We have shared this Victorian terraced house in the Roman city of Bath for almost eight years. Today it is Sunday and almost every Sunday afternoon since we got together we have left our home at around two o’clock in the afternoon to walk through the almost deserted streets of the suburbs until we reach the centre of the city and the gates of the park that we both enjoy so much.
Many other couples join us throughout the afternoon. In winter they scurry along with coats buttoned up against the cold; hats, gloves and scarves helping to ward off the chill of the air. Booted feet slither here and there on icy pathways and the grass is often hidden under a blanket of snow. We bend into the wind and battle onwards until we reach our goal; that little haven of a café where hot drinks and tasty snacks can be savoured while we warm ourselves, preparing for the journey home.
Autumn sees us kicking up leaves with our feet and if it’s raining we dance under your umbrella. When a watery sun is keeping winter’s claws at bay for just a few more days, people are hardier and brave the conditions with just a jacket, thrusting frozen fingers deep into their pockets to thaw them out before wrapping them around a large mug of tea or coffee, as we all stand outside the café bravely ignoring the cold for just that little bit longer, before maybe next week or the week after relenting and moving back indoors.
In springtime, we are reckless and trip along the paths and across the grass to celebrate the passing of yet another season of dark nights and cold temperatures. Even though we know it’s too early really for an ice cream, we still purchase one from the café, together with a drink. There are several couples like us, coats unbuttoned; savouring the green shoots that signal that summer is around the corner.
In the glorious warmth of summer our companions are tanned, bare legged and laughing; lying in sociable groups as we stroll past them. Some may be reading, some whispering words of love, others arguing, most just wandering across the grass. Here and there men are sat alone drinking, then sleeping.
Every weekend of the year, whatever the weather, we walk through the park, try to find an empty bench and sit alone. We watch the world go by and try to imagine what our fellow visitors are up to. Week in week out we have been comfortable together. I have never wanted to be anywhere else; your love for me and my love for you has been a constant in my life that I have treasured.
Things have not been quite the same between us lately. After almost eight years I sense that your feelings towards me have changed; not dramatically, just subtly. We haven’t had any blazing rows or come to blows, but as we sit in the lounge in the evenings, companionably watching TV or when we’re eating in the kitchen, I catch you staring off into the distance and I am nervous about discovering where you are and who you might be with.
A collection of twelve short stories with an unexpected twist at the end. There are love stories, ghost stories and tales of revenge, all sprinkled with a touch of humour. In fact there’s something for everyone, young or old. There are characters and situations you will readily recognise, but will you identify ‘the sting in the tale’ before you turn the final page?
Genre - Short Story Collection
Rating – PG
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