A couple of friends unwittingly embark on a naked cruise.
She would have pressured him into moving in full time anyway."
"You know this for sure?"
"I have it on good authority Becky. I would not have torn your ... happy home apart had I not! What I did this evening was give your mother a heads up to what Frank was planning. Put her in the driving seat, so to speak. She now has the opportunity to keep her eyes on the family bank accounts and financial situation, before Frank's had a chance to move a lot of cash around."
"You think he'd leave her destitute?"
"No not really, the courts wouldn't let him get away with that. After all, he's always insisted that you mother hasn't had a job; better to control her I suspect. But he'd make sure that as much money as he can arrange will disappear from the calculations."
"I know you've always been our family ... mother's friend, but if you've known about my father's affairs in the past, why now did you suddenly choose to drop the bloody bomb on us? Why have you never said anything in the past?"
"Because being the bearer of bad tidings does not usually engage one with whom you pass those tidings too."
"You are talking in riddles Uncle Bill."
"Okay, how about the old adage "shoot the messenger who brings bad news!" does that mean anything to you young lady."
"Not really, am I dumb or something, Uncle Bill?"
"No I am, for letting your mother get away in the first place."
"Oh my god, you have feelings for mother and you think she'll hold it against you that you told everyone about my father's tart?"
"Get out Bill! Get out of my house; I never want to see you again! Does that ring any bells, Becky?"
"Oh but mother was upset, she'll get over it."
Bill looked at the young woman again.
"Okay I understand. You were the messenger and she shot you down."
"I probably deserved it in a way."
"Why, you just told me you were trying to give mother a heads up?"
"Maybe I should have done that, a very long time ago Becky?"
"Yeah well, why didn't you?"
"Sour grapes Becky."
"Okay. What would have happened if I'd told your mother about Frank's shenanigans? He'd have denied everything, accused me of having a bad attack of sour grapes and Marsha would have believed him. God your father can talk the hind legs off a donkey when he's got a mind too. Jesus if it weren't for the baby he'd have denied everything today. And what's more, your mother would have most likely swallowed every word. That's why I chose a time and place when there were others present who were aware of his antics.
"I'd have been consigned to the realms of the no longer friends and I doubt I'd have ever seen your mother again. Frank would definitely have chosen to move the family as far away from this street as he could anyway."
Becky stared up at Bill's face for a long while without speaking. Then she made a decision, her uncle had mentioned something else she hadn't been aware of and then glossed over it.
"Uncle Bill, you said that at one time you and my mother dated each other!"
"We did for a while?"
"So what happened?"
"There was a little bit of unpleasantness overseas and I went out there to work on some reconstruction contracts. When I returned to the UK, your mother was married to Frank."
"You loved her didn't you?"
Bill pulled a small leather covered box from his pocket. Becky vaguely remembered seeing him absentmindedly fiddle with that box many times, when she was younger. He opened it within Becky's sight for the first time and showed her its contents.
"I was going to ask your mother to marry me when I was offered the contract. The danger money I got for working in a virtual war zone would have set us up nicely.
Bill took a deep breath.
"But I chickened out at the last minute.