.”
The sound of a road train in the distance broke through their conversation and Garrick helped Jenny back into the Ute getting a wry look for his trouble. Once he was seated and they were on their way again he spoke. “Will you at least tell Mr Weston?”
“You can tell him then the two of you can head to the chopper shed for a few celebratory drinks.” Garrick looked at her astonished which only made Jenny laugh. “Don’t look so surprised, I’ve known about that little stash from the very beginning.”
Once more Garrick squeezed her leg. “You know you are not as hard as people make you out to be.”
“Yes I am.”
It was too early for any of the men to be back which suited Garrick just fine, he wanted to spend some time with his wife.
As he walked across the yard after parking the Ute he could here Gully barking at the back of the house and sure enough as he entered Jenny was busy putting a few things away. Turning on his heels he headed back towards the office, making himself comfortable in Jenny’s chair and sent an e mail to his mother about his impending father hood. He was smiling when he stood and had not realised that Jenny was standing in the doorway.
“You know you should have called her.”
Garrick shrugged his shoulders. “Time’s wrong.”
Jenny held out her hand and Garrick slipped his own into it without hesitation.
They were just about to leave the office when he stopped and grabbed hold of one of his bags, opening the side pocket he brought out a small box and handed it to Jenny.
Opening the box Jenny found two miniature elephants carved in polished wood. “Oh Rick, Thank you I am sure Oscar will like the company.”
Garrick frowned as he watched his wife move closer to her desk then laughed realising who or rather what she was talking about when she placed one at each side of the jade dragon he had brought home earlier. “You named the dragon Oscar?”
“Yes. Rather a good name for a dragon don’t you think?”
Before Garrick could answer Jenny had closed the gap between them and he felt her lips press against his making him forget any question he may have had.
As Garrick guided her up the stairs he voiced a thought that warmed his heart. “I guess next time I go away I will have to look for baby gifts.”
Jenny smiled but said nothing only squeezing his hand continuing to let him guide her to their room where they spent the rest of the day in love making. That was after Garrick’s initial hesitation in regards to whether he was permitted to be so intimate with the woman who was carrying their child.
Once again as he watched Jenny sleep peacefully beside him, Garrick was perfectly sure that he was exactly where he was always meant to be. Gerard flashed into his thoughts as Garrick did the calculations of his next couple of assignments. He frowned knowing he would need to talk to Gerard about bringing them forward or he would be away from Jenny in the last few months of her pregnancy and he was not about to do that. If it meant giving them up all together then so be it. He looked down at Jenny and gently brushed his hand over her bare stomach. His family were more important than any assignment.
Feeling his hand on her skin Jenny stirred but was a little concerned when she saw the frown he wore. “Something wrong?”
Garrick smiled down at her, running his fingers through her hair as he gazed into her eyes. “No just thinking.”
“Must be some serious thinking to have you frown like that.”
Before Garrick could answer his mobile phone which he had left on the bedside table chimed with an incoming message.
“That will be your mother.” Jenny threw the sheets back as she rose from the bed. “You better call her not just text Rick. She’ll want to know everything.”
Garrick smiled as he looked at the screen of his phone. Sure enough, it was from his mother. “Then maybe you two ladies should have the talk.”
Jenny shook her head as she pulled on her shirt. “Nothing doing. She wants to talk to you. Tell her I will e mail anything you leave out.”
Dressed in Jeans, shorts and bare feet Jenny padded down the hallway smiling as she heard Garrick say hi to him mum. It would be good for them to talk without her; she knew they had not done so in a while and what better news than to tell his mother than he was finally going to make her a grandmother.
Jenny was about to turn right and head into the kitchen to make a pot of tea when some feeling compelled her to head for the front door instead. She got to the door to find Gully sitting still and quiet on the verandah looking at an old women who stood in the yard. It was the old woman from Jakala’s tribe. She beckoned for Jenny to join her in the yard; Jenny did what she was told. As soon as she was close enough the old woman ran her hands over Jenny’s stomach and jabbered something in her own language before looking into Jenny’s eyes and taking both her hands in her own. “You not worry mother, strong spirits look after children. They be strong babies, they grow well, you not worry.” The woman gazed up past Jenny and she realised she was looking into the window of her room. As she turned her head she saw Garrick watching them. “He not so strong but strong enough. He a good man, good spirit. Jakala right, he make good partner. You not worry mother.”
Jenny smiled at the old woman and squeezed her hands. “Thank you Nan. You will be keeping watch over me yes?”
The old woman nodded and stroked Jenny’s stomach once more. “Nan always keep watch. You be daughter to me. I keep watch.”
Jenny stayed in the yard and watched the old woman walk off into the distance quickly becoming camouflaged by the night, sighing as she felt Garrick’s hands rest gently on her shoulders. “Everything alright?”
“She told me the baby is very strong and not to worry.”
Garrick looked out into the darkness in the direction the old woman had gone. “She knew…..I thought you said you hadn’t told anyone?”
“I haven’t.” Jenny turned to face him. “How is your mum?”
The smile that lit up Garrick’s face and the gleam in his eyes her answer. “She’s over the moon. I bet by now half the city knows.” He pulled Jenny to him. “Thank you for choosing me Jen.”
Jenny thought his choice of words curious considering their shaky beginning but said nothing just happy to be enclosed in Garrick’s arms, feeling loved, feeling protected, feeling like nothing in the world could take what she had away from her. At her last thought she shivered a little remembering her losses. Garrick mistook it for her feeling cold and said so, guiding her back into the house.
Jenny took one last look into the distance. The old woman had said not to worry but was there something to worry about? Was it just the ghosts of the past trying to taint the happiness she had finally found with Garrick? Jenny vowed not to let them take over. Garrick had said they would move forward. She rubbed her stomach. She would never forget David her first born but to hold a new child in her arms, to be a family this was the way to move forward.
Jenny stopped Garrick’s ascend up the stairs by pulling on his arm. “Something wrong Jen?”
“No…Just…..Thank you for being strong enough to go looking for me and brave enough to stick around when you did.”
Garrick gave her what she could only describe as a serene smile. “Jenny when I found you, the real you there was no need to be brave. I love you with every part of my being Jenny. Don’t ever doubt that. Through everything you can always count on that. I may not understand you sometimes but I will never not love you.”
Jenny closed the distant between them, gave him a kiss on the cheek then whispered in his ear. “Promise.”
Garrick drew her even closer realising at that very moment just how vulnerable Jenny actually and his mind drifted back to the promises he had made to the old woman. At that moment Garrick searched his soul, his spirit to make sure he had with in him the love she deserved. He found it because she had given it to him freely, it had grown to engulf him completely and he knew he would never, could never leave her. He would protect her from seen and unseen enemies, anything that threatened to diminish her happiness he would keep watch for and destroy before it had a chance to with its dark poison.
Yes Jenny Norman was a formidable and at times a frightening woman but his Jenny, Jenny the mother……. Garrick realised as he held Jenny in his arms; this was were she was most vulnerable, this was the chink in her armour. As he held her he wondered if Jenny realised this???? Garrick understood more than he ever had about her with this realisation. Her fierce strength, her determination not to let anyone get close to her, the fire, that cold icy fire that people saw in her eyes. That is where it had all been borne, because she had been betrayed, been hurt, more than once. It was his job to show her it would never happen again.
Silently they continued up the stairs and once more as the night hours passed he caressed her body firstly with his hands as his fingers softly, gradually followed the natural contours of her flesh. Then with his lips, planting feather light kisses across her stomach feeling her skin react to the touch of his tongue as goose bumps appeared like tiny hills of pleasure before taking her as a man takes a woman, yet all the while making sure she knew she was in a place of complete safety and love.
Garrick did speak to Mr Weston about Jenny’s current condition but he waited until the men where ready to head into town at the end if the week. It had taken the best part of the week to show Jenny that eventually the men would know and once Mr Weston knew it would not be long before they figured out he was withholding news. It was not that Jenny was being unreasonable, she just wanted to keep her pregnancy between them, her and Garrick for a little while…….. private.
Mr Weston nor the men would have no reason to suspect anything out of the ordinary as Garrick would regularly invite himself along on a Friday night when he was not away on assignment. Jenny stood, resting her shoulder on the door frame while she watched the weekly ritual and waited for Garrick to give her his customary full armed wave from the window of the Ute as it disappeared up the road. Sighing she returned to her office resigned to the fact that she had at least one call of her own to make. A call to Gerard, he had been a good friend and she had come to think of him more as a brother, not that she would ever tell him, so at the very least he afforded the decency of hearing the news from her. She smiled to herself as an idea sprang to life. She would soon find out if he was still at the office by sending an email instead of picking up the phone. With her message sent Jenny kept her eye on the phone for a few moments and when it did not ring thought she had given herself a few more days. Just as she was about to stand the phone did ring so Jenny dropped herself back into the chair and answered. “Working late again I see Gerard.”
She could hear the excitement in his voice and it made her feel good. “Jenny!!!! The news, it is true, you’re not just yanking my chain.”
“No Gerard it is all true.”
“Oh that is wonderful news, Congratulations.”
“How long have you known? How did Rick take the news, who else knows?”
Jenny laughed at his rapid fire questions. “I have known officially since just after the Patterson’s accident. Rick is fine, I told him when he got back and by now I am guessing half the town knows. He’s there with the men sharing the news.”
“Oh Jenny I am so happy for you. Is there anything can do?”
There was something but Jenny was not sure if she had the right to ask. By the silence Gerard understood she wanted something. “Anything Jenny. If it is in my power I’ll make it happen.”
Jenny had made the same calculations about his assignments as Garrick had and that was the favour she asked of Gerard.
“I’ll get them cancelled if that is what you need Jenny.”
“No, no just see if you can reschedule so that Rick is here for the birth of his child. I am sure once he realises he will ask you himself.”
“I’ll be in touch when I know Jenny. You sure there is nothing else.”
Gerard’s face lit up with a smile at the sound of her laughter, it was obvious that she was very happy. “Maybe I will send out an SOS if Garrick does start to get under my feet.”
Gerard promised to be available before asking her permission to tell Patrick once he was back in the country and ending the call.
Jenny sat back in her seat with eyes closed, there was only one more notification she
felt she needed to make but that would have to wait until the next morning when Bobby and Darren arrived for their weekly visit.
A few hours later she was surprised to hear the boundary gate open and close as Gully raced to the front of the house barking at the familiar car of the flying doctors service until Garrick alighted from the passenger’s side. Dr Bradley popped his head out of the driver’s window as Garrick took the steps up to his wife two at a time. He pulled her into a hug. “Hello Mrs Rowe.”
Jenny just shook her head. “Home so soon Mr Rowe. I did not expect to see any of you until dawn having given the men an excuse to celebrate a little harder than they normally do.”
Garrick waved to the Doctor. “The Doc was kind enough to give me a lift home or that might have been the case. Right Doc?”
“I’d say so. Those boys looked set for a long night when I arrived. I’m happy I could give Rick a reason to escape.”
As Jenny entwined her arm through Garrick’s and rested her head on his shoulder the doctor’s heart skipped a beat, it was such a heart warming sight to see. “Now that my duty is done I shall be on my way.” Dr Bradley was just about to drive off when he had a thought and stuck his head back out the window. “Jenny now that your news is more or less public knowledge……”
She had anticipated his question. “Would you mind if I told them tomorrow Dr Bradley.”
The doctor nodded. Jenny and Garrick waited on the verandah while the doctor made his way back through the boundary gate.
Gully scampered back into the house in front of Jenny and Garrick. “I think tomorrow you and the boys should have some time on your own.”
“You don’t have to stay away Rick; this is your news as much as it is mine.”
Garrick squeezed her hand. “I know but I have work to do and besides.” Garrick pulled her to him. “We still have the rest of the night.”
