So, are you ready for the next installment of Maggie’s adventure?

I’ve decided on a new title for the my little book. This could well change but for now I’m rather liking it. I’m finding that the more I write the more my little story is in my thoughts. I hear music on the radio and think that I should include it. I mentally store good ideas and articles I read and look at clothes in shops and wonder if Maggie would wear them.

At the moment I’m writing about somewhere I know fairly well but soon I’ll be in unknown territory and that’s when I’m going to have to do some research. Maybe I should hop on a bus too although unlike Maggie I’ll have the blessing of Mr R if I should want to travel the length of the country.

Hope you enjoy part three. Please don’t forget that I’m not professing to being a writer. Apologies in advance if there are any grammatical blunders or if something sounds clumsy. Mrs Bush my English teacher, who smelt of coffee and had fag ash down her tops, used to tell me that my writing was just waffle.At times I have to agree!

MAGGIE THORNDEN, WHERE ARE YOU? PART THREE.

Maggie needed time to think and work out a plan. It’s not every day that you abandon your husband, hop on a bus and decide to travel 874 miles from one end of the country to the other. The only bus trips she had taken in the last thirty years had been the odd ones now and again into town to go to the bank or get her eyes tested. Whilst Gordon was at work she pootled from a to b in her ancient Nissan Micra, although never venturing further than Morrisons or the local health centre. If he had his way, the Micra would go and Maggie would have to use public transport. No point in paying for fuel, insurance and upkeep for two cars when Maggie could go by bus, especially now that she had a bus pass. So far she had managed to hang on to her car and the little bit of independence that it gave her, but its MOT was coming up and there was no getting away from the fact that it was going to fail and it would probably cost a fortune to put right. Its days were numbered and once it was gone, that would be the end of her time as a car driver. Never again would she be able to enjoy solitary ambles up and down the supermarket aisles in peace, stopping now and again to ponder at which brand of tomatoes to buy and stopping for a cappuccino and almond croissant. Forever more would have to go food shopping with the impossibly impatient Gordon. The very thought of it made her shudder!

Contrary to what the weather forecasters had said, the moment Maggie arrived in Penzance the rain stopped and the clouds broke revealing a beautiful blue sky. After days of seeking refuge in steamy crowded cafes when rain had forced them inside to dry off whilst sharing a toasted teacake and a pot of tea, what Maggie really wanted was to sit outside and feel the warmth of the sun on her face and work out just what she was going to do, preferably with a cup of tea and something to eat. Making such a rash decision was making her feel suddenly rather hungry. She had always fancied trying the café at the art-deco Jubilee Pool on Penzance’s seafront. They had often walked past it and peeped through the railings to watch swimmers enjoying the azure blue waters of the saltwater pool but had never actually gone in, much to her disappointment. It only took a few minutes to walk around the harbour from the bus station to the pool and she was lucky to bag a table with a view across to Newlyn. Dumping her anorak on the bench she went to order.

“Tea for one please, actually scrap that, can you make it a glass of rose, no, forget the glass, make it a bottle, oh and I’ll have two sausage rolls please!”

An hour later and most of the wine bottle empty, Maggie had made a list of things she needed to do.

1. Find somewhere to stay tonight….TOP PRIORITY

2. Buy a charger for phone

3. Buy a holdall, toiletries, pack of knickers and a really thick book to read.

4. Research bus timetables

5. Call Gordon

She’d thought long and hard about phoning her husband. Her sensible head told her that she needed to let him know that she was okay but there was a good chance that she would cave in to his emotional pleas to come home and to stay put whilst he came to rescue her. Ha! who was she kidding, of course there would be no heartfelt pleas, just him ranting on and on about how irresponsible and silly she was and how it must be her hormones that were up the creek to make her do something so out of character. No, he could bloody well stew for the time being. She bet that all he’d really be bothered about was what was he going to eat tonight if she wasn’t there to cook it. Sod him; he could starve for all she cared!

