The last bus home from the local town dropped me off just before midnight. It didn’t go through the small village in which I lived, so I still had to walk half a mile or so. It was a warm night in May and I was still slightly buzzed from a night of drinking with my friends. I would like to have stayed longer, but I didn’t have the money for a taxi, so had to cut my night short and take the last bus home.
The bus pulled away and I walked along the lonely road as I had many times before. I walked fairly briskly as my alcohol consumption sat heavily on my bladder. I didn’t want to relieve myself in the surrounding fields so I needed to get home quickly.
There were no lights along the road until I reached the outskirts of our village, so it was dark and spooky, but I was used to it.
I heard footsteps behind me “Hey wait for me” a voice said “Lets walk together”
I froze and then walked faster. “Hold up, I don’t like walking on my own” the voice insisted.
I stopped and looked behind me. It was a teenage boy, probably around the same age as me, but painfully thin. He had long bushy hair, as was the style, and a very pale face. Pale was fashionable in the early seventies. I waited for him.
“Hey thanks, I don’t like walking alone” he said.
I asked him if he was new to the village because I knew almost everyone who lived there and I would certainly have remembered him. He wa a nice looking kid. He laughed and said his name was Mark and he had seen me walk down this road many times, but hadn’t spoken to me before. He said he live close by.
We chatted and laughed as we walked. I would like to get to know him better. He had charisma, I warmed to him.
As we approached the village he seemed to slow down. Finally he stopped.
“Hey Mark, I need to get home, I really need to use the toilet”
He didn’t move. He looked sad.
“I live close by” he said.
“Great, can I use your toilet?” I asked.
He looked down at his feet and backed away.
“Don’t worry, I can make it home, I have to go though. It was nice to meet you”
He was still looking down at his feet sadly. I stepped forward to hug him because he looked so sad, but he backed away.
“OK, I have to go, but maybe I will see you again. I live in St. Paul’s Drive. Why don’t we meet in the King Bill one night for a drink.” He looked up and smiled.
“I can’t” he said “I live over there”
He crossed the road and entered the cemetery, passing through the gate without opening it, and disappeared among the headstones.
I was routed to the spot for a while, not afraid, but very sad. I hoped he would walk that road with me again. Maybe next time I would walk a little more slowly.
I have lots of stories to tell about things that happened to me when I lived in England. A couple of them are available on Amazon. They are my first attempt at writing my rather unusual memoirs. Check them out, they are the first of many.
My latest novel ‘Dead of July’ will be released in late Summer.