Jenny rose early the next morning to make ready for the arrival of Bobby and Darren. After giving Garrick a gentle kiss on the brow from which he did not stir she made her way down to the kitchen to start cooking and organise the picnic for the day.
She knew the boys had arrived when Gully darted down the hallway and waited for them all to make their way back to the kitchen. “Morning boys.”
The boys answered in unison. “Morning Miss Jenny.”
Darren had a question eager for an answer. “Miss Jenny is Garrick okay? I know my Dad brought him home last night.”
Jenny smiled and then laughed. “He’s fine Darren. I dare say if your father had not brought him back he may have been feeling rather unwell, it seems that neither Mr Weston nor the rest of my men made it back.”
Jenny saw the expression on their faces. “Okay, what it is that you know that you are not telling me?
Bobby nudged Darren to make sure he kept talking. “Yeah we saw a few of them. There were a few sleeping in the back of the Utes outside the pub but……”
Jenny stood with hands on her hips and Darren knew it was no use trying to keep anything a secret. “I think Sergeant Russells’ got a few of them with him.”
Now that was a surprise to Jenny. She expected her men to let off steam from time to time but it had been a very long time since any of them had gone so far as to get themselves locked up; even with Gerard’s carnival in town her men had been on their best behaviour. “I see. Boys would you mind getting the horses ready while I make a call.”
Without a word the boys gathered the picnic baskets and wandered down the hall to hear Jenny on the phone to Sergeant Russell. “I hear you have a few of my men.”
“Hello Jenny and congratulations.”
Jenny thanked him in her usual business like manner and repeated her question.
“Yes I do but not for the reasons you may be thinking. None of your boys are in any trouble. We just ran out of bed space. Couple of them just curled up out the back of Ted’s place so I opened a couple of the cells. At least that way they had a bed to sleep on. Everything is okay Jenny. Apart from a few hefty hangovers this morning your boys didn’t need any attention from me. Mr Weston kept a watch on them all.”
“Thank you Sergeant Russell.”
“Congratulations again Jenny. I am very happy for your.”
“Thank you sergeant I am very happy too.”
The smile on the Sergeant’s face and the warm glow he could feel stayed with him most of the day. He would never have believed that it could be Jenny Norman who could make him feel the way he did. She had been through so much and now she was happy. Nothing was going to spoil his day.
Jenny left the house without waking Garrick and joined her two young friends in the front yard to begin their day together.
She kept her news to herself until they had reached their favourite tree and settled with the boys very eager to hear the next instalment of her new story. When she did tell them of her pregnancy the boys sat in stunned silence for a moment and Jenny began to wonder if the boys had not been happy to hear such news when Darren shot up and embraced her in the tightest of hugs. “Oh Miss Jenny, really, a baby, a real baby.”
“Yes Darren a real baby.” Jenny looked to Bobby who had remained quiet. “Bobby, you’re not happy that I am going to have a baby?”
“No… I mean yes I am but……”
Jenny could she he wanted to ask her questions but wasn’t sure he could. “What is it Bobby? Ask me anything.”
“It’s just that my Aunt….. She got very sick; with the baby…..She lost it.”
Jenny beckoned for the boy to move closer and as he did she took his hand. “I am fine Bobby just fine. Dr Bradley is taking good care of me. I am healthy; the baby is healthy. You do remember that I have had a baby before?”
Both boys nodded. To them it was a vague, distant memory. Both knew that if David had lived they would have been the same age.
“So you see my body knows what it has to do.” Jenny’s next statement made them both beam with pride. “I don’t suppose either of you would be willing to help me out once the baby does arrive?”
At that instant Jenny found herself under the weight of her two young friends as they both hugged her while Gully jumped and barked around them.
Darren shouted excitedly. “We can be big brothers.”
Jenny had been worried that the two boys may have been jealous of the new arrival but it seemed she had nothing to worry about as they fired excited questions at her wanting to know all the details, the next chapter to her new story completely forgotten for the time being.
Back at the house Garrick had busied himself with organising a portfolio for a client when he heard the men return. By the time he walked to the bunkhouse Mr Weston was already seated on the step smoking, the rest had gone to their bunks to sleep off their hangovers.
“You did the runner early in the piece last night Rick.”
Garrick shrugged his shoulders. “Considering you are just getting home I think I made the right choice.”
Mr Weston nodded as he watched the smoke from his cigarette drift on the breeze. “That you did mate, that you did. Some of these fellas partied pretty hard last night. Sure hope you two are not planning on having two many rug rats too soon. They could drink the town dry.”
Garrick laughed but Mr Weston’s statement had made him think. Jenny and he had not discussed how any children they wanted; they hadn’t really discussed a family at all. He knew she was happy to be having the baby but had no idea if it was to be an only child or one of many. Thinking about it some more he realised he would be happy with whatever decision Jenny made about how many children she wanted. Two or twelve, he would be happy.”
Mr Weston’s voice brought him out of his thoughts. “But I guess you better get your learners with this one before thinking about more.” Mr Weston continued, changing the subject. “You didn’t go with Jenny and the boy’s?”
Garrick shook his head. “No, have some things to tidy up. I want to see if Gerard can move some assignments for me so I can be home for the birth.”
“And if he can’t?”
Without missing a beat Garrick answered to the thunderous laughter of the old bush man. “Then I will quit.”
Mr Weston patted Garrick a little too hard on the back. “You tell em. I’d like to see anyone deny Jenny the right to have you at her side, especially then.”
A few hours later Garrick would get a reply to the e mail he had sent to Gerard just smiling as he read the part where Jenny had made it clear she expected him to be home for the birth of his child. However the change in schedule meant for the next few months he was going to be away more than he was home.
Garrick and Mr Weston spent some time just talking about things in general when Mr Weston mentioned he would be headed over to the Patterson place at the beginning of the week.
“You taking the chopper?”
“Yeah. Just want to check up on Pete and the other boys, make sure they are doing right by the Boss.”
Garrick smiled. “You mean Luna or Mr Patterson?”
“Just making sure they don’t get on Luna’s bad side.”
“From what Jenny tells me Luna can take care of things.”
“That she can but Pete mentioned a couple of the newer blokes were getting a bit toey. Just want to give them the benefit of my wisdom before we let Luna loose on them.”
“Would you mind if I tagged along. I’d like to see how the brothers are doing.”
Mr Weston smiled to himself, Garrick had well and truly settled into life in the outback. He had seen stronger men pack up and leave with their tails between their legs after having to face much less. He would never say anything to Garrick but Mr Weston was very proud of the way he had taken to life on the station. As he stood he patted Garrick on the back. “You’ll do alright as a father Rick. I’ll be leaving for the chopper about eight on Monday morning.”
Sighing Garrick wandered back to his studio to finish off his work and was still there when he heard Jenny, the boys and Gully return. Just hearing them laughing filled him with a warmth that spoke of peace and contentment and he wondered if it would be any different with his own children.
He stuck his head out of the studio door just as the boys lead their horses into the barn so they did not see him but Jenny had and she slowed her pace. Garrick gave her a kiss. “Do they know?”
Jenny took his hand with her free one guiding Garrick and her horse into the barn. “Yes. They had a lot more questions than I expected but yes, they are very happy we are having a baby, looking forward to being big brothers.”
Garrick wrapped his arm around Jenny’s shoulders as they entered the barn. “Have a good day boys?”
Both boys smiled at him, both coming to stand in front of him and both offering him their hands to shake feeling very grown up to be included in the news. Bobby shaking Garrick’s hand very vigorously. “Congratulations. Miss Jenny told us about the baby.”
Darren joined in. “Yeah, congratulations. Do you know what you are going to name it?”
Garrick shot a stunned look to Jenny as she laughed. “Steady on there Darren. I don’t even know if it is a boy or a girl and before you start making suggestions Rick and I have not had a chance to talk about names. So how about you give us some time. If we get stuck we’ll let you know.” Both boys nodded, grinning from ear to ear. “Now if you look after midnight for me I can get dinner started deal?
The two young boys answered together. “Deal” taking the reigns of the horse from her as they did.
Garrick did not speak again until they were outside. “There are a few things we need to talk about isn’t there?”
Jenny took his hand as they walked back to the house. “Do you have any specific names you wanted for your children Rick?”
It took Garrick a few moments to answer and Jenny thought he was trying to find a way to tell her that he had. “It’s okay Rick if you have names picked out already I’d like to hear them.”
Garrick shook his head. “No… Was I supposed to? I mean I never really thought about it.”
Jenny smiled. “Don’t panic. How about we have a chat while I make dinner. What else is on your mind?”
Again it took him a little while to answer and they were in the kitchen by the time he did. “Do you want to know the gender? You know like how they can tell you if it is a boy or girl.”
Jenny was happy to wait, let nature take its course. All she really needed to know was that the life growing inside her was healthy; however she was happy to go along with Garrick if he needed to know sooner rather than later. “I am happy to wait to find out Rick but if you need to know earlier we can ask Doc Bradley to do the tests if you like.”
Jenny was washing her hands at the sink so Garrick came up behind her wrapping his arms around her waist. “Unless we need to know something for medical reasons I’d like to wait. Seems that is the way it is supposed to be. I saw the look on my brother in laws face when his daughter was born, it was the most wonderful sight, it was such a wonderful surprise for them both, for us all.”
Jenny turned to face him, taking his lips to hers, kissing him before she spoke. “I’d like to see that look on your face.”
Garrick returned her kiss as he ran his hands through her hair. “I guess there is more we need to discuss about this baby.”
Jenny sighed a little pulling herself from his embrace and made busy with the dinner while Garrick sat at the kitchen table. “Where would you like to start Mr Rowe? Baby names?”
Jenny looked at him a little curious. “How many. Do you mean how many names?”
Garrick shook his head. “No. How many children would you like Jenny? If it has been your dream to have a dozen then I am up for it.”
Again Jenny looked at him a little stunned. He had surprised her; he really was willing to take on the challenge of a large family if that is what she wanted. “Would you feel the same if that meant you needed to be at home more than you were away, not as much photography, it’s your passion Rick.”
A smirk crossed his face. “What an excuse I would have to turn down some of the longer overseas assignments and not feel one bit guilty.”
“You’ve thought about this allot?”
Garrick shook his head again. “No, actually not until the boys mentioned the baby names. Just this minute I realised that I would not like to spend anymore time away from my family and only this afternoon Mr Weston mentioned something about the size of that family.” Sheepishly Garrick looked at Jenny. “I’m sorry if I haven’t thought about all this sooner.”
Jenny cut him off. “Rick, It’s alright. It’s not like you’ve had allot of time to do any thinking. So…….. a dozen children?”
As soon as he heard the words flow over her lips Garrick became very nervous not at all sure he was equipped to handle that many children.
“If it is alright with you how about we see how we manage this one before we decide on any more.”
Garrick laughed. “Mr Weston said I needed to get my learners.”
As Jenny put the finishing touches on the salad she had been making she came to sit across the table from him. “And about baby names, do you have any you really like?”
This time Garrick took a deep breath before he spoke not sure of the reaction he would get from his suggestion. “If it is okay with you and we have a boy can we name him Jack….. for Jakala?” The room fell silent while he waited for her answer. Seeing the tears welling in her eyes Garrick thought he had made a mistake. He dropped his gaze so he was looking at the table. “I’m sorry.”
Jenny took his hand across the table making him look at her. “You really wouldn’t mind calling our son Jack? Knowing what Jakala meant to me.”
Garrick squeezed her hand. “Because of what he meant to you Jenny. I would be honoured to have a child of mine named after such a person. He was very special Jenny.”
Jenny bit her bottom lip and squeezed his hands. “Thank you. You are the special one Rick.”
Garrick could she that she was struggling with her emotions. “So, if we have a girl do you have any names you would like to use?”
Jenny smiled. “I’d like to call her Ricky after her father, if that is alright with him?”
