A quick Read

GETTING OLD

Getting Old is my story that has been chosen by C. A. Simonson to be included in her anthology book “A QUICK READ”. I am honored to be included among such wonderful authors.

  • By: Patricia Salamone     Alone I sit by my window. I watch the world now with little participation. Befuddled in my thoughts at times, I smile to myself at some distant memory. Cradled in my heart is my life’s story.

    Damn, why did I waste so much time being foolish? Envy took up a good part of it. Foolish choices made on the spur of a moment can turn out to cost you more than money. Gratitude was short lived as I climbed the mountain to success.  Humility was just a word on a sign posted on an old wooden board along the way. I paid little attention to it. Independence was my goal; I would never ask for help. How foolish….

    Junctions in my life were ignored as my ego grew.  Knowledge was what I craved; I knew it all, or so I thought.  Love came and I let it go; it required too much of me and would take me off my path. Money was my goal, lots of money would give me freedom from the poverty that dwelled in my heart and soul. Narcissism played the music I danced to.

    Often I would close myself up to kindness and humility as I had people to use and places to conquer. Passing through the doorways of life I never stopped to smell the flowers or feel the sunshine on my shoulders.

    Quietly and swiftly time marched on, and so did I. Roads lay before me: the choice was mine to pick and boldly I traveled the road to success, or so I thought. Success came and plenty of money lined my pockets; I could have the freedom I craved, I was happy, or was I?

    Time passes faster as we age; it stops for no one – I realized that one day when I looked in the mirror. Up, on top of the mountain finally, but as I looked around I was all alone. Virtual silence filled my world, no one to share my success with, no one to love, no children, only material success.

    What have I done and why didn’t I stop to read the signs along the way about love, laughter, help, humility, caring, sharing, and the many more were ignored. Exit is now the only sign I can see – a big sign I cannot ignore and I wonder what’s on the other side of it; I am frightened and alone.

    Yesterdays are gone, and although I thought I made all the right turns, there are no more choices.

    Zero is what I had coming into this world, zero is what I will leave with….

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MRS. HARDSWORTH – DAVID – PART THIRTEEN

Adell doted on Peter after her husband passed away. She even stopped writing in her journal for some years. While Peter was still a child they spent part of the summer in the Scarsdale house. Peter liked the Villa in Milan, Italy the best. He had made friends there and looked forward to visiting them every summer. Adell kept the Manor House but never went there with her son.

Peter was like his father, very ambitious, and told his mother he wanted to study law. Adell didn’t take what he said to seriously until he was ready to go off to university, law was still his goal. Peter was accepted into Harvard University and he still wanted to become an attorney. Adell was left alone again. Oh, Peter came home every so often but between his schedule and his friends Adell didn’t see that much of him.

Adell decided now that Peter is attending university she was going to hire a private investigator to find David Addley. She hired Stephen Hart. He was recommended by a friend and was tops in his field.

Adell loved her son and her husband Peter but, David still remained in her heart. She was determined to find him.

The years were passing quickly and Peter was almost finished with law school. Adell was so proud of him for wanting to be independent. He knew he didn’t have to work and would always be taken care of but he loved the law and his mind was made up. His mother was planning a lavish graduation party for Peter. He still had to take the state bar exam but she knew he would pass with flying colors. He would be coming home to live for a while and she wanted everything to be perfect for his party.

Stephen would be coming for dinner that night, if he didn’t have any news she was going to tell him this would be the end of looking for David and so she did. She wrote in her journal for the last time that evening after Stephen left. It was time to concentrate on her son once more.

Peter called her the next day and told her he would be coming home for the weekend and he had a big surprise for her. Adell couldn’t wait for the weekend. She planned his favorite meal with the cook. It would be just the two of them again.

Friday arrived and she heard Peter’s car as he drove up the drive. As he entered the house she was taken aback, he had a beautiful young lady with him.

“Hello mother”, he said giving her a big hug.

“Hello Peter darling, it’s so good to have you home. You didn’t tell me you were bringing a guest with you”.

