30th April 1951


Frank’s back! I can hardly believe I’m writing this, my heart is pounding and my hand is shaking! Oh Lord, he’s really here back in Hanley! It’s been nearly seven years since I last saw him.
Why didn’t he tell me he was back! I’m so angry! After the way he just left and fairly broke my heart. The least he could do was send word.

I had to do a double take when I saw him. I was coming out of the green grocers and had bumped into Mrs Finley, one of Mother’s friends. We were chatting about who knows what, I can’t remember now, when I happened to glance across the road. There was a man in a mackintosh there getting ready to cross. I don’t know what made him catch my eye, but just as I turned to carry on chatting with Mrs Finley it struck me that he looked familiar. A hundred thoughts and memories suddenly crashed through my brain all at once and I realised it was him!
As he made his way to our side of the street he looked up and saw me and I knew right then he hadn’t expected to see me. It was all in his eyes, shock, guilt and I swear, he almost considered pretending he hadn’t seen me. But I was too late and at last he smiled and came to meet us.
He looks older but better somehow. I couldn’t help but stare at him with my mouth open; I must have looked a right channock. ‘Good afternoon ladies’ he said all cool like he always bumped into us like that. ‘Frank!’ was all I could say, but then I remembered Mrs Finley and saw she was staring at him with open dislike. I didn’t want to talk with him in front of her so I began to blather; ‘How good to see you again, I hope you’re well, are you glad to be back…’ I went on and on, not even listening to his answers. All I really wanted to shout was, ‘Where have you been?’ ‘Why didn’t you tell me you were back?’ ‘Why are you acting so normal like this means nothing to you?’

After a while we parted company, Mrs Finley and I going one way and Frank the other. I didn’t hear a word she said to me as we strolled, I was replaying seeing Frank cross the road, catching his eye and thinking for just the briefest moment he looked put out to see me. That can’t be true can it? One thing I can bet is Mother will be hearing all about this and not from me. Finley will pass it all on to her in detail, and then I’ll be for it! Well let her interrogate me, all that’s in the past and I was only shocked to see Frank again after all this time. I’ve moved on and clearly so has he.
I’m going to cook my husband’s tea now.