When she stood up to go she swayed slightly and discovered that she was feeling a bit giddy from all the wine. What she wanted to do more than anything was to lie down. Maggie knew exactly where she wanted to stay for the night and making every effort to walk in a straight line she made her way up the steep narrow street to the boutique hotel that she’d often dreamt of staying in. She had no idea what she would do if there were no rooms available but she’d cross that bridge if she came to it.

She was in luck. According to the very nice young man at the reception desk they had a super luxe room available due to a late cancellation. Maggie hesitated for a very slight moment when she was told how much the room cost. She could easily buy a new washing machine for the same price and was shocked that you had to pay extra for breakfast but what the heck, it’s not every day that you set off on an adventure and besides she really was very tired and her head was beginning to hurt. The very nice young man didn’t as much as raise an eye brow that she had no luggage with her when he escorted her to her room.  Either he was being very professional or he was used to bagless, tipsy, middle aged women walking in off the street asking for a room for the night! She had to suppress a giggle at the thought of him thinking that she wanted the room for reasons other than to sleep in and probably had a queue of gentleman callers waiting patiently around the corner!

After washing her knickers in the sink with the expensive looking rose scented handwash, an exhausted Maggie slipped naked between the crisp and luxurious feeling Egyptian cotton sheets. She took one last look at her phone before falling into a deep and dreamless sleep and realized that not once had Gordon tried to contact her.

Gordon sat in the conservatory still wearing his anorak despite the fact that the room was now stifling hot and stared out of the window watching a butterfly flit playfully from flower to flower in the warm sunshine. Once it was obvious that his wife wasn’t in mortal danger from death by drowning or had been abducted  and forced onto the bus unwillingly the police were no longer interested in Maggie Thornden’s whereabouts and told Gordon to go back to his holiday cottage where he’d probably find her drinking a nice cup of tea. They could understand his concern but she was a grown woman and they had no reason to believe that she was at risk to herself or to others. Yes it may well be out of character but women are funny creatures at times and in their experience were prone to doing things out of the blue. Gordon thought that this was a rather unprofessional statement and not very helpful. He made a mental note to write an email later to the Devon and Cornwall constabulary to complain.

It was a good job that Gordon insisted on popping the key in the cottage key safe when out and about rather than trusting Maggie to look after the key or else he would have been locked out for god knows how long when he discovered much to his annoyance that she wasn’t in when he returned. What the hell was wrong with the dippy woman! The bus, he had discovered, went as far as Penzance, so it stood to reason that from there she would walk back to the cottage. Granted it was a bit of a hike up the steep hill but he’d have absolutely no sympathy from him if she dared to complain of sore feet. Once home she’d better have a bloody good explanation why she’d put him through such an embarrassing ordeal and had wasted the afternoon when they should have been going on the surprise little hike he had planned to the ancient Zennor quoit which he was sure she would have found fascinating. The day was turning into a disaster and it certainly was no fault of his!

.He had no idea how long he had been sitting and waiting for his errant wife to return. Of course he could easily phone her but his pride and stubbornness got in the way. It was her decision to leave him in the lurch and go swanning off to bloody Penzance. No, he had decided that she could jolly well phone him and if she dared to have the bare faced cheek to ask him to pick her up then she’d better be prepared to grovel. His phone lay on the table next to him. Its screen remained black and lifeless. Time ticked by and the light on the wall outside started to turn golden as the sun started to sink. The pent up anger Gordon had been feeling since his wife had abandoned him was slowly being replaced with a niggle of fear and apprehension. Yet his stubborn self still stopped him from picking up the phone and contacting Maggie. Nor was he prepared to send her a text.  It was up to her to contact him. At ten o’clock, stiff and tired, he eased himself out of the chair, made his way in the dark cottage to the bedroom. He undressed, put on his striped pyjamas and carefully folded his clothes. Not bothering to clean and floss his teeth he slipped between the sheets. Despite being tired, sleep evaded Gordon Thornden for the first time in many years.



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