“It was here, it was. I brought it in and threw it in the corner by those boxes,” Fiona wiped her hand across her face to dislodge a couple of cobwebs and then bent again throwing soggy cardboard sheets into the middle of the garage floor. Desperately searching for the damaged barbecue she was starting to look panicked.
“Well, I can’t see it love. There isn’t that much in here. Simon would be quite jealous,” Sharon tried to cool the atmosphere as she watched her friend become more and more agitated, “Maybe you were just confused, you know you were very stressed.”
Fiona turned, the tears brimming in her eyes swept down her face tracing pale lines through the dust on her cheeks. “I feel as though you’re not going to believe me. I’m so frustrated. That bloody thing, it was so twisted and it was the only thing that was left as proof as all that happened. You do believe me don’t you, I wish I’d shown it to you at the barbecue now but I didn’t want to spoil the atmosphere. Oh shit.”
“Come on love, don’t get upset all over again. I’m sure it’ll turn up. Let’s go and have a drink. It’s lovely out on your patio let’s get the last of the sun and try to relax.” Fiona allowed herself to be led away from the piles of card and empty plant pots littering the garage floor. Stepping through the little wooden door she glanced upwards. A flock of swifts whirled and swooped against the late afternoon sun as a couple of blue tits on the bird feeder chattered and complained into the cooling air. It was such a wonderful world, but her place in it now was so very ugly. She could have been happy, why had she been cursed, what had she ever done to deserve this torment. Her shoulders slumped as new tears followed the immeasurable floods that had flowed over the last few weeks.
Was there any way that this could ever be over? Was there any way that she could ever be happy again? Maybe it would be better to just finish with it all now, at that moment the thought of sinking into a warm dark place, closing her eyes and never having to open them again seemed really wonderful.
Dragging herself to the patio and slumping down on the nearest chair she turned to watch Sharon come through the patio doors. The setting sun glinted on the glasses of white wine she placed onto the table with the bowls of nuts and crisps. “Come on love, let’s have a nice evening if we can and try to switch off for a bit. Cheers.”
“Cheers Sharon and, you know, thanks.” The clink of glasses sounded a deceptively cheerful note in the rather sombre atmosphere.
“Hey Fiona who lives in the old house over the back? That one behind the trees, it’s quite big isn’t it?”
“Oh yeah, it used to the farm-house I think before this land was sold for building. It’s a weird guy that lives there. I have only met him a couple of times, he’s a bit erm, I dunno spooky somehow. He’s one of those people who invades your space you know and he mumbles so you can hardly hear him.”
“Is he old?”
“Not really I don’t think, probably fifties, maybe early sixties. Don’t know much about him not even his name to be honest. Met him on the way back from the garden centre once and then once when I was nailing some wires to the fence for the climbers. He just seems to appear without warning. Why are you asking?”
“Oh it was just that when I went in to get the drinks, you were still in the garage and he was standing in the window upstairs looking in. I thought he was being a bit cheeky.”
“Hmm, no don’t know anything much about him. Hmm this is nice wine, tell you what let’s get smashed and to hell with it all eh.”