Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (47) Strangers on a Train (Part 04)
After going through the barriers Jenny said good night and rushed off to the car park where her girlfriend was waiting.
Francesca had already mentioned in conversation that she was getting a cab home, so the code of chivalry dictated what he should do, so he offered to walk her to the taxi rank.
When they reached the taxi’s Francesca was second in line and when the first cab pulled away and the next one rolled along she announced
“This is me, this is my ride”
“Allow me to open the door dear lady” he said pompously
“You are too kind Sir Knight” she responded trying to curtsy but failing.
He helped her into the back seat and then leant in and fastened her belt.
“There you are my lady” he said and in response she kissed his cheek.
“Thank you” she said and then he closed the door and he watched as the cab drove away and took the lovely Francesca out of his life and he doubted he would ever see her again, but he was wrong.
It was six weeks later and Paul was spending the weekend in Sharpington, at the Whitecliff Hill Caravan Park, where he had a static caravan.
It had belonged to his parents since he and his sister were kids, and they had spent a lot of time there, especially in the school holidays.
His parents hadn’t used it for years as they had switched their allegiances from an English seaside caravan park to a Costa del Sol villa.
So they were going to sell up but Paul begged them to keep it on, at least for a few years, and eventually they relented, on the proviso that he used it more than once a year, so he assured them that he would and he was good to his word.
In fact he was there at least once a month, even when the weather was rubbish he would still go, just to have some quiet time, walking on the beach or catching up with his reading,
But what took him to Sharpington in the middle of July was a wedding reception at the Palladium Ballroom on the promenade.
The wedding was between his boss at the Forest Ridge Golf Club and the daughter of the Mayor of Sharpington.
He didn’t really want to go, it wasn’t his kind of thing at all, but as he had the caravan he thought he would just put in an appearance for an hour, as it turned out he stayed for three.
He had had enough long before the three hours were up but had trouble getting away, he finally had to leave via the emergency exit.
Once he had escaped he went for a walk along the promenade and hoped the fresh air would help with the head ache brought on by the stuffy heat and banging music at the reception.
He was in sight of the end and was preparing to cross the road and climb the steep path up to Whitecliff Hill when he spotted a small figure huddled on the bench ahead of him in some distress.
“Is everything ok?” he asked and the figure turned around to reveal the tearstained face of Francesca Carrington-Webber.