'Are you all right?' a man said to Becky as she was waiting for her daughter to come out of a shop in the precinct.
She didn't recognise him at first. Then she realised it was Carl.
'Yeah, I'm fine? What are you doing round here?'
'Waiting for the wife to finish work. What about you?'
'Oh, I'm just waiting for someone.'
He didn't stop to chat for long. As soon as he saw a woman coming out of one of the shops, he left Becky and carried on towards the woman.
Becky then remembered back to when she had first met Carl. It was over twenty years ago. She first got to know him at the school disco. He was clowning around with one of his friends. He was showing off, trying to impress her. He then asked her for a dance. She turned him down. He was nice looking enough, but too big-headed for her liking.
A few days later she saw him again, this time, hanging around outside the school gates.
'What you up to tonight?' he asked her.
She said she was staying in to watch the television, but a few days after, he asked her again. This time, she agreed to go out with him. That night he called for her in a car. He told her that the car was his dad's. She realised later that he had stolen it.
She went out with him for about a year, but she had had enough of his antics. And some of his friends were dodgy to say the least.
Then one night when he called for her, she decided she had had enough.
'It's all over, Carl,' she said to him. 'I don't want to go out with you any more.'
'You can't do this to me,' he said to her.
'I just have,' she replied, then she slammed the door in his face.
There was another reason she had finished with him, but that reason she kept secret. Soon after she started at another school when she and her family had left the area. She never saw him again. She later heard that he had been in prison. That was one thing that hadn't surprised her, especially with some of the things he had got up to.
She soon forgot about Carl when she saw her daughter heading towards her.
'Who was that man you were talking to, mum?'
'What man, dear? I wasn't talking to any man.'
'Yes, you were. I was watching you from the shop doorway. Who was he?'
'Oh, just someone I knew a long time ago.'
'By the look on your face, I just doubt he was just someone.'
Becky didn't answered. She just started walking. Her daughter had no choice but to follow.
How could Becky tell her who he really was? She had kept the secret from Carl and her for years. She just couldn't face telling her that Carl was her father and not Steve, the man she later married and who her daughter believed to be her father.