‘You can’t beat Rock and Roll’

“I’ve told him a hundred times now, he can’t expect me to stay home all the time just looking after him. It’s been seven years now since mum died and I’m not getting any younger. I know at first he really needed me around, and after Joe and Phil were married and gone – well someone had to look after him. Who else but me of course!”
“Yer, well you know what they used to say Eileen? said Sue, ‘A son is a son ’til he gets him a wife, but a daughter’s a daughter ALL of her life.’ Do you want mousse on that by the way?”
“Oh I know, but I’d kinda promised mum before she went that I’d do what I could to help, but now I feel I’m just stuck.”
“Yes, love, you should’ve left years ago…You should get out more. I think he’s utterly selfish.”
“I’m beginning to think you’re right, he’s got more and more possessive now. You wouldn’t believe the way he took up when I started at the Le Roc classes. My one night out and he begrudged me that …and when I told him I’d met a nice fella there – well, you’d think the sky was falling!”
“Well there you are, he’s only ever thinking about himself. Never mind if you meet ‘Mr Right’ and want to start a family of your own…”
“Oh god, I know. If I don’t get away soon, it’ll be too late, I’m 34 next birthday…”
“Well I’d say it’s now or never then. You really don’t owe him anything anymore – even if he is your dad. He’s just all take and no give… Do you want some hairspray on it too?”
Eileen smiled and checked her new cut admiringly, “No, it looks fine. I’m ready to do battle now! Thanks Sue, I’ll let you know how we get on…tonight’s the night!”

Bill was standing at the open front door looking at his watch when she got home. “What is it NOW!” he demanded.
“Look dad, I told you this morning I wasn’t going to be in tonight…”
“What about my dinner then?”
“I’ve left you a casserole, you just have to put it in the microwave on medium for five minutes to heat through…”
“I can’t do the damned cooking, that’s your job…”
“C’mon dad, it’s perfectly alright, just follow the note I’ve left, but I have to go, it’s the semi-finals night.”
“Semi-finals! What bloody semi-finals?”
“I told you loads of times – it’s the semi-finals of the Le Roc annual competition and we’re up against the Great Yarmouth team…”
“Bloody Le wa’dyer call it doesn’t come before my dinner…”
“Well it does now dad, cause I’m going! Jeff’s calling for me at 6.30 and that’s that, and if you don’t like it, that’s tough…”
“Don’t you talk to me like that, me own bloody daughter. You should show a bit of respect…”
“Dad. stop it. I’ve done everything for you since mum died. Looked after the house, cooked your meals, kept you company. All I ask is a little time for me…”
“An’ who’s this bloody Jeff person anyway, why’s he giving you a lift ?”
“Jeff, as I’ve told you before is my dance partner, and we’ve every chance of getting in the finals.”
“Partner is he? What’s his family like, is he trustworthy?”
“Dad, don’t be so daft, he’s a decent fella and I like him, a lot…”
“Well you’d better be home by 10 o’clock then!”
” Oh dad, don’t be so silly – I’m nearly 34!”

At the hairdresser’s later that week, Sue’s customer Debbie was a mutual friend of Eileen’s and the gossip turned to the dance competition…
“Hey, did you know Jeff and Eileen got into the finals despite her miserable old dad trying to put a damper on everything?” announced Sue.

“Yes she told me, she’s so chuffed – and they make a great couple don’t they?” said Debbie.
“I’m really pleased for her too, but Bill’s such an old bigot and he makes Eileen’s life a right misery. She’s been a saint looking after him all these years, but I think it’s about time she put her foot down.”
“Too right Sue, she should have a bit of a life of her own, she deserves it.”
“She told me about the ding dong she had with him when he tried to stop her going to the Le Roc competition… Well I told my mum and she let on that Bill and Rose were quite a ‘thing’ at the Starlight School of Ballroom Dancing way back when. They were the envy of the town, won all the prizes and awards. That’s where they met in the first place of course.”
“Really, who’d of thought it…” said Debbie, “and him such an old stick in the mud.”
“Yeah, seems Bill’s mum was dead against it, mainly ’cause she was terrified Bill would get married and leave her on her own. She was divorced you see and was really jealous of any romantic attachments on Bill’s horizon.”
“So it looks like history repeating itself then?” remarked Debbie smiling.
“You know what Debs, I’m gonna tell her – time’s up for the old bugger I reckon…”

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