Friday, 30 December 2011


Michael was born to an unmarried mother just after the war. This of course was not acceptable to the hard working farming family and so the day he was born he was taken away for adoption. The young couple that took him were unable to have children of their own and this would be an opportunity to shower him with love and affection that they had been holding onto waiting to for this day to arrive. Michael’s new mother Margaret and his dad Bill left the hospital with instant pride in their hearts.
When they arrived home with the new baby all the family were waiting, Nan, grandad, Bill’s brother Bob and Margaret’s sister Dolly with her four young boys’. They all instantly loved the new baby and as the time went on Michael was just accepted as one of the family playing with Dolly’s boy’s and all in and out of each other’s houses, one large happy family. By now Dolly was pregnant again and after a very long nine months a little girl was born and named Roberta Bobby for short so she would feel at home with all the boys although Michael was still small himself he was immediately charmed by Bobby and could not wait for her to be older. Her brothers were not so impressed as they thought a little girl would be in the way.
As the years went on Bobby had proved herself to be a real trouper priding herself on everything that she could do as well as the boys. Climb trees build go-carts, play football, Michael thought this was great and they spent most of their time together. All growing up together like this was good for Michael and he never felt like an only child. When he left school and got a job in the city his parents were very proud and felt that they had given him all they could and it was now up to him to make the best of his life. Bobby who was still at school thought that this would change things but Michael still had lots of time for his cousin and best friend, and they would spend the evenings together listening to music and reading. The time had passed quickly and now Bobby was leaving school and ready to start work in a local factory learning how to make clothes. Bobby and Michael still spent a lot of time together and nobody took much notice as they had always been inseparable.  One evening after a family gathering Michael and Bobby were outside having a cigarette when he suddenly blurted out to her that he wanted to marry her she was absolutely overwhelmed and of course had loved him for years and so she said yes. They decided to keep it to themselves until they had some plans in order. The couple spent even more time together letting their love grow into something more than they already had. Making plans for the future and what their wonderful life would be like, they decided the time had come to make their big announcement and let everyone share their happiness.
After the family lunch on Sunday when everyone was gathered Michael stood up to tell his brilliant news “I would like everyone to know that I have asked Bobby to marry me” but he did not get the response he was expecting. Margaret burst into tears, Dolly sat with her mouth wide open and finally Bill spoke “impossible you are cousins and cousins can’t marry”. Bobby stood up to speak “we are not real cousins Michael is adopted” this made Margaret cry even more “I will not allow it” said Bill and left the room taking Margaret with him. Michael and Bobby were stunned and turned to the brothers for help but they just shrugged shoulders and left the room Dolly took hold of her daughters hand and told her that she would get over this and soon meet someone else. The young couple were heartbroken why could no one see it as they did they were not related and had done nothing wrong but as far as everybody else was concerned they were family. The two sisters had made a pledge to keep the young couple apart, all family members were instructed to intervene whenever they thought the youngsters would be alone or even near each other, sitting between them at the table and making one of them leave the room as the other arrived. Michael and Bobby were sad about this and continued to meet in secret still making plans and ignoring the family’s wishes. One night when Bobby arrived home after being with Michael Uncle Bill was waiting for her, he knew that they had defied him and warned Bobby to stay away or she would ruin Michael’s life and their family’s reputation. Her mother and father convinced her it was for the best and eventually all would be fine. Michael was disappointed with his parents after all they had given him they could deny him the one thing he ever really wanted, but it wasn’t to be he couldn’t break his mother’s heart. As the family combined to keep them apart gradually time had passed Michael worked as long hours as he could and Bobby kept herself locked away except for work. Dolly was worried about her daughter and encouraged one of her son’s Jim to bring friends around to the house see Bobby. She was sociable and polite to them but it was not what she wanted. Jim had a friend called Tom who had always liked Bobby and was quite happy to visit the family as often as possible he had liked Bobby since school even though he was a few years older than her. Tom was a policeman and very respectable although could come across as dull not the life and soul of the party very sensible for a man of his age and had his life mapped out.   When Tom was visiting, Dolly encouraged Bobby to be friendly with him and after a while she accepted an invitation to the pictures with him. Her mother and father were relieved as they could put all the other nonsense behind them. Her parents kept on encouraging her until one day when Tom asked her to marry him they were delighted and told her how well she would be looked after and never want for anything. The day arrived of the wedding and everyone was there except Michael. As her father walked her down the isle he knew that she did not have the look in her eyes or the love in her heart that she had for Michael, but he still believed that she would be better off in a practical way.
Tom and Bobby lived in a comfortable house in a respectable area and life was as it should be  one day when Dolly was visiting the young bride she thought she was looking run down and told her to go to the doctors as she may be pregnant Bobby took her mum’s advice but after a few test’s she was told something quite different “I am afraid you have leukaemia” said the doctor “and there is nothing I can do for you “ she was told to go home and rest . When Tom came home that evening she told him her sad news, Tom being the sensible husband that he was said he would pay her family to come in and look after her so as not to disrupt their lives to much and that is what happened, the family were told and they were taking turns to help look after Bobby so that Tom could carry on with his job. Margaret wrote and told Michael who had moved away when Bobby married but when he received the letter his heart ached even more than it already did. He returned to the family home and took his turns of looking after Bobby he spent most of his time there and Bobby was glad that they could spend time together again even if it was not the time they expected to have with each other. One winter’s morning when Dolly arrived to look after Bobby Tom informed her that it was too late and her daughter had died in the night arrangements had been made and if she could let the family know. All the family attended the church this time including Michael and as Margaret watched him say goodbye to Bobby she realised that they had been wrong and she had taken the life away from Michael that she had tried so hard to give him in the first place. Everyone in the family knew what should have been done but it was now too late.
As time went on things got easier for each member of the family in their own way, Tom remarried but Michael never married he spent his days visiting Bobby’s graveside and talking to her as he had planned to do years ago still loving her as much as he had when they were young.

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