Looking Back

The door swung open and a waft of warm air, heavy with the scent of summer blossom floated unbidden into the little room. Emma Silvers turned and smiled.
“Well! If it’s not darling Donald – adventurer extraordinaire. Are you just passing or have you a mind to stay?”
“Questions, questions Em. Always questions. Aren’t you pleased to see me?”
“No! Absolutely not,” replied Emma “I haven’t seen you for years and suddenly you turn up here like a proverbial genie out of a lamp – as bold as brass as they say. I strongly suggest you leave. I’m doing just fine without you. I’m a big girl now and I’ve learnt the hard way how to look after myself. I simply don’t need you any more. I have a life of certainties now, without the continual upheaval of trying to keep up with you jetting here and there, on your continual mad cap journeys into the unknown.” She paused for effect. “I think you should leave Donald. My gadding about years are at an end. Reconciliation with you is not on my agenda.” Donald shook his head.
“Is this the real Emma Silvers I’m talking to? he said quietly. “The same Emma Silvers that sailed around the stormy British coast in a ten foot yacht and trekked partway across the Sahara to climb Mount Koussi? The same Emma Silvers that spent two years in a Buddhist retreat and camped for months in a little two man tent outside Greenham Common. No! Surely this must be some other Emma Silvers?”
“That was a long time ago,” said Emma crossly. ” I’m older now and…”
“I know Em,” said Donald interrupting. “Don’t say any more. You miss me. How could you not?” He gave her a cheeky wink, walked over and gently squeezed her hands. She wrenched them away and gave him her best haughty stare.
In years gone by she would have swum in those blue lagoon eyes of his and surrendered willingly into those strong arms. But! That was then. Now she was older and wiser – or was she?
“Donald Silvers you’re a wicked man so you are. You up and leave me, then float back into my life as if you’ve never been away. Of course I miss you; but don’t think for one moment that I’m giving you another chance.” Emma folded her arms resolutely in front of her. Donald sighed.
“I get the message Em, You don’t want me or my globetrotting ways back again – and that’s ok. But! since returning, I’ve been doing a bit of sleuthing and I’ve come to the conclusion that over the past few years, you’ve become a bit of a recluse . No nights out with the girls, no holidays to exotic places, no racy sports car in the drive. What’s happened to you Em? Life’s for living! ” A wide smile spread across his craggy face. “Anyway Em, I happen to know that you’ve recently had a few meals out with Bob Summers, your new neighbour.” Emma opened her mouth in complete and utter surprise.
“Have you been spying on me ?” she said acidly. “Because if you have I….”
“Whoa there Em! I said sleuthing, not spying, and I did it because I care for you. I never was much of a husband to you in the past, I know that. Always gallivanting round the world on one venture or another, but now I’m a reformed character and I want to try and put things to rights. Emma was about to interrupt but then thought better of it.
“Now, I know you’ve been out with Bob Summers on one or two occasions, but I get the impression you’ve kept him very much at arms length. Why I wonder? From what I understand he’s a bit of a catch. I’m not ever coming back again Em. This is my last visit and I want to tell you that you’re a great woman and I think you should consider making a new and much more fulfilling life for yourself. Maybe with Bob, maybe not, but either way I’d like to think of you out there in the big wide world again having some fun. Go skydiving, bungee jumping, join the W.I, see a bit more of this beautiful, wonderful, world, but don’t wait here letting life slip you by.”
“It was true,” thought Emma. She had indeed become a bit of a recluse and each day was much like the one before. Her memory went into rewind as she fondly recalled her wild, joyful, irresponsible youth. It had been great fun but she was older now and if nothing else, lacked the physical and mental acuities of days gone by – but was this really a good enough reason to become a hermit? Perhaps not she concluded. For a brief moment Emma’s mind whirled in confusion but then – in a tick-tock instant, came the clarity she searched for. Those days were indeed over, but that was surely no excuse to curl up in solitude and wait for the man with the scythe to visit.
“You’re an infuriating man Donald Silvers so you are. Unfortunately, I have to agree you’re right. I have tucked myself away here since you left and I suppose I always hoped you’d come back one day and we could start again. Seems I’ve been so busy waiting – that I’ve forgotten to live. So! What now you pirate?”
“Well my sweet, Now that I’ve given you food for thought- I’m afraid I have to be off.”
“But you’ve only just arrived. Can’t you stay a while? I’ve got a bottle of your favourite Brandy in the cupboard.” Donald shook his head.
“I’m afraid I can’t my darling. There are rules you see. I’ve had my fondest wish granted and now I have leave you.”
Donald, turned, smiled, blew her a kiss – and in a swirl of golden mist slowly faded into the ether.

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