Stepping across the dew-covered grass, no sign of life from the cottage, Rachel carried the gardening tools towards the borders she had planned to turn over that week. On previous visits, tinkling tunes had flowed out through the ever open stable-door as Bill gave children their lessons, bored parents waiting in cars on the drive, not enough time to drive home and back.
The breeze she had felt at home, only four miles away, had dropped and the air hung still amongst the tree branches, which reached towards the ground and split into ever smaller twigs like fingers with many knuckles pointing out away from the property. She let her tools fall in a clattering jumble on the grass. No birds sang and in fact no birds were visible she noticed, there was usually an abundance of songbirds here as Bill kept his feeders full for them.
The back door was closed but Rachel knocked to announce her arrival. No-one came to answer. She peered in through the window, and her heart lurched. The kitchen furniture all draped in sheets, no vase of freshly cut flowers on the table. Bill always placed flowers on the table as his weekly memory gift to Rose. Rachel had thought it sweet he still did this as Rose had been dead three years.
She moved around the exterior to what she knew to be the music room. Again, she lent in close and as her eyes became accustomed to the darkness within she felt a sharp pain at her ankle. Snatching her face away from the shock of the empty room through the glass, she saw brambles encasing her legs and pulled her feet out carefully. Her boot had a red smear and on closer inspection a robin lay motionless in the undergrowth, a trickle of blood escaping silently from its beak.
‘Oh God, that’s horrible’ Rachel muttered to herself and hastily reversed onto the grass. What the hell was happening here? Where was the piano?And where was Bill?
Rachel stooped to collect her tools and their long handles now lay parallel where she was sure she had let them drop. She grabbed them and made her way back towards the car before something to the right caught her eye.
Bill’s bench with Rose’s name etched on the back was no longer under the vines. Instead was a sight that took her breath away…
My heart is hammering inside my ribs,
Strange coincidence; law of attraction? There I was,
Peacefully scrolling through my followed sites.
I pause and read a post; my pupils dilate
with recognition and memories. One of my heroins
and I know she had much American support.
A photo is mentioned by Sherri Matthews
I picture it instantly. In fact, I can go one better
I bloody well have it in my camera roll.
Because last summer, it was the 20th anniversary
of her tragic death. The Princess of our hearts.
Lady Diana. I grew up falling in love with her story.
School closed the day she got married so we could watch.
A Fairytale wedding, to my 13 year old eyes,
was perfection. Glittery fanfare at its finest.
Yet, this multi-layered and oh so complex
story of human conflict on both sides grew like a cancer.
The world watched and waited.
I worked for the BBC the day their separation
was announced. The pained looks and distance
Between them in those photos for all to see.
I was asked to take a recorder out on the streets
To ask what the public’s reactions were,
newsroom instruction; reporter obeyed and asked.
Then the re-birth of both parties. The black dress,
Charles’ country interview and the honesty on both parts
humbling, human, sadly more common that we like to admit.
We talk nowadays so much of being at one with ourselves.
I blogged about ‘me-time’ only yesterday.
Lady Di had a ‘me-time’ moment on that diving board.
Sherri saw it too. Most of the world did.
You may dislike the Royal Family. You may not
have an opinion at all. You may side with only her, or him.
But one thing is clear. They were human, and they let us in.
Long before it was ‘ok to admit you’re not ok’
I miss her. I miss her smile. Her infectious love.
How cool are her sons? Just how amazing are
those boys to show the world their hurt, their strength?
Shit, now I’m crying. The fairytale that wasn’t always got me.
Thank you Sherri for your post.
I’ve enjoyed many this morning, but this one made
me emotional. Perfect time then to go away and write!