“I know, mother this is Lisa, Lisa this is my mother Adell. I want you to get to know Lisa mother because we are now engaged to be married”.

“That is a surprise Peter. When did this all happen”?

“The day I called you, I didn’t want to tell you over the telephone, I wanted to see the delight on your face when you heard the good news”.

“Well we will set another place at the table for your fiance and talk about the future. Welcome to the family Lisa, Peter has excellent taste. You are a beautiful young lady. I didn’t get your surname Lisa”

Peter proudly said; “Her surname is Addley soon to be Hardsworth”, with a big smile.

THE END

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MRS. HARDSWORTH – DAVID-PART TWELVE

“Yes again. We met briefly in Bath last summer. You do know David Willis right”?

“Yes, I knew David Willis but he was really just an acquaintance”.

“We were chatting and you walked in the shop for coffee and stopped by the table”.

“Oh yes I remember. When I turned around after paying you were on your way out the door”.

“That’s right, you do remember”, and he smiled.

Adell and Peter chatter for a while. He invited her to have something to eat. It was mid afternoon and she hadn’t eaten anything all day so she accepted.

Over lunch he told her he was not married, was thirty five years old, and was a C.F.O. for a corporation based in Manhattan and had an apartment on East 65th. Street. It was not Sutton Place but it was a nice area. Peter was born in Philadelphia but graduated Columbia University and never left New York. He loved living in the city. “There is no place like Manhattan”, he said to Adell. He knew of her parents and how they passed away and told her he was truly sorry when he heard the news.

“You mean to tell me you knew who I was when you met me in Bath”?

“Yes I did” was his reply. “I knew your name was not Carol but it was none of my business why you were trying to be incognito so I didn’t say anything. Your hair was a slightly different color but I knew it was you”.

“You didn’t tell Willis”?

“No, It wasn’t my place to tell him”.

“Thank you for that”, she smiled, for the first time in weeks. You seem to know all about me so there’s no need to say anything”.

“I don’t know everything but I would like to”, he teased her.

It was getting dark and Adell told Peter she should be heading home. He insisted on accompanying her home so they grabbed a cab. When they arrived at her building he asked if she would like him to walk her to her apartment. She thanked him but said she would be fine.

“Would you have dinner with me on Saturday evening”?

“I think I would like that Peter, thank you”.

“Eight o’clock good for you”?

“Yes, that would be fine”. She answered.

“May I have your telephone number Adell”?

“Oh, yes of course”. She gave him her number and he jotted it down on a piece of paper.

“See you Saturday then”, she said as she exited the cab.

“I look forward to it”, Peter said. He watched her as she entered the building.

Every night Adell would write in her journal. She was not over David Addley and embellished her stories. She wanted him to be jealous when he read the journal. She was sure he would be back. She still loved him.

Adell and Peter dated steadily over the next year. She felt comfortable with Peter. He treated her well and made her laugh. She knew he was falling in love with her and she cared for him but David still owned her heart.

Peter introduced her to his friends and his sister Kathleen, who was married and lived in Philadelphia with her husband Mark and their two daughters. His parents had passed. He did have an aunt but she lived in a nursing home for the elderly. Adell never went with him to visit her.

Peter proposed to Adell the second Christmas after they met. Adell aceppted. They had a small but elegant wedding at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and honeymooned in Bali. Peter sold his apartment and moved in with Adell. Every night she would write in the journal David gave her. Peter asked her once what she was writing but she was vague about it. He asked if he could read her stories but she told him it was personal and made him promise never to read it. He promised.

Adell asked Peter to leave his job, there was no need for him to work. They could travel see the world together, but he liked working and felt it gave him independence. She didn’t insist but wasn’t happy about it.

He wanted a big family and Adell agreed. When they were married for about a year she became pregnant. They were both elated. She gave birth to a baby boy. Peter Roland Hardsworth became Adell’s world. It was the only child they had. They tried to have more children but after a few miscarriages Adell didn’t want to try any more. Peter was disappointed but understood.

When young Peter was ten years old his father died of Cancer. Adell was left alone again but now she had a son to raise alone.