It was Garrick’s turn to squeeze her hand, choking on his words as he answered. “That would be perfectly alright with him.” Garrick paused and was about to ask Jenny if there was anything medical he needed to know when the two boys and Gully appeared at the door to the kitchen. Seeing the two grown ups with hands clasped across the table pulled the two boys up short at the door, they looked quickly at each other trying to decide whether to leave again and come back later when Jenny made the decision for all of them by pulling her hand away from Garrick and standing to greet them. “I expect you three are ready for dinner?”
Before the boys could answer Gully barked, disappeared only to return with his food dish in his mouth making then all laugh.
While the boys looked after Gully Jenny began to warm up the sauce and put the spaghetti on to boil for the bolognaise she had cooked the day before. The kitchen already bathing in the aroma of garlic from the bread warming up in the oven. This is what the two boys and Garrick devoured while they waited for their main meal to cook. All four sat around the table chatting, Garrick quite amazed at the questions the boys had about the up coming birth of the baby, questions and interest he would have expected from someone much older. But then again these boys had grown up with Jenny as a very formidable presence in their lives, wise beyond their years. Garrick smiled knowing that they could also just be boys.
While they talked Jenny wondered about the future, looking at the boys and Garrick she silently tackled the question of how many children she really did want. The Doctor had told her she was in perfect health but her age was now a factor in her well being as well as the child’s. If she was thinking of a larger family sooner rather than later was the better option. She smiled at the little family she already had gathered to her; making the decision. Two children, she would like to have two, a boy and a girl but what ever nature deemed to be her lot as long as the children where healthy.
She saw Garrick give her a quick glance as he answered more of the boy’s questions and he knew she had made a decision about something……Maybe he was going to be the father of a large brood.
If was well after dinner finished and the two boys were asleep that Jenny let Garrick know of her decision. “Is that alright?”
They were in the formal lounge room on the sofa, Garrick sitting with Jenny’s head on his lap while she stretched out down the length of the sofa, her face looking up into his. “Yes, of course but if after you have had this baby you decided you don’t want anymore that is fine as well.”
Jenny reached up and ran her hand gently over his cheek. “I love you very much Mr Rowe.”
Garrick stroked her stomach. “I love you very much Mrs Rowe.”
Posts : 353
Join date : 2009-04-03
|Subject: Chapater 28 Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:35 am|| |
Sorry it has been a while. I am working on the ending so hopefully not too much longer.
Gerard had been as good as his word and re arranged Garrick’s assignments. The up side… he would be home for the birth of his child. The down side….. apart from a few long weekends he would be away from Jenny for the better part of the first six months of her pregnancy. In the beginning the theory seemed sound but the longer he was away from her that harder he found it to return to his work and was looking forward to the day he could throw his bags into the back of the wardrobe and knew that is where they would stay for many months.
Jenny may have been thankful for some of her time without Garrick hovering over her, secretly she loved that he wanted to take so much care of her and like her doting husband, Jenny counted down the days he was away and smiled every time she looked into the faces of her self-appointed young carers. If not at school, Darren and Bobby could be found at Jenny’s side. Garrick had made a passing comment as to them keeping a watch over his wife when he was gone and both boys had taken it very much to heart. Dr Bradley had been impressed by the attention to Jenny’s heath of his own son. On more than one occasion Darren had grilled his father about Jenny’s blood pressure, whether she was doing too much.
One thing that Darren did not need to worry about was Jenny’s diet, Bobby had that well under control, Jenny felt like a visitor in her own kitchen. Bobby had made sure that he prepared healthy meals for her to eat when the boys could not visit despite the fact that Jenny had over a dozen men working for her that could and would have helped her. Mr Weston had worried in the beginning with Garrick being away so much and Jenny had noticed he was spending more time closer to the house. She had a quiet word to the old bushman and said that she would rather he was closer later on in her pregnancy, when she could no longer see her feet. Her suggestion had worried Mr Weston at first but seeing how the boys looked after her both impressed him while alleviating his concerns, some but not all. Mr Weston was another person that Dr Bradley heard from on a regular basis just to check up on Jenny.
Dr Bradley was also grateful that Jenny had relaxed her rule about not going into town for her check- ups at least and had been a model patient. She was due that morning for her five month review and once more Dr Bradley tried to convince her to tell Garrick what they had found out. “I’m not asking you to tell the whole world Jenny, just Garrick.”
Jenny gave him her usual scowl. “No. Garrick wants to be surprised at the birth.”
Dr Bradley gave a heavy sigh. “Oh he will be alright but don’t you think he deserves to know it will be a double surprise? That you are carrying twins.”
Jenny folded her arms as best she could and rested them on her sizable stomach and Dr Bradley knew he was never going to win. “I am in good health am I not? The babies are in good health correct?”
Dr Bradley gave her on short nod in response.
“Between now and the birth if that changes than you have my permission to inform Garrick.”
Jenny left the doctor’s office with a month’s supply of vitamins and instructions to have Mr Weston drive her to town for her next appointment if Garrick was not home.
He did not understand why Jenny refused to tell Garrick they were having twins. It was the only thing that concerned him about the pregnancy, in every other aspect Jenny was one of the healthiest patients he had ever had, pregnant or not. There had been no reason for concern and he did not expect there to be. He smiled thinking that he may very well have to give Garrick mouth to mouth if he fainted upon the arrival of not one but two babies.
The ringing of the phone brought him out of his thoughts. “Hey Doc. Jenny been in for her check-up today?”
Dr Bradley shook his head slightly but had a smile on his face. “Gerard. Yes, Yes she has and everything is fine as usual.”
“Good to hear Doc.”
“You know I don’t think ASIO keeps this close and eye on spies. Between you, Mr Weston and the boys I think I know every move she makes.”
Gerard laughed. “I know we got off to a bumpy start but she’s like my sister Doc. I’m just making sure things are how they should be while Garrick is away.”
“Things are exactly how they should be Gerard, no need to worry.”
“You don’t tell her about my calls do you Doc.” Before the doctor could answer Gerard realised what he had asked. ‘Sorry Doc, if you had Jenny would have tanned me raw by now.”
“And me as well most likely. Gerard, she is fine.”
“Thanks for the update Doc. Talk to you next month.”
Dr Bradley shook his head as he hung up wondering if Jenny understood just how much certain people in her life loved her. Involuntarily the doctor shivered knowing that for all the changes that had taken place Jenny could just as easily slip back into that cold, dark place that had imprisoned her in the past. The future held so many secrets, so many possibilities but deep in his heart the doctor knew if Jenny had children, her own children in her life it would protect her from that darkness.
Gerard did talk to the doctor but it was earlier than expected and in person. He had flown Garrick home. The three men were sitting having a quiet drink before they both hitched a ride out to the Norman Station with the Doctor.
Garrick was just finishing off a story from his recent travels when Ted interrupted them, a worried look on his face. Gerard was the first to speak. ‘What’s up Ted? You look like you have the burden of the world on your shoulders.”
Ted looked from Gerard to the doctor before letting his eyes rest on Garrick. “It’s Jenny.”
At the mention of her name all three men sat to attention. The apprehension in Garrick’s voice very clear as he spoke. “Is she okay Ted? What’s happened?”
“I just spoke to her. She gave me a message to give to you Rick.” They all waited while Ted took a breath and un-balled a piece of paper he had scrunched up in the palm of his hand. “I wrote it down to get it right. She said to tell her husband to get his Yankee arse home before she sent Gully into town to drag him home by the family jewels.”
Garrick sat stunned while the doctor and Gerard burst into laughter. Gerard going so far as to having to wipe the tears from his eyes and take a breath before he could even speak. “How the hell did she know you were here. I’m not supposed to bring you home for another four days This was supposed to be a surprise.”
Ted raised his hand slightly to get their attention. “One of the boys at the airstrip might have mentioned your arrival over the radio.”
Gerard slapped Dr Bradley on the back. “Guess you better give us that lift Doc. Don’t want to give Jenny a reason to get all those extra hormones raging now do we.”
Garrick shot his friend a mortified look. “What extra hormones?” Then looked to Dr Bradley for an answer.
“It’s fine Rick, she’s fine I promise.”
“But extra hormones????”
Gerard scraped his chair back and stood. “Come on Dad, let’s get you home so you can see for yourself.”
On the drive to the station Gerard made jokes about the horrors of the pregnancy hormones at Garrick’s expense which did nothing to quell the father to be’s anxiety.
Bobby and Darren were waiting at the boundary gate and waved them through before closing it behind them and running to join everyone at the front of the house.
From about her third month Gully had been Jenny’s constant shadow, never leaving her side, not even to play with his two young friends and that is where the men found the dog. Laying at Jenny’s side as she sat on the front verhandah. Garrick smiled as their eyes met but as she started to push herself out of the chair his own knees almost buckled at the shock. He turned to Dr Bradley as he got out of the car. “Doc, she’s…..She’s”
Gerard finished the statement for him. “She’s huge Doc.”
Before Dr Bradley could say anything Jenny had reached the top step and was looking down at the three men over her stomach. ‘Okay. I get it. I could cast a shadow over Ayers Rock the size I am but that is no reason to look so shocked.”
Garrick took the steps up to his wife two at a time. “Jenny. You said the baby had grown some last time I talked to you. That is what you said….Grown some.” Garrick turned his attention to the Doctor while he took hold of Jenny’s hand. “You sure everything is okay Doc. We didn’t get the dates wrong?”
Garrick saw the quick look that Jenny gave Dr Bradley and felt his blood pressure rise, His agitation travelling on each word he spoke. “What….What is it Doc, something wrong?”
Dr Bradley looked to Jenny for permission to tell Garrick the truth. She only stood, unmoving. It was only when Garrick turned back to her and she saw the unease, the concern in his eyes that her demeanour altered. “Jenny please!!!!!! If something is wrong I need to know!!”
All eyes fixed on Jenny now, everyone was concerned.
Without taking her eyes off Garrick, Jenny directed her next comments to the Doctor. “You can tell him Dr Bradley.”
Garrick took her hands as he stepped closer. “Tell me what Jenny?”
From behind him Dr Bradley uttered the words and Jenny watched her husband for any sign. “Jenny is carrying twins Garrick. Like I said she is perfectly healthy, they all are.”
Jenny saw Garrick swallow hard before he spoke, though his voice seemed to tremble just a little. “Tw…Twins…..You are having twins?”
Jenny nodded still not sure as to how Garrick was going to take the news.
His gaze fell to her stomach as he released one of her hands and as gently as he could stroked it. “Two. Two babies. Oh Jenny.” As he looked back to her his eyes glistened with tears but he was smiling. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I was hoping to keep it a surprise until they were born.”
Garrick looked back down to her stomach. “But…” Garrick stopped himself and frowned becoming very serious. “Jenny….we haven’t bought enough things. I mean if we have two babies we need to get…..Get another cot and car seat and.”
At this point Jenny did laugh. “So you are happy that we are having twins then?”
Garrick beamed at her. “Of course I am. It is wonderful news. But that doesn’t change that fact we need to do some more shopping.”
Again Jenny laughed. “It’s all taken care of.”
Gerard whistled and shouted a congratulations to his friends, the two boys smiled at each other as Dr Bradley jumped into the conversation. “It most certainly has. You should see the Police Station storeroom. Now that he knows, Jenny can we get the baby things sent here?” Garrick looked to the Doctor. “As soon as she found out she was having twins Jenny has been stock piling. Sergeant Russell has been beside himself with worry not wanting to spill the beans. He’ll be glad he is off the hook.”
Garrick looked back to his wife. “Do I even want to know how?”
Again Jenny laughed. “Gerard helped.”
Garrick groaned good naturedly. “I should have known. Did you know? About the twins?”
Gerard shook his head
Once again a small frown shadowed Garrick’s face. “What about names? If we have two boys or two girls?”
Jenny took hold of his hand. “We’ll talk about that okay. Right now it’s nice to have you home.”
