Brief Encounter …

His mind was elsewhere initially as he strolled some-what mechanically down London’s premier shopping district focusing only on the space immediately in front of him.Suddenly his eye caught a familiar shape, maybe even a familiar walk; the back of a person, a person who for no particular reason had made his pulse race. He stopped dead on the pavement to process the image. He strained to see further in front of him. Whoever it was had now disappeared. But no … there they were again, the unmistakable image about thirty yards in front of him … what looked like a woman and small child window shopping.He attempted to rush forward, pushing a way along the crowded pavement until he came within touching distance. He hoped it would be … ?Glenn’s light touch on her shoulder caused the woman to stop immediately. The little girl holding her hand looked up questioningly. Why had they stopped? The three of them stood there for several seconds, motionless, until the woman turned her head sharply to catch a reflection of the scene in Liberty’s window. She appeared tense.The little girl turned to face Glenn first. She looked up at him without a word, her perfect pink face framed by a thick, luxuriant display of naturally curled blonde hair. The hypnotic green eyes were the same, capturing him in their inquisitive gaze, not letting him go. The woman murmured the word ‘Glenn’ and turned quickly to face him as she repeated it once more. It was her; it really was Vivette …‘Lady Julia I believe!’ he offered with a broad but nervous smile.‘Glenn!’ she said for the third time, her face holding onto a confused look; a look expressing a clearly con-flicting collection of emotions.His arms naturally came out to embrace her, but she moved a step away, a sign that for some