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Anne & Big Bertha

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Chapter 4


Anne & Ann dressed. They descended the stairs. As they strolled into the dining room they could see all eyes were on them. Anne wondered why and Ann felt intimidated by that. Anne seated herself at the table. Ann found a perch next to her. ‘What would you like for breakfast, Miss Walker? We have eggs and bacon, toast and jam or porridge?’ Marian said.

‘I don’t know. I’m not that hungry right now. Can we just sit and chat for awhile. You can eat if you wish.’ Ann said. ‘I will have something to eat soon.’

‘Okay!! What do you plan to do today? I am sure Anne has work on the estate which needs attending to. Don’t you, Anne?’ Anne frowned at Marian. She hadn’t decided what she was going to do. Yes, there was work that needed to be done around the estate but it was such a lovely day she thought she would like to take Ann for a ride on her motorcycle into the countryside. Only she didn’t know if Ann was still willing to go with her.’Anne, what are you thinking?’, ‘I, Miss Walker, was wondering if you would like a trip to the country on the back of Bertha?’ Anne said.’but you need to eat because it could be awhile before we eat again.’

‘Anne, I would love to do that with you but don’t you have estate work you need to attend to.’ Ann said timidly.

‘Ann, the estate work can wait. This weather may not last very long and we should make the most of it. Shouldn’t we?’ Anne said with a smile on her face. Marian looked at her sister and could see what she was doing. Should she warn Ann about her sister or just leave it . she could see Ann Walker was a little bit in love with Anne.

‘I think I would like some toast and jam from breakfast.’ Ann said cheerfully.

‘Then we can leave as soon as you are ready. Anne.’ Anne smiled. She felt as though if she played her cards right Miss Walker could be her wife but this time she would take it slowly. She knew now she had rushed into a full on relationship when she was with Mariana and only weeks after they had met she asked her to marry her. Then the accident happened and her world was turned upside down. She didn’t want that to happen with Ann.

Cordingley cooked Ann two slices of toast. She spread them with butter and jam and ate greedily. She wanted to get going. She couldn’t wait to feel the wind on her body and the freedom that being on a motorcycle gave her. They returned to Anne’s bedroom to dress. ‘Why don’t you wear a pair of my shorts and a t-shirt under the leathers today. Leave your skirt here. You can collect it when we return. Okay!!’

Ann could only nod. Anne found a pair shorts and a t-shirt for Ann to wear. They were a size too big so Anne gave her a belt for the shorts and she could wear the t-shirt loosely over the shorts.

They wandered back down stairs to find Marian waiting for them. ‘Can I speak to Ann in private for a moment?’

‘Why, Marian?’ Anne said with a hint of frustration in her voice. She wanted to get going. She was afraid of what Marian would say to Ann.

‘I just want to ask her something.’

‘Okay, Spit it out. I think I already know what you are going to say to Ann.’ Ann looked at both sisters quizzically. ‘Ann, you do know what my sister is like with women?’

‘Yes, I have heard the rumours and I don’t believe them.’ Anne sighed. She was relieved. She knew Ann was different. ‘And what’s more your sister isn’t who others think she is.’

‘Okay, Ann, don’t say I didn’t warn you when she breaks your heart.’ Ann looked at her and wondered why Marian had a poor opinion of her sister.

‘I know she will never do that and anyway, we don’t know each other that well. So, you might be jumping the gun before it goes off.’ Ann said. She couldn’t look at Anne because she knew Anne would be near to tears.

They walked out to the hallway to put on their leathers. ‘Ann, forgive me if I seem too hasty at time but I would like you to be in my life for always. Yes, I will take it slowly. I don’t want you to feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to. You know that saying act in haste, repent at your leisure.’

‘I sure do. Once bitten twice shy is another one. Isn’t it?’ Ann said as she looked at Anne. She could see in Anne’s eyes that she was fearful of pushing her to do more than what she wanted but Anne didn’t know Ann wanted to be with her. She too would respect Anne’s wishes and take it slowly. Her friendship with Anne was more valuable than jumping into a relationship.

‘We are going now, aunt. Is there anything you would like me to bring home for dinner?’ Anne yelled from the hallway. Aunt Anne came out to see them off and said.’Bring something delicious because I have invited Miss Walker for dinner. Okay, Anne.’

‘Thank you, Miss Lister, Aunt. I would love to have dinner with you again. How does Chinese sound?’ Ann said.

‘It sounds like the prefect meal and get a tub of ice cream for dessert please, Anne.’ Anne was standing there checking of her invisible list as Ann and her aunt decided on their evening meal. They both hugged her and in that moment Ann didn’t want to live anywhere else but there. She knew Anne would like that.

They walked out the door wearing their leather gear with helmets in their hands. Ann never imagined going for one ride on a motorcycle but today she was going for her second ride. She had no idea where Anne was taking them but she was happy with that. She expected to be going home tonight and wasn’t looking forward to the day ending. As if Anne was reading her mind she said. ’Would you like to stay again tonight?’ Ann said she would think about it but she had already decided what she was going to do.

