Bridging The Divide
A Mary Poppins Fan fiction
Notes: This is a deleted scene from the play after the scene when Winifred goes to the bank to stand up for George. With her new found confidence she once again brings up certain conversation topics with her husband and leads to difficult conversations. Rated Pg for mild language.
Winifred Banks had a new confidence about her and she had Mary Poppins to thank for it. She was no longer weak around her husband. She had surprised herself, her husband and the bank chairman when she had come to defend George.
When she went to her room to change there was a tap at the door. It was Jane.
"Mother, I think we should try to talk to Father about what happened to me and Michael when Miss Andrew was taking care of us."
Winifred nodded. " I quite agree darling. Let's go downstairs."
George was sitting in the parlor reading the newspaper on the chaise lounge.
" George, dear. Jane and I have something very important issue to discuss with you."
" If it's about Miss Andrew I don't want to hear it."
Winifred snatched the newspaper out of his hand. " You better damn well listen."
George looked up at his wife with utter surprise. " All right."
Jane looked at her father angrily and said in a matter of fact tone," Father, Miss Andrew is a horrible person."
" I refuse to believe that Jane. She taught me everything I know."
"Did she also beat you like she beat me and Michael?"
"I think you heard what I said Father, you are just refusing to listen or see things from another point of view other than your own."
" How dare you accuse Miss Andrew of such a thing?"
" Accuse? You're a total ignoramus Father. I have the bruises to prove it."
" I'll have you take that comment back Jane."
Jane stomped her foot. "No,Father I absolutely won't!"
" George, the bruises are absolutely awful. Jane was afraid to come us because she thought it would lead to more beatings from Miss Andrew. Our children should never be afraid to talk to us about anything and it breaks my heart to know that Miss Andrew instilled enough fear in her to not come to us. The two of us should have really stood up to her."
" I refuse to believe that Winifred. What would we have said to her?"
Winifred glared at her husband angrily. " I don't know George. Don't beat our children would have been a good start."
Jane thrust her bruised arm in front of her father. " What more proof do you need than that Father? Honestly! Being with Miss Andrew was bloody hell in a hand basket! I could not be happier Mary Poppins is back and I hope she's here to stay!"
With that Jane stormed back upstairs to the nursery and slammed the door behind her do hard the house shook. Her parents were left alone.
" Why is she so stubborn Winifred?"
"She's not being stubborn George she's being honest. If anyone is being stubborn darling it's you."
George stood up and stared his wife straight in the face. " What is that supposed to mean?"
" You're being stubborn and you're not willing to see anyone's point of view besides your own. It's very frustrating!"
"Whose point of view are you expecting me to see?"
"Mine for crying out loud. I'm your wife George."
George grimaced. "Can we stop talking about Miss Andrew Winifred?"
"No, not quite."
Her husband was quiet.
Winifred softened a little. "George, why would you hide from me that Miss Andrew abused you? I had to find the information out from your mother.
" My mother lied to you. Miss Andrew never abused me."
"You're not being honest with me or yourself dear and I think you know it. Why else would that awful woman be called the Holy Terror?"Winifred softly touched her husband's shoulder and felt him flinch.
"Please drop this subject Winifred." George pleaded.
Winifred sighed. "All right. Let's move on to something else then."
" The tea party that didn't happen for one thing."
George's eyes widened. "What?"
"Nobody came to the tea party George just like I suspected."
" That can't be true. How could something like that have happened?"
Winifred let out another frustrated sigh. "I don't know George. Perhaps it is because you refused to listen to me from the beginning when I said these people weren't my friends. I told you that I didn't want to send out the invitations but you didn't want to hear anything about it. Why would you want us to be around people who clearly do not like us?"
"I think the children need to be exposed to various people."
"It was a wasted effort George. Not only on my part but on Mrs. Brill's. She was disappointed at all that food she spent hours preparing had to be tossed out."
" I was disappointed with how the children made such a mess of the kitchen that day. Mary Poppins should have disciplined them instead of singing that ridiculous song about a spoonful of sugar."
"The children are much more happier when Mary Poppins is here George. She's much more pleasant than Miss Andrew."
George grunted but didn't respond.
"She suggested that we should go see a family therapist George."
" Of all the ridiculous things."
