This is a simple love story. Cathy and Steve are in their mid-fifties – she is a widow and he is divorced. They are both members of a group of people who meet weekly to enjoy sequence dancing. As the story begins they have different regular dancing partners and different views about religion. Neither of them is minded to look for a new romance. Whatever their initial differences are, events seem destined to drive them even further apart.
The Chapter headings are names of dance steps from a sequence dance called Tango Serida – but not in the correct order – a tangled tango!
“‘‘Well,’ said Charlotte, ‘I wish Jane success with all my heart; and if she were married to him to-morrow, I should think she had as good a chance of happiness as if she were to be studying his character for a twelve-month. Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance..'”
From “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
Charlotte Lucas speaking to Elizabeth Bennett about marriage
TANGO – START IN SHADOW POSITION
Tuesday 29th March Codmanton Library
Tuesday evening at just turned five. Cathy had watched the minutes finger of the wall-clock tick past the hour, but she’d waited until the Library’s last customer for the day had left before she turned around the door sign to Closed. The weather had changed since noon. After a drizzly morning, the skies were now almost clear except for some lovely high clouds: a mackerel sky was how her mother used to describe clouds like those today.
The Library was set back slightly from the High Street and was just North of the old town centre. It was a modern, single-storey multipurpose building, advertising its presence by the notice boards that stood further forward, nearer the pavement. It was constructed in a light-coloured brickwork that contrasted with the blackened stone of the older town buildings. Inside, it was spacious and, when open, it was brightly lit. Other than the shelves and Reception area of the main library, there was an area for the library’s computer suite- separated by a half partition. A large Community Room lay beyond double doors. It provided space for school visits, Councillors’ surgeries, some of the Reading groups and for various clubs. Other areas provided Music media, reference books and journals, magazines and newspapers.
Before she went home she needed to call at the supermarket to buy a ready meal. Each Tuesday and Friday the Library closed at five; on other weekdays there were usually evening sessions until eight. These were for the Family History, Local History and Art Club meetings which were run by local volunteers, but Cathy, as Senior Librarian needed to be there. This was partly for security but also provided an opportunity for her to catch up on those Library-related duties for which there was seldom time during the normal working day.
Cathy had entered the service after graduating. Subsequently, she had undertaken postgraduate training in librarianship and information science. Her staff comprised an Assistant Librarian, a graduate trainee named Ellie, and an Information Assistant, Fran, but Fran had left early for a dentist’s appointment.
Tonight, Tuesday, she was free. Tonight, she would be going to meet friends at the Church Hall for their weekly evening of sequence dancing. Since closing the entrance door, she had, with Ellie, seen that the money in the till had been put in the safe, checked that the power to the computing and other facilities were off. They’d finished tidying and ensuring that everything would be ready for the following day. After a final look around, they switched off the lights, set the alarm and left by the Staff exit.
Since the opening scene takes place in a Library, I’ve chosen a photograph that I took of a branch library in my home town.
I used my Fuji X-T4 cropped sensor 26 MP mirrorless camera and a Fuji 10-24 mm f/4 lens.
EXIF data were: 1/60 secs @f/6.4 and 10.5 mm. The ISO was 160.