They walked over to Bertha, put on their helmets. Anne climbed on and started Bertha. Then Ann climbed on behind her. She wrapped her arms around Anne’s waist and off they went. Aunt Anne stood at the door and watched them leave. She took Marian’s arm and they walked back inside. ‘Aunt, do you think Anne would be able to keep Ann Walker and not stuff this relationship up?’

‘I don’t know, Marian. You know how she has been hurt in the past. It isn’t really her fault she has had women leave her to marry a man.’

‘I know, But she has had many one night stands. Yeah, I know. She is afraid to give her heart to anyone. Yet, she did bring Miss Walker home. She hasn’t done that ever.’

‘Yes, that is so true, Aunt.’

‘Anne grips the throttle as they cruise down the road. Ann understood now why Anne loved Bertha. Her motorcycle gave her freedom she wouldn’t have in a car. She could ride anywhere and as Bertha throbbed between their legs Ann smiled. She hadn’t felt this happy and content in a long time. They rode for what seemed like hours. Ann was starting to get hungry. She nudged Anne to let her know she wanted to stop for a moment. ‘What’s up?’ Anne yelled.

‘I’m getting hungry.’ Ann yelled back. ‘ Can we stop somewhere to eat. Two slices of toast and jam wasn’t enough to fill me up.’

‘Okay!! We can stop at the first takeaway we see. I suppose you don’t want Maccers. Do you?’ Anne yelled.

‘No. Just stop for a moment. This yelling is silly.’ Anne found a place to stop. She turned Bertha off and they climbed off. Anne could see Ann was walking funny. ‘Hey, are you okay?’

‘Yeah, I guess. I am use to riding horses but it is so different on a motorcycle. I know I will get use to it.’

‘Sit for a minute,’ Anne said as she walked Ann over to a picnic table which was close by. ‘I will go find something to eat. Would Subway be fine?’

‘Yes, It would if there’s one in this town.’

‘What’s that up ahead? Subway. What do you want to eat?’

‘Whatever you have minus the jalapenos.They are too hot for my palate.’

‘Okay,!! I will return in a few minutes. ‘ Ann was left by herself to think about what life would be like living as Shibden with Anne Lister and her family. She could see that her Aunt would encourage then to live together. Well, she must like Ann because she, not Anne, invited her for dinner. She also imagined Anne would like her to stay tonight. They could talk again. Maybe she could tell Anne about her anxiety attacks and her depression. She had anti depression tablets she took daily. It seemed strange that she had felt that she really didn’t needed them but her doctor insisted she take them. She did. She couldn’t remember if she took one this morning. She doubted it and hoped she wouldn’t be stressed too much.

Anne seemed to be taking forever. It seemed like ages since she had left and she couldn’t see her returning. She sat there looking up the road in the direction Anne had gone so often she thought she would get a crick in her neck. Just as she could feel tears rolling down her cheeks Anne appeared. She had a Subway bag on one handlebar. She climbed down and walked over to Ann. She took off her helmet and undid her jacket.

Then she looked at Ann and realised she was crying. ‘Ann, are you all right?’

Ann sobbed loudly. Anne cradled her in her arms. They stayed like that for a few minutes until Anne felt that Ann was relaxed again. ‘What is the matter, Ann?’ Anne asked with concern in her voice.

‘I forgot to take my tablet this morning and now, I feel a little low.’

‘Low!!! What are you taking?’

‘Anti depressants!’

‘How long have you been taking them?’ Anne asked softly. She didn’t want to scare Ann. She wasn’t sure if Ann had the courage to tell her the truth. She didn’t know how much Ann trusted her.’Ann, you can trust me. I think you are brave enough to even mention that you are on antidepressants.’

‘I have been on antidepressants for so long I don’t remember when I wasn’t.’ Ann said. ‘All I can say for now that having you near has helped me more than you can imagine. Can we talk about this later and just enjoy our day?’

‘Okay!! is there anything I can do for you, Ann?’’

‘Just a few more hugs and I will be fine.’ They ate their lunch in compatible silence. Anne giving Ann hugs whenever she thought Ann needed them. The more they hugged the more Anne could feel herself falling in love with Ann Walker. She wondered if that was the right thing to do.

‘What would you like to do now?’ Anne asked.

‘I’m not sure. What time is it?’

‘She’s just 22 minutes past one. We have been here for nearly one hour and 26 minutes. Do you want to look around town? I saw a museum as I was on my way to Subway.’

‘No, let’s get back on Bertha and ride for a bit longer. .Don’t forget we are buying dinner tonight, Chinese and ice cream. What a interesting combination!’

‘Yes, it certainly is. No, I haven’t forgotten. We will be able to ride to the next town. Then we will have to turn around and begin our journey back home.’

‘Okay!!! Just be careful and watch out for the idiots who don’t look out for bikies.’

‘Yes, I know that. I do it all the time.’