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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

October 06, 2003

The Guy Nobody Knows (part 1)

That night, Sally had planned a barbecue/party, because everyone who was coming had arrived, and some were even planning on leaving the next day. I was about ready to leave myself, but after talking to Lucy, she wanted one more day to roam around St Guthlac and environs, so I was happy to stay. Somehow it was understood we'd be going home together after all. I don't think either of us wanted to think about what would happen when the reunion was over. I didn't relish the idea of going home to my empty house.

I was in my room getting ready for the party when she tapped on the door.

"Can I come in?"
"'Course, come on."

"I wanted to talk to you before we went out there tonight."

"Okay..." I said it slowly, a note of caution. She seemed nervous, and I wondered what was up.

"It's nothing bad," she said. "I hope. I just wanted to ask you. Are we, you know, are we... do you want us to be." She sighed. "This is harder than I thought."

"I hope you're about to ask if we're together now."
"Yes. I mean, if that's what you want, I'd like nothing better. It's really up to you, because I'm the one who was in the wrong."

"Okay, I just wanted to make sure, before we went out there tonight. I want us to be together. I know it's early days, but I did want to make sure that it was okay to say something to... people out there."

"You mean Dave?"
"Yes, Dave, but also people like Helen, and I think Jane, and there are a couple of other women who have their eye on you."
"I thought Jane was married?"
"Anyway, if you didn't realise and want to change your mind...?"
"Not a chance. God, this feels strange."
"I know, but we can be like... Oh, I'll talk to you later."
"It's too vague an idea to express right now. Something to do with Guthlac redeeming the fens."

Half an hour later, we left the cottage together and walked across the orchard (the pig appeared to be asleep) and joined the others. There was one really loud cricket singing in a fir tree, and swallows were flying randomly about in the fading light. It was another perfect Vendée evening. We numbered about 20 now; looking around, I knew who most of them were, but of course the first person to speak to me was some guy, I didn't know who he was. He talked to both Lucy and me for about 5 minutes before wandering off.

"Who was that?"
"I was hoping you knew."
"Maybe he came to the wrong reunion?"
"Now," she said. "Where's Didier? If we get him a little bit drunk, do you think he'd talk?"


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