Winifred crossed her arms. "I don't find it to be ridiculous George. In fact I honestly think it will help us a great deal. Your mother agrees and she said her and your father would also come."
"Why did you have to involve my mother in this Winifred?" What goes on in this house is none of her business."
"Winifred's eyes blazed. " Of course it's her business George. She loves all of us very deeply and wants to help us."
George was silent.
" You know George.. What Mary Poppins said a few days ago about you not loving Jane and Michael could not be closer to the truth."
"Another ridiculous thing."
Winifred stomped her foot, not caring if she was acting like a child. "Damn it George! When are you going to get your head out of the clouds? Our marriage has been Rocky for the longest time."
" They agreed to give me a more flexible schedule at the bank. You were there. You heard what the chairman said. The board of directors agreed to it."
"They should have agreed to that a long time ago George and you jolly well know it."
"How on earth has our marriage been rocky Winifred? I don't quite understand."
"That's what you've turned a blind eye to dear. I feel the very same way the children do. The romance has faded from our relationship. You're completely ignorant if you have not realized that."
George was silent.
" I love you all very much Winifred."
"You've done a horrible job of showing it. Don't even try to deny that George."
George still remained silent.
" Please consider Mary Poppins's suggestion George. I truly think it will benefit all of us to talk to someone."
With that Winifred retreated from the parlor to start getting ready for bed.
George was then left alone with quite a lot to think about.
Two weeks later the Banks family had their first counseling appointment. It was at 3pm. George was still not very please about having to go or have his parents be involved in the discussion.
" So let's begin at the beginning.. Winifred how long do would you say you've been having trouble in your marriage."
Mrs. Banks nodded. "About 4 years Doctor... that's when George started getting long hours at the bank."
Mr. Banks, it has been noted that you and your son work at the same bank. Is that correct?" The therapist looked at the elder Mr. Banks.
Yes, that is correct. I have worked at the bank for over 20 years. George was hired when he was just out of high school. Coincidentally that is how he met my daughter in law. Winifred worked as a teller when she was just out of high school."
"Would you say you had a good relationship with your father Mr. Banks" The therapist looked at the George.
" Yes. I don't see what this has to at all with my relationship with my family. "
Elizabeth Banks had a smirk on her face. "I think you are going to find you and your father have quite a lot in common George if you would just hear her out. "
'Whatever you say your Mother." George said to himself.
William Banks cleared his throat. " I do admit that looking back on when George was younger I probably should have listened to my wife and fired Miss Andrew.. I was very stubborn at the time. The fact that she is still working and has hurt my grandchildren deeply upsets me."
"I still refuse to believe that she was abusive to me." George said.
"Why do you continue to deny it George? "You've denied it your whole childhood and adult life.. which also means you are denying that she hurt your children. " Elizabeth Banks glared at her only son.
" It never happened to me. It didn't happen to Michael either, I saw Jane's bruises but never his."
" She definitely hurt me too Daddy. She was not just physically abusive but emotionally abusive too. She was very cruel to Jane and I.. if you could have only seen it for yourself. I wish you had." Michael was saying this through tears. His sister squeezed his hand tightly.
"Do you even love us Daddy? It sure doesn't seem that way." Jane glared at her father angrily.
"Yes,I do Jane very much."
"Why do you feel that way Jane?" the therapist asked.
"He's very cold to us and doesn't hug us or kiss us good night. He used to wake us up to kiss us good night if he got home from work after we were asleep. He no longer does that and he is always so cross." Jane said. Michael nodded in agreement.
"Did you ever consider you were the same way to George William? Elizabeth stared at her husband quizzically.
"Why bring this up now?" her husband glared at her.
"Perhaps George picked up on your learned behavior." the therapist said matter of factly.
"Unfortunately I think this is true George. As I said at home a few weeks ago that's why the romance has dissipated in our marriage." Winifred whispered.
George stood up and started and put on his jacket. "I'm not sure about the rest of you but I'm done here. I've had enough of this."
" Quite the contrary Mr. Banks we are just getting started. " The therapist said
" You can carry on without me then. Winnifred you and the children can go home with my parents. I need some time alone."
With that George Banks left the office slamming the door behind him and causing the rest of the room to shake.