She stood to complete her preparations for bed. Now, as she remembered the dance, she realised that neither of them had really spoken to anyone else. They had been totally immersed in themselves, hadn’t they? Oh, my word! she thought, the gossip drums will be beating all night.
She turned out the bedside lights as she pulled the duvet over her, doubting she would sleep.
TWO WALKS DIAGONAL TO WALL
Sunday 24th April 2005.The Mere
The gravel path around the Mere was a popular place for walkers, just as the lake itself was popular with those who enjoyed water sports. Peter had ‘phoned his Dad that morning. He wasn’t going anywhere for a change and had wondered whether Steve fancied a walk after lunch in the Spring sunshine.
His dad had agreed that it would be nice. He didn’t get invited to go anywhere with his son these days. Peter had suggested the Mere. Steve had driven them both down, through the town and parked on the public car park opposite the Council Estate. From there they had walked down to the entrance to the Mere, almost opposite the Comprehensive School where Steve taught.
They walked by the water’s edge parallel to the Farm road which ran parallel to Mereside Close, where Cathy lived, but on the far side of the lake. Inevitably the conversation turned towards how Marjorie had reacted to his dad’s request for her ‘phone number. Steve explained how she had been the one to get in touch with him in response to Peter’s message. They discussed what had been said. Peter was glad that his parents would be having the talk this coming Bank Holiday weekend.
As they were walking towards the motorway, still several hundred yards away, coming from the opposite direction along the path were Cathy, Barbara and baby Emily. The two families came face-to-face in the wooded area close to the motorway. Because of the trees, and a bend in the path as it turned around the end of the Mere, they were only a few yards apart when they recognised each other. Both Steve and Cathy blushed, but smiled greetings. Barbara looked at her Mum, Peter at his Dad. Both had noticed the reactions of their parents.
“Hi, Cathy,” said Steve, “You too, Barbara. Lovely to see you both. Who’s this little one?”
It was Barbara who answered, “This is Emily, Steve – twelve month’s old next Wednesday. Hi, Peter, I remember you from school – you were three years ahead of me.”
“I’m sorry, Barbara. As you probably know, older pupils hardly ever remember those in the younger age groups. Lovely to meet you anyway. Emily’s lovely, isn’t she Dad?
“She is indeed,” he said, “She’s very like you, Barbara.”
Emily was asleep in her pram, unaware of all this admiration.
“I’m sorry, Cathy,” Steve said, looking into her eyes, “ this is Peter, my son. I should have introduced you. Peter, this is Cathy, Cathy Denton. She’s the Senior Librarian in the town library and she also goes to the weekly dances at the Church Hall.”
“That’s okay,” she said, “Your dad talks a lot about you, Peter – all good things of course. What a coincidence!”
“Coincidence,” he said, “Just another word for fate perhaps?”
Their children looked at each other, puzzled.
“We were talking about evolution yesterday,” Cathy said, “whether it had a deliberate purpose: was it merely blind? And, from that, we moved on to free will and the role of fate in our decision making.”
“Too deep for me,” Peter said.
“Me too,” said Barbara.
“Well,” Steve said, “you won’t want to be out too long with Emily, will you? But it’s been nice to see you again, Barbara – and to meet Emily. Cathy, it’s always a pleasure to see you of course, but I’ll see you on Tuesday, won’t I?”
“As we agreed last night,” she said, continuing on the path away from them, but turning to smile at Steve as she left.
I provided a trailer in my last post to today’s scene which all takes place around The Mere, opposite Cathy’s house. My two photos today both show a small lake similar to what the story’s Mere might have looked like. The Featured Photo shows a path, bending as did the path in the story, concealing whoever may be approaching.
EXIF data were: Pentax KP 24 MP cropped sensor dslr camera with 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. Shutter speed 1/30 secs @ f/10 and 31 mm. ISO was 100.