Chance encounter


“Do you recognise this place, Doreen?”

“Can’t honestly say I do. It’s not the sort of place I’d forget, is it? A great big church with a red door halfway up the wall and no steps to get to it.”

“You don’t remember coming here with me all those years ago?”

“Here? With you? Whatever for?”

“Try hard, Doreen. Think back to when you were a young woman.”

“I was much prettier then. Slimmer, too. Used to have a lovely figure, I did. My Stan used to reckon I could win a beauty contest if I’d wanted to. Could even have been Miss World. Couldn’t do that now, of course. Not unless there’s a special prize for the most wrinkles.”

“Who’s your Stan, when he’s around?”

“My Stan. My late husband.”

“What’s he late for?”

“Not late as in didn’t turn up on time; late as in dead.”

“Now I’m confused.”

You’re confused. Why?”

“Because I clearly remember standing at the front of the congregation in this church; a lot of years ago; and waiting for you to appear. When I saw you come through the back door with your father, I believed I’d never seen a lovelier sight in my entire life. I almost cried at your beauty.”


“I said almost. I didn’t actually cry.”

“Then what happened?”

“Then we got married. Then you became my wife, the first and so far the only Mrs Albert Bagshaw whom, incidentally, I don’t recall seeing these past ten years.”

“Who’s Albert Bagshaw?”

“I am, Doreen.”

“So how come I don’t know you? And why do you keep calling me Doreen? My name’s Ethel.”

“Oh, sorry. My mistake. It must have been two other people.”

“Okay. Nice to meet you, Albert.”

“You too, Ethel. There’s a café across the road. Fancy a cuppa?”

“Love one. Perhaps we can get to know each other.”

“That’d be nice…”

This was written in response to Kreative Kue 290 published on this site.

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