Have you ever had one of those days where you want the world just to swallow you up whole? One of those days where what could go wrong does go wrong? This was my day, a phone call from Mark at 8.30am, as usual, woke me from a deep slumber. Why had my alarm not gone off? I was due to be sitting behind my desk by 9.00am and I have a half hour walk ahead of me.
Jumping out of bed, I grabbed my clothes and chucked them on whilst Mark berated me for being late. I’m good at late, if I can be late, I’m late. I am rarely early, I may be just on time, but never early. Racing through the house, I dragged a brush through my hair, got my lunch out of the fridge, picked up my bag and keys and ran out of the door slamming it hard behind me. Now the challenge of getting to work, I started to run.
My boss is not an easy man, and my tardiness does not help matters. We have had a few run ins and despite not liking him very much I do not want to lose my job. I’m not a very fit person and very quickly I was feeling breathless, so had to keep stopping to regain my breath. Finally, I arrived, it was now 9.10am, not good. I work in an estate agent’s office and I was seen immediately as I fell through the door panting.
Elizabeth, sat at a nearby desk started laughing,
“what the hell do you look like?”
I looked down and my heart sank, I was wearing odd socks and odd shoes, what a start to the day. Finding my desk I turned on my computer whilst hiding my coat and bag underneath it. At least the general public will not be able to see my odd socks and shoes, just my hysterical work colleagues.
On reading my emails I could see the latest was from Mr Williams, title of ‘late again’, my day just got better and better. From the odd clothes, to the meeting with my boss explaining my lateness, to the irate customer that expected me to find her a flat in the local area for less then £100 000. I have not got a magic wand, I wish I did, I could teleport to work then.
As the day went on, I could feel the stress just getting on top of me. Text messages from Mark were not helping me. At least he had phoned me this morning, he knows me to well. Boyfriend of two years, won’t commit but forever phoning and texting. I guess I can’t have everything, problem is I want everything, and I want it now. Shame I have a mortgage to pay because today, right this minute, I would love to tell Mr Samuel Williams where to stick his stinking job. I could feel the unhappiness rising in me and my face redden.
I told myself, face it Susie, you have a mortgage, you have a house, you have a boyfriend, he won’t commit yet, but he is there. My job is important and I need to ensure that I set that blinking alarm every night. I need to stop upsetting my boss as regularly as I do. My day passed and finally the work day was over. Collecting my bag and coat, I said goodbye to Elizabeth and started to walk home. Thoughts were racing round and round my head, I decided that heading straight home is not an option. When I get myself, this stressed I like to walk, I took the long way home through the fields.
Entering in through the familiar wooden gate I could smell the scent of heather and the cows in the fields. The flowers were gently blowing in the breeze and it felt so calm. I need calm right now and to put my life into perspective. So what, Mark does not want marriage and kids right now and the boss is unlikely to ever promote me. I know that I need to sort my life out, get to bed earlier then 11pm and get out of bed at 7.30am not 8.30am when Mark phones.
I sat and watched the yellow rape in the field and the beautiful red poppies. Maybe I need to sit and reflect and make a list. My life is not too bad, I have so much to be grateful for. The feeling in the pit of my stomach though, will not go away, the nagging feeling of failure. Wearing odd socks and shoes to work today did not help that.
As the day turned to evening around me, the sun hiding now behind the gloomy clouds. Getting up again I carried on walking. I needed to focus on the good in my life, it wasn’t that bad. I stopped to look at some sheep drinking from their trough, watching the bees in the hedgerows, the nature and life around me. Hearing the sounds of engines, I knew I was nearly at the road and nearly home. Feeling a little disappointed, I was not looking forward to a night alone again inside the same four walls. However, I could also feel a rumbling in my stomach indicating that it was time for dinner.
I had skipped breakfast again and was scoring very badly on the healthy eating scale. What was I going to have? I hate cooking and will rarely cook just for me. Decisions decisions, maybe baked beans on toast, yes easy.
Reaching my house, I let myself in, there was a funny smell, like food. Why could I smell food? As I walked into the hall, I could see the light was on and there were noises. My day had suddenly got a lot better as there looking handsome in his apron with ‘the world’s best chef’ written above a pug and cooking me a Chinese dinner was Mark and on the table was a vase of red roses.
