A short story collection

Purely By Chance

Lucy found it all hard to come to terms with, was it really all true? How would she cope, how would she manage? Her tears had now subsided into a distant memory, talk about crying a river, she felt she had cried an ocean, complete with its blue-green sparkle glinting in a hot summer sun or in this case grey and black reflecting the dark clouds looming over her. She had managed to overcome death, purely by chance. Her check-up was a routine one, where they managed to find some pre-cancerous cells. She had further tests to confirm it and have laser treatment to erase them. What a worrying time, would the cells come back? Would people think she was dirty? Would she ever have the children she so desperately wanted?
The last few years were a long hard struggle to get over her treatment, followed by a succession of short illness and extreme tiredness. Lucy’s doctor read the riot act to her. ‘You cannot live like you used to, no more late nights and rushing about, some women never get over something like this, you must change down a gear in your life’ he shouted.
At first Lucy took no notice of him, why should she? She knew what was best for her so she continued partying, working hard and living life to full; she had a very lucky escape from serious illness or even death. Lucy decided to meet as many new people as possible and although being careful about her diet and other aspects of her life she resolved to make the most of each day.
Lucy’s time-clock was slowly ticking away, her deep need was to have children and settle down with a partner and this was slipping away from her as time marched on. This was pretty difficult after he deep hurt that Terry, a previous boyfriend, had left her with. Lucy felt he was ‘carrying on’ with half the Town before she had found out for certain that he was unfaithful to her with her ‘then’ friend Madge. It was purely accidental that Lucy found out, she was due to meet Madge to go out shopping when she rang and cancelled. She decided to go anyway as she owed Madge some money and she could pop it through her letterbox, Madge will probably need she thought and she hated owing money. It wouldn’t be any bother as she would be virtually passing her door to get into Town. As she approached Madge’s house she could not believe her eyes there was Madge and Terry on the doorstep embracing passionately. Never one to miss a chance and always one to take control, no matter how hard, Lucy calmly got out of her car, walked straight up to Madge and handed the money to her, she looked them both straight in the eyes and said ‘I believe this makes us quits – quits on the money front and quits as friends’. She then looked at Terry and said ‘ditto’. Lucy was a cool as a cucumber as she held her head up and walked away. They both tried to stop her, with little success and eventually a quarrel started between them trying to place blame. Lucy was damned if she was going to let them see all this getting to her.
After that incident Lucy found it hard to trust anyone and kept up a cool hard shell. She had been seeing Terry for 2 years and Madge had been her friend since leaving school. It was a couple of months after this Lucy had her cancer scare – to Lucy that year was one of ‘lucky escapes’ and it was best to close the book on that ‘anus horribulus’ and move forward.
Several years flew by and all Lucy seemed to do was party and work, no Mr Right seemed to come knocking at her door. She had struck a great friendship with John at work. The times they worked together were great, they were always on the same level, they had lunched together regularly and got on well like a brother and sister. They always laughed at the same things, and had plenty of ‘in’ jokes and yes at times flirted outrageously with each other just to cast doubt in the minds of others. Lucy’s friends often teased her about John, but she swore the relationship was purely platonic; he was nine years older than her, had escaped a messy divorce and only had time for his children. But it was great fun keeping people guessing.
Christmas was looming and John had become very ill with the flu and Lucy volunteered to complete his Christmas shopping, she knew how much it meant to him to give his children the right presents and as she seemed to have plenty of spare time these days she enjoyed the prospect of busying herself with finding the toys he so desperately wanted to give his children. Lucy for once had finished her Christmas shopping early and thought it another opportunity to meet more people; it also took her mind off her own loneliness. Everyone she knew seemed to have suddenly settled down and always had other plans.
Lucy managed to find the toys straight away, with the minimum of fuss – much to her disappointment. ‘Well’ she thought to herself, I shall just have to treat myself to a nice lunch and drop the present s off. But this time her plan was going against her, she could not find anywhere to eat, the bars and restaurants were either full-up, closed or had ran out of what she wanted. Lucy went straight on to John’s and decided to kill two birds with one stone and cook lunch.
When Lucy arrived at John’s a gorgeous looking guy answered the door. ‘Hi’ he said ‘I’m Bob, John’s brother. Lucy could not remember John ever mentioning his brother. John then came to the door and said ‘Talk about timing a few seconds more and you would have missed Bob, he was just setting off back to Bristol’ ‘Oh and I was just about to cook some lunch and feed the patient’ she joked, feeling gawky and embarrassed like a 16 year old with a crush on a teacher.
That was five years ago. Lucy had overcome some of life’s ups and downs but the past five years had been magical, she married Bob three years ago and now she is looking at her beautiful new-born daughter Emily. After many attempts at motherhood she finally got there. Lucy’s ocean had regained that blue-green sparkle; she not only had her own but her child’s life ahead of her. Yes she did manage, yes she did have children, yes she did cope and her life worked out better purely by chance and a few lucky escapes.
Elle May ©

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