When a young attractive widow, ups sticks and moves hundreds of miles in search of a new life, what might happen. The romance of Robert Burns, his poetry and songs cast a spell. When a handsome man, scarred by the tragic loss of his soul mate, during his university years crosses her path, what may happen. If Charlotte, the widow knew she wanted to experiment with a new partner, but was terrified of not being able to go through with the act and move her life on? How might she control the encounter, would David be prepared to go along, with her plans, and release his long dormant love life?
Florence May were the first names of Mike's grandmother. Mike, a gemini, was born in 1954 in the Scottish Borders, and began writing novels as a means of coping with the stress of his wife's treatment regime for breast cancer. Previously, he had in the main penned poetry and comic lyrics for songs which he sings with a bass voice. Mike's early years after school were spent training to become an engineer, but the recession in the seventies created several unplanned changes in career. A lengthy spell as a cop in London, was a steep learning curve for a small town man. Post retirement, wedding and portrait photography turned a hobby into a career, he now spends his time writing, working for a florist, caring for his three dogs and helping local charities. Blessed with five children and two grandkids, life is busy every day.
All day though, something bugged me about her. She was in my mind, whenever I was not concentrating, something was nagging inside me. I felt I knew her, not just from that event a couple of weeks ago, but from somewhere else.
That evening I kicked off my boots, poured a large glass of red wine and sat down at the computer while my ready meal for one, cooked in the oven. Having ceased to be a professional man for that empty lonely space of time which filled the void between work and bedtime, I just had to scratch the itch which Charlotte had been to me all day. I prayed to the God of Google, that he may solve, the puzzle which had been clouding my brain. The answer which I was presented with in the customary tenths of a second, took my breath away.
It was all there to scroll down and read. The press photographs, the reports of the IED which had taken her husband from her. The photographs of her at the funeral, as she was forced to take on the truly unthinkable role, of young, twenty four years old widow, of an officer in the British army. With the full intrusion of the press corps concentrated on her, she’d played the role to perfection. So often at these funerals, even going back to JFK’s, the children are the central focus, but, on that day, the childless widow of an officer, every lens was on her, the flawless, stiff upper lipped example to us all of how to fight adversity and win the day.
I felt guilty. A photograph of her, in her long black double breasted coat, a black hat with a half veil and clutching a single red rose in her black leather gloved hands. Guilty because, having looked into her eyes and now spent a quarter of an hour in her company, the thought passed through my mind that she looked sexy, even in that digital intrusion into her grief, taken at the lowest point in her life. How could I even think that? David Prentice, you are a fucking cad!
I downed the glass of wine, and went through to the kitchen to pour another. I burnt my fingers on the oven as I tried to pull my meagre meal for one out of it. My brain tried to come to terms with the horror story which I’d just read.
My slumbers that night were disturbed. By morning I’d decided that the only decent thing I could do was keep the hell away from this poor woman, unless or until her horse needed my skills. Then, if that occasion arose, to be the best damned horse doctor I could be, she’d lost too much from her life already. No way was I going to be responsible for adding a much loved mare to her list of loss, without a fight. I sincerely hoped however that other than routine matters, she never had the need to call upon my services.