|The "lost" Margot and Reg Story. |
Includes some Margot and Reg bits from All Change, may match up with All Change, but I may make it an alternative universe for my alternative universe, incestuous as that sounds!
Depends how Margot plot bunny behaves !
The first few posts are slightly amended bits of the Margot and Reg story from All Change.
The station master smiled to himself as he watched the figure pacing at the far end of the platform.
"Meeting a young lady, that lad is, or I'll eat my hat" he remarked to his companion. The porter, disturbed from a comfortable doze, lifted the peak of his own hat and peered in the direction of the master's gaze.
"Believe you be right with that one sir, look at the young fool. Be off and onto the rails soon if he don't watch out."
The object of their attention, a smartly dressed man in his twenties, was staring along the tracks as if by sheer force of will he could make the train appear.
His coat was folded over his arm, having settled there, after a period of changing from over his shoulders, fully on, on one shoulder, and then to and from the nearest bench. As the men watched, he began to finger the edge of the coat again, clearly contemplating another move. The mistreated garment was spared yet another removal by the appearance of the train, far down the tracks.
Dr Reg Entwhistle, for this was the name of the young fool under discussion, stared at the approaching engine. He almost looked ready to bolt, now that the object of his attention was suddenly a reality.
'What if she's changed her mind?' he thought, the tension causing him to grab at his coat again, barely noticing as he mangled the collar between his fingers.
'She could've done. She's so young, after all...she only realised her feelings for me after the accident, could she be coming to tell me it was a big mistake?'
Having nearly worn a track on the platform with his agitated pacing, Reg was suddenly unable to move, as the passengers began to spill from the carriages.
At the far end of the platform, a young woman stepped down from the train and began to look around her.
In those moments before she saw him, Reg was suddenly taken back to the previous year, the warm sun and crisp air from the memory a stark contrast to the damp, misty english weather that surrounded him now.
She was playing with blades of grass, absently forming rings and then flicking them away. He had watched her grow up from such a young age, it almost felt inappropriate that he could really dare to feel romantically for her.
"I still can't believe you feel the same way" his voice echoed in his mind.
"I almost can't believe it myself" was the remembered reply. "Thought I had my future all settled, all arranged. You were no more than a school girl's daydream. All I could really focus on was my training, distract myself with it"
" I don't want you to lose that, you know, " he interjected "it is a part of who you are, and I wouldn't want to take you away from all of that future..."
Even through the mists of memory, the shock of her reply stung him, the proud boy inside still unable to take negative responses well.
"Ha! Reg, I believe you really do think it would be up to you! No, I would be doing my training, whether we realised our feelings for each other or not. I'm never going to be one of these passive wives, waiting for my doctor to give me children and letting you dose me every time I show any reaction to things. "
The girl sat up, her fiery temper, controlled for so long, fully roused at his apparent presumption.
"No," she continued "don't you worry about my training, that's the least of our concerns. What I want to know is this:" she turned to face him, her whole body showing the conflict within her. She paused, distress evident in every movement.
" How on earth are we going to tell Len?"
Back in the present day, the object of this concern, Mary Helena Maynard, sat beside a river, apparently staring deep into the murky water. Her mind, however, was nowhere near Oxford and the Thames. Beside her, her companion raised her eyes from the book she had been studying, and followed Len's gaze.
"I don't think the fish are going to answer you, so how about you try me." she calmly queried as she put the book down.
As Len started and looked over to her, still with unseeing eyes, her questioner took the papers Len was supposed to be reading, and gave the girl a gentle shake.
"Come on now, you've been miles away all afternoon. Ever since we met up with those girls from Carnbach you have been terrible company."
"I'm sorry, I didn't realise" Len replied, as she seemed to almost shake herself awake. "Do you need any help with your revision? I haven't been much use to you so far. "
"No, you haven't, but that's the least of my worries. Come on Len, I've known you for far too long to be distracted that easily"
Len coloured as she realised she had still been trying to hide her thoughts and had been so easily found out.
"Well it's nothing new really. I was thinking about Reg, and all that confusion last year, if you must know."
"I thought as much" came the reply "It really upset you, didn't it, when those old girls were asking about it all."
Len nodded. The girls had been casually nosy, in a way that Len just hadn't known how to deal with.
"They were just gossips, Len, not worth thinking about. We left Carnbach so long ago - they only know you because of the family and school connection . And you know what Chinese whispers are like in a school."
"But to think that I was playing 'fast and loose' with him, to suggest that I had said yes to him, and then found a 'better catch' once I reached Oxford." flared Len. " Why would they think that? "
Her companion paused, trying to decide how best to answer.
"I know that Len, and anyone who had spent any time recently with you would know that too. But they didn't know you, not really. Oh I know they are Chalet girls in theory. But the two branches have been apart now for so long, they almost feel like different schools to me. "
Her face twisted in distaste as she spoke again "The way that they were all fussing and preening whenever a man went by. Can you see us behaving like that, even as we get older? They judged you by their own standards. "
Len laughed at this characteristic reply.
“So fierce about it! And is that worse than you now judging them by ours?" she teased. "Perhaps they have the right idea - After all, it might be nice to be involved with someone, would break up the monotony of lectures!"
Her face fell again as she followed this thought through.
"Perhaps if we hadn't been kept so young at our branch of the Chalet School, I would have known better how to handle things with Reg. Then people wouldn't think I was the one who broke it off, so soon after we had become engaged"
"No one who matters thinks that Len! Why do you think Reg chose to leave the Platz so soon after he told you he had made a mistake?"