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MRS. HARDSWORTH – DAVID- PART ELEVEN

The summer was fast drawing to a close. David Addely would be leaving Welton Manor and Carol would be heading back to the U.S. and her life as Adell Woldum. She decided to tell David the truth about herself hoping it wouldn’t drive him away.

Carol did tell David who she really was as they lay close together in his bed a few days before she would be leaving. She also explained why. He told her he was not upset and loved her. He also said he would go to New York with her. It was the happiest she’d been in a long time.

Adell said goodbye to Peg, Lizzy and Thomas and handed them each an envelope as she left. She would stop by Welton Manor and pick up David and together they would fly to New York and stay at her apartment in Manhattan. He explained that he was an entrepreneur and could conduct his business from any where.

Adells adventure resulted in her finding the love of her life. David treated her with loving attention and she showered him with love and gifts. Finally she found a man that loved her for who she was, not what she had. She was sure he would ask her to marry him soon and knew she would accept.

One November afternoon he gave her a gift it was a leather bound journal. He told her to write about her life and all her thoughts. When it was complete he wanted to read it.

“That will take forever David”.

“I know darling but we have forever, don’t we”?

“Yes, of course love”, and so she began writing. Each day she would write something in the journal.

Just before Thanksgiving Adell wanted to go shopping. David told her he was a bit tired and didn’t feel up to it. She was going to stay home but he insisted that she go on without him and buy something pretty to wear for the holiday. They were going to have Thanksgiving dinner at the Waldorf Astoria.

Adell kissed David and told him she would be back in a few hours. When she returned David was gone, and so were his belongings. Adell couldn’t believe it. He did not even leave a note. She cried for weeks and almost had a nervous breakdown.

“How could I be so stupid”! She screamed at herself in the mirror. She would find him if it was the last thing she did.

The Holiday’s past and spring started to bloom in all it’s glory. Adell decided to take a walk in Central Park. She was sitting on a bench feeding the pigeons. A man approached her and asked if she would mind if he shared the bench with her. She told him she wouldn’t so he sat down. She was so lonely and he had a soothing voice. He introduced himself; “My name is Peter, Peter Hardsworth”.

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“Hello Mr. Hardsworth my name is Adell Woldum”.

“I know your name Miss Woldum but it’s nice to meet you again”.

“Again”? Adell asked.

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MRS. HARDSWORTH – DAVID – PART TEN

Carol took her time getting dressed and ready for her date with David Addley. It was close to eight pm., and she was a bit nervous about the whole idea of accepting a dinner date with a man she couldn’t remember meeting. She finished dressing and put her hair up and just enough makeup to make her look refreshed. She heard a car pull up and knew it had to be Mr. Addley, she looked out the window to see what he looked like and was quite surprised. He was quite good looking and well dressed, and was driving a Jaguar she smiled. “I might enjoy this date after all”, she said out loud to herself in the mirror but there was no reply. There was a knock on her door; “Come in” she said. It was Peg; “Mr. Addley has arrived Carol”.

“Thank you Peg, please tell him I will be down directly”.

“Yes Miss”.

Carol waited a few minutes, picked up her shawl and purse and headed down stairs. Thomas stood at the foot of the stairwell as did David Addley. She spoke first; “Sorry I was a bit delayed David”.

“It was worth the wait Carol”.

“Thank you”.

“Shall we go”? He replied.

“Yes, I am looking forward to dinner”.

“Have a good evening Miss Carol”, Thomas said.

“Thank you Thomas”.

“Yes, thank you Thomas”. David also replied. Thomas just opened the door, Carol and David left.

David opened the car door for Carol and said; “You look stunning tonight”.

“Thank you”, and she smiled. She didn’t remark on his attire or the car. Carol was keeping her feelings in check this time. They chatted a bit on the way to the restaurant but just small talk and she could see it made David a little uneasy, good she thought and enjoyed the ride.

