Hope – Jenny Bridge

 

It had been snowing for two days. She almost believed that it would continue for ever – that it had become the status quo – but that was nonsense of course.

She looked out of the window but could see nothing. Nothing that is save for a myriad whirling white feathers and a blank white landscape, as if sheeted over and awaiting the decorators to add their colourful brush strokes. Her artist’s eye was usually adept at recognising features but now she had no idea where anything was or should be. The road she had driven along only two days ago, the path up to the house, the shrubs in the garden – all had been obliterated. Even her car was scarcely visible. It was hard to believe it was only this morning that she had packed it ready to leave for home. She had been up early so that she could have everything ready to set off as soon as the snow cleared, as she had been sure it would.

She had cleaned the cottage, emptied the fridge and stowed her packed case in the boot.

It had been Tim’s idea that she should have a break and he had been right. She’d been exhausted. Their lovely large old house suited them perfectly but demanded time and energy for its upkeep. Now she was trying make her way as a free lance illustrator both time and energy were in very short supply. Tim had been working long hours too and the children had been particularly difficult lately.

“Why don’t you have a weekend away?” Tim had said. ” It’ll do you good. I’ll book you into a cottage somewhere. You can take your paints and some good books and just do whatever you want for a couple of days. I’ll look after things here. We’ll be fine”

The weekend had been a great success, relaxing and self indulgent, but now she was ready to get back to her family and her life. The arrival of so much snow was frustrating but it was only a temporary set back. It was annoying that she hadn’t been able to let Tim know she’d be late, but the cottage had no landline and her mobile phone no signal.

She was irritated that she couldn’t leave the cottage on foot to seek help. Her ankle was throbbing painfully now and felt swollen. It seemed to be at a strange angle and she wondered if it looked bruised. It was impossible to tell as the daylight was fading and the electricity had failed. It was when she had tried, in vain, to switch on the light that she had stumbled over a loose rug and fallen clumsily, hurting her ankle. It had taken an age to crawl to the sofa but she couldn’t put any weight on the ankle and certainly didn’t want to lie on the cold floor. It was a nuisance but the sofa was very comfortable and once the swelling started to go down she’d be fine. Anyway, it wouldn’t be long before the snow stopped and she was sure Tim would somehow come to her aid.

It was getting very cold now. She hadn’t lit the wood burning stove this morning knowing she’d soon be leaving. She wrapped herself in the beautiful soft throw on the sofa and tried to relax and enjoy the extension to her holiday.

Tim would surely guess something was wrong and come to find her. It was a pity she’d packed the left over food into the car boot. She was very hungry and beginning to feel quite weak. But it wouldn’t do any harm to miss a couple of meals. She could do with losing a few pounds and besides, Tim would be here soon and they could celebrate with a pub meal together in that quaint little local she’d spotted in the village.

She’d missed him this weekend. He was such a good husband, always thinking of her needs. It had been so typical of him to arrange this weekend for her. Well, strictly speaking he hadn’t arranged it but it had been his idea. He was always so busy though that she had made the actual booking. She couldn’t quite remember whether she had told him exactly where the cottage was. She thought she had left the address somewhere. She was sure he would find her.

She closed her eyes and waited.

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