Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (01) Soft Lips and Sensible Shoes (Part 04)
For some reason he felt protective of her and when he spoke to her she looked up and smiled, she had a lovely smile, when she chose to deploy it.
So when he witnessed her being bullied by Marisa Loock he was moved to intervene.
“Stay there Annest, I’ll get another chair for the late comer” he said
“Or you could just move” Marisa said to her in an intimidating tone
“That’s settled then Annest will stay where she is and I’ll fetch another chair” Geoff corrected her and Marisa and Lisa both turned and glared at him.
If their aggressive display was intended to disarm him it failed miserably, he was after all a rugby union player until only a few years earlier.
There were two chairs in easy reach of where he was, one was in the kitchen and the other in his study, the one in the study had a wobbly leg so he went and got that one.
When he returned to the lounge Marisa was still trying to bully Annest into moving.
“I don’t know why you’re being so selfish” she snarled “and causing all this fuss when you could just have moved”
“I looks to me like you’re the one making all the fuss”
Geoff said and set the wonky chair down
Marisa then turned her focus on him and was about to speak when he leant down and said in a hushed tone
“Before you say another word, just remember you are a guest in this house”
As he straightened up he glanced over at Thelma and she was smiling at him, he smiled back and as he left the room he thought how much he’d missed that smile.
Geoff had taken to leaving his study door open towards the end of the evening over the two months since Annest first knocked on the front door so he could see when people were leaving or to be more precise when she was leaving.
At first she would walk straight past the door with her head down and her eyes fixed on the sensible shoes, but gradually she progressed from a side wards glance through to a smile and even a wave but on that night she stopped by the door and said
“Thank you for earlier”
“No problem” he replied “You shouldn’t let them talk to you like that, you don’t deserve it”
“Thank you” she said a smiled a wondrous smile “Good night”
“Good night Annest”
It was at that moment when he realized that she no longer fascinated him, his feelings for her had moved on.
So if not fascination was it then infatuation or was it even deeper than that.
And if it was the “L” word what the hell was he going to do about it.
The weekend following the realization that his heart had been reawakened he was sitting in his study contemplating his situation when there was a knock on his study door and when the door opened Thelma was standing there and she said.
“I think we need to talk”
“Yes” he agreed
They went into the lounge where Thelma opened a bottle of wine and filled two glances.
As they sat opposite each other they sipped their wine in silence for a more than ten minutes before she asked
“Are you happy Geoff?”
He stared at his glass for a moment before replying
“I was happy, once”
“Me too” she agreed sadly
There was another silence, shorter this time until Thelma took a deep breath and said
“We are both forty now but I still have hopes”
“Hopes?” Geoff asked
“Yes” she said “Hope that’s it’s not too late for one thing”
“What for us?”
“No, no,” she replied “for both of us”
“You mean its time?” Geoff said
“Yes, I think so” She replied