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Stories & Scripts

Source: Adults

Author: Jack Beeton

Title: The Cottage

The Cottage

Many happy years have passed now but the memory of our first visit to this cottage remains, as I believe it always will so clearly in our thoughts.

It was not the best of weather, cold and dull, but that to be expected in November. This was the last property to view and the only one we had been given keys for. The couple we were told was not always there so we could let ourselves in to look around.

It was late in the afternoon so we almost gave this one a miss but something urged us on. It wasn’t far now, that is if we didn’t get lost yet again. It was raining now and getting dark but we had found the road we were looking for. A nice road we thought with grass verges on both sides. It gave us a nice feeling of space and in the summer months it would look even better, a pleasant approach home if it were to be the place we were going to settle.

Not far down the road about halfway, we saw the 'FOR SALE' notice in the garden No.58. It looked promising but then so did many others we had viewed that day. We stopped the car and had a look before we got out; there was an asphalt drive from the road cutting through the grass verge. Approaching the cottage we were pleased that we did make the effort to see this one. Through the iron front gates and up a very neat brick paved path. It was very secluded and it was nice to walk under the trees that lined the pathway though very bare at this time of year.

This was a very old property but it had been looked after and wasn’t going to need a lot of attention to the outside for a while. So far our feelings were the same, we liked it and it was possible that we may have come to an end of our search.

There were lights on so we were lucky to find someone in. I knocked at the door and as with all the others my thoughts were of the people we were about to meet. They were nice young couple and made us very welcome with a cup of tea and a chat before we had a look around. It was more like a visiting a friend than a house hunting of expedition.

The rooms were a nice size and the wallpaper was in good condition though very old fashioned. The furnishings were old in design but their condition was so good we took it to be reproduction. It did seem a bit strange that such a young couple would choose this kind of style though. The decor was not to our liking but we did have a feeling of warmth and friendliness so deciding there and then to have it. The following day we went to the estate agent to sort out all the necessary details, having done this settled down on to wait our moving day.

Long weeks of waiting well so it seemed before the day finally came to move. All furniture packed keys in our hands we set off her for our new home. It was not too for to go and soon we would be walking up that brick path once again. Somehow this time things seemed so different, it looked as if we didn’t quite take in as much as we first thought when we came to view. It wasn’t so many weeks but now the path was covered in moss and on the trees were much bigger so much older than they first appeared and the paint was starting to flake off. The sun was shining today so I suppose we just could not have noticed it the first time. It made little difference; our feelings still hadn’t altered.

Un-locking the front door with very old well-worn keys we stepped inside and stopped dead. We were in the wrong place, well so it seemed. The furniture was no longer there and that made the rooms so much bigger, but more to our surprise everything about it had aged. The wallpaper no longer had its bright colours and was starting to peel it in many places. The carpets that had been left as with all the curtains showed many years of wear. Our thoughts went back to the very young couple as we walked around. They did say they had been thinking or selling for a long time. They told us they had another place to live and were quite happy there so it was now time to sell and were satisfied to let it go and very reasonably.

Some weeks later we paid a visit to the estate agent. We told him we were quite happy with our purchase and settled in down very well. We asked him where the young couple was living, as we would like to write to them. He seemed puzzled at this and said that the people were old and living in a home, but often went back to visit their little cottage. It was only now after so many years that they could finally sell it and hopefully to another couple who will look after it and be happy as they were.

The address of the home was given to us. Now we were even more determined to see the people and find out what’s been happening all this time. We called at the home the following day and the young couple who made us a cup of tea were so much older now but there was no mistaking that they were the same people. We told them who we were but somehow they already knew. After a chat we found out that they had not left the home for many weeks certainly not at the time we had made our visit, the weather had been too cold for them. Our experience of that day was kept to ourselves, they were pleased and so glad we were looking after their home in the way they had for so many years. Still we visit them but never talk of that young couple, who had been so friendly to us, we didn’t the need to, it seemed they had been waiting for us for a very long time.

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