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The Hare and Hound was a lovely establishment with elegant ambiance. The food was delicious and Carol was enjoying herself. There was a small dance floor and a piano player. The evening passed quickly and before she knew it she was back at Manor House. David walked her to the door and thanked her for a lovely evening asked her if it would be alright to call her again, kissed her hand and bid her goodnight. There was something about him she liked but she was being cautious this time.

David didn’t call her for two days and then he called and asked her if she would like to go on an afternoon picnic with him, she accepted. They had a wonderful time and Carol started to like Mr. Addley more and more each time they went out. He was handsome, educated, well traveled and the ultimate gentleman. He invited her to dinner at Welton Manor one evening and by that time she was falling in love with the handsome Mr. Addley. She accepted and told him she would drive herself to his place. She stayed the night and gave her heart to David Addley.

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MRS. HARDSWORTH – DAVID – PART 9

Carol slept through the night and woke up famished. How could I let myself be taken in like that she thought. “Never again”, she said out loud to herself. She dressed and went down to the kitchen, put a smile on her face and greeted Peg and Lizzy like nothing happened. She was grateful that Thomas was not present. Lizzy fixed her a nice breakfast and a cup of coffee and the three of them chatted away like nothing was wrong. “How is Mr. Willis”? Peg asked.

“He’s fine I guess. He had to leave today for Germany on business and he will be there for a few months”.

“Oh sorry Carol”, Lizzy and Peg said in unison.

“It’s not a problem, as we say in the U.S. easy come, easy go”. Lizzy and Peg just looked at each other.

“There might be a gentleman ringing me in a day or so. His name is David Addley”.

“Yes Miss”, Peg said.

“Another David”? Lizzy added. They all looked at each other and bust out laughing.

“I guess I am on a David kick”. Carol said still laughing. She decided to go and relax at the Roman Baths but told Lizzy she would return for dinner.

She did relax in the healing waters and left refreshed and ready for her next adventure. She didn’t have to wait long. The next day was Friday and the phone rang just after lunch. Carol was in the lounge and Peg announced that; “There is a Mr. David Addley on the telephone for you Carol”.

“Oh, thank you Peg. Please tell him I will be right with him”.

“Yes Miss, he is on the line in the library”.

“Thank you Peg”. Carol headed toward the library but couldn’t remember meeting David Addley or what he looked like but was hoping he was decent looking and a gentleman.

“Hello this is Carol Markson”.

“Hello Carol, this is David Addley. We met at LEY-ON’S Chop Suey Restaurant”. He had a nice voice but she still didn’t remember.

“Yes, I remember you quite well”, she lied. “How are you”? She asked.

“I am well thank you and so glad that David told me to give you a call. I was wondering if you would like to have dinner with me tomorrow night, if you are not busy of course”.

“It depends where we will have dinner, I hope you weren’t planning on taking me to LEY-ON’S, I didn’t care for the food there”.

“Heavens no! I thought you might like The Hare and Hound, it is a fine dining restaurant with delicious cuisine and lovely ambiance”.

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“That sounds lovely David, I would love to go with you”.

“Thank you Carol. What time shall I pick you up”?

“How does eight o’clock sound”?

“It sounds perfect. I will see you tomorrow night then. You are staying at Manor House right”?

“Yes, will you need directions”? Carol asked.

“No, not at all I know exactly where it is”.

“I will see you at eight tomorrow night then”. Carol replied.

“I am looking forward to it”. David answered.

“Cheerio then David”, she said and hung up.

Fine dining Carol thought. She told Peg she was going shopping and asked her if there was a store that sold nice evening wear. Peg told her the name of a shop in the village. Carol thanked her and off she went. She found the shop and it had beautiful dresses suitable for fine dining. She bought a silk black sleeveless dress that would be perfect and a lovely shawl to go with it. Now she needed black heels to go with her dress. It turned out the same shop had a small shoe department and the perfect pair of heels and a silver beaded evening bag to finish off the perfect outfit.

Carol drove back to the house and as she entered through the door there was a huge bouquet of flowers sitting on the table in the foyer. Thomas was just adding adding water to the vase.

“Oh Miss Carol, you are back. This was just delivered for you about twenty minutes ago”.

