Before the Storm

As she sat in the corner of the sofa, feet tucked in, cup of coffee in hand and the blue of the sky enveloping her mood, she contemplated what was to come. The inevitable storm that would follow on this wintry day, where the air was cold and she would fight to keep warm in it all.

She knew it was coming, but she could not foresee what it would bring, just knowing that there would be trouble.

The only way was to wrap herself up protected from the elements and hunker down until it would pass, after all there was nothing she could do to change it.

It made her feel so helpless. Powerless as the weather and emotions exploded around her bringing about a change in the way that she would view things. The world she had known and loved now immeasurably different than before. Would she still find comfort in those little things. Pleasures in the simplicity of the life she had known back then.

Would she still be at one with nature and the beauty of the things that surround her. Could she still love in the same way.

The clock ticked and as the time went by she thought about all that had happened. How the years had gone and how it made her feel. The hurt and the resentment which could have swallowed her whole if she had allowed it to. But the old familiar hidden strength saved her from herself then just as it would again. Resilience was a family trait, she would not be beaten and before she knew it the storm had passed. On its way to somewhere and someone new.

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The End of an Affair

A Short Story

As the couple stood underneath the departures board at the station. People waiting all around to see which platform they needed her eyes were drawn to them. A well dressed man stood in front of her with a well dressed woman. He looked anxious as he was talking loudly to her. Almost shouting but unintentionally he just had one of those voices which carried. He was not speaking quietly but he looked concerned as he spoke.

It was Christmas week, as people were thinking about spending time together. Although she was looking up at the departure board, her eye was being drawn to the couple below it. It was clearly the time to end their affair. He was trying to work out why she was watching them, did she look familiar or perhaps know one of them. It was sad she felt for the woman whose face she could not see, it seemed so insensitive to do this in not only a public place but right under the departure board. The onlooker wondered why he would pick such a public place to end it, where there is no where in private to mask the inevitable emotions that follow a break up. He started to look uncomfortable but kept watching the onlooker over his lady’s shoulder, wondering if he had been recognised but still they did not move away. The onlooker willed her train platform to appear on the board but there was a full 20 minutes before it was due to leave. He stood talking, reasoning as the words drifted across to the ones who waited there. All the time she stood motionless. “You’re a lovely girl.” He placed a hand on each arm like you would to steady a child who was out of control, or as you would draw someone into an embrace. But he did neither, he just continued “But I am a Married Man and I don’t know what I can do” Her response was inaudible but she may have tried to reason with him, or had she known all along just be accepting. He told her not to cry so within a moment it was clear the outcome but she did not shake and appeared composed. He moved her to one side about 20 feet away and dropped his voice slightly, the noise of the busy station muffled the words, leaving the rest only to her imagination. The onlooker hoped that they would not be on the same train, not in the same carriage and hoped that the woman would be alright. At least she could start the New Year with a new start, not clinging to the old life for it would no longer serve her. She did not have such concern for the man who was dumping her. At that point he became insignificant. As the onlooker looked again above them at the departures, she hoped that this new year would bring good things for the people she loved and even herself, if that was allowed. She looked forward to the welcome she would get from her family as she stepped inside the door as she arrived home. The embraces and laughter. She thought of the wonderful gift of time spent with loved ones that she had been given and felt happy. As she smiled to herself she looked below and the couple had vanished, just as quickly as they had appeared.

This Beach, The One…

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This Beach, The One
The first real one that you ever visited.
With it’s sandy spot, where you took off your shoes and pushed your feet into the cool sand.
Where you carefully navigated the section with the smooth pebbles trying not to find a crab or jellyfish.
The swimming pools, where you paddled with friends.
The beautiful views, never ending water, reaching for miles.
The boats bobbing and swaying on the tide.
The mud flats when the tide had gone out,
One of many children searching for crabs.
Beachcombing, to see what can be found.
Kiosks selling ice creams, or chips and the smell wafting along the promenade.
Friendly dogs running up to say Hello and share a picnic.
Sandcastles and random artwork, left for someone else to find.
Listening to the waves, crashing against the breakers.
The trains rumbling past, shattering the peace and quiet.
The seagulls swooping and squawking investigating the remnants of the day.
This Beach,
The one you used to play on when you were ten years old and had just moved close to.
The one you were baptised right out in the open air in the swimming pool, followed by a Barbeque with all your friends from church. A celebration of your life given to God.
The one you used to walk to as a teenager, when you needed to think when you thought you were broken hearted.
The one you bunked off from school to walk to, since it was just far enough away for you not to be found.
The one where you watched the windsurfers and the beach bums and toasted your skin for hours, working on your tan.
The one where you sat and sobbed, when it was all too much for you.
The one where you yelled at the top of your voice, when you felt that things were unjust.
The one where you met your boyfriends, years apart.
The one where you had parties on the beach, listening to your favourite tunes.
The one where you used to meet your friends.
The one where you used to sit on the wall to look at the boys.
The one where you walked your dogs,
The one where you met your current love.
The one where you walked hand in hand with him.