Jenny kissed him and Dr Bradley smiled, sure he had seen Garrick’s knees give way just a little.
As Jenny and Garrick made their way inside Dr Bradley took the boys and Gerard back into town, trying to answer the boy’s questions as quickly as they fired them at him.
After showering and changing Garrick joined Jenny on their bed and while they talked he gently rubbed her stomach. “I’m glad you told me. I want to share as much of this journey with you as I can.”
Jenny let a little laugh escape. “You sure about that. All of it, including the restless nights, the backache, the heartburn?”
Garrick jumped in. “The cravings. Have you had any?”
While Garrick stroked her stomach Jenny ran her fingers through his hair. “No, not really. Had a fix on red frogs there for a while but nothing unusual. I promise I will let you know if I do.”
Garrick sighed then gasped as Jenny let out a little yelp and he felt her stomach move. He pushed himself up onto his elbow and looked from Jenny back down to her stomach. “Did I really feel that?”
Jenny nodded. “Seems they are awake.” She took his hand and placed it back on her stomach. Straight away Garrick felt another kick. “Welcome home Dad.”
Garrick smiled at his wife making a move to kiss her when her stomach jumped again. “Lively.”
“You have no idea. Night owls I think. Remember I said restless nights.”
That same night Garrick got to know first- hand just how restless his children were. As Jenny lay perfectly still her stomach seemed to shimmer and move, changing shape. He would swear on the bible that he had seen little hands and feet push from the inside. Jenny would rub her stomach and talk to the babies but it did not seem to help so she was very surprised when Garrick tried and they settled immediately. “Well Mr Rowe seems they take notice of their father already.”
Garrick kissed her stomach and smiled. “I wonder how long that lasts.”
“If it is only for a night I will be happy.”
Jenny did get a good nights rest and from then on whenever the babies got too restless Garrick would talk to them, rub Jenny’s stomach and settle them down.
The men had given him the nickname of Baby Whisperer as it was not unusual to see him bent down or kneeling talking to Jenny’s stomach.
For the rest of her pregnancy Garrick stuck close to the house and to Jenny and more than once Jenny had asked Mr Weston to find him something to do, somewhere else for the day to give her some peace. She dearly loved him for how easily he had taken on the role of father to be but just every now and then she needed to be on her own away from Garrick, away from the boys.
Jenny and Garrick discussed extra baby names and because they knew they would always call one of them Jack and one of them Ricky they settled on Jason and Rebecca.
Towards the end of her pregnancy visitors to the Norman Station increased. Jenny had flatly refused to have a baby shower but when she found out because of her decision the men were going to throw Garrick one instead she warned them there would be no sympathy for hangovers and if they had any ideas about having it at the Station to think again.
Gerard had flown in at least once a week for the last six weeks, he’d even brought Patrick out on a couple of his trips. Jenny was pleased to see him but that did not change the fact that she knew what Gerard was up to.
At first the visits were actually business related as Jenny’s new book was due for release but now he had no such excuse and Jenny had called him on it.
“And I suppose you will be back for this ridiculous excuse for a booze up?”
Gerard shrugged his shoulders and tried not to make eye contact with Jenny so he stared out over the yard to the bunkhouse. “Maybe….”
He waited a few moments for Jenny to berate him, unable to stand the silence he looked at her expecting to be well and truly reprimanded, instead very surprised to see Jenny sweetly smiling back at him. “Thank you Gerard, You have been a great friend to us both.”
“I suppose that means you want me to keep an eye on Garrick.”
Jenny heard the serious change in his voice as Gerard spoke. “Jenny. Have you thought about hiring some extra help for when the twins are born?”
Jenny matched his serious tone with one of her own, cutting him down to size with her intense stare. “I am quite capable of taking care of two children Mr Tinnion.”
Gerard recoiled within himself, it had been a long time since she had called him that or he had been on the receiving end of one of her icy retorts. “I didn’t mean you couldn’t Jenny. I was just thinking about the first few weeks. I’m sorry.”
Jenny sighed as she released the tension. “ It’s okay Gerard. It’s all taken care of. Whether I want the help or not it will be forthcoming.” She could see the puzzled look in his face. “Nan….Nan will make sure that the children and I are well.”
“Who is Nan.”
Sometimes Jenny would forget that Gerard was only a recent addition to her life. “Nan is…was Jakala’s grandmother. At least I think that is how it works. She was with me when David was born, she will be here for the twins and will not leave, nor will anyone be able to make her leave until she is satisfied that child and mother are happy and healthy. Does that make you fell better Gerard?”
Gerard nodded his head. “Much.” He was very much relieved. Garrick had told him of the old woman, what she had done at the watering hole and how she seemed to have a sixth sense about everything. He had seen the old woman at Jakala’s funeral but had not made the connection. Garrick had never addressed her as Nan. He wondered if he knew that is what Jenny called her. His relief turned to concern again as Jenny frowned and let out a small cry of pain as she rubbed her stomach. “You okay Jenny?”
Jenny groaned again and as she stood Gerard followed her to her feet. “Time for a walk I think. These guys are getting a little restless.”
Gully appeared as Jenny stood taking Gerard’s outstretch arm and as she looked into his eyes; for the first time he saw what Garrick saw, it was just a flash but it had been there. The love that had captured his American friend and it was not Jenny that stumbled, it was Gerard. “Steady on there Gerard, I’m the one carrying the heavy load. You okay?”
He smiled and kissed her gently on the check. “Perfect.”
“My My. Whatever will my husband think?”
“That he is the luckiest damn bloke on the planet.”
Jenny squeezed his arm but dare not say a word. It had warmed her heart to hear that is what he thought.
Thinking that he may have made her feel uncomfortable Gerard changed the subject. “So this walk. How far?”
“To the barn kind sir. They seem to like being around the horses and Midnight certainly likes to be around them.”
Once in the barn Gerard looked on amazed at the transaction between Midnight and Jenny, or rather the children that she was carrying. The horse greeted Jenny with a throw of its head and nudged her shoulder ever so gently. In return she stroked him between the eyes and kissed his nose. Gerard was just about to step forward when he saw the horse dip his head towards Jenny’s stomach. First it blew air softly over her stomach and then ever so gently placed his nose on her stomach and made a small sound. Jenny giggled and stroked the horses mane. For the next few minutes the horse ran its nose back and forth across her stomach as if listening. Gerard saw Jenny sigh as she gave her horse another kiss. “Thank you my friend. I think they have gone back to sleep. See you later.”
As if knowing what she was saying the horse huffed, raising its head.
As she turned her attention back to Gerard she could see the questions in his eyes. “I have no idea how or why but if Garrick is not here to calm them down I can come out here and it always helps. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are born with a saddle.”
Several days later Luna was sat where Gerard had been after both girls had sent Garrick off to be constructive somewhere else. He headed for the office Jenny had first given him near the barn. Luna laughed. “No matter what they call it a shed is still a shed.”
“I told him he could move into the house but he seems to like it out there.”
“Now being a smart sheila you know about this little shindig the men have organised.”
“You want me to come and stay for the day?”
“No Luna, you have enough on your own plate. There is no need to play nurse maid. I am fine. Doc Bradley is very happy with us all.” She patted her stomach. “I might be a little slower and a wider but I am fine.”
Both women laughed before Jenny asked her next question. “How are things?”
Luna needed no more prompting to bring Jenny up to date with the Paterson’s. She liked talking to another woman but a woman that understood how they lived, why they lived the way they did. “Bill gets frustrated at times but at least he is not completely useless. He can take care of himself. I was worried when he got home he’d spiral into a depression. You know being back and not being able to be the Boss.”
“He took it out on you didn’t he?” When Luna looked at her again Jenny had her answer. “You don’t need to make an excuse to visit Luna. If you need some time away you are always welcome, just turn up.”
Luna smiled. “Thanks but he’s much better. I’m just glad I was able to shield Adele. She’s still so very tired.”
Jenny looked down at her stomach. “Maybe once I have unloaded this lot I might just pay Mr Patterson a visit.”
Luna laughed. “Oh Jenny. If he gets that way again I will remind you of what you just said.”
A few hours later Garrick wondered back to the house to find Luna alone on the verandah. “Jenny alright?”
“Sure is Dad. Her and that dog have gone for a power knap. I thought I would rummage around the kitchen and make dinner tonight?”
Garrick smiled. “That would be great Luna. Bobby has stocked the freezer with meals but I cant’ get Jenny to take it any easier by using them, she’s got to make dinner every night.”
“Keep the meals for after the birth I am sure she will be glad of them then.”
While Luna headed for the kitchen Garrick went upstairs and carefully laid next to his sleeping wife. He did not have to place his hand on her stomach to know the babies were moving, he could see them and knew if they did not settle down Jenny would wake. With his mouth as close to her stomach as possible he told his children to calm down and let their mother sleep in peace for a while. With- in minutes Jenny’s stomach stopped moving. Not for the first time Garrick wondered if it would be that easy once they were born or would both his children be as head strong as their mother. Just the thought tired him out and he fell asleep.
Bobby and Darren arrived the next Saturday but this time they would not be going to their favourite spot for a picnic and hear one of Jenny’s stories. The last few months they had made the trip in the Ute not on horse -back however Garrick had insisted that Jenny cease their little trips until after the birth.
Bobby and Darren were going to stay over -night at the house, both boys deciding that Miss Jenny was not to lift a finger while they were there. It was also the day of the baby shower and the message they conveyed from Sargent Russell gave Jenny a reason to laugh. He was waiting in town to give the men an earful before the festivities got started, warning them he had no hesitation in arresting anyone of them.
True to their conviction Bobby and Darren waited on Jenny hand and foot, not letting her do anything. She even had to promise not to move when she suggested the boys and Gully head outside for a while. That lasted all of ten minutes before one of them was back with Gully in tow to check on her. So there was a compromise. She was allowed to sit on the verandah so they could keep an eye on her.
Jenny had to admit that she was enjoying her day but as the day came to a close rather miffed that both boys insisting she was in bed before they were.
The next morning Darren woke her with breakfast in bed but no sign of Garrick.
“I just talked to Dad Miss Jenny. Garrick didn’t get arrested.”
She gave the boy a curious look. “Does that mean someone did?”
“Mmmmm don’t know but Dad had to treat a couple of men after they tried to take Mr Tinnion’s plane for joy ride.”
That piece of news did surprise Jenny. “That was a dangerous thing to do.”
“Oh they didn’t get it started. Mr Tinnion saw to that. I think that is way Dad is looking after them. He said to tell you they weren’t your men either Miss.”
“Any news of my husband?”
Darren shrugged his shoulders. “Dun know.”
After she was dressed and the boys had fussed over her to their satisfaction Jenny made a call to the Base Hospital, getting a quick report from the duty nurse very relieved that neither Garrick nor Gerard was among her patients. Though it did seem that Gerard had been the one to make them patients. This big man had been very angry indeed at the antics of some of the jackaroos. According to the nurse all those involved in trying to hijack his plane had broken noses and saw ribs, one had a dislocated jaw, one had a broken arm and yet another had a broken hand. All would have mighty hangovers when they woke. It was the nurse that informed Jenny that Sergeant Russell had confiscated every ones keys before the night got started and that he had a few at the police station. This was Jenny’s next call.
“Good morning Jenny. How are you feeling today?”
“Better than your guests I take it.”
She could almost see Sergeant Russell rolls his eyes. “Silly buggers. There were a few stupid antics last night but the lads from the Dixon’s place just had to go too far.”
Jenny knew that the plane had not been damaged and she was not really interest in the Dixon’s men. She wanted to make sure that Gerard was alright and that he was not going to get charged with assault or worse. Sergeant Russell hearing that old, cold, hard, icy tone in Jenny’s voice shivered. “No Jenny, no charges. By the time I got there it was all over with and none of these blokes would dare suggest such a thing I promise you. Gerard is okay but he did elect to sleep on his plane.” Before Jenny could ask he continued. “Garrick is sleeping it off at the Doc’s place.”
