A tiny moth landed on Andrew Hardings window. A tell tale sign of Autumn and his sorrow as heavy as the rains outside in the street. It was becoming colder and even colder in his heart. For before him the letter that he dread had arrived to haunt him.
Angela had found someone else. He read her words over again. She had found real love .Love that he could not hope to give her. His lost job, his debts mounting up trying to please her meant nothing to her. She was happy he was sad. The world around him darkened into nothingness. He was not good enough.
The bottle was open and he found solace with the first glass of Whisky.The pale honeyed liquid swilled in joy around his tonsils. Soon the bottle was empty as his mind was now. From the kitchen drawer he took the pills his mother had used before that fateful day she had died. The pills came easy from the box of cardboard as it fell to the kitchen hard stone floor and gentle as gossimer softly reached its end.
He had taken the pills ,all sixteen of them in one mighty gulp .In case he changed his mind at last second. He stood gazing out at the cold rain hitting the frozen glass of the windows as if in a dream. For some time he felt resigned to death. Then the pills took hold with the whisky and he crumpled to his knees as darkness fell his eyes could no longer see. It was 10am Tuesday morning and he was cold and sick all down his shirt. He lay stiffly not caring .Senses dead his mind a whirly gig and he could hear the circus music of the fair. Last thing he heard was someone calling his name but lights had gone out.
It was just after Midday ,the rain subsided and his eyes slowly focused on the cardboard box on the level with his gaze. He felt pain in his stomach but to feel that meant he was still alive. .He raised himself to a sitting position thinking of nothing ,not a thing at all. Slowly he felt a serge of bile race up from his churning guts to his throat. Again he was sick and his trouser now took the soaking .
He must have dozed off as it was dark in the room and the stench of sickness hit him hard in the nose. He threw up again as he tried to raise to his feet.It proved hard and took a while but then he managed it all the same. He could not think why he was still there and a period of time passed as he tried to focus to turn on the light.
Its bright introduction burned his eyes and mind. He looked around at the bottle rolling off the table hitting the floor to shatter the silence as he held his aching head.
He slumped on the ever waiting bed and he felt no more until waking next morning with a severe headache. The straggled sun light across the bedroom told him it was still hell and he fell off the bed feeling rough and ever so sick.
At another side of the city, Angela was happy in Dons arms and his house was nicely appointed.They had made love many times in his large wide bed with its black satin sheets. She had called around hoping for sex and was not to be ignored. She had no thought of her 12 years marriage with Andrew Harding. Why should she she loved only Don now.
They had met at a shoe shoe in town some six weeks earlier and hit it off at once. She knew nothing about him only that on helping him with his selection of work shoes she had served him with affection and charm. From that first ten minutes something had happened to here and she hoped to him.
Don played right into her hands and they dated and meet many times. Don had an office job as a Lawyer while Andrew a factory foreman in a Steel works had lost his job in an industry shut down. Angela had stuck it out for six weeks of Andrews performance of lame duck. She had not meant to fall in love but when Don had walked in to the shoe shop were she worked it all fell into place. As easy as falling off a log. A very thick log at that.
Autumn walked laughingly into winter and Christmas day was there so soon. Don had wished her well on Christmas eve phone call but had not invited her to his home. She asked openly why. He made an excuse about visit to his sister in London many miles away from Yorkshire. Angela spent the holiday at her parents but on Boxing day could not help herself she walked around to Dons lovely house expecting it empty. But as she drew near she peered through the windows to see Don and two children playing on the lounge floor when in came this young woman with a tray of cakes and she kissed Don of the forehead. She thought this must be his sister and her family so she ran back home and phoned him. A child answered the phone and she asked for Don.To which the child called out Daddy someone wants you on the phone. She went cold as a woman replied and she said hello who is it please. So she spoke.”Can I speak with Don.”
The woman then asked who was speaking in a slow but steady voice. “Im Angela his girlfriend “she replied. The phone went down with a bang.
Back in Leeds Andrew had left the hospital feeling lost but on the mend. It had been sixteen weeks but he was ready to face a job interview.
Don had vanished his home was now empty and a for sale sign was on show in the window. She asked a next door nosy woman who told her Don was a married man with two lovely children and his wife had left him at Christmas time. She asked if he was still in the area. The lady did not know?
For weeks she watched the house as she did not know which of the thousand solicitors offices in which he worked but nothing came to light. Then one day some months after she caught sight of him driving by in a new Jaguar sports car. He was with a young woman .Blonde hair was all she could see. As his wife was Ginger and Angela blonde she put two and two together and saw Don lost to her . It hurt like hell but she wanted him back at any price.
Andrew had sat next to another hopeful and he was not sure he should stay as next man looked a business sort. At this moment a door opened and Andrew was motioned in.
He was not too sure of anything and he had never sold insurance.In fact he had never sold a single thing only perhaps an old set of ice skates as a boy .
The interview was relaxed and full of laughter and soon enough he had joined the firm . The office was cozy and Phil Jones the manger who had offered the job was easy going short. John Bates the saleman to train Andrew was a nice sort. Andrew had turned the corner and he knew it.
Angela had been crying .Don had ignored her as he parked up and ran to an office she ran to him but he turned sheepishly back to the car and sped away. She was now to walk into said office and ask for Donald Briton as his photo was there on the wall as partner. She was told he was out in court but was due back any moment if she cared to wait. Wait she did ,for two hours and guessed Don had phoned the desk to escape her.
Andrew was selling well on his own now and was given his own office and phone with shared typist who acted as secretary for both John and Andy. Her name Pamela Armstrong Briton.
The day was snowing hard and February drew into March Don lay dying in his blood on a step near the fish market .People stunned tried to help as he clutched his chest an ambulance sped up and Don was lifted aboard and it sped way with loud ringing siren breaking that silence as it sped towards the hospital.
Andrew passed it on the way to his third appointment that day.He saw the fuss and heard the siren but to him it was perhaps an accident in a car.
Angela had jumped in a bus for shopping centre and no one suspected her of anything. She was not herself but no one on that bus even looked at her. The smoking hot barrel of a pistol in her hand bag was not seen.
Part two next week.