The story is told in the first person, by Kitty Killen. It is set in Scotland in the 1980s, when anti-nuclear protests were prominent in the news.
When Helen runs out of the classroom in distress, Mrs Lupey sends Kitty after her, despite the two not being particular friends. Kitty soon realizes that Helen dislikes the man her mother is going to marry, so she tells her the story of how she first loathed Gerald, her mother's boyfriend, and how she gradually got used to him, despite his anti-CND views. "Goggle-Eyes"' is the nickname Kitty gives Gerald, because of the way he stares ("goggles") at Kitty's mother. The story is told in a cloakroom cupboard during one morning, with occasional interruptions from Liz and Mrs Lupey.
Anti-nuclear protests had diminished after the 1991 close of the Cold War so the story was revised to feature a more timely issue, Green politics.