It was midafternoon when Nick left his parents’ house and stepped out into the snow and it was already getting dark so he decided to stick to the main road until his eyes became accustomed to the gloom.
Outside in the winter night, snow spattered, unseen, against the other side of the steamy glass, glass which reflected back images like mirrors against the dark beyond.
20 miles inland from Sharpington-By-Sea, equidistant between Finchbottom and Pepperstock Green was the sprawling village of Denmead and it was Christmas day. Nick Waterfield was at his parents’ house for the big day and it was heaving with all of his happy semi intoxicated relatives, his Mum and Dad, his kid brother, two older sisters, aunts, uncles and numerous cousins and Nick was glad they were all happy even if he wasn’t.
Since her phone call his stomach had been in absolute knots and arriving in Sharpington late didn’t untangle it in the least. He wondered if she would be sat at the bar surrounded by admirers or sat alone in a corner the worse for drink and coiled to strike with venomous words on his tardiness.
Professor : Interiors: within any soul locked. No key. The world is boring. Picasso is boring. Shakespeare is boring. I wonder what this young Korean...
He would have liked to have exchanged the occasional text or email with her but Francine had asked for total separation. As a result all he could do was throw himself headlong into his work totally and fill his every waking moment with thoughts of anything and everything that wasn’t her.
I think its important for me to share this because its a bad thing to experience about. And while I'm writing this, I feel its a therapy for my heart...
The bottle didn’t make as much noise as she though it would. Sure enough it shattered on the floor into a thousand shards that would be impossible to find later, but the noise was only just enough to make everyone look up from their drinks.
Six months had passed since Francine Delise and Iain Akhurst made love in his room at the Seaview Hotel in Sharpington and two days short of six months since she said she wasn’t sure that they could be together.
To get to the grotto you had to enter via an adjoining classroom, also festively decked out which acted as an ante room where a small number of children and their accompanying parents waited their turn, and where Cherry Overton-Brown, who for some reason was dressed as Robin Hood, kept order, and beyond the anteroom in the corridor there was a sizable queue of expectant children.
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