Len looked at her in surprise.
"I just thought he wanted a fresh start..." she began, but was interrupted.
"Rubbish! He knew no-one there would have any time for him after the way he behaved. If you ask me, he only pursued you like that because you were part of the family, and then because you weren't interested. He was attracted by the fact that you were unobtainable, not by the real you."
Len inclined her head. This was possible. She spoke her thoughts out loud before she really registered what she was doing.
"But he never did properly explain WHY. It wasn't until this afternoon that I fell to thinking about it. Those girls were asking all those questions about what happened. It struck me that if I had really felt for Reg the way that I thought I did, surely I should have wanted to know why. "
Even as she finished talking, the church bell behind them rang. Suddenly aware of the time, the two young students collected their belongings and hurried off towards the college, all thoughts of Reg forgotten in their haste to get back before they were missed.
Back on the platform, Reg forced his mind onto the present day, and raised his hand to signal to the girl, so alike to the rest of her family physically, yet totally different in many ways.
She finally caught sight of him. All at once his fears proved groundless, as her face lit up in delight on seeing him after so long. Had he known, his own face was a mirror of hers, as he absently threw his coat on the bench again and strode towards her.
"Reg! " she beamed "you came to meet me! I thought your morning surgery would still be going, I assumed someone else would have to show me where to go. "
Reg held himself in control by the barest margin, her mention of the surgery reminding him that he had a reputation to uphold. A country doctor could hardly be seen sweeping a girl into his arms, especially one who still looked as if she could be at school. He settled for a huge grin at her and a hand taking her suitcase from beside her.
"Any more luggage?" he asked, beginning to attempt to get the porter's attention.
"No, that's it. I thought it better to travel light, as I didn't know if anyone would be able to meet me."
"Well then, " he replied " shall we get going? Do you want to go straight to your hotel ? Or can I buy you a drink and a cake first?"
He realised his mistake too late, as she chortled and responded in a playful tone.
" You MAY take me for a cake, whether you CAN depends on whether you have left your wallet in the coat you so casually threw aside just now. "
He turned in panic, suddenly realising anyone could have taken the coat, which indeed had his wallet in an inside pocket. A peal of laughter showed that his tormentor had known all along the items were safe.
"Come on then, Mary Margeret Maynard" he replied with a chuckle of his own " if I MAY take you out, let's get ourselves off this platform and into a tea shop. "
The couple left the platform, oblivious to all around them. For all Reg's attempted reserve, he might as well have swept Margot off her feet and carried her, their delight in each other's company was so obvious.
"That's the young doctor from out Bamdy End way, ent it?" queried the porter, as the couple passed. "looks like he's not going to be the pin up for the local lasses much longer, if I'm not mistaken"
"Too true, the master replied "ah well, I'm sure they will all cope. Look lively there, the 11.15 from Manchester will be along any minute, no time to be wondering about the doc and his lady friend now. Leave that to the lasses. Come on now, get moving!"
The couple in question wandered slowly along the street, finally entering a small shop with the sign 'Tea,Cakes, Ices' in the window. They settled in a cosy corner and ordered two toasted tea cakes and a pot of tea.
"After all those buns with cream, meriingues and sugary treats we had when we were growing up, I never thought I would have such a craving for simple tea cakes. But since being back in Britain I've developed quite an addiction. " Margot said.
"Better for your teeth at least, and since I can't offer you those continental delights anymore, I'm glad to hear you say that. "
Margot caught the slight edge in his voice at the reference to the platz.
"It was hard for you, leaving there, wasn't it."she said softly.
"It has been ... Different." he replied, looking down at the tablecloth. " It was pretty grim at the beginning, I had thought that I would stay at the San till I retired. But I'm actually beginning to like being a local doctor. I can get to know my patients more. And the people give me far more respect than you girls at the school ever did! "
He looked up at her with a smile, then directed his gaze back to the table.
" Far harder has been having to stay away from you so long. I nearly came to you at university so many times. Even bought a ticket once... But then one of your letters would arrive. It always made me realise, if I want to be with you for life, and we don't want your family to try to keep us apart, this is the best way "
"It is worth it Reg. It is so important that we keep this secret, you were right not to come" Margot replied. "In fact, you've done better than I did."
He looked up sharply at this, a question on his lips. She nodded, and now it was her turn to examine the fine detail of the cloth.
“I actually got as far as this station, before I realised I just couldn't risk someone seeing us together.”
A grim smile passed across her face before she continued.
“And the problem with having been babies to a whole school is that there are always old girls, wherever you go in this country. No sooner will I settle down to learn my anatomy or some such, and someone I barely know will pounce on me and start being all gushy. I could easily throttle Mamma sometimes for being such a good correspondent. All these old girls seem to have had photos of us all sent to them year after year. If I didn't know she had no idea I would swear she had a whole spy network ..."
She ground to a halt and looked at his strange expression. " I'm rambling, aren't I, I always do that when i'm nervous, I ..."
"Be quiet ! " Reg said suddenly, shocking Margot with his tone.
I ended up shortchanging Margot and Reg in All Change, due to extreme lack of sleep and resulting randominium. Margot insists that she deserves a story of her own, so here it is! The first few posts are amended All Change, as a reminder.
MAY match with All Change in the end, or may divert - I make no promises!
MAY match with All Change in the end, or may divert - I make no promises!
Author's Chapter Notes:
Mainly All Change posts relevant to Margot and Reg.