This Beach,
Is also the one where he used to go to think. His favourite beach, where he had sat in the same places, done some of the same things and for years and you had just missed each other. The one where on that day, years later the time was right and walking back from the beach, you met, talked for hours, arranged to meet again and began to fall in love and your story began.

The Daily Post – Beach

Fragile, Handle with Care

It felt like possibly her darkest hour, when, not understanding what is happening to her, Carlotta sank into a deeper depression. She didn’t think that it would be possible to feel more depressed than she had felt before, but it was as though her previous experience had barely scratched the surface of the depth of these feelings. To be even lower than the low that she had previously experienced.

So many things can trigger it, past feelings coming back to the fore, emotions are raw and at that time she didn’t know what had hit her. She then suddenly and inexplicably felt quite so totally alone, like never before. Like no-one could break through it, unreachable in a glass box for all to see, but unable to break out of it. To be abandoned by both friends and family for a while. She may have put herself there, shutting herself away trying to deal with the thoughts in her head and the feelings she may be coming to terms with, or it may be that they had no idea what to do with her, how to cope with the new version of her which they may be seeing for the first time ever. The person whom they know and love, hidden so deeply within that they can no longer see them. Had she become a shadow of her former self? Perhaps she was a wilder, more erratic person, signs of all the things that she hated about herself, bright and raw, there for her and everyone to see. All her emotional scars visible to the naked eye. She was once so vibrant, un-phased by it all, seemed to take it all in her stride, where has that confidence gone? Well, that walked out along with the people who couldn’t take it. Perhaps they all left town together on their road trip, perhaps they will send her a postcard. Maybe not.

She hoped that in time that both she and they will see a new person appear. It may look like the original on the outside, but if she is lucky she will have gained strength from the experience, it will not have weakened her beyond repair. There will be shades of the original there for the friends and family who have not given up on her. They will tread tentatively around her for a while, while they figure out where the new boundaries are. Other people she may know may take this opportunity to test how far she can be pushed, what she will stand for. As long as she doesn’t break again in the whole process she has a chance of recovering her momentum once again. Will she regain a sense of purpose, power over it again and move on?

The new version will be more determined, much stronger, less trampled by others, the new version of her will be a force to be reckoned with.

Time is a great healer, Time will also tell.

The Daily Post – Abandoned – Fragile, Handle with Care

#linkyourlife

The Flat on the Corner.

The strangest things come to you when you are unwell. I do tend to compartmentalize sections in my life, sometimes without even realising that I have done so. But there are times when I don’t want to and somehow my subconscious tends to do it for me.

I often have a recurring dream about a particular place, where I own a flat, which is rarely used, but I don’t actually, nor have I ever owned. Bizarrely I tried to buy the flat I did live in many years ago, but was it did not go through and I moved on. With this particular place though I am always opening it up after a period of time and realising that this was indeed a nice place and I should spend more time there, but never seem to do so, I remember that it would have been a great party flat. I have never been a great party goer, or indeed held such an event but I can recall having a party there in one dream, it was filled with people dancing around, loud music, but everyone was just having a great time, with no stresses.

It is as though over time the dreams are building into a story, a section to which I return from time to time, filled with things from the past. Good and bad, little reminders, but also the promise of something new and exciting. I am sure a dream team would have something to dissect with this.

The flat occupies a corner of the block in which I used to live, on a high street when I first met my partner. Years ago, when I was a child, there was a haberdashery there on the corner, called Pollards, they had been there for 100 years and the shop had all the original wooden fittings and display cases. I was devastated when they sold up and the new owners ripped the guts out of the building and threw out the fittings onto the street. It was before the days when reclamation became popular, but these days there would have been a small fortune sitting there. They also sold school uniform, so I guess were an outfitter too, and occupied two floors of the building, but there were offices or flats to the rear too.

