The next evening my Dad and Jackie had a boxing match in Doncaster on this occasion,I can`t remember why but they went on their own. Jackie lost that fight my Dad said it was probably because he hadn`t been able to do much training due to christmas and extra food. He was a welter weight and had put on 4lbs. which in boxing terms is not good.It couldn`t have been he was out boxed, oh no! which listening to Jackie and my Dads inquest on the fight sounded more likely.
Before we knew it christmas was over and it was back to work, in the freezing cold and believe you me it was really cold on the buses, no heating or doors.
I had finished the first half of my shift and was sat with Barbara in the canteen moaning about how the irish girls were getting worse, Barbara said there was something she thought she ought to tell me but did`nt know how. I said just come out with it any explanation would help, she said it would destoy me if it were true. There were rumours going around and I seemed to be the only one in the dark. She just couldnt bring herself to tell me but I kept on and on, later I wished I had`nt. She said the rumour was that Jackie was married, with two children, in Dublin, I laughed it was just to ridiculous, why would he get engaged to me, it didn`t add up. This was the reason for the abuse from the irish contingent, they thought I knew about it.
I just couldn`t take it in, What was the matter with me , if all I attracted were married men.
Jackie was due in from his shift in about 10 minutes so I said to Barbara I would go and wait for him outside, I needed the truth I had finished with Mark because I found out he was married, Jackie knew this, no it was too crazy, I had to keep calm, I thought if I kept calm and just asked Jackie straight out, he might be shocked that I knew and admit it or laugh and sort out the rumours. The 10 minutes seemed like hours.
He came into the lobby, gave me a hug and kiss, I just turned to him and said "are you married" I did`nt need an answer, it was written all over his face, he said "I am sorry I never meant it to get this far". I said what about the children are there two, he nodded. I was heartbroken , I really didn`t know how to react, it was strange, I was`nt angry as I thought I would be. I was in shock, I just stood there I had no idea what to do or say next, how could he do this to me. He suggested we go for a walk and try and think things through. My Mum and Dad would be devastated, my Dad because of his illness, I knew would`nt be able to handle it, he would probably have an epileptic fit or worse, he thought the world of Jackie. There was only one way to avoid it, this was how my mind was working we had to go on as though nothing had happened, I was terrified of the outcome.
We talked and talked and Jackie agreed with me to not tell any of my family, my Dad meant so much to me,I would do anything not to upset him, he thought Jackie was the best thing that ever happened to our family, in retrospect I now know that Jackie was looking after himself but then I really thought my Dad was also his concern.
We went for a meal, I was finding it difficult to accept, a wife, two children he gave me some half baked explanation like, she had got pregnant before they were married of course this was strictly against their catholic religion, so their parents forced them to marry at 16 yrs old, he said they really didn`t like each other but had no choice, so they went and had another child immediately after the first one was born I took it all in, the proverbial dustbin, how could I have been so naive.
I loved him so much, if he had told me he had murdered someone I am sure I would have said it was`nt his fault and forgiven him. We went home, it was really difficult pretending everything in the garden was rosy but we did. When you think about it Jackie was behaving no differantly, except that I now knew but this did`nt occur to me at the time.