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Days of Future Past
Days of Future Past
I was rushing towards victoria station, I didn't want to be late, my mobile rang, it was the wife, checking up on me. "Why are you out of breath "
"Because I'm walking fast" " I rang your mother, you were not there?" " Because I'm here !",
I entered the station, looking for W.H.Smith's. It wasn't where it used to be, kept on walking and talking into my mobile, and there she stood.
"Little Miss Muffet" She too had a mobile glued to her ear, I waved, she waved back and smiled.
I had not seen her for over 40 years, but recognised her immediatly. I was on one of my getting less frequent trips to London, actually arranging my fathers funeral, and this was a very welcome diversion. She had an opticians appointment in London, so we were able to meet.
We first met at school, a church school, near Sloane Square, I was in the 2nd year she in the 1st. I sort of knew her sister, and had a crush on her sister's best friend, they were both in the 3rd year, and we more or less stood next to each other in the daily playground line up, before marching into school. Somehow we got to know each other, I can't really remember how.
Years later I joined another "Friends" site, one that finds old school friends, I mentioned her by her nickname "Little Miss Muffet", a couple of years later, she sent me a mail, immediatly after registering herself, and saw my profile.
We exchanged mails, chatted on messenger, and finaly were able to meet again, fate took a hand , as I had no intention of visiting London for a while.
She finished her mobile conversation, I mine, we walked towards each other, I held out my hand, and she took it, as we formaly shook hands, she was trembling, so was I.
We decided to go for a drink, I hadn't had a Guinness in ages, we found a pub in the station, part of a huge new arcade, how this place has changed, we drank , talked above the noise of MTV, blaring out and a huge video screen, one drink was all we could take, and went off to somewhere quieter.
He mobile rang, her daughter, checking up on her again, later mine did too, the wife again.
We ate fish and chips in another pub , "I used to come in here quiet regularly, when I worked in Buckingham Gate," I said. "really so did I", she replied. strange how over the years our paths had crossed, without us knowing it.
Shortly after I had left home at 16, she had moved into a house about 50 yards from my parents.
Her two children were born in the same hosptals as mine, but a few years apart. We had several times lived or worked in the same parts of London , her moving in a disrict just after I moved out.
We decided to take a walk down memory lane, we walked along towards Victoria Street, crossed into Stag place, (there used to be a Watney's brewery here in the 50's, her father worked there for many years,) we cross over the road, passed the sculture of a rampant stag, and on towards her old flat, part of an old housing complex built by Watneys for it's workers, sometime around the turn of the century. there we stood for a while ,and I remembered how years ago, I spent hours just sitting on the wall of the garage across the road,
staring up at her window.
We caried on, passed the Pineapple pub, and into Buckingham Gate, I showed her where I used to work, a huge office block stands on the site now, then along passed the Bluecoat School, and into Petty France , and finaly walked into Birdcage Walk and into St James' park.
We spent most of our dates here, being only 13 years old, and she 12 we never had much money , she hardly ever got pocket money, and I earned mine by running errands on Saturdays, for the street traders that used to be in my area of Pimlico.
We sat on OUR park bench, for what seemed ages, I felt like I was in a time loop, as if the last 40 years had not happened, I was that shy 13 year old schoolboy again, and she the extremly shy schoolgirl of 12.
I longed to put my arm around her a kiss her on the lips, but I was too shy, exactly as I was, way back then. (she later told me, she was dying for me to kiss her, but as before she was too shy to make the first move.)
We talked of times past, present and future, untill sadly it was time for her to leave, something we both were dreading, I could have stayed with her all night untill the morning , but it was just not possible.
Her mobile rang, her daughter again, she wasn't at the station as planned, sounding like a teenager talking to her mother, she explained to her daughter that she had met some old friends as planned and would now be taking the last train out of Victoria.
We got up and hand in hand walked slowly back to the staion, re-tracing some of our steps of 40 years ago.
Standing at the barrier, we parted, a tear in our eyes, and I quickly stole a kiss, as she let go of my hand and had to run for the train.
Three mins later my mobile rang, "Why didn't you do that in the park" she said " because I was too shy" I replied, "You haven't changed much" oh yes I have I thought, if only you knew,but she never will.
we chatted almost the whole length of her train journey, as I slowly walked back down familar streets towards Pimilco and my mothers flat.
Finaly as I reached the door of mums welcoming warm flat, she said, I have to go now, I can see my daughter waving at me.
She has sinced moved to South Africa, and I am back in Germany, and her mails become less frequent, I know she is having a real hard time , but also know that she will never tell me about it.
Still I have all her books of poetry that she has written over the years, there are also one or two about me , written after we broke up, (we both can't remember why or how that happened, I suspect it was because I had wanted to move on to real touching and not shy kissing, and I would never have dreamed of ever touching her.)
Every now and then I see one of her books on my bookshelf , and I leaf thought it, and think of her.
1/16/2006 7:04 am
thx for the comments , papy and Q, |
Well I was terrified, but thank goodness it turned out to be an enlightening experiance
1/15/2006 5:55 am
Sometimes re-encountering the past can be an awful experience but at other times, ah, at other times it can be utterly wonderful.|
1/10/2006 1:15 pm
memories are such special things,one we should hold deep and treasure|