After a couple of minutes George returned holding a glass containing brandy and passed it to her. “Here you are Beth. I keep this in for medicinal purposes. I thought you could use a drop.”
Beth looked up and tried to smile. “Thanks George,” she said as she took the glass and sipped a little.
George sat down on a chair opposite and waited for Beth to speak. Time had taught him it was never good to hurry anyone who needed to talk.
“Thank you so much for inviting me in,” Beth managed a weak smile as she spoke. “After that row you had with Pete I wasn't sure whether you would. After all, he had more or less disowned you as a father. It's so sad really. We never even got to go to Grace's funeral. Also Chloe is three now and never seen her Grandfather.
“Yes. Pete told me it was best not to tell you, but I can't understand why not. He's away on a business trip at the moment anyhow.” Beth fumbled in her bag and brought out a couple of small photos. “You can keep these,” she said. Maybe another time I can bring her to meet you. She's at a friends' party this afternoon. I'll have to pick her up soon.”
George carefully studied the pictures of a mall girl with bright blue eyes and a cheeky grin; her face framed by shoulder length dark hair. “She looks lovely,” he said finally, looking at Beth. “You can bring her around anytime. I don't want Pete to get angry.”
“Oh, Pete!” The thought of him killed Beth's smile. “At the moment he is away on business. I hardly see him these days. He also seems very distant, not like when we first met at all. And after the phone call I received this morning ...” Her voiced trailed away and the tears returned. She drank some more of the brandy. “I'm sorry," she said.