Jenny smiled to herself and Sergeant Russell heard her voice soften. “How much sleep will he need?”
“Oh I reckon a lot less than the rest. He’s got a good head on his shoulders Jenny. Wasn’t drawn into making a fool of himself. I think he spent most of the night taking photos and making sure he has some good bribing material for later. You should be proud of him. You should be proud of all you lads Jenny. I know they like to tie one on but considering how the night could have been they were well behaved.”
“Thank you Sergeant.”
Happy to hear that her husband had not been left in the middle of nowhere with nothing but the skin he was born in and a compass and there was no need for a search party she got on with the rest of her day, spending the rest of the morning in her office working on a new book.
Once the boys had fed Gully he came to rest at Jenny’s feet.
A little while later both boys stood at the entrance to the office looking a little sheepish. “What is it boy’s? Bobby you haven’t burnt down my kitchen.”
Bobby knew Jenny was kidding. ‘No but Darren has eaten all the biscuits.”
Daren shot his friend a devastated look. “Did Not!!!!” looking back at Jenny his conviction faltered and he dropped his stare to the ground as he spoke softly. “I left one.”
Jenny laughed. “So what’s up?”
Darren spoke up as both boys entered the room and Bobby placed a gift wrapped box on the table. “We got something for the babies.”
Jenny stared from the box to the boys. “Oh, that is so sweet of you but you know you didn’t have to do that. You have been wonderful to me. Shall I open it or do you want me to wait until after they are born?”
She knew the two boys were far too excited to wait and with their zealous permission she opened the box as they stood shoulder to shoulder eager to see her reaction.
Taking the lid off the box Jenny pulled on a bright rainbow coloured cord. As she pulled it to its full height it revealed a child’s mobile. The canopy decorated like the top of a tree with small ladybugs attached and from this hung eight large bumble bees and several colourful flowers. It was very well made; Jenny also knew it would have been very expensive.
Jenny stood extending the mobile to its full length. “This is absolutely wonderful.”
Both boy’s faces beamed with pride as Darren spoke up. “We were going to get two but Dad said the babies would most likely be in one room for a while. We can get another if you want.”
Jenny shook her head while she spun the bumble bees around with her finger. “No. Your father was right. Would you like to help me find the right place for it?”
The boys answer was to scamper from the room and up the stairs to what was now a nursery. Jenny laughed as she followed at a slower pace. By the time she got to the nursery the boys were already discussing which would be the better place. She stood at the doorway listening, content and happy.
Jenny let out a little gasp and her free hand went to rub her stomach as the babies moved. Darren and Bobby immediately stopped their chatter becoming very serious until Jenny laughed. “It’s okay. Seems the babies like your idea of hanging the mobile near the window. I think I like it as well.”
Posts : 353
Join date : 2009-04-03
|Subject: chapter 29 Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:06 am|| |
Jenny had been feeling rather more uncomfortable the past few days and for the first time wondered if the extra back ache, heart burn and feeling of restlessness was due to the fact she was carrying two babies.
Sitting on the verandah watching the two boys playing with Gully, she rubbed her stomach unconsciously but sucked in her breath in surprise as an intense, sharp pain struck at her insides. Having recovered from being caught unawares, Jenny took a deeper breath letting it out slowly to regain her composure. She was just about to rub her stomach gain when another pain struck leaving Jenny was in no doubt as to what was happening, two weeks early according to her but then again Dr Bradley had said he would not be surprised at an early arrival given she was carrying twins.
With the second contraction a small groan escaped over Jenny’s slips. Again she waited for it to ease before letting out an ear splitting whistled that brought the boys and Gully to an instant stop before they all bounded up the steps of the verandah. She didn’t give them time to ask any questions.
“Bobby would you mind telling Mr Weston he needs to fire up the ute. I think he is in the barn.” The boy did not move while the realisation of the situation took hold of him. “Bobby…..Mr Weston…..Now.”
It was a thump from Darren that sent Bobby darting off shouting for Mr Weston before he was halfway across the yard.
Gully kept looking at her stomach and yelping and as much as Jenny wished she could reassure her faithful companion it was all she could do to breathe through the pain.
Darren gave Jenny a serious look. “You okay Miss Jenny?”
Jenny gave the boy a smile. “Yes ….but can you…..”
Jenny never got to finish the sentence. “I’ll call Dad tell him you are on the way and Rick.” With that Darren bolted for Jenny’s office to make the calls. By then Bobby was running back across the yard, only seconds later the Ute appeared from the side of the barn, Mr Weston at the wheel.
Jenny had tried to stand just as another contraction hit and she tried to suppress her groan not wanting to scare Bobby. She should not have worried; the young boy was at her side ready to do whatever he could. Jenny tussled his hair before resting her hand on his shoulder for support. Seeing the old man the dog barked at him a few times then looked back at his mistress.
Mr Weston took the steps two at a time. “Get the gate open for us Bobby.”
As the boy once again raced off Mr Weston helped Jenny down the steps and into the Ute. He had been around for the birth of Jenny’s first child, now looking into her face as she tried to breathe through her contractions brought back all those memories. Last time her father had driven her to the hospital and he had stayed behind. This time she was his responsibility. It should have been Rick siting where he was but only that morning he had gone off with the gang to mend a fence with Jenny’s blessing, camera slung over his shoulder as always.
Mr Weston took a deep breath as he put the Ute into gear giving Jenny a fleeting look. “You okay Jen.”
Jenny’s head was tilted back resting against the seat, her eyes closed and she only answered Mr Weston once the contraction had passed. “Fine but I don’t remember them being this close. I don’t get a chance to catch my breath before another hits.”
On cue Jenny grimaced and grabbed at her stomach, Mr Weston deciding it was time there were on their way only stopping briefly at the gate to get the dog out the back of the Ute and into Bobby’s care, everyone knowing that Gully would run all the way to town if they boys did not keep an eye on him. The dog only played with them if he could keep Jenny in view at the same time.
Bobby shut the gate after them and stood watching until there was nothing to see, not even a wisp of dust before going back to the house Gully by his side where he found Darren sitting on the step. Boy and dog joined their friend in his silence.
Garrick was already on the road headed to town when Darren’s call came through. The old woman had appeared at the work site and made it very clear that Garrick needed to return to his wife. His driver let him know how creepy he thought the old woman was but he had to admit that she had never been wrong with her information.
Mr Weston was pacing back and forth outside the main entrance to the Base Hospital keeping an eye out for the tell-tale dust signs of traffic off in the distance. He knew that Garrick would get to town via the Norman’s place and the only thing that eased his nerves, the fact that he had heard the radio call from Garrick at the nurse’s reception desk telling them how far away they were.
As the first puff of dust caught his eye Mr Wilson stood dead still, watching, never moving just watching as the dust cloud got closer. It seemed that he did not take another breath until Garrick pulled up outside the hospital. Garrick grabbed the old bushman by the shoulders, looking him squarely in the eyes. “She okay?”
Mr Weston gave him the biggest smile he could muster. “She’s right, just time for those bubs to make an appearance.” He pointed toward the doors of the hospital. “All the way down the hall Rick, last room on the right.”
Garrick tried his hardest not to race down the hall at break neck speed ignoring those that he passed only stopping when he reached the door to Jenny’s room. His eyes fell on Jenny then on the nurse who was taking some blood from her arm then back to Jenny who by this time was smiling at him. “Where’s the fire?”
Garrick made his way to her side and took hold of her free hand. “You okay?”
Before Jenny could answer the nurse did it for her. “She is just fine Mr Rowe. No need to worry.” The nurse placed her equipment as well as a vile of Jenny’s blood in a small dish and prepared to leave. “You just hit the call button if you need anything.”
Jenny could see the doubting look on Garrick’s face as his eyes followed the nurse out of the room and gave his hand a squeeze. “I am fine Rick. Don’t worry.” Jenny looked down at her stomach and began to rub it. “Calm before the storm.”
Just as Garrick was about to say something Jenny grimaced and squeezed his hand a little tighter. Once she could breathe normally Jenny spoke again. “Okay maybe not so calm.”
Mr Weston wandered over to the Ute and had a quick chat to the jackaroo that had been doing the driving. “You get back to the station and bring those two boys back into town.”
The jackaroo dipped his head. “And the dog Boss?”
“That’s up to the dog.”
They both knew that if Gully intended to get to Jenny he would and nobody could stop him.
Once again Mr Weston watched the dust cloud as the Ute disappeared.
Back in the hospital Jenny’s room was starting to get rather crowded or so Garrick thought as he pulled Dr Bradley aside. “What’s with all the people Doc? Is something wrong?”
Dr Bradley put a reassuring hand on Garrick’s shoulder. “No but Jenny is having twins so basically I need twice the staff. I tried persuading her early on that Brisbane or Adelaide was a good option but she wouldn’t hear of it. So I set about making sure I had everyone I would need when the time came. Gerard’s flying in just in case.” The doctor pointed to several female nurses. “Those two I borrowed from Adelaide. They have been with us for the past four months. They specialise in multiple births and come very highly recommended.”
Garrick gave the doctor a weak smile. “The mountain to Mohamed?”
Dr Bradley gave him a confused look and Garrick was about to explain when Jenny cried out.
Dr Bradley when to check on his patient. “Time to move.” He waited for Jenny’s contraction to ease before speaking again. “We’re going to wheel you down the hall Jenny. I don’t think it will be long now.”
Through gritted teeth Jenny asked her own question. “We are okay right?”
One of the out of town nurses re assured her. “Honey…. You and you babies are doing well. They are just in a little bit of a hurry.”
Jenny let out a breath. “I guess sooner is better than later. Where’s Rick?”
Jenny heard his voice from somewhere behind her as they began to wheel her down the call. By the time they got to the operating room Garrick was gowned up in hospital scrubs and by her side. “I wish I could do this for you.”
Jenny let out a little laugh before another contraction. “No you don’t.”
Garrick reassured his wife while the medical team delivered their first child.
Jenny felt totally exhausted by the time she had pushed the child out and wondered where she was going to get the strength for the second.
The room took on a surreal calmness as part of the team worked on the first child while Dr Bradley checked Jenny and Garrick’s attention bounced from his wife to their first born. “The baby okay Doc.”
“Just fine Garrick, you have a son.”
Garrick bent over and kissed Jenny on the forehead. “We have a son.” The beaming smile on his face warmed Jenny’s heart, washing away all her doubts and past hurts.
“We do….. but I think the other one has gone to sleep, the contractions have stopped.”
They both looked down the bed to the doctor as he nodded to one of the nurse and she pushed a needle into Jenny’s IV. “It’s fine Jenny, normal. We are just going to give you something to start up the contractions again.”
Jenny groaned and sunk her head back into the pillow. “Do you have to?”
Before anyone could say anything they all knew it had started again.
With the last ounce of strength she had Jenny pushed her second child into the world, sinking back into the bed and waited to hear the news.
Garrick held onto one of her hands while he stroked her brow. “You did it Mrs Rowe.”
Jenny smiled but did not open her eyes. “Next time your turn.”
Garrick bent over and kissed her gently on the lips tasting the salty result of her exertion.
One of the nurses appeared by Garrick’s side with a small bundle in her arms. You have a daughter as well.
The only word Jenny spoke was “Perfect” before she fell asleep.
The nurse handed Garrick his daughter and as he looked into her tiny face he felt the tears run down his own. “Where is her brother?”
Another nurse stepped forward holding the other baby and Garrick was at a loss as to how he felt, his heart was ready to burst. “Jenny they are so beautiful.”
Dr Bradley was now standing at the head of Jenny’s bed. “How about we wake mum up so she can see her children?” Dr Bradley shook Jenny gently feeling a little guilty for waking her but he wanted mother and children to bond. As she opened her eyes Garrick spoke. “Hey there Mum, would you like to meet the new additions to the family?”
