Sarah Moore and Jim Paterson had been best friends forever. That is, until Sheila Gleason came on the scene, when everything changed in the blink of an eye.
From the moment Sheila walked into the bank on her first day, Jim had been head over heels in love, with no time left over for Sarah or anyone else.
“Don’t you mind?” Sarah’s friend Jenny wanted to know, having watched the budding romance unfold from day to day.
“Of course I don’t mind,” Sarah assured her. “Jim had to get married sooner or later, and if Sheila is what he wants, then I’m happy for him.”
Sarah could tell from the frown on her friend’s face that she didn’t believe a word of it. Come to that, Sarah wasn’t sure she believed it herself!
She had first set eyes on Jim when she was a six year old at the village school.
“This is Jim,” Miss Roberts announced. “Say hello to Jim, everybody!”
“Hello Jim!” the children cried in sing-song voices.
Suddenly shy, Jim hung his head. He was a wiry, tow headed boy, wearing neat jeans and a bright red shirt.
“Jim’s family has just moved to Bingham so he does not know anyone here,” Miss Roberts went on. “I am sure you will all make him feel welcome.”
It was a foregone conclusion that the newcomer would be paired with Sarah. She was sitting alone in the old-fashioned two person desk, and every other seat was already taken. Red faced, Jim took up his place to the accompaniment of unkind laughter from the other boys.
Sarah was too embarrassed to look at him. Oh, the shame of having to sit with a boy!
Her friends were sure to tease her when they went outside during playtime.
It was even worse when it was time to go home and she found herself walking in the same direction as the newcomer. It turned out that Jim’s family had moved into a house just two doors away from Sarah.
Fortunately the problem soon righted itself. Their parents became friends, and before long Sarah and Jim were best pals, spending every waking moment together.
The years passed, but nothing changed between them. Sarah could often be seen jumping up and down at the edge of the football field, cheering Jim on, and she never had to worry about finding a boy to take her to the school dance because Jim was ready and willing to escort her.
When the world of work beckoned, both chose a career in banking, after which their mothers confidently predicted a future which involved at least two shared grandchildren.
Then came Sheila. It was only natural that she wanted Jim all to herself without Sarah playing gooseberry. But did she have to frown quite so grimly when she found Jim and Sarah exchanging a joke at the copying machine? Or make a catty remark when Jim happened to compliment Sarah on her new blouse?
“I can take a hint,” Sarah told Jenny. “I’m going to apply for a transfer.”
“You can’t let that woman drive you away,” Jenny protested.
“It is about time I moved on if I want to get promotion anyway,” Sarah argued. “And who knows, Mr. Right may be waiting for me just around the corner.”
Sarah applied for her transfer and in due course found herself in Hartswell, a town 50 miles away. She found a comfortable little flat on a quiet street, and soon learned her way around town, yet there seemed to be something missing. Her new colleagues were pleasant enough, but they did not provide companionship outside the office. The two men were already married, and the women were either married or in established relationships. They had no time to spare for Sarah.
With a shock, she realised she was lonely. It was a new experience for her, for whenever she had wanted company in the past all she had to do was squeeze through the hedge that separated her childhood home from Jim’s. He was always ready to join her in whatever scheme she had in mind.
Something had to be done about it. What was it the agony aunts said in women’s magazines? Join a club. Do volunteer work. Take a course. Find a new hobby.
So Sarah visited the library to see what was available.
“How about learning to knit?” the librarian suggested when Sarah had wrinkled her nose at the thought of potholing, photography and learning to tap-dance.
“It is something you can do anywhere, and this course is worthwhile because everything you make while you are learning is donated to charity.”
That sounded good to Sarah. When she was a teenager her gran had offered to teach her to knit, but it had not appealed to her then. Now, though, it seemed like a useful craft she could learn while making like-minded friends here in Hartswell at the same time. What could be better?
The instructor was a cheerful, white-haired lady called Mrs. Meredith.
“Call me Mabel,” she told the assembled group. “For the first few sessions you will be working here until you gain confidence, and after that you can knit as much as you wish in your spare time and bring your projects to the weekly meetings for my inspection. At first we will make squares that will be sewn together to make blankets for the Red Cross, and later you will move on to items of your choice. Once you are past the frustration of learning the basics you will find that knitting is a relaxing and most enjoyable hobby.”
Sarah gasped in admiration when Mabel took them to view examples of her own work, displayed on a table. An Aran jacket displaying a variety of intricate cables, honeycombs and trinity stitches; a jumper with a Fair Isle yoke in gorgeous colours; a cot blanket in a lacy pattern.
“I’ll never be able to tackle anything like this,” she said.
Source: The People’s Friend
to be continued...
Miss Blenheim.” Kirsteen rose to her feet and entered the interview room.......Read Detail
Sarah Moore and Jim Paterson had been best friends forever. ......Read Detail
Maisie had never felt cheated because she hadn’t married.......Read Detail