The Old House on the Corner 5


As the time goes by, the neighbours get closer, and we get to know them better.

We learn about Ernest’s life story. He was born to a single mother, and they lived in some rooms where they were visited by Ernie’s dad, Des. Naturally, Ernest didn’t know he was his father at the time. Des had already a family, and we understand that his mother was disowned by her own family. Then his mother started working in service for a widower who she ended up marrying. They had two children, and then the man died. When the war broke out, Ernie was drafted, and he was stationed in Egypt. It is there that he meets Anna and falls in love with her. After the war they get married, and he never bothered to contact his family as he thought that part of his life was over.

It is now that he wonders what happened to his mother and siblings. In the directory he finds the number for someone he thinks could be his half-brother Charlie. He doesn’t dare to make the call, but when he tells Anna, she has no such compunctions. Charlie agrees to see him, and when he and Anna are with him, Charlie seems agreeable. Yet, when Ernie walks him to the door, Charlie tells him that he won’t see him again because he only came in the first place out of curiosity. He resents him because he and his sister think that their mother died heartbroken when Ernie decided not to return. I think Ernie was selfish and unfair to his mother I can’t understand how anybody wouldn’t want to see their mother after so long years in the war, especially knowing that she must have been worried about him. Now Ernie is full of guilt after Charlie’s words, but he deserves to suffer a little after making his mother suffer.

We also learn about Marie. She grew up in Donegal in a big family of eleven siblings. Then she met Mickey Harrison, who she married. They moved to Belfast where they had their two sons. Marie was not very happy in Belfast because of the political situation. When Mickey returned from London after seeing his sister, some men barged into the house and shot him dead. Marie couldn’t understand because she knew that her husband wasn’t involved in politics, and it must have been a mistake. However, the priest Father O’Maran came to talk to her and told her that Patrick was also in danger, and they should flee. In the end, the priest also came with them because he knew he was also in danger since he knew too much. They decided to pretend they were married and their family name was Jordan. I don’t know what to think of this. I have problems believing that Mickey wasn’t involved in all this turmoil, especially when his best friend told her that Mickey called him about the man who might have been his killer.

Now Marie is torn and swamped with problems. First, she is scared as she has to keep looking over her shoulder. Besides, when she goes to the newsagent’s to place an advertisement, she is recognized by the shop assistant. She is one of her friends’ sister at whose wedding she got together with Mickey. Marie pretends she is not the woman who the shop assistant means, and she gives her a new name. The second issue is her attraction to the priest. After her eldest son talked to her, she has been avoiding Liam and locking herself in her bedroom at night, but she can’t deny she is attracted to him, and he claims he loves her.

What seemed inevitable has finally happened. Victoria and Gareth haven’t been able to ignore their feelings any longer. Gareth feels neglected by his own wife, and I imagine that Victoria has let herself be carried away because she knows that her time in Liverpool is running out. I find Gareth’s sudden feelings for Victoria  quite rash. Just a few days ago he was crazy about his own wife, but now he claims he has never loved anybody as much as he loves Victoria. I understand that Gareth is going through a crisis, triggered by his wife’s extravagance and attitude. I wonder how this will end up. Gareth is even thinking of divorce, but is he really now out of love with his wife? I like Gareth, and he and Victoria make a lovely couple. Yet, I can’t help but wonder if what Gareth believes he feels is genuine, but I know that Victoria is the one more likely to suffer.

As Sarah feared, Alex hasn’t given up. One night Victoria is looking out of her window and sees a couple of men, checking Sarah’s door. She has never met Alex, but she thinks that the two men left in a silver Rolls Royce. Victoria tells Sarah, and the following night the children sleep at Victoria’s and the police are alerted when Alex and another guy appears around 2 a.m. Alex is arrested and Sarah intends to talk to a solicitor and get a restriction order. I hope that will enough for her and the children to be safe.

Kathleen and Steve still fight, and they realize that their problems come from the fact that they don’t really know each other. I am intrigued to know how this story will end. I don’t think they have started off on the right foot. Steve is too tortured by guilt, and Kathleen is also keeping secrets from him. Her son wants her and Michael to visit him in September but Kathleen hasn’t told Steve. I have the suspicion that they won’t end right.

Finally, there is Rachel. I feel so sorry for her. Frank treats her so unfairly, accusing her of being responsible for Alice’s death. He is very nasty, and then he expects her to wait on him hand and foot. No wonder Rachel feels so gutted and shocked when he even implies that he would be glad if she died. Poor Rachel. Thankfully, Rachel has found a friend in Kathleen. If only Rachel could tell her everything, Kathleen could help her better. I think Rachel shouldn’t put up with someone as horrible as Frank. She has also suffered, but Frank is too selfish to see that.

The next story is about a new neighbour who has come to the square. Her name is Judy Moon. We know little, but I think he has just separated from her husband Sam, and she claims that it is thanks to her daughter-in-law Donna that she is to start her new life. I wonder what her story is.


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