General Fiction posted January 7, 2017

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Two lives wasted. Fiction.

A Future Lost.

by write hand blue



                                                    A Future Lost.

"Awh Mum, I've made a cup of tea, please come in the kitchen."

Mum, crippled by her painful arthritis, shuffled over to the table and sat down. "Oh Jenny dear, I'm just a silly old woman to run off and cry like that after you hugged me."

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you. I just wondered who that gorgeous man in that old black and white photo I found in the attic was, and that pretty girl he had his arm round?"

"Shall we just have our tea? I'd forgotten all about that photo. Never dreamed I'd see his likeness again."

The teacup had become most interesting as seventy-five-year-old Molly stirred away, almost as if she wanted to stir back memories from her past life. She stirred and thought and thought. Her old head turned this way and that, eventually it sank down to rest with her chin on her chest.

"That's the only photo I have. I had another one that I tore up when I thought he had deserted me." 

A tear escaped her control, dropped from her wrinkled chin and left a dark line down her pinafore as it soaked into the pink cotton fabric. Jenny thought she heard something; it could have been a kitten's meow. But she knew.

Jenny put her arm around her mother, "I'm so sorry I've pried into your past. I know that it's you in the picture, and you don't have to explain if it's too painful."

"No—No, it's alright. I wanted to tell you when the pain left me, but it's now been, let's see, February 1962 till now, that makes it fifty five years—since—and it still—?" Her old grey eyes carried the pain of the world, as she tried to hide a slight whimper.

"Yes, I can understand your feelings. There are some things we don't get over, they remain with us."

Jenny took hold of her mother's hands and faced those intelligent eyes.

"You could leave it for another day."

With a shake of the head, and a deep breath she spoke, "His name is Bill Hamilton. We were childhood sweethearts I knew him from the age of five years; inseparable, we did everything together. He became an apprentice motor mechanic and talked of one day owning a garage."

"So what happened then? Did he die?" Jenny's face was full of curiosity.

Her head shook again, "He spoke of emigrating to New Zealand; loved everything about the country. I was always hesitant about going and leaving my family. Dad was strongly against it. So Bill waited until I reached the age of nineteen, in fact we were both nineteen years when we applied for immigration. I had to be careful that Dad didn't find out."

The old lady sipped her tea before it got cold.

"Well Mum, you have a sparkle in your eyes, and I swear you look twenty years younger."

With a smile she continued, "I eventually decided to go with him, although he knew it would be a wrench for me. And I think he believed I was not fully committed. We had no telephone in our house, so Bill would often carefully leave a secret letter for me in our kitchen, high up on the top of the old, loose, mantle piece. He started work at five in the morning, this was an hour before our house woke up, so he would sometimes walk into our kitchen and leave it for me. It was normal to walk into a house in those days."

Looking up she added, "We didn't have mobile phones or any of the gadgets you have these days. I looked forward to his little letters. He sent off for the tickets, and said he would leave me instructions for when the sailing date was. So I waited and waited. After about ten days I asked after him at his home. His mother told me that he had been given a job in The Isle Of Man and had left on the early train a few days before."

"So Mum, what did you do and how did you feel?"

"I was speechless and in shock. I couldn't believe this had happened, being jilted like that, I was sure there was some mistake. I knew that Bill loved me, but the evidence was there. It was obvious to me that he wanted to spare his mother's feelings and withheld his true destination."

"And that's it, he just left and you never saw him again? Didn't he write to you?" Jenny could not let it rest there. "Not even a card or--?"

Interrupting, "Well, I never saw Bill again, and I must admit at first I tried to forget him. But listen to this. In the early eighties Dad decided to replace that old fireplace, and guess what he found behind that loose wooden surround? A letter, yellow with age,  addressed to me. We believe that Bill pushed the letter against the wall by the gap, or that a draft may have dislodged it and it slipped down the back. Do you want to read it? I'll go and get it if you like?" Her mum looked at her.

"If you don't mind me reading it, that would be nice," she watched her mother's back as she made slow progress to her bedroom.


Jenny read the letter out loud, "Tuesday, 15th February 1962. My dearest Molly, I bought two tickets for tonight's 9pm sailing for Auckland on P&O Arcadia. So I'll be waiting at the end of the street in a taxi at seven thirty. Try and be there waiting. I will wait ten minutes. Don't forget your passport and birth certificate. I look forward to spending our life together. I'm sure you will turn up, because you promised me. I can't wait until then. Your loving Bill. xxxx "

"So there you are Jenny, he left and I believe that he felt the same as me. What silly circumstances, you wouldn't believe it if it was fiction. This belongs with the picture," Molly sniffed as she folded up the letter and carefully kissed it...


Last Words writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
You're cleaning out your attic and stumble across an old photo of someone you don't recognize, hugging your mom. When you ask her about it she becomes very upset and runs out of the room.

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