As Garrick placed their daughter into her arms Dr Bradley noticed she was shaking, not unusual considering what she had just been through but he wanted to check everything His heart skipped a beat when he saw the blood at the bottom of the bed too much blood, even for an after birth. Just as he was about to announce his intentions Jenny’s monitors screeched into life.
“She’s wonderful Rick but I feel so very tired.”
As a nurse took the baby from Jenny, Dr Bradley explained what was happening while Garrick frowned at the offending machine. “Rick …Jenny’s lost a bit more blood than we like to see. I need to make sure she doesn’t loose anymore. In a more aggressive voice Dr Bradley shouted an order to no one in particular. “Someone turn off that bloody machine!!!”
Garrick watched the nurses disappear with his children while Dr Bradley barked ever more urgent orders to those that were left in the room. All of a sudden Garrick felt like he was invisible, watching everything unfold as if he was not part of it while his brain tried to grapple with the reality of the situation. He looked down into Jenny’s face. She looked peaceful, unaware of the emergency that was gaining life around her.
His gaze moved to a nurse who had come running into the room with bags of blood, pushing Garrick out of her way so she could get to Jenny.
The next thing Garrick remembered was Dr Bradley pulling him out of the room. It took several moments for the doctor’s voice to come into focus. “Rick, Rick do you understand?”
Garrick shook his head, Understand what? He had not heard a word the doctor had said.
“She’s lost a lot of blood Rick. She’s haemorrhaging.”
Garrick just looked at Dr Bradley stunned and then he looked back into the room where his wife lay. “ Rick…..”
Garrick looked back to the doctor. “Will she be okay?”
“We’ve slowed the bleeding but …..It’s serious.”
Garrick’s question was the same. “Will she be okay?”
“You can see her once we have her back in her room.”
Garrick felt a gentle touch on his arm as Dr Bradley disappeared back into the operating room. A nurse gave him a reassuring smile as she guided him down the hall. “Why don’t we check in on your children Mr Rowe.”
Garrick followed the nurse but kept his eyes on the door to the operating theatre, his instincts telling him that he should be with his wife. Just before they reached the nursery Garrick ran back down the hall. His actions so startled the nurse she had to run to keep up with him, reaching him seconds before he pushed on the door to the operating theatre. She had a pretty good idea what he would see if he made it through even if his wife was fine. She had seen the amount of blood loss and to a lay person it would seem overwhelming. The nurse managed to get herself between Garrick and the door, feeling his body press up against her as he tried to get past. “Mr Rowe please!!!!!You can’t go in.”
Garrick stared down at her with his hands over her head pressed against the door trying to push it open.
The nurse put her hands in the middle of his chest and pushed him back just a little. “Let me go and check with the Doc, okay?”
If he had wanted to Garrick could have easily over powered her and this was the reaction she was expecting. Instead she saw him take a deep breath and nod his head as he took a step back.
She smiled a little as her eyes glanced past him to the several chairs on the opposite wall. “Take a seat over there. I promise I’ll be right back.” When Garrick didn’t move she asked him again. This time he turned and walked slowly over to the chairs but did not sit down, keeping his eyes fixed on the door. The nurse sucked in her own deep breath before she entered the operating theatre.
Garrick’s stomach tightened and his chest felt like an elephant had just sat on it when he saw Dr Bradley came out not the nurse. He could tell by the look on the doctor’s face that things were not well before he spoke a single word.
Garrick clenched his teeth. “What? What’s wrong?” He could see Dr Bradley trying to keep his emotions in check, be professional but that was hard when your patients were your friends.
When Dr Bradley placed his hand on Garrick’s arm it was like he had been given an electric shock. He bolted for the operating theatre bursting through the doors so suddenly he made every one of the medical staff jump. Everywhere he looked seemed to be the same colour, red and in the middle of this monstrous sea laid Jenny, his wife, still, calm, peaceful. Slowly Garrick walked towards the bed as the nurses backed away. He looked down into her face, a picture of serenity, then took hold of one of her hands as he brushed some hair from her face with his other. His tears were already flowing when he looked back to Dr Bradley. “I’m sorry, we never got her back.”
Garrick began to shake his head, his pain and sorrow evident to all in the room, his words almost a whisper “No, No.” Garrick looked back down into the face of his wife and once again the doctor placed his hand on his arm, which Garrick shrugged off as he bent over and kissed Jenny, his tears wetting her face as he did.
Dr Bradley gave his staff a silent command and they all left the operating theatre. As the last nurse passed him he spoke to her briefly, asking her to find Mr Weston and Gerard if she could. Dr Bradley would give Garrick as much time as he needed but was not about to leave him alone.
Outside the nurse rushed to the reception desk and with some relief saw Mr Weston chatting to the duty nurse. He smiled back at her as she approached but his smile was soon replaced by concern when he saw the serious expression on her face. “Good you are here. Is Mr Tinnion around?”
At the sound of Gerard’s name Mr Weston became truly concerned. “Bloody hell what do we need him for? Is Jenny okay?”
The nurse bit her lip as he own tears fell which did not help Mr Weston’s state of mind. “Jeez woman spit it out will Ya!!”
The nurse took a deep breath. “The Doctor wants to see you both.”
Mr Weston was not about to move a muscle until he got more answers. “Now look here….”
He never got to finish as the nurses next statement shattered his world. “Mrs Rowe, she's....she's dead.”
In silence the old bushman walked out of the hospital and down the street towards the pub where Gerard had been since he’d arrived. Everyone was waiting for news of the birth, how was he going to get Gerard’s attention without anyone else knowing something was up?
As it was Gerard had decided to head to the hospital and waved to Mr Weston as he saw him but like Mr Weston had done the smile on Gerard’s face disappeared as he saw his friend. He ran the rest of the distance between them, placing his big hands on the old bush man’s shoulders. “What is it Jeff? Do I need to fire up the plane? Is Jenny okay?”
Mr Weston began to shake his head. “I don’t know what to do.”
Gerard was a little confused. “ Do….Do about what.?”
Mr Weston looked up into the big man’s eyes. “She’s gone.”
Gerard sighed. “Gone? Gone where? Jeff I don’t get what you are telling me. Did she leave the hospital?”
Mr Weston shook his head. “She’s dead.”
Gerard felt like he had been hit by a train, his arms dropped to his side as he looked over Mr Weston, down the street to the hospital. “How?”
Mr Weston shrugged his shoulders, his voice cracked with the pain. “Just…… the Doc wants to see us both.”
Gerard went pale. “Dear God….. Rick….The babies?” From somewhere deep Gerard found the resolve to get his feet to move, turning Mr Weston around and giving him a gentle nudge back towards the hospital.
Just as they were about to enter the hospital Mr Weston stopped and looked across the street to see Nan coming towards them. He didn’t want to have to deal with her now yet he knew she would want to know. As Nan got closer she placed her hand on his. “Jenny at peace. You look after her man, I look after little ones….. for now. It come good later…… You see.”
Gerard shivered, how could this old women possibly know what had happened.
All Mr Weston could muster was a slight bow to the old woman as he spoke to Gerard. “Come on mate.”
The nurses had managed to get Garrick out of his scrubs and had taken him out into the small court yard for some fresh air not realising what the place meant to him.
Dr Bradley pulled Mr Weston and Gerard into his office to try and explain. He looked like he had aged ten years though it was Gerard who spoke first.
“What the bloody hell happened!!! Where’s Rick?”
Dr Bradley explained the best he could, slipping in and out of medical terms to keep his own pain under control. By the time he had finished the two men sitting opposite him looked absolutely crushed.
Again it was Gerard that spoke. “What about Rick?”
Dr Bradley sighed. “I explained but I have no idea just how much he has taken in or understands.”
“Doc this will destroy him. She was………”
Gerard never finished as Mr Weston rose from his seat. “Where is he?”
“In the courtyard.”
Mr Weston left the office leaving the other two men to follow him, giving Gerard the chance to ask a few more questions. “What happens now? I mean with the babies, they are alright. You said they were alright.”
Dr Bradley nodded. “Yes very healthy both of them boy and girl. We’ll keep them in the nursery for now until….”
Gerard cut him off. “That old woman was outside. She knew about Jenny. Said she would look after the babies for a while. Can she do that? Would you let her do that?”
As they stood watching Mr Weston sit next to Garrick the doctor gave Gerard his answer. “I couldn’t think of anyone better.” Gerard gave the doctor a bemused look. “If I know Nan she already has a plan for father and children. The only other place they would get better care would be here but they will get something else from Nan.”
Again Gerard stared at the Doc. “Love, she will love them.”
Mr Weston and Garrick were having a far different conversation between sobs and tears. “Come on son, we need to get you back home.”
Garrick shook his head. “I can’t leave her here. I can’t.” He looked into the old bushman’s eyes, the sorrow he saw just made his world even harder to bear. “If I had known this was how it was going to be I would have told her I didn’t want children.”
Mr Weston took Garrick by the arm. “Rick….No one knew, not even Jenny. Do you think she would have wanted this? To leave you, her children. She needs you now more than ever.” Mr Weston waited for a reaction form Garrick and when he did not get one continued. “Rick you have a family to look after now. Jenny’d be bloody pissed if you left it to someone else.” His words sounded so empty to his own ears but Mr Weston had no idea what to say or do.
Garrick’s grief was so overwhelming that he could no longer form his words, only sob and collapse into the old bushman’s arms. “I know mate…..I know.”
The grief that consumed them would bond these men together so that in the future just a brief look and they would know that Jenny was on their minds. They would each know the others pain, know they had hearts that would never completely heal. Come to understand that a broken heart was not just a statement to describe how you felt but a very real, physical pain that never left.
Garrick was numb, had no idea how he had got back to the station or how long he had been there, he just knew he was. As he lay on his side of the bed and stared at the empty space where Jenny should have been he grabbed her pillow, burying his face into its depths and cried, the ache of his sorrow threatening to burst out of his chest.
At the door to the room Gully hesitated, taking a small step over the threshold then thinking better of it and laid back down.
Garrick had been home for three days and two nights, had not left his room and in all that time the dog had not left him.
Mr Weston worried for them both, neither man nor beast had eaten. Garrick had slept and Gully kept watch while down the hall Nan looked after the twins.
A sombre atmosphere hung over the Station as the men continued their work in a haze of grief not able to believe the news.
News that did not take long to spread through the district, news that required Dr Bradley to sedate his son and his best friend, their grief so bad he admitted both to the hospital. As with the Norman Station the atmosphere at the Hospital was subdued. A walk down the street to the pub and the same mournful spell was at work. Ted’s lower lip did not quiver in anticipation of new conversation when the front door opened; he simply gave the newcomer a sad smile and placed their drinks on the bar. Sergeant Russell sat at a corner table almost hidden from the world, a half drunken glass of orange juice in his hand and a full uneaten meal pushed to the side. He’d done the paperwork, notified the proper authorities and like many others had wept and he worried about Garrick. He had seen what losing her family had done to Jenny, how it had changed her and he wasn’t at all sure if he could cope with it all over again. As impossible as it seemed they had finally found each other, where building a life together. Sergeant Russell could feel the lump rising in his throat as he thought of Jenny and Garrick and tried to push it back down by taking a drink.
Luna had spoken to Mr Weston a few times ready to be of any assistance she could. Knowing she had her hands full running the Patterson place he thanked her and told her he would more than likely take up her offer when the initial trauma had worn off and things were getting back to normal.
