Middlemere 7 (Chapters 9 – 10)



Poor Romy’s problems seem to multiply. Jem, her brother, has always been a lost cause. When he first returned from the National Service, he confessed that he was involved in some robberies, and he claimed that he thought it was just a job and those who hired him took advantage of him. When he realised what was really going on, he fled to London, and after a while, he seemed to have settled down. He got a job and even started dating a girl, Liz. Romy thought that he was finally cleaning up her act. However, a few weeks later Jem told her that Liz used to be engaged. Then her fiancé joined the army, and when he didn’t contact her for a year, she thought that the engagement was over. The problem was that now the man was back, and she wanted to claim his stake. Romy told her btother to take things slowly so that the man, Ray, could get used to the idea. However, Jem said there was no time as Liz was pregnant.

Then Jem turned up at her flat one day, saying that he had killed Ray. Apparently, having heard about the pregnancy, the man started the fight with Jem in a pub, but when Jem left the place, he followed him and they scuffled outside. At some point Jem pushed him and Ray hit his head on some railings. Jem is very nervous, saying that there was too much blood and Ray was completely still, so he begs Romy to help him escape. Thankfully, Romy is a sensible woman, telling him that he needs to think of Liz and the baby. So she persuades him to go to the police so that they can tell the truth. In the end, Ray is not dead but with a serious concussion which has left him in a coma, and the police won’t listen to Jem’s explanation so he is charged with murder and sent to prison. Thankfully, the man doesn’t die, but during the trial he claims that Jem started the fight.

Apart from that, Romy discovers that her employer and friend is dying. She finds her in pain in her office one day, and when Romy presses her to send for the doctor, Mrs Plummer confesses that nobody can do anything as she is dying of cancer. Romy can’t believe it as she has grown fond of the woman, but she knows it is true. Now what she tries is to spare her as much work as possible. Romy is worried because she knows that Mrs Plummer will be leaving the hotel to Johnny in her will, which will mean she is more than likely to lose her job as Johnny will want to get back at her. A few weeks later Romy hears a terrible row between Mrs Plummer and Johnny because he has continued seeing his lover and Mirabel has found out. The fight is terrible, and there is a crash inside the office as Mrs Plummer has thrown some object at Johnny. Only then does Romy decide to intervene, and she sees Johnny holding Mirabel by the neck. The man lets go but threatens to tell everybody the truth about her and her past as a nightclub girl. He eventually leaves, and then Mrs Plummer confides in Romy about her past and her worries about Johnny soiling her name. She also knows that Johnny has never loved her but since he is the only man she has loved, she has always been ready to overlook all his flaws. Now I imagine that she will change her will because that man doesn’t deserve a cent, and I hope that she leaves the hotel to Romy, who really loves the place as more than a business to make money.

Caleb has found the courage to tell Romy that he loves her. Surprised, Romy first lets him kiss her, but then when he declares his love for her, she only says that she has too much going on now to think about love. So Caleb, who is quite easy-going, accepts her refusal. Yet, from then on Romy can’t stop thinking about him and his kisses. I hope that he and Caleb can get together as they are perfect for each other.



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