Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (45) What Becomes of the Broken Hearted (Part 07)
Karen and Peter had been going out together for two years and she was head over heels in love with him and she thought he felt the same about her.
But her dad dropped the bombshell that the family were moving from Finchbottom to Abbeyvale and when the time came for the move Peter and her agreed to spend the whole of her last full day in Finchbottom together and planned to meet at the Mall as soon as it opened at 8am, but Peter was a no show.
And when, 15 years after the event, she confronts him he says the reason he wasn’t there was because he was in a coma and she was suitably dismissive.
“What do you mean you were in a coma?” she asked “is that supposed to be amusing?”
But she could see by his expression that he was deadly serious so she sat down and waited for him to gather himself.
“I was as desperate to see you that day as you were to see me, perhaps even more so” he said “I was certainly in a hurry to get there”
In fact so much so that he took risks that he had never taken before but he was so much in love that he felt he was invincible.
“My mum made me have breakfast before I left so I was ten minutes late leaving so I took my bike and tried to make up the time, unfortunately I tried too hard and ended up under the wheels of a van”
Karen gasped on hearing his words and tears welled up in her eyes, partly because of his revelation and partway because of the remembrance of the day when she stood by the doors at the Mall the moment they opened at 8 o’clock and stayed there every second until the clock on St Martha’s church struck 12.
The tears that had been welling that she had been fighting to hold back flooded from her unabated and accompanying her tears was an overwhelming sense of guilt and a sense of relief that she could let go of the hate and bitterness she had held in her heart for 15 years.
As he explained about the accident and the horrific injuries he suffered she suddenly felt very foolish, all the while she was feeling sorry for herself and wondering why he had been so cruel he was actually fighting for his life.
As she cried Peter comforted her which made her feel even guiltier after the tirade she had launched at him and berated him so vehemently.
“Why didn’t you tell me? Why did I never hear from you?”
She asked when the flow of tears was finally stemmed.
“I didn’t have your address of phone number” he said and she recalled that she hadn’t told him the address in Abbeyvale, she had kept it to herself and teased him with it and wasn’t going to give it to him on that last day together.
“Oh God I remember now” she said
“I tried to get your address and phone number from Julie and Kelly but they wouldn’t tell me” Peter said and Karen put her face in her hands.
“I told them not to, because you were such a bastard” she mumbled and then started to cry again.