posted on Apr, 29 2007 @ 11:59 AM
Jim remembered back to the time when the men who worked shifts at the
foundry came home this way, he and his pals were playing soccer
and the men would often join in, packing out the teams to twenty-a-side.
They'd play for hours until the streetlights came on and then the men
would drift off, they'd get home, have their tea and then out for a couple
of beers at the club that stood not far from where Jim stood now.
Jim looked around the park, his heart was sad as the memories came
back. That was where he kissed Cathy, over there he'd hidden his bird
egg collection, over there was where he fought his best friend Chris.
I've been away to long he thought. He'd left this town ten years ago
after Tracey had left him.
He knew that the town was going bad, the murders had gone on
making people afraid to walk the streets at night. The foundry had shut
and the economy of the area had nose-dived.
He' had joined the navy and went to see the world, well, he'd seen Bristol,
Southampton and for four months he'd enjoyed the delights of the icy wastes
Even when the threat of war came and he'd been told to get ready, he had
always known that he would not be going anywhere.
Jim moved off towards the bandstand, it stood alone and bare in the middle
of the park. Sawgrass grew around its base and the paint had peeled from
most of its fencing.
The tiles from the roof lay scattered about the grass, like playing cards.
Jim walked up onto the bandstand and surveyed the park again.
The weather had been cold again this morning, and Jim's breath plumed out
as the old memories had crept upon him. He'd brought Tracey here one night,
Jim smiled, he remembered her kisses and that sickly smell of her perfume.
He had loved her, and he believed they would have married if she hadn't left.
A frown came across Jim face, Tracey had never understood him he thought,
She'd laughed at him when he'd told her about his bad dreams.
Jim looked at his shoes and walked slowly to the bandstands fence, a
women with a baby buggy scuttled along the path to the exit of the park.
Snow had started to gently fall and already making the park feel more
alone than it already was.
Jim looked down at his bag, he'd had this bag from when he'd left here to
sail the high seas! It's leather handles worn and gnarled with the time and
Tracey had bought him it for his football kit when he played for the foundry
team on Saturdays.
The snow fell heavier now, blanketing the grass and the paths.
Jim picked up his bag and walked towards the club. His tracks from the
bandstand quickly lost as the snow quietly hid his passage. Jim stopped
next to the old elm that marked the boundary of the park, He snapped open
the leather bag and peered in.
Tracy was asleep, her eyes closed and that funny smell had gone.
"I'm just popping in for a beer, honey" Jim whispered.