My boyfriend, was always trying to do his poking thing, every time we were alone, not listening when I said I didn’t like it. One time after he did it in his car, I noticed there was blood running down my legs, when he dropped me off home. This scared me bad. I was wondering what was going on. I had to sneak into our house, get past mum and have a bath.
When I began feeling sick every day, I went to the Doctor for some medicine. I was shocked when he told me I was sick because, I had a baby growing inside me. He reckoned, that the poking stuff my boyfriend had been doing, was the way babies got made. I felt so dumb, I didn’t know that.
I remembered back to a time when I was younger and riding the tram. I had seen a lady with a big fat tummy and figuring out it must of been a baby, couldn’t figure out how it got in there. At that time, I had thought it was awful for her to go out in public and let the whole world see her big fat stomach. Now, I knew how it happened and was going to have a big fat stomach like that.
When my boyfriend heard the news, he told me that we needed to get married, but first, I had to drop this piece of bombshell news on mum. She never said much, but took us to talk to the Presbyterian minister, at Saint Stephens Church, just over the Moera bridge in Lower Hutt, and ask him to marry us.
One of mum’s friends, whose daughter had just been married, lent me a white wedding dress and veil to dress up in, so I would look the part. Jimeece, my school friend from Intermediate, agreed to be a bridesmaid and little Cousin Judy, who was a schoolgirl now, came with Nana on the ferry from the South Island to be the flower girl. My sister got upset because I never gave her a part to play. Selfishly, I thought, she was too old and not cute enough.
Mum asked her, long-time, good friend’s husband, to come and give me away, but when he was unable to make it, she contacted our runaway father. I was surprised to hear that for all these years, he had been living nearby at Howard’s Point, Eastbourne, raising his chickens. I went to his house to ask him to do the honors and give me away and he agreed.
My boyfriend’s Auntie Thelma, who was a Catholic had to apply to get special permission from her church to attend, as Catholics were not allowed to go to events at other churches.
My last single night, before the wedding, I slept with mum in her big bed because our flat was full of rellies taking up all the bed-spaces. For the first time since my little kid days and dad leaving us, we shared a rare moment of closeness. She told me that it was not too late if I didn’t want to go through with the wedding. But thinking about all the backstabbing of the girl at the Phillips factory with a baby and no husband, I knew, it really was, too late, besides, I thought I loved my boyfriend and he would look after me good.
Back in my Intermediate school days, my friend Judith would lend me, the little, Women’s Weekly, love stories’ books. Earning me, a walloping from Mum, whenever she found them buried in the bottom of my school satchel. Anyway, I liked how they always ended with them kissing and getting married, to live happily ever after. I thought maybe we could do that.
Four days after my Sixteenth birthday, March the Seventh, 1959, the Minister at the church said,
‘Everyone is gathered here in the sight of God’ …
and a picture came in my head of God peering down from heaven, listening in. When it came my turn to say, the,
‘until death do us part’, bit,
I felt nervous. It was sort of like the ‘cross your heart and hope to die’ we used to make the kids say, back at the Berhampore flats, when doubting they were telling the truth.
I couldn’t help but think what God would do if I didn’t keep my promise.
Mum’s tiny flat was squashed out with the rellies and friends come to celebrate my getting married, enjoying the special cake for us to cut, and the drinks she put on. My head was spinning, still trying to figure out, how it happened so fast, that I was, married, with a bun in the oven, as my boyfriend’s mates joked about, getting pregnant.
After that, we got into the little square green, Austin car, Elsie had given, for our new start in life, now crammed up with wedding gifts. A farewell toot out to our guests standing on the doorstep, waving us off and we headed out of town, into the ‘wop wops’ up country, to begin the new farm job, milking cows on a farm at, Manakau.
Well now, I’ve come to the end of just some of the many memories from the first sixteen years of my life, NannyGranny’s beginnings, and will start posting some of NannyGranny’s middle years, soon, watch this space, as ‘they’ say, LOL.