Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (46) Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (Part 03)
Gwen and Dennis enjoyed the Sunday service and said a lengthy farewell to Reverend Morris who was at the door as they left.
Outside on the pavement Leslie and David were waiting,
“Do you two need to rush off?” David said
“We don’t have any special plans” Gwen replied
“No none” Agreed Dennis
“How about lunch then? At the Ancient Mariner” David suggested “Our treat” Leslie added
“We’re in” chirped Gwen
As they walked towards the pub they met Sabr Hemmings who was walking in the same direction, she was feeling a little down because her boyfriend Adam was on duty that weekend.
Sabr ran Hemmings General Store and was another of Gwen’s circle of friends who had given Wendy Corney part time work.
“Hello where are you lot going?” she asked
“Lunch” said Gwen
“Why don’t you join us?” David suggested “At the Mariner”
she looked blank for a moment as she processed the invitation almost as if she had been asked a question in a foreign language and had to translate it in her head before she could answer.
“You know what? I would love too,” she said beaming
“I will have to meet you there though, I have to check in at the shop first”
“No problem” David said “We’ll see you shortly then”
Sabr rushed off towards the shop and the others ambled slowly towards the pub.
When Sabr joined them 15 minutes later she said she had got
Wendy’s to stand in for her for a few hours.
“She said I could take the whole day if I wanted” Sabr said
“She is such a sweet girl” Gwen added
And it was appropriate that the conversation began with Wendy as she was to be the main topic of conversation during lunch, and in particular the surprise party for her 18th birthday.
Being a retired Police Inspector Dennis was a little cynical about the girl, helping a burglar rather than punishing them went against the grain.
He understood why Gwen would help her because he knew that she had a big heart but he was amazed by the level of love that Wendy inspired amongst her friends, of course he understood once he met her for himself.
They had a very pleasant lunch and the company had been an absolute delight and the banter was very down to earth and very witty.
A little more alcohol than was good for them was consumed due to the fact that they were celebrating David and Leslie finally getting together but in addition a very definite plan had been put in place for a surprise birthday party.
As they left the pub they walked along the promenade in the pleasant afternoon sunshine of an August Sunday.
When they reached Hemmings General Store Sabr paused
“Thank you for the lunch David” she said with a slight slur ”I think I will take Wendy up on her offer”
“Probably a sensible idea” David said
When the two couples reached their street David said
“I bet Sabr is already asleep on the sofa”
They all laughed and then Leslie looked at David and said
“I think we might well do the same”