“Hello beautiful” he said, “I was wondering where you were, but you are home now, take your coat off and sit down, I got the feeling that you need some cheering up”
“Oh Mark, wow” I said speechless, Mark, dinner and roses, really what more could I ask for?
Written for Blog battle, Flower,
For more see also, A fork in the road
It was a warm evening as I sat looking out to sea, my dog Rosie was sat next to me offering comfort. When life gets me down, I will often get in the car and just drive usually ending up sitting on a beach watching the waves crashing against the sand. The power of the water and the inner calm that it brings. I sat feeling a mixture of anger and hurt as well as elation and maybe a lucky escape. I had met Terry on a night out with friends, we had been so close, and I had thought that he might be the one. We had been together six months and a few days ago he dumped me in a text message. Why do men do this, build you up just to knock you down?
So here I am, single again, what is wrong with me? By now I should be able to write a book on relationships and educate others on what not to do. ‘What men do not want, what will make a man run?’ Maybe the point that Rosie my dog is so important to me. Rosie comes before anyone else and some men will just not understand how much of a family member a dog is. I have had Rosie five years now from a puppy, she is a very obedient cocker spaniel. I have now learned that the next man I meet will need to be a dog lover. What else could I have done wrong? I did not know. Feeling rather useless and abandoned I stroked my beloved pooch.
I am thirty now, my body clock is ticking. So, what now? Men are idiots. I’m a nice person, surely one day the man of my dreams will come into my life. Until then I need to make the most of what I have got. I had decided that I needed a holiday, I needed time away and I did not mind going alone. Earlier this week I had booked myself a last-minute week in Wales, just me and Rosie.
The next morning, I had packed and had the car packed by 10am. Starting the engine I waved goodbye to home. Time away from all the “told you so’s” and the “he’s not worth it’s”, well-meaning friends that really do not help. Thankfully work had let me book leave at short notice, for me a broken heart was a good excuse for an impromptu holiday. Taking the A2 I started to sing, as we finally reached the M4 I was starting to wonder why I had started this crazy journey. Eventually, I saw a sign for Neath and breathed a sigh of relief, it had been a long journey with many stops along the way.
The rolling countryside and the peace were just what I needed. I sat down in my cosy holiday cottage and thought about my life. Where was I heading? I was an administrator and I was not keen on my job, I was sure I was worth more. Maybe I should consider attending university, but, how could I? I have rent and bills to pay. What was I good at? I like children, could I teach? I was not sure, educating young minds, but could I really be an educator, I have enough problems educating myself. Maybe I could be a nurse, I’m caring and good with people, maybe I could do an apprenticeship and get paid to train. This didn’t seem like a bad idea except I get very attached to people, I would need to toughen up.
I spent six glorious days in Wales, trying to get my thoughts straight and as the saying goes, ‘wash that man out of my hair’. My life was miles away and it was good to be away from everyone I knew. I have always been a loner and the inner peace I felt here proved that. Rosie was enjoying all the walks and her tail was wagging non-stop. She especially liked Aberavon Beach at Port Talbot paddling in the sea and the Knoll estate in Neath with its pretty grounds. I could not help noticing the house prices in an estate agents window. I found a one bedroom terraced house for under £40 000 and it had spectacular views. I thought maybe I should skip the idea of studying back home and move to Neath. I didn’t think my family would approve of this, just a little bit too far to pop around for a cup of tea and a chat.
So, the holiday is now over, and I am now driving back down the M4 listening to Brian Adams on the radio, singing along to ‘summer of ’69’, Rosie is happily lying across the back seat. I am heading home, back to reality and the know it all’s. I have decided that no man is going to make a mug out of me anymore. I deserve respect and not to be messed around. I am also going to try and let the well-meaning advice wash over me. At least I’m not going to end up being a crazy cat lady, maybe I could be a crazy dog lady instead. I’m going to get my life together. I suppose Terry has made me reflect on my life and made me realise that I want more from it.
