Cold was the night and cruel was the wind that huddled under the house eaves of the roof. Rattling her windows and tormenting her mind .Unable to settle down to sleep. She arose and pulled back the curtains to see if the greenhouse still stood in place. To her disbelieve between that boundary border shrubs a man in his night cloths looked up at her. Smiling and moth like warm in the now pouring cold rain driven by winds it was him.
Then she woke up from the dream and there on her side table the photo of her dead husband smiled out of the silvered frame into her open eyes.
For Alice Dent nothing seemed fair .Nothing seemed real .She was a 34 Year old woman .Alone and pining for her husband who had passed over 3 years before.
Jim Dent had a car in bits hoping to find the time and the cash to restore the old British Jaguar that had sat in his garage too long. Alice had meet Jim at Adult college of mechanics as he took the class eager to know students . Basic car maintenance cost 45 pounds for 12 weeks one night a week lessons hands on course for absolute beginners.
Jim was 30 and single and was teaching to earn enough to restore his car. His real job was radio op in Kendal hospital. Not well paid but he loved it and the many listeners loved him too. The night class of 12 people of mostly under 40s included Alice Desensclane who wanted some knowledge of engines to fix her ever broken down Mini van made in 1965 and past its best.
The lessons came to be the best night in her week. Jim had sorted out her problems on the engine she had on bench he had showed the class how to find cause and how to fix the faults. She had picked it up faster than all the rest and felt a certain new confidence in doing so.
Jim had seen this and made another problem for her to find .He moved on to the next bench .A young man from Stavley village some way out of town. He found it beyond him and had really had enough .Jim started basic and slowly gave him head way. He knew Ted was not a mechanic but a law student with car problem but he deserved the best of his teacher for the price he had paid to attend. Jim gave this lad all his time that period and Alice alone felt she wanted him at her side. it suddenly came to her during a lesson weeks ahead that that wanting him near was nothing to do with his engines but because she had fallen deeply in love with the curly haired lovely man.
The course ended in test and Alice must act fast as she had known for five weeks her needs to have him hers. She just could not find a way to connect. She felt all pent up inside like pain dried up in excited panic showing a ship sailing smooth on top . Deep and lost she feared she must make her move or regret and be bitter. Results announced she had passed and marked top. It was a happy last day indeed for all had passed and all felt able. Jim shook hands with all and came to Alice who looked up into his eyes trying to open her lips to speak but words just remained unsaid .She felt the heat of his soul in that last hand shake. He had left the room and all stood around talking.Some giving contact numbers and her head was down .She said her goodbyes and then her phone rang. “Hello .” she uttered . Hello yourself its Jim. Fancy a coffee with me Alice.juts to say our farewells in private. ”
Alice froze solid it was her wish but no words came out. She struggled an OK and walked out of the room happy sad down cast unsure then before he stood smiling .He took her across the road from the college into a cafe where he ordered coffee and cakes.
She sat bolt upright trying to look relaxed . In less than a year they were married and Alice lived for him alone .Jim was an easy going man and she knew he adored her. He showed it in every way. That winter he restarted on the Jaguar and over two years worked on it. Alice loved to help and learned so much about that car that when he had finished he handed her the keys . For weekends they went summer driving her at the wheel on the way out Jim driving back home. Live was so sweet and easy in his care and he thought the world had granted hin an angel then it happened .
23rd November 2018 4.34pam . He had an early afternoon show on hospital radio and raced out to bus it home and gave Alice a ring on his phone. He did not see the car driven by a 14 year old thief that hit him and ran over him. He was dead on arrival at Lancaster Hospital.
Alice was taken by police to identify him as like Jim he had no wallet with him no identity only the number he was dialing gave police a clue . She screamed so loud when she saw his body so mangled so oily and torn. She had to be given shock treatment as she had lost her way in pain..
The man below her smiled up to her window and waved .Then vanished .Her dream was over so was her life as the pills she took had sat waiting for 3 years over due .
Her doctor signed her death certificate and Alice Dent was laid to rest next to her husband Jim in Saint Marys church yard Kendal Cumbria on the 9th of March 2021.
The mourners were few as Alice had not made many friends she was not that sort of girl .Jim knew this and they lived for each other said the Vicar as they lowered her down. Behind him stood a man in blue pyjamas hold close a lady in pink bed nighty .No one saw them watching but I did, rising from the grave behind them. Love never dies you see nor do we, only a door takes us into another world, a world that the living cant see or feel. Alice knows this now Jim could not wait to hold her again. How do I know, I am Jim.
It is my hope this short story is worthy of your read. G-d be with us all.
copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2021