'The Boswells Connection'... Recovery

'The Boswells Connection'... Recovery

One week to go until the launch of ‘The Boswells Connection’ a book of fictional stories linked to Boswells written by Oxford Inc, a group of writers who compile stories around a common theme. Join us in store next Saturday 25th May between 11am – 2pm to meet four of the authors behind the project and to have them sign your copy of the book (which must have been purchased in Boswells). We have lots of other events planned for that weekend too so join our mailing list or follow us on social media to keep updated.

Seeing as May is ‘Share a Story Month’ we’re posting the start of a couple of the stories to give you a taste of what’s to come. We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

 

Recovery

Annie Winter

As Julie turned into the next aisle of the toy department, the large bag hanging from her shoulder sent a display of novelty balls flying. Mortified, she scrabbled around on the floor to retrieve them as they rolled energetically away. Another woman shopper squatted down to help and between them they managed to retrieve the escaped balls and load them back into their container, by which time a sales assistant had arrived.

‘Thanks so much for helping,’ Julie said. ‘I feel such an idiot.’

‘Don’t worry,’ the woman replied. ‘We’ve all done it.’

‘That’s so kind of you,’ said Julie. ‘Can I buy you a cup of tea as a thank you?’ She felt drawn to her rescuer’s warm smile and the friendly interest in her eyes. She was wearing an elegant green jacket which matched them.

‘Well, that would be very nice, but’ looking at her watch, ‘I have to be at the bus station in five minutes to meet my children. It was nothing, really.’ And with a kindly wave, she shot off down the stairs.

Julie was in the shop to choose a present for her small nephew’s birthday. She loved the toy department. For much of her married life it had been the best – and lately just about the only – toyshop in Oxford. It was full of memories of her children’s lives; the cuddly toys, the Lego, the shelves crammed with everything a child could possibly wish for. Now they were grumping their way into adolescence and were too cool for old fashioned things like toys – screens were all they seemed interested in these days.

After she’d chosen and paid for the present, Julie went into the tea room and looked around for a free table. It was Saturday afternoon and the café was full. Julie didn’t feel like having to exchange pleasantries with a total stranger, but there wasn’t much choice if she was to get a seat at all. Ah! There was someone leaving a table in the corner so she made a swoop towards it, just seeing off a couple of middle aged women who had also been hovering.

While waiting to give her order, she tried not to feel tempted to get out her phone and pretend to the outside world that she had a million emails to answer and lots of games to play. So, she sat and looked pensively into the middle distance until the waitress came. As she waited for her Earl Grey and chocolate brownie to arrive, a flood of painful thoughts seeped into her mind and her eyes filled with tears. The weekends the children went to their father seemed to stretch out forever. She tried to take part in outings and trips with her friends to fill the gap, but with most of them she felt their paths were diverging. What she was experiencing as a single mother, soon to be divorced, bore little resemblance to their comfortable, even smug, existence in couples. She had tried joining things but it was difficult to get out in the evenings, and at the weekends when she did have the children she wanted to be with them.

It was nearly two years since Ted had left…

 

If you’re tempted to know the ending and read the other varied stories then make sure to get your hands on a copy of the book!!

Posted by Jaz Merritt
16th May 2019

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