I was exhausted and relieved when I finally arrived home. I have learned from this experience that only I can look after myself. Later tonight I will look online at college and university courses. Till then I grabbed a bottle of wine out of the fridge, got down a glass and walked upstairs to have a bath with bubbles. I deserved it, I lay there and toasted Terry and the other idiots I have met, who have pushed me towards furthering my education and really making something of myself. I am a strong independent woman and I will now show the world, cheers.
From the writing prompt, Educate on Gary’s Blog.
The dark clouds covered the blue of the sky and the fields layout in front of me. As I walked the atmosphere around me became eerier. I was alone and started to feel that someone was watching me. I could not see anyone; the trees were swaying, and I pulled my coat around me. I kept walking thinking about the kids back home. I watched the sheep playing in the fields nearby and I could hear birds chirruping to each other. The rain then started to fall, first steadily then with more force. I put up my hood and continued one foot in front of the other. I had had a long stressful day and I needed some time out by myself. Unfortunately, this was not to be as at that moment the atmosphere changed and suddenly instead of walking through a field, I was stood in a street. This could not be, I looked in front of me, there was street. I stepped back, and I was back in the field.
I had never experienced this, it was the sort of thing that you see in a science fiction film. I was amazed that this was really happening to me. I stepped forward again and I was back in the street. I made a mental note of where I was stood. The shop in front of me was Woolworths, Woolworths was closed years ago. This was getting stranger and as I stood there my brain started to ache. I then felt a tug on my sleeve, it was a small child. Looking down I recognised her, she had my daughter’s messy blonde hair, I was confused now. The little girl was me, how could this have happened? What year was I in?
I soon found out that I was in the year 1986, the little girl was me aged just ten years old. I could remember now years ago what I thought was a dream where I met a lady in the street. As a child, I often sleepwalked and a few times I walked out of the house, we lived in the town and this must have been one of those nights. I took the little girl’s hand and asked her if she wanted me to take her home. She nodded so we walked together, back to where I can remember living. We walked around to the back door that was always unlocked and I helped her in. I could hear familiar voices in the house. I thought do I dare go in or walk away, I knew I was in a time warp and I did not want to change the past, not even by accident. A figure then appeared in the kitchen,
“Who’s that?” they asked, I could see it was my grandmother stood there. I wanted to go to her, introduce myself and give her a hug. My grandmother died years ago, and I miss her terribly. There is so much I could tell her, so much I wanted to tell her, but I knew if I did then I might change a timeline somewhere and I didn’t want that to happen. So, I just said,
“Sorry I found your granddaughter, I think she was sleepwalking” my grandmother now might have only been about ten years older than myself, maybe less. It was strange seeing her now as an adult. She looked at me and said,
“Elizabeth, you had better come in” now I was confused, she knew who I was, what was happening here?
It soon evolved that my grandmother worked with a secret government agency and she knew all about the time warp from the field to the street. She now needed my help, she did not want to know anything about my future as she did not want to disturb the timelines, she said that people had been going missing between the past and the future. I remembered now the newspaper article this morning about a little boy that had gone missing. She had somehow known that I would be where I was and that me as a child would find me and walk me home. This really was something from out of a film. Maybe I would have been played by Angelina Jolie. I was shocked by my grandmothers’ story, I wondered if my mother had known about her.
Now I knew about the time warp I had a new job. I had to report back on the people from my present that had now vanished about thirty years into the past. Due to not wanting to raise a big alarm I had to talk to the present-day police force and get them to believe where the people were going. With my mobile phone, I filmed my grandmother and the story and then filmed Woolworths.
It was the following day that I walked into the police station and asked to speak to someone about the disappearances. The lady on the desk was not very helpful at first but she then phoned one of the detectives and I was then ushered through to a waiting room. Detective Inspector Williams was very shocked by my story. We wondered whether other agencies were aware of the time warp. He then asked me to take him to the field.
About an hour later DI Williams stood staring at Woolworths with his mouth open. So, the question was, what now? There was a long road ahead and the time warp could not be closed until everyone was home safely. Also, how did it appear? Why is it here? Who else knew about it? And are all the missing people safe? My time warp adventure started here.
This story was inspired by Lorna in her blog Gin and Lemonade with the writing prompt of Time warp.