“They are beautiful! Was there a card”?

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“Yes Miss there is”, and he handed her the envelope. She opened it and read the card to herself.

It read; Beautiful flowers for a beautiful woman. Looking forward to dinner tonight. Warm Regards, David Addley. Carol smiled and said; “Thank you Thomas”.

“They are lovely flowers Miss Carol, would you like me to put them in your room”?

“No Thomas, you can leave them there, thank you”.

“Whatever you like Miss Carol”.

“Thomas is there any Gin and Tonic in this house”?

“Yes Miss Carol, would you like it with or without ice”?

“With plenty of ice and if there is a lime in the ice box would you please put a slice in it”.

“Yes Miss. Shall I have Margaret bring it to your room”?

“No thank you, I will be in the lounge”.

“Yes Miss”, and he was off to make the drink for Carol.

Carol had dinner with Lizzy, Peg and Thomas in the kitchen. She told Thomas there will be a Mr. Addely calling for her tomorrow evening at eight o’clock, and told Lizzy she would be dining out. After Thomas left Carol chatted with Peg and Lizzy about her coming date. Lizzy with concern in her voice told Carol to be careful and not to give her heart away so quickly.

“Oh, don’t worry about that Lizzy, Mr. Addley is going to meet a very different woman than David Willis dated”. Peg and Lizzy looked wide eyed at Carol and she stuck her middle finger up and smiled. All three women went hysterical laughing.

David Addley was staying at the Welton Manor House in Bath. It belonged to a friend of his Tom Welton, who was spending the summer in Greece.

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The staff was wonderful and he had the use of Tom’s car, it was a Jaguar. He was born in France but grew up in several countries, England being one of them. He spent much of his childhood in the U.S. and therefore spoke English without an accent. He also spoke several other languages, which came in handy on many occasions.

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MRS. HARDSWORTH – DAVID – PART EIGHT

 

Carol and David spent the next few weeks together. During the day they would go sight seeing. He showed her Stonehenge, the Holburne Museum and Prior Park where they enjoyed a picnic lunch together. Lizzy and Peg kidded Carol about them being an item and would tease her about it when ever she would share a meal with them in the kitchen.

David introduced Carol to a few of his friends, some evenings they would all meet at one of the pubs for a night of music, drinks, dancing and dining on pub food. Her plan was turning out fine. She was just a working girl on vacation and being treated like an equal by the locals. Except David, he was special.

They had feelings for each other and Carol knew it. She didn’t plan for that to happen and it gave her some anxiety but she decided to throw caution to the wind and let her feelings instead of logic decide her destiny.

She was alone in the world and wanted someone to share her life with and David might be just the one.

Carol went shopping in the village one morning for some clothing and stopped to have a cup of coffee in the little shop where she met David. She was surprised to see him sitting at the table with another man that she didn’t recognize. He wasn’t anyone that she had been introduced to thru David. “Hi David, fancy meeting you here”, as she walked toward him.

“Oh, hi Carol”. David said but did not stand up to kiss her hello. She was taken back slightly because he looked a bit embarrassed and with a slight smile said;

“Carol, this is Peter Hardsworth, he is from New York and is here on business”.

“Nice to meet you Mr. Hardsworth”.

“Nice to meet you too Carol”, he replied. She excused herself and walked over to the counter to get her coffee, by the time she paid and turned to go back to the table Mr. Hardsworth was heading toward the door. Carol walked to the table and sat down with David. He did not look happy. “What’s wrong David”?

“I have to leave here tomorrow, my company is sending me to Germany for a few months on a special project” Carols face went from happy to sad instantly.

“I am sorry to hear that David but what about us, I thought we had something special building between us”.

“It was lovely Carol but I have no control over where my company sends me. You are a beautiful young woman and I have enjoyed your company but the fun is over for me and it’s back to work. I do have a suggestion though”.

“What is that”? Asked Carol sounding a bit perturbed but feeling like she just got punched in the stomach.

“Do you remember the night a bunch of us went out to have dinner at LEY-ON’S Chop Suey restaurant”?