Gerard had taken responsibility for the media release, other notifications, Jenny’s funeral as well as making sure that her children had everything they needed. The one thing that helped the ache in his heart was just how well the old women looked after Jenny’s children. When Gerard had suggested ordering baby formula and foods he had been surprised at just how much knowledge, up to date knowledge that she possessed about many things. He had found himself deep in conversation with Nan one afternoon while the twins slept and noticed that the longer they talked the more she seemed to slip from her local tongue into a more formal language. “My Jack might have gone to the city to do his learning but he also brought that learning back to us but I live here Mr Tinnion.” Nan saw the surprised look on his face. “My people need to trust me if I am to help them. Do you not change your colours when required?”
Gerard smiled at her. She did indeed understand a good deal about the world she lived in. Gerard suspected more than he ever would.
Nan sighed and took his hand gentle. “Her man will need your strength for a time. Jenny's leaving has left a pain that will never completely leave him and you will have to make sure that he does his healing here.”
Gerard looked at her shocked, he had never thought of Garrick leaving the Station. “You mean he will want to go back to, to the States?”
She nodded. “He will think this is what he has to do but running from this place.” She swept her hand across the air to take in all that they could see. “Will not help, it will only hurt more. The Norman family have been good to the land, to my people, this land needs to stay with them. I know over the years Jenny had some very good offers from some very large international companies for this land. If this station leaves the protection of the Normans' it will die. Jenny would not want that.
“I can’t talk to Garrick about stuff like that now, not now.”
She patted him on the leg. “ Not now. You will know when it is time.” Nan slipped back into her local language. “Now be time for babies.” Leaving Gerard sitting on the front step looking out over to the bunkhouse wondering how Mr Weston was coping.
While the world continued around him Garrick was lost in his grief, feeling nothing but the ache in his chest, it was true….. He could not breathe without Jenny and without Nan’s intervention he may very well have died of a broken heart, leaving his children fatherless as well as motherless. This was the fact that worried both Dr Bradley and Mr Weston. Jenny’s funeral had been put on hold. It seemed although the outside world still marched on, life at the Norman Station existed in stasis waiting for Garrick.
Dr Bradley understood his grief but knew that the longer he cut himself off from everyone the harder it would be to cope when he finally decided to re-join the human race, if he decided to.
He was grateful that Nan was looking after the children. As for his own son and Bobby, they too were grieving. They had each other and most days just took off for hours, only coming back at nightfall. Dr Bradley had not talked to them about Jenny and his own heart ached knowing how much she had meant to them. He had expected them to turn up at the station but for now Mr Weston had said he had not seen the boys.
In fact they were at the Station everyday only they had gone to their favourite place under the tree and for most of the time they were together they did not speak, just sat, silent, sometimes crying, sometimes allowing sleep to take them on a different journey, at times just giving each other a hug.
They felt safe under the tree, felt like Jenny was with them and they did not have to deal with all the adults in their lives asking how they were doing, or just giving them those, sad pitiful looks.
One morning Mr Weston had seen Gully take off and not return until after dark, on that day the dog had made his way to the tree and spent it in silence with the boys, sealing the bond they already had. Gully’s schedule started early in the morning when he woke after sleeping next to Garrick. Hearing Nan with the children he would wander down the hall to check on them always getting a warm greeting from Nan before she presented one baby after the other so he could take in their scent. After making sure that nanny and children were okay he would wander over to the bunk house where Mr Weston would be ready to feed him. Again he would be given a gentle pat on the head before the old man went about his day. After taking a walk around the perimeter of the house Gully would return to Garrick’s side, giving him a small nudge and there he would stay until Nan was ready to put the children to bed for the night. Gully would stay by her side and wait to be given the command meaning he could give them a kiss good night. Well it was more of a wet nosed nudge. Satisfied that all was well once more he would visit the bunkhouse. Sometimes he would stay with the men for a while, other nights, just a quick visit before returning to Garrick.
After finalising the arrangement for Jenny’s funeral Gerard had returned to the Station concerned for Garrick. They all still had to get through the private funeral as well as the memorial service he had arranged after being contacted by so many people once they had heard about Jenny’s death. His e mail was full of condolence messages as well as requests for funeral information. The sheer number of people that knew Jenny had surprised him considering she very rarely left the station. There was the usual contacts from within the publishing industry but Gerard has also read so many letters from children and their parents from all over the world. He had received so many emails that he had hijacked several secretaries from other departments to help out.
On the back cover of every single one of Jenny’s books was an e mail address so that her readers could contact her. Gerard knew that Jenny did reply to each e mail she received. Now reading some of these same emails it was obvious by their content that the relationship between Jenny and some of her young readers had been far more than just thank you emails. Several he had read were from young reader’s parents who mentioned how much they had appreciated Jenny taking the time with their son or daughter, giving advice. Many stating that if they had lived closer they would have attended her funeral. This is what had given Gerard the idea for a memorial service.
Small gifts and cards had also begun to arrive at his office. It was these tokens of people’s appreciation and sadness at loosing Jenny that had brought his team of secretaries to tears most days. To several it was a conundrum, having met Jenny a few times and been caught in her icy stare they were at a loss as to how she could evoke such emotions from so many. Gerard marvelled as even after her death Jenny had an impact on people.
Before he had left for the Norman Station Gerard had made very sure that Patrick was coping with Jenny’s passing as best he could. If Garrick was on the top of his ‘Worry list’ Patrick was next. He had been devastated, confessing to Gerard that Jenny was the closest he had ever been to having a daughter.
Gerard had thought of asking Patrick back to the Station but decided to leave him in the city to oversee proceedings while he was away. Better for him, better for Patrick.
Now sitting on the bunkhouse steps next to Mr Weston looking over to the main house he wondered if he should have stayed in the city. Mr Weston gave his young friend a gentle pat on the shoulder. “How you doing?”
Gerard sighed. “She really gets under your skin doesn’t she?”
The old man smiled more to himself. “Yep. It’s gonna be hard around here without her.
He saw Gerard’s shoulders rise and fall as he sighed; when he saw him wipe away the tears that were falling he gave him another pat on the shoulders, his own tears threatening to fall yet again. The old bushman knew that things would never be the same, Jenny was gone…… As his thoughts drifted to other things both men saw a young aboriginal women appear from behind the stable. Mr Weston stood about to investigate when Nan appeared from the house waving her hands in his direction, basically telling him she had it all under control. He sat back down and they both watched the old women greet the younger one. Gerard gave him a puzzled look. “You know what’s going on?”
Mr Weston shook his head. “We’ll find out soon enough.”
As if she had heard his words Nan brought the younger woman over to the men who both stood this time. Nan pushed the young girl forward just a little as way of introduction. “This is Mary; she’ll be help looking after little ones for Boss man.”
At her words both men looked over to the house. Nan smiled a little. “You not worry. It all come good. Children will heal his heart.”
Mr Weston looked at the old woman. “You sticking around Nan?”
She nodded. “Little while, spirits need to settle then I be back with my own.”
Both men were happy to know she was staying for a while.
“I show Mary around and to see little ones.”
Mr Weston nodded but before the two women left he spoke to Mary. “Mary, you need anything while you are here you just gotta cooee, come find me right?”
Mary smiled and held out her hand for Mr Weston to shake; her voice was strong and confident as she spoke. “Thank you Mr Weston. I appreciate the offer very much.”
Nan broke in. “She is smart, knows a lot about little ones. Studied in the city, like Jakala.”
Mary saw the surprised look on the men’s faces. “I’m a nurse. Neo natal mostly. I’ve been home looking after my mum for a little while.”
Mr Weston became concerned that Nan had taken Mary from her own ill mother. “Do you need to be with your mum Mary?”
“No Mr Weston she is fine. I was thinking about heading back to Brisbane when …..”
She dropped her eyes, obviously someone else who Jenny had touched in some way. When she looked back at them there were tears in her eyes. “I want to help anyway I can Mr Weston. Miss Norman helped me allot, made sure I stayed in school when things got a bit tough. I have the skills I can use with the twins and others thanks to her.”
It was Mr Weston’s turn to sigh. “Thank you Mary, it would have meant a great deal to Jenny. But if you need to go back to work you just say so.”
Mary didn’t get the chance to give them a proper answer as Nan dragged her to the house.
Once more the two men sat on the steps engulfed in their own thoughts of Jenny and praying that Nan was right and things would come good.
The intrusion into his cocoon of solitude was so abrupt that Garrick had no time to respond.
Nan pulled back the sheets before she grabbed hold of Garrick by the arms with more strength than he expected her to have hauling him to his feet in front of her. Before Garrick could protest Nan launched into her own diatribe punctuating each statement by jabbing him in the chest with her finger. Garrick only caught half of what she was saying but it was clear she was not going to allow him to wallow in his sorrow any longer. He did catch the words shower, clean, eat and babies. When he heard that word all the pain washed over him. Not the pain of sorrow but of guilt. He had left his children in the hands of strangers, how could he have done that? As if the weight of the guilt had him captive Garrick sank to his knees and began to cry again, not for Jenny but for failing her. Nan knelt down beside him, touching his face gently; as their eyes met Garrick could see the love in hers. “Do not feel guilty. Jenny understands you needed this time. Your babies are happy and healthy Mr Rowe but they need their father.” She gently brushed the tears from his face then made him stand. “Just as much as you need them.”
“I don’t know anything about looking after children. Jenny……” He couldn’t finish the sentence and Nan gave his hand a squeeze.
“We give you help Mr Rowe for as long as you need.” Nan called to Mary who had been standing out of sight in the hallway holding both babies in her arms. As she got closer Nan explained to Garrick who she was. “Mary will be here to help, to teach you all you will need to know to be a good father Mr Rowe. Best you not think about taking little ones away from here until they are older.”
Shocked Garrick stared into the old woman’s eyes. It was exactly what he had been thinking. Packing up and going back to America, back to his family.
Nan grabbed hold of his arm. “You need to be a family first. They need to be near their mother, feel her spirit, grow, be strong. You know in your heart what Jenny would want.”
Garrick nodded and surprised Nan by pulling her into a hug. Yes I do and thank you.” Garrick looked over to Mary. “Can I hold my children?”
It was Nan who answered as she pushed him back to sit on the bed. “Yes, Yes.”
Mary placed one baby each of his arms and stepped back. Garrick looked down into the faces of his son and daughter and his tears fell again. This time Nan did not brush them away.
Garrick may not have realised it but his healing had just begun and with it the healing of those around him.
It was not the sight of Mary with one of the babies in her arms as she descended the front steps of the house; it was the sight of Garrick behind her, holding the other.
Mr Weston stood first as they watched them approach across the yard. “I don’t know what kinda bush magic that old woman knows but I’m bloody glad she does.”
Gerard smiled at his friend as he got closer. “Garrick.”
Garrick looked a little crumpled, still needed a shower and most certainly needed to shave but both men could see the change in him. He smiled sweetly down at the baby in his arms; the love in his voice touched them both. “Have you met my children?”
Both men stepped off the porch. Mr Weston going to see the baby Mary was holding. She smiled at the old man. “This is Ricky.”
As Gerard pulled the baby blanket down so he could see the baby, Garrick introduced his son. “And this is Jack, my son.”
Gerard peered into the little face looking back at him. ‘G’day Jack. Nice to meet you.”
In response the baby gave a little hiccup making everyone laugh.
A short time later Nan took Jack from Garrick and both her and Mary returned to the house leaving the three men on their own, none of them really knowing what to say now that the babies were not the centre of attention. Garrick sighed. “I’m sorry I have left everything to you. I….” He never finished just dropping his head, clenching his fists together, holding back his tears. Gerard shot a quick look at Mr Weston before he spoke. “It’s okay mate. Just happy we could help out.”
When Garrick looked back at them, he was pale and tears streaked his face. “What do I do now? She’s gone…”
Mr Weston shuffled across the steps so he was closer to Garrick. “You cry, you get mad, you lay awake at night wondering how you will keep going but you will keep going. You take one moment at a time if you need to but you keep going and you look after those bubs. You remember Jenny.”
Garrick closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “I suppose we should talk about the funeral.”
