Tuesday, 17 June 2008
‘Good morning darling. Do you want some juice?’ Asked Malcolm, as he finished laying out the table for breakfast.
‘Not this morning, I think I’ll just have coffee. I had a terrible night, weird dreams, must have been all that cheese we had after dinner.’
‘Didn’t get to me. I slept like a baby.’ Said Malcolm as he helped himself to a large bowl of muesli ‘Do you want me to make you a fresh pot?’
‘No you start, I’ll make the coffee. Aren’t you going to the club this morning?’
‘Yes, I’ve arranged to meet Ken at the first tee at eight o’clock. What have you got on today?’
‘I promised Sally at the donkey sanctuary that I would go through the books for her. They have to get this year’s figures to the accountants by the end of the month and nobody has had the time to go through them yet.’
‘Well that should keep you busy for a few hours. Would you like to come up to the club house for a spot of lunch later? It might make a nice break from all that book keeping.’
‘I don’t know if I’ll have time. Let me se how I get on with the accounts. What time do you think you’ll back at the club house?’
‘Not sure, probably about one o’clock.’
‘Well if I’m finished I’ll meet you there otherwise I’ll see you back here this afternoon.’
‘Don’t work too hard’ called Malcolm as he picked up his golf bag and turned the key to open up the patio doors. ‘That’s funny they were already open, have you been out this morning?’
‘No darling I haven’t been awake long, we must have forgotten to lock the doors last night.’
‘Strange, it’s usually the last thing I do before I go up to bed. Oh well lucky we have the all night security patrols, back home we would have been robbed in our beds. Even so we’d better be more careful in future; you never know who’s watching you these days.’
‘Yes dear, you’re right, after all look what happened to poor Sonny’
‘Exactly. Well I’ll have to shoot off now or I’ll be late for Ken. Bye Darling see you later’
‘Bye, have a good game.’
Gloria yawned and rubbed her eyes as she put down her pen. Walking into the kitchen she realised with a start that she had worked through lunch and it was now three o’clock. Well, she thought, with the size of her waistline, missing lunch for one day wouldn’t hurt but right now what she really needed was a strong cup of coffee. Carrying her cup out onto the patio Gloria moved her sun lounger into the shade.
‘What’s that?’ she said as the wheels of the lounger skidded to a halt. Bending down she noticed a small rectangle of clear plastic caught under the front wheel. ‘It must have fallen out of Malcolm’s wallet.’ She said to herself, putting the plastic in her pocket. Lifting the hot coffee to her lips Gloria looked across the gardens towards the communal pool. It wouldn’t be long now before the pool was filled with families making the most of the long school holidays. Gloria looked forward to seeing Los Vista busy with children running about having fun. A lot of the full time residents resented the yearly invasion but Gloria loved to see the families returning year after year and seeing how the children had grown.
When they were first married Malcolm, fresh out of teacher training college, had longed for a family. Over the years he resigned himself that it wasn’t meant to be and poured all his energy into his job. In those days, Gloria thought, being childless was just one of those things you had to get on with. But it didn’t stop hurting, no matter how old you were.
The ringing of the telephone snapped Gloria out of her day dreaming and hurrying indoors she picked up the receiver
Gloria waited for the caller to speak, ‘Olla, is anyone there?’
Straining Gloria could faintly hear someone breathing ‘Hello, who is?’
Feeling more and more anxious Gloria shouted down the phone ‘who is this, what do you want?’ Suddenly the line went dead and Gloria looked down at her trembling hands.
At the public call box in the village Ollie put down the receiver and cursed himself. Why couldn’t he speak, why couldn’t he tell her that he knew her secret, what was he frightened of. After all these years of searching he had finally found her and now when he had the chance to talk to her why was he standing here crying like a baby?
‘Cassy do you know where Ollie is, I wanted to ask him to shift some stuff down to the house’
‘He said he had to go down to the village.’
‘What’s he gone there for?’ Asked Liam. ‘There’s nothing open at this time of day. Everything is closed till four o’clock.’
‘I don’t know, I didn’t ask but he did say that he’ll be back before the workmen finish their siesta.’
‘Do you think he’s got a girlfriend down there?’
‘Liam, how should I know, I’m not his keeper.’
‘No my little sweetie but you are just about the nosiest person in the world and nothing usually gets past you.’ Laughed Liam
‘That’s not fair. I am not nosy.’ Said Cassy indignantly ‘I just take an interest in what’s going on around me.’
‘Take an interest’ laughed Liam ‘your interrogation techniques are legendary. Do you know your Mum told me once that if she ever wanted to know what your Dad had been up to all she had to do what set you on him? The poor man never stood a chance of keeping a secret from you.’
‘Can I help it if people trust me?’ Said Cassy
‘So what have you found out about Ollie, does he have a pretty little girl crying herself to sleep over him?’
‘I don’t know what he get’s up to. It’s not as if he’s rude or standoffish, quite the opposite he’s a lovely boy, but it’s strange, anytime I’ve ever asked him anything I come away feeling that I know less than I did before I asked.’
‘I know just what you mean, I asked him the other day about his degree but by the time we’d finished talking I realised that I had told him all about my time at Uni and still hadn’t found out even which one he had gone to.’
‘Do you think he is doing it deliberately?’
‘The more I think about our young friend the more I think that he is hiding something. ‘said Liam ‘and it’s beginning to worry me.