“Yes, I remember, why”?

“Remember the chap that came over to our table to say hello to everyone”?

“Vaguely”. She answered but did not remember him.

“Well he asked me about you when I saw him the next day and I know that he likes you. I could give him your telephone number if you like. He will be staying in Bath until the end of the summer. Would you like that”? Carol was so hurt and angry at David at that moment. She felt cheap and used but answered in a flippant tone.

“Sure have him give me a ring, and have a safe trip to Germany”. She felt her heart pounding in her chest.

“Great I’ll tell him to call you at the end of the week, is that OK with you”? Choking back tears she said: “What was his name again, I can’t seem to remember it”.

“How could you not remember we laughed about his first name being David too, his last name was Addley, David Addley remember? Now can I get a kiss goodbye love? I had a wonderful time with you and I hope we can keep in touch”. She looked at David and forced herself to smile and said; “Yes lets be sure to do that”.

Carol gave him a hug, a quick kiss on his cheek and left. She got in her car drove to Manor House went directly to her room, threw her parcels on the floor, fell on the bed, buried her face in a pillow and cried herself to sleep. She woke up hours later, it was dark but she didn’t leave her room. This might not have been such a good idea after all. Maybe I should just go home Carol thought. “I hate Chop Suey, and I hate David Willis”, she said out loud. It was hours before she fell back to sleep.

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MRS. HARDSWORTH – DAVID-PART SEVEN

Carol arrived back at the Manor House in a wonderful mood. Thomas greeted her as she entered.

“You look refreshed Miss Carol”.

“Thank you Thomas, I feel great! The Roman Baths did me a world of good. I am going to shower and change and I will be ready for the tour, if you have the time that is”.

“Yes Miss Carol, it will be my pleasure”.

Carol headed up to her room, showered and dressed. She put on a skirt, she had packed two just in case she needed something more than jeans and now she was glad she did. She picked a nice sweater out and put some makeup on and let her hair down. Some mascara and lipstick and a little blush for her cheeks made her look and feel wonderful.

Down stairs Thomas waited for her and when he saw her descending the stairwell he was happy to see her dressed like a young lady. “This way Miss Carol, I will start with the library if that suits you”.

“Fine with me Thomas, lead the way”, and smiled. As she toured Manor House it felt familiar even though she hadn’t been there since she was about four or five. She did however remember her parents and that made her a bit sad. There were seven bedrooms and a bathroom for each one. The large dining room, parlor it had two fire places and was quite large too, there was a sitting room, with a billiard table a few club chairs, two sofas and a large fireplace. It also had large french doors leading out to a patio and garden. The helps quarters were on the top level of the house but Thomas did not offer to show her those rooms. Carol started to remember some things and when Thomas showed her the Green House with all the beautiful flowers and plants she said; “Oh I always loved this place”. She wanted to bite her tongue. Thomas looked at her and said; “Oh, you’ve been here before Miss Carol”? She stammered a little and said; “No, I just meant I love green houses, a friend of mine in New York has one and I adore it”. Thomas just smiled. When the tour was over except for the wine cellar which she told Thomas he could show her it another time. It was time for tea. The kitchen had become a warm and welcoming place for Carol and she loved having Peg, Lizzy and Thomas to chat with.

“I will not be here for dinner”, said Carol. “I am having dinner with a gentleman his name is David he will be here at seven o’clock to pick me up”.

“Yes Miss Carol”. Thomas spoke. Peg and Lizzy just looked at each other and smiled. Carol said she was going to her room to rest until David arrived.

Carol tried to rest but she was too excited. Her plan was working and she already had a date with a good looking man. He was friendly, attentive and the kiss he gave her sent shivers down her spine.

It was just before seven and Carol heard a car pull into the drive. She went to the window and saw David exit his car. It wasn’t a BMW but it was a nice looking car. It looked like an Austin to her from the window.

When she heard the door bell ring she grabbed her purse and a sweater and headed toward the stairwell. She heard Thomas open the door and say; “Can I help you sir”.

“Yes, I am here to pick up Carol”.