Gerard reassured his friend that he only had to say the word. Everything else had been taken care of including a memorial service to be held in Brisbane but only when the private funeral had been conducted on the Station. There had never been any doubt as to where Jenny was to be buried.
Garrick looked a little surprised at the news of a memorial service and even more surprised when Gerard told him about how many people he was expecting. “I figured you’d just want the locals at the funeral.
Again Garrick took a deep breath before he spoke. “I don’t know if I can handle even that many people here… I mean.”
Gerard interrupted. “I thought as much so the funeral will be in town. Then we can bring Jenny home. You can decide who you want to come home with her.”
In silence Garrick nodded as his tears appeared once more.
It was all that Gerard and Mr Weston could do to keep their own tears from flowing.
Gerard patted his friend on the back. “Just give me a few days Rick and we’ll get it sorted.”
Croakily Garrick replied. “Okay. You’ve got your few days.” Then walked back to the house.
It was Mr Weston’s turn to sigh as he watched Garrick disappear into the shadows of the house. “You think he will make it?”
“He’s talking, that’s a good sign and he’s finally acknowledged his children. He just needs time.”
As Garrick entered the nursery Mary left quietly so father and children could be alone.
He looked down into the sleeping faces of both babies, reaching out tentatively, gently touching one then the other when Gully appeared from under one of the cots. Garrick smiled at the dog. “You keeping watch over Jenny’s children?”
As if knowing a bark would wake them Gully nudged Garrick’s legs.
Garrick smiled down at the dog. “Keep an eye on me to fella.”
In reply Gully pushed his body against Garrick’s leg and looked up into his face.
By the time Garrick arrived at the church to take his position in the front pew the building was full to capacity. Mary and Nan walked behind him carrying his children, Garrick oblivious to the stares from those already seated, his thoughts drifting to the only other time he had been in the church, his wedding day. His steps faltered just a little before he continued down the aisle. Reaching the front seat he smiled weakly at those already waiting. Gerard, Patrick, Dr Bradley, Bobby and Darren and Mr Weston. Garrick was about to say something to the boys when a movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. Gully had gone to sit next to Jenny’s coffin. Seeing where the dog was all Garrick wanted to do was run yet he could not get his body to obey his thoughts. Unable to move his eyes drifted over the coffin. It had not been what he had expected. It was white; yet it seemed that every inch of it was covered in photos, notes or stickers. People had even written messages right onto the coffin itself. Garrick would find out later that Gerard had made the decision to let people write or do what they wanted after some of the children from the district had asked if they could give Jenny a message. Gerard also had the foresight to have someone take photos of the coffin and eventually Garrick would get to see what everyone had put on it.
Garrick felt a hand in his, it was Darren. He smiled up at the grieving man and gently pulled him to his waiting seat.
The second and third rows were taken up with Jenny’s men, a few having moved along to let Nan and Mary sit with them. Many of Jakala’s people took up the next few pews. The rest of the church filled with the people from the district including Ted and Val, Sergeant Russell, the Patterson’s, Luna and a surprise to many…. Dean Farmer.
The only thing that Garrick seemed to remember from the service was the fact that he cried and at some point Bobby and Darren had moved seats so that they could sit either side of him. Garrick tried to be strong for them but it was useless, they all cried. In a way he was glad that he was at the front and could not see the rest of the congregation but every time he looked over to Jenny’s coffin his heart broke just a little bit more. Before he had wanted to run now he wondered if his legs would actually carry him when it was time to leave.
As was tradition Garrick walked behind Jenny’s coffin as some of her men carried it to the front door and placed it onto the back of a waiting Ute so they could take her home. Garrick waited until the Ute was out of site before committing himself to accepting everyone’s condolences. As he was saying thank you to someone he did not know he saw someone he did know standing off in the distance. He excused himself politely from the small crowd and made his way over to Dean Farmer. Before the other man could make a move Garrick thrust out his hand for him to shake. “Thank you for coming Dean. I know this must have been hard for you.”
Dean swallowed hard. “I owed Jenny that much.” He dropped his eyes for a moment before continuing. “I’m sorry. You have every right to hate me.”
“I know, but Jenny…..” Garrick couldn’t finish.
Dean gave him a weak smile and uttered the one word that both men understood. “Jenny.”
Garrick’s fragile hold on his strength was beginning to waver when Nan arrived at his side and announced that it was time for the children to go home. In effect giving Garrick the escape from people he needed. Thanking those that were left he followed Nan and Mary back to the car for the trip home, knowing it was not over.
Arriving at the Station all seemed to be the same as it always was until they drove around to the back of the house. Nan gave the children to Mary who took them inside while Nan took hold of Garrick’s hand as they walked up the hill. “She will watch over you as her family watched over her. You will feel her with you.”
Garrick remained silent only squeezing the old woman’s hand.
The only people on the hill where, Mr Weston, Gerard, Dr Bradley, Bobby and Darren, Gully and The Pastor. Jenny’s other men as well as Jakala’s people were gathered a little ways off. It was as if the very air knew the importance of the event. The gently breeze that usually dusted over the hill was silent, the outback sounds that Garrick had become familiar with were noticeable by their absence, even some of the heat of the day seemed to have receded.
Gully had not left Jenny’s side, riding back to the station with her. Now the dog stood by Garrick as a few words were said and the coffin lowered into the ground.
Bobby stepped forward and a small piece of paper drifted from his hand and floated down to rest on the top of the coffin. The young boy smiled weakly at Garrick. “I wrote her a poem.”
As he stepped back Darren came forward, he too had something in his hands but this time it was a photograph. He had held on so tight it was crumpled but when he opened it Garrick could see that it was one he had taken of the boys and Jenny under their tree. Darren looked into Garrick s eyes. “So she want forget us.”
Garrick had to bite his lip before he could answer as he watch Darren throw the photo onto the coffin. ‘She won’t forget you mate.”
The small party of mourners were quiet, too overcome to be able to speak and that is how they left the top of the hill, knowing that the silhouette it would cast from now on held one more cross. On that cross was written ‘Jenny Norman Rowe. Beloved mother and wife.’ Yet everyone knew there was so much more that could have been written.
Posts : 353
Join date : 2009-04-03
|Subject: Re: Jenny's Justice Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:24 am|| |
for those of us who need a softer ending
Garrick stood looking out the kitchen window up to the hill as he did most nights. He could not remember when the habit had started but now if he did not look out to say good night to Jenny he felt like he had let her down. A silly notion but it made him feel more at ease with his life.
It had taken him some time to come to terms with a life without Jenny, a life that he would have never imagined he would be living. He had always known that there would be no one else to take her place. His children held a special place in his heart that was true but Jenny had captured most of it and it would be hers for eternity.
Garrick smiled as he heard the dual echoes of ‘Dad! Dad!’ being shouted down the hall as the now ten year old twins raced towards him. Ricky reached him first, her face beaming as she got hold of his shirt sleeve and began to pull him back the way they had come. “Come on Dad. Bobby reckons Jess is about to foal. Come on!!!”
Garrick gave his son Jack a quick wink, father and son knowing it was no use trying to persuade Ricky to slow down.
To Garrick she looked more and more like her mother each day, could have the same stubborn streak if she wanted but had a zest for life that was all her own. Jack on the other hand was the quiet one. He was a deep thinker, probably worried too much for someone his age, yet extremely bright and the only person that seemed to have any control over his sister. Sometimes all he had to do was give her a look. Garrick had no idea how he did it and put it down to being a twin thing. At least one of the men in the family understood her.
As Ricky dragged her father across the yard Garrick gave a quick look to the small garden in the centre as they passed by. Not long after Jenny’s passing he had thought to rip it all out it hurt his heart so much each time he had to look at it. He was glad that Mr Weston had convinced him otherwise. Now he tended to the small garden, sometimes alone, sometimes with his children by his side and remembered Jenny. It was a welcomed sight upon his return to the station after one of his photography trips.
Gully no longer chased the birds; the dog had not been with them for a number of years dying of old age.
Many things had changed and grown on the Station. Mr Weston was still keeping watch, mostly Jack and Ricky while their father was away. The twins called him Gramps. When he had first heard the name it had ruffled his feathers just a bit but it had not taken him long to warm to the name, not that he would tell anyone else of course. Once Ricky got you in her sights is was hard to resist and Mr Weston saw a lot of Jenny in her and it was Ricky who could get the old bushman to do just exactly what she wanted. Like now……
There he stood in the shed along with Bobby, Gerard and a few of the men watching Darren help a horse give birth. He looked up briefly as Ricky successful corralled her father with the rest of them to watch the event. She had grabbed him so fast that Garrick had no time to collect his camera on the way. Mentioning this to his daughter all he got was a rebuff and very definite direction not to move a muscle.
Bobby, Mr Weston and Gerard all shook their heads slightly as Garrick shrugged his shoulders and did what he was told only to be nudged in the side by Jack as he held up his father’s camera. Garrick beamed with delight as he took hold of it. “Thanks mate.”
Garrick took pictures of the birth of the foal as well as those around him, Bobby who had grown into a fine young man a chef by trade; a very good young chef by all accounts but one who was not ready to settle down. He had made his way around the world after his studies but always came back and always to the Station.
Darren, again a fine young man had surprised everyone and was in the middle of a double degree of Vet science and law. At first his father had been worried about the pressure and assumed that one of the degrees would get the flick. Apparently some of Jakala had rubbed off on him and Darren had proved to be quite well adapted to the life of a hard working student. Garrick had asked him about his studies and the answer had surprised him. Unlike Bobby, Darren was resolute in the fact that he would be coming back to his home once his time in university was over and what better way to serve the district than as a vet and a lawyer, besides his father had the whole GP angle covered. Thanks to Jenny both boys had turned their hand to writing and each one supplemented their income with writing for several magazines. Bobby was all about the food. Darren it seemed could write about anything from his own short stories on living in the outback to legal papers that could put older lawyers to shame.
Garrick gave a small smile as he snapped a picture of his good friend Gerard. Who through Jenny had finally got his wish of working and living in the bush. Slowly Gerard transformed from a publisher to the Stations Manager with Garrick’s blessing. He had been his rock, his guide. The twins called him Uncle Red. It was not unusual to see Gerard and Mr Weston heading off together.
It had been Gerard who had help Garrick through the persistent interference of multi-national companies who wanted the Station. Gerard had been there when Garrick explained to the local people that the Station and its special watering hole were safe. Gerard had been there from the beginning, now well and truly part of the family.
A little sadness fluttered at the edge of his heart remembering Jenny, she would have been so happy to see how things had turned out.
The cheers all around him at the birth of the foal brought him back to reality.
As if he knew his father’s thoughts, Jack touched him gently on the arm. “Mum knows you love her Dad, she always did. Don’t be sad, just think how she would be smiling if she was here right now.”
Garrick tussled his son’s hair unable to speak; just nodding his head that he understood.
Garrick had always answered his children’s questions about their mother, read her books to them keeping her memory alive, letting them know she would have been so proud of them. They knew everything about Jenny except her touch.
Ricky was now on her knees next to Daren as close as she could possibly get to the new foal. “ Darren?”
Darren thinking she was going to ask something about the new life that had just arrived kept working. “Yes Ricky.”
Her next statement shocked everyone not in the least her own father. “Will you marry me when I grow up?”
After a slight deafening silence Bobby’s laugh resounded around the shed, Jack shouted in horror at his sister, Gerard choked on his breath he was so shocked and to his credit Darren kept his cool and continued to work while Ricky waited for his answer.
“Suppose that depends on how you turn out.”
“I’ll be just like my Mum.”
Mr Weston and Gerard stared at Garrick whose entire concentration was on his daughter as his knees weakened and his heart pounded in his ears wondering if Darren had any idea that Ricky had just spun her web around him.
Yes…. She was more like her mother each and every day.0
|Subject: Re: Jenny's Justice || |