I always wanted to take this building and make it into something lovely, again I think I have a hidden architect within me. As I will often pass a building and then imagine turning it into a home. There is another building that since I was a teenager, I have wanted to transform into a great flat, or apartment since it lends itself beautifully to loft style living, It also has a rather nice double story flat adjoining it right on the corner of the road, owned by the Blockbuster video chain, before it went into liquidation. But boy, do I have plans for that part of the building.

Again, my mind is flitting from the property in my dream. I once had quite a strange dream about it, which strangely, I can still recall many years later. It involved rooms which were unused and contained various old Victorian style beds and blankets and the back stair leading up to it was rather grotty. It was a bit like a mixture of the flat where I had lived down the road, where passing the other doorways, the walls were so thin you could hear the conversation. In the dream you could hear babies crying and other signs of life, coming from the rooms, but I found the dream disturbing and did not venture into the rooms, at one time there was a baby cot, but no baby, as though it was supposed to but hadn’t arrived. I found it disturbing when I dreamt it and put to the back of my mind. It made me sad so I thought I had blocked it out, but again the memory has returned. Strangely, when I lived down the road, I had a baby pram, which someone had donated to the charity shop downstairs, I kept it because things like that were expensive and one day I might need one, like the bottom drawer which people used to have in olden days, where they saved things for their wedding, I had one for the baby. I would have donated it to a friend, but no-one at that time needed it. After a while, my partner suggested that someone else might find a use for it and we donated it to a local sanctuary for ladies who had to leave without anything, they got quite a selection from me. Thankfully it was also a turning point for that strange behaviour and I stopped collecting baby things. I think that was when the reality finally dawned that it simply wasn’t to be.

The rooms at the back somehow seemed as though they were not connected to mine and it was almost as though I had snuck in to a place I did not belong. Like the belongings I had left there were now somehow no longer mine but I wanted to return and get them and yet, they had not actually been taken away from me. It seems as though it is some kind of secret place, I would creep into the building where I return to from time to time, it contained things from childhood, a treasured thing, or a favourite outfit. Perhaps it is a metaphor somewhere in there to which I may delve to find out more at some point. There was a neighbour who would try and catch you coming up the stairs, although I am sure that she lived at a later place, but to avoid her I became adept at coming and going quietly. I once visited there and was trying to get my clothes back as though someone had taken them in lieu of something, perhaps like unpaid rent. At that dream I never thought that I would return to the place, but I can remember parts of that dream now, several years later and also whenever I dream again of the place.

I do not ever recall sleeping there. For some reason the entrance arrived straight into the kitchen via a staircase up the side street. Off the hallway near the bedrooms, there is a bathroom, towards the back of the building. The rooms are really plain and old fashioned, barely used and in a bit of a state. Which always makes me wonder why I return to the place and why I seem to love the flat. The lounge area really sells the place. The Kitchen and Living area is huge open plan. It has enormous huge windows, which had window seats underneath them where you could sit overlooking the street below, up one end, right on the corner of the building, there was a window or double balcony doors, which you could open and see a glimpse of the sea, past the bank and down the street opposite. The space is phenomenal full of light and has character, it was never meant as a flat and is about twice the size of the others in the neighbourhood at least.

Last night when I visited with my sister, we walked in, I opened up the shutters from across the windows to let the evening light of a busy high street in. It must have been hot, since I opened an industrial fridge- freezer, rather like the kind you would find in a newsagents to get her an ice cream. I looked around the corner of the kitchen area over the breakfast bar to continue our conversation. I was showing her around the place, although she had not been there before. She was immediately feeling at home, perched in the window on the window seat as I had done so many times, looking at the lights. She was going to stay there, I think just like that, we turned up and within minutes it felt homely again. Dusty and unused since God knows when , but we sat there with just those high street lights, didn’t put the real ones on inside and just talked, whilst eating ice cream on a summer evening.

That is the thing that always seems strange, when ever I visit there, there is always some kind of thing in the fridge, although last time I did have to go to the shop for some milk as I had visitors coming.
I don’t remember the conversation we were having but it was although we were preparing for yet another party in the place.

Last time I went past the building itself, it had changed hands once again, it had been turned into a coffee house, I’m not sure if they had put the upstairs balcony doors in for me yet. But it doesn’t retain any of the original features that I could remember. It seems that the flat on the corner has changed beyond recognition. Perhaps the metaphor is staring me right in the face, maybe my subconscious will no longer send me there in my dreams now. That is a place I don’t need anymore.