“Who may I say is calling sir”?

“Mr. Willis, David Willis”.

“Come in and I will see if Miss Markson is ready”. Just then Carol was at the bottom of the steps and said; “Thank you Thomas but I’m already here”. He turned and looked at her with unapproved look in his eyes.

“Sorry Miss Carol I didn’t hear you come down”.

“That’s alright Thomas. Shall we go David”?

“By all means and I might add that you look gorgeous this fine evening”, with a smile.

“Thank you David and so do you”. They left the Manor House and headed toward his car. It was a 1952 Austin. Carol smiled to herself as David opened the car door for her, she slid in, he closed the door and walked around to the drivers side, got in and started the engine.

“Are you hungry”?

“Ravenous”, she replied.

“Can you dance”, he asked.

“Of course, I am an American, we all know how to dance”, she answered with a giggle.

With that, they drove off to enjoy the evening.

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MRS. HARDSWORTH – DAVID – PART SIX

David and Carol sat down at a table and viewed the menu. They ordered tea and as David suggested several biscuits. She giggled at the order, he had ordered eight different biscuits.

“What do you find so amusing”?

“Eight? Isn’t that a bit much for just the two of us, are you expecting more company”?

“No, I thought I would give you a few choices”, and smiled. Carol did smile but not because of the biscuits. David was tall well built and quite handsome, he had big brown eyes, dark hair and a beautiful smile. He also had an accent but it wasn’t a Bath accent.

“So where are you from”? She asked him.

“Right here in Great Britain”

“But, not Bath right”?

“Why would you say that”?

“Because your accent is a little different than the staff where I am staying and they were all born here”.

“Very observant, no I am originally from Surry which is just outside of London”.

“What about you Carol, where in America do you hale from”.

“New York, it’s the city that never sleeps”.

“So you actually live in Manhattan”? He asked.

Carol was a bit taken back. How would he know that? She thought.

“Yes, have you ever been there”?

“A few times on business”. Carol’s heart skipped a beat. Did he know who she was? Had she met him and didn’t remember? She quickly asked; “Really, how nice and what kind of business are you in”?

“International Finance, I travel quite a bit but my time is limited when I travel and other than restaurants and ocassionally a bar for a few drinks I don’t get to do much sight seeing. I did get to visit Central Park once, it was quite beautiful”.

“Yes it is”. She answered and then was silent, trying to remember not to give too much information to him.

They finished their tea and biscuits and went back to the Baths. Carol was careful to think before she answered any more questions. David asked her where she was staying and she told him about Manor House and that it belonged to friends of her family and they knew she had saved for over a year for the trip and offered to let her stay there for the summer.

“So, your family knows the Woldums”?

“No, I never met them but my parents met them a few times through some friends of theirs and they set it up for me. I’m just a poor working girl living in a one bedroom rental in lower Manhattan”.

Carol wanted to change the subject. She asked him if he could suggest any interesting sights she could visit. He suggested a few and she thanked him.

“I would be glad to show you around Bath, if you like”.

“That would be great she said”.

“How about tomorrow”, David said.

“Fine, I am on vacation and have all the time in the world. I really want to visit as many places as possible. You know soak up the life style”.

They had been in the bath for over an hour and it was past one in the afternoon. She told David she had to leave and thanked him for a lovely morning and the tea and biscuits. He asked if she would like to have dinner with him. She accepted and told him nothing to fancy because she didn’t have any real dress clothes. He agreed and promised it would be casual dress.

“Okay I will pick you up at seven tonight is that good for you”?

“Yes, that’s fine. I look forward to it.”

“Me as well”. He said. David walked her out to her car and just as they got to the spot she was parked in he said; “You know Carol you are a beautiful woman and I would love to kiss you right now, would that be alright with you”?

Carol was taken back by the compliment and him asking if he could kiss her. Before she could answer he lifted her chin and gently kissed her on the lips. Her heart jumped inside her chest.

“Thank you beautiful”, he said and said he would see her at seven, smiled and turned and walked toward his car.

Carol got in her car and sat there for a minute or two smiled and said out loud, Yes!!!!

