We, that’s Martha and me, always met outside the Savoy on Friday night. No, not the Savoy in London, it’s a cinema in Chorlton. They always changed the films on Friday. If we didn’t like the look of it, if it was too weird or scary, we’d just go for a walk if it were summer, or maybe next door for a drink in the Mason’s. In those days Martha was a real looker, tall and slim, very pale, pillar box red lipstick, long black hair.
Martha died in the war, no not a bomb. I blame the chemicals; she worked in the munitions factory in Ancoats. No-one but me knew she was pregnant at the time. It was a sailor – he met her at a dance in the town centre – you know the place where the library used to be off Deansgate. The sailor – Steve was his name – never knew but he did turn up at the funeral. I’ll say that for him – dirty bugger though – it takes all sorts.
“What are you blethering on about now?”
The tea trolley arrived just then. I like a nice cup of tea and a biscuit.
They buried him last week at Southern cemetery. No-one came to his funeral apart from two of the staff from the nursing home. As he had no living relatives the council paid for the funeral and so there is no headstone on his grave. The local paper is not big on obituaries any more. After Martha’s death he never really bothered with women again. He signed up for the army and did not really care whether he lived or died. In fact that’s what made him a war hero though he never felt like one and as for being given medals for killing Germans it never made any kind of sense to him.