Janis is fed up of Trevor upsetting Ceri and she has good memories of why he wouldn’t want to annoy her. Hope you enjoy!
As always, please excuse the typos.
Episode 59: Stuck Like Gum
Janis did enjoy her new role in the garden centre at Squishy along with helping Stan with some odd bits and pieces, fixing problems at Miriam’s dental surgery, sorting out the sinks in Diane’s salon, the tables in the Bee, the fryers in George’s chip shop, the flowerboxes outside Hedges’ flower shop, little jobs in Glynnis’ businesses and even delivering extra supplies to Andy and his dad. Yes, she liked fixing items and it gave her the excuse to glare at Trevor or Barry when she saw them. They didn’t seem to stay anywhere long when she showed and Trevor could run quite fast when he wasn’t preening himself.
You see, she’d never got on with Trevor. In school, he’d been one of the kids who picked on her in class, pushing her into muddy puddles and laughing at her when she got told off. He’d been a slight, pale boy with grimy blonde hair flicked over into a side parting. His smile was always like he’d found something funny and his nostrils wanted to run away from his lips. He’d always been the boy the teachers loved who excelled in maths and all the brainy subjects but Janis didn’t like him.
He used to tease her and insult her when she walked home and, when he was on his bike, he’d make sure to splash through the puddle to soak her.
She didn’t really bother to grumble because her mum and dad told her that the only bit about a person to like was their heart. It didn’t much make a difference whether they had lots of money or even whether lots of people liked them. What made a difference is if they were kind when someone needed them to be. Still, not a lot of people were kind to her and she grew to expect people ignoring her and seeing her as nobody much to talk to.
Now she was older, she noted that the people in class that she was in school with, tended to smile at her but they hadn’t really been in her school classes apart from Ceri. She’d liked Ceri a lot because she seemed kind. She was the girl who would check on people when they weren’t well and talk to people who were sad, like mother. Ceri did smile at her often but Janis didn’t think she’d want conversation so nodded and hurried on then again, she was next to Trevor most of the time.
When Janis was a teenager, had left school behind and was working in the community centre, she changed how Trevor viewed her because he wasn’t being kind and she didn’t like that.
He’d been with Ceri for a school outing and the bus had dropped them off to the community centre. Trevor was trying to show off to his friends as Janis put the rubbish out and he happened to pick on an elderly lady who had lots of sight problems. He strode up to her, with that horrible grin on his face, and took her elbow.
‘You can’t proceed that way,’ he said, with a snigger. ‘It’s closed off.’
He then pointed her toward the rubbish bins which she’d fall over.
‘Thank you,’ the lady said, thinking he was nice, and she made her way towards Janis.
She scowled and strode out from around the bins. ‘Mrs Hughes,’ she said, taking her arm and guiding her back onto her route. ‘You need to turn around. That way has bins everywhere.’
‘Thank you,’ Mrs Hughes said with a smile. ‘You’re always so kind, Janis.’
She smiled that Mrs Hughes knew who she was then let her walk by herself.
Trevor saw her and headed back over, grabbed Mrs Hughes’ hand and turned her around again. ‘You can’t proceed that way. I told you this already.’
Mrs Hughes frowned. ‘I don’t know who you are, young man, but please leave me alone.’
‘Janis isn’t clever, Mrs Hughes,’ he said as his friends laughed at him. ‘She’s a caretaker.’
He turned Mrs Hughes off her course so she wasn’t sure where she was.
Janis hurried over. ‘I’m going to take you home in the car,’ she said, glaring at Trevor. ‘I’m really sorry about him.’
Mrs Hughes held onto her arm but her chin was wobbling. The sight of her hurt made Janis’ stomach crunch with anger so she placed Mrs Hughes in her mum’s car which she borrowed to go to work and marched right back over to Trevor.
‘I wanted her to fall over the bins, Janis,’ Trevor said with his grin on his face. ‘Why don’t you go and mop the floor like a good girl.’
Trevor crumpled to the floor with a loud sob and Janis wagged her stinging fist at him. ‘I’ll not have you treat Mrs Hughes that way.’ She wagged her fist harder. ‘You might think you’re clever but you’re mean. It’s not clever to be mean.’
Trevor’s friends burst into laughter at him and he wobbled to his feet, gripping his swollen lip and scurried off.