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mrs-hardworth

MRS. HARDSWORTH – DAVID – PART FIVE

“You sound like you are from America”.

“I wonder if it’s my accent”, Carol smiled.

“Could be, but there is something else about you that tells me there is more to you than that”.

“Really”!

“Yes”, and I would like to find out more about you”.

“I will take that as a compliment but right now I am off to the spa to soak in the hot baths”.

“It’s funny you should say that because that’s where I am heading off to as well”.

“How convenient and not a bad pick up line either”. Again Carol smiled.

“Really I was telling you the truth, I am headed to the spa”.

“Okay maybe I’ll see you there”. Carol had finished her coffee and stood up to leave.

“Cheerio then and we might meet up again, unless you have your wife and family with you”. Another smile.

“I do not have any children and I am not married, thank you”

“We’ll see then”. Carol said with another smile as she left the store.

“Nice car”. David said as she walked toward the door.

“Don’t get any ideas, it’s a loaner from a friend”. As the door closed.

Carol was all giddy as she headed to Manor House. She had never acted like that before in her life. Just flirt with a total stranger, and quite a good looking one at that, she thought. She parked the car and walked to the house. It smelled wonderful as she opened the front door. “Hello”, she called out. Margaret came walking toward her. “I’m sorry Miss Carol I didn’t hear you come in”. “Please drop the Miss Margaret it makes me feel too old”.

“Yes, sorry Mi, I mean Carol”. Carol laughed. “Would you mind if I called you Peggy, you see where I come from if we had a friend or relative named Margaret we always called her Peg or Peggy as a nick name”.

No Carol I wouldn’t mind but I would have to get used to it. Where do you get Peggy from the name Margaret”?

“You know, I have no idea, it’s always been that way”.

“Alright then Peggy it is”, and she smiled at Carol.

“What smells so delicious”? Carol asked.

“Oh, that’s breakfast. Lizzy made eggs, sausage, muffins, coffee, tea and some Danish Pastries”.

“Lead the way Peggy, I’m starving”. They walked off down the hall to the kitchen.

Again Carol sat at the kitchen table with Peggy, Thomas and Lizzy. The food tasted delicious and Carol ate more than she ever ate for breakfast ever. She asked what the charge was for the spa for the baths. They told her that she would not have to pay for anything your friends have taken care to let them know you were to be considered there guest. She had to be careful here not to give herself away so she said; “Oh how nice, I’ll have to remember to thank them next time I see them”.

“Thank you all for the delicious breakfast and now I am off to experience the Roman Baths”.

Carol went to her room and packed one of her bikini’s, jeans and a tee shirt and a few sundries. She was quite happy that her adventure started out so well. She was secretly hoping that David would show up at the baths but she also was glad she mentioned about a wife and children to him. If he didn’t show up then her precautionary words would save her from any complications. As she was leaving Thomas reminded her that she hadn’t had the tour of Manor House yet. “I promise as soon as I get back you can give me the tour Thomas”.

“It will be my pleasure Miss Carol”. He refused to call her just Carol. She understood and didn’t make an issue of it.

The Roman Baths were wonderful and Carol was enjoying herself and felt completely relaxed. She had been there about an hour and no sign of David. Her spirits deflated a bit but there were plenty of men there, now weather they were married or taken was the question.

As she stepped out of the bath and started to wrap a towel around herself she heard a familiar voice.

“I guess I missed the best part of the Roman Baths”. She turned and there stood David in his bathing suit.

“Can I offer you a cup of tea or coffee and possibly another dip in the baths”?

“Yes, I think I’d like that”.

“Good, shall we head to the cafe it’s quite nice and maybe you would like a biscuit to go with your beverage, the biscuits or cookies as you probably call them are delicious”.

“I don’t see any wife or children hanging on to you, unless of course you are hiding them at home”.

“I am not hiding anything and I would like to show you my home anytime you would like”.

Carol gave a little laugh and said; “Okay smart guy lets start with some tea and biscuits”. David gave her his arm and away they walked toward the café.

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