Janis hadn’t had so much as a smirk off him since and she was going to have to wag her fist at him again as she marched into the little shop he’d taken over… somehow… to turn into a salon.
‘Trevor,’ she muttered as she stomped in.
Barry scuttled out of the way as Trevor popped his head around the door. He was still slight with a receding side-parting and still had that smile.
‘You want something?’ he shot at her but kept the door between them.
‘You been around to Miriam’s again.’ She wagged her fist at him. ‘And Ceri wasn’t crying because she doesn’t like dentures.’ She narrowed her eyes. ‘She won’t tell me what you said but I’m not letting you be mean to her.’
He narrowed his eyes. ‘I can talk to her when I want to, as I want to. She’s my wife.’
Barry huffed and stomped out of the salon.
‘She’s not your wife,’ Janis said and glared at him. ‘You were mean and you left her. She married me but even so, it doesn’t matter who she is married to, she’s a nice person and you’re hurting her.’ She flicked her overall sleeve at him. ‘Stop it.’
He smiled that smile. ‘No. You’re a caretaker. I am not losing to a caretaker.’
Janis stomped over to the door, pulled it from him and dragged him by the scruff out of the shop over to Miriam’s surgery. She marched in through the door and plonked Trevor next to the reception desk. ‘I’m not letting you be mean to her any more.’
Ceri scurried out of the clinic and stared at Janis. ‘I know he needs a lot of help with his teeth but I don’t think Miriam wants him as a customer.’
‘I’m happy to pull out his teeth if you like,’ Miriam yelled then grunted. ‘Stay in the chair. I can’t yank the tooth properly if you squirm.’
‘I’ll pay for him to have his teeth out if he don’t say sorry for upsetting you,’ Janis said with a scowl at Trevor. ‘And I’ll pin him to the chair.’
‘So, what you say to upset her?’ Janis asked him as Andy, hiding in the waiting room behind magazines, peered over at them.
‘I am not telling a caretaker anything,’ Trevor said with a tut at Ceri. ‘You married a caretaker, how sad.’
Ceri glared at him. ‘Don’t you go starting on her or I’ll remove your molars.’
Trevor raised his eyebrows. ‘You’d side with her? Why? She has a beard.’
Janis pursed her lips. ‘I like my beard.’
‘So do I.’ Ceri stomped her foot. ‘I knew you were lying. Why didn’t I just remember you’re an idiot.’
Trevor smirked up at Janis.
‘She’s yelling at you,’ Janis said with a roll of her eyes. He clearly wasn’t as clever as he pretended to be.
‘Me?’ He turned to Ceri. ‘I am your husband.’
‘Ex-husband.’ Ceri met Janis’ eyes. ‘He said you were going to run off with George.’ She threw her hands in the air. ‘I didn’t believe him but then I was worried about it.’
‘George?’ Andy asked from his magazine. ‘Why George?’
Miriam poked her head out of the clinic. ‘That was what I said.’
‘George is a lot nicer than you,’ Janis muttered.
Trevor smirked at Ceri. ‘See.’
‘She was talking to you,’ Ceri said with a sigh. ‘I really should remove your molars.’
Trevor looked at Janis. ‘She should.’
‘She’s talking to you,’ Andy muttered then rolled his eyes at the other patient who was trying to sneak out of the back door. ‘I don’t know how he got qualifications.’
Trevor scowled at Janis then at Ceri. ‘Oh, so you both gang up on me.’
‘We all are,’ Miriam said and buzzed her dental drill.
Trevor eyed it, then Janis, and ran out of the clinic, then flew into the bins head-first.
Mrs Hughes held the door and lifted up her white stick. ‘I recognised his voice.’
Janis laughed and turned to Ceri. ‘You thought I was running off with George?’
Ceri shrugged. ‘No… I just listen and I shouldn’t.’ She gazed up at Janis. ‘He’s not very bright.’
Janis shook her head, helped Mrs Hughes over to her seat, then smiled down at Ceri. ‘No, because anyone who was clever,’ she said, pecking Ceri on the lips. ‘Should know that you and me, the girls… and our friends,’ she said, with a smile at Andy and Miriam. ‘That it doesn’t take much to see… that we…’ she said and pulled Ceri under her arm. ‘whatever he tries to tell you…’ She twirled Ceri and flopped her over her arm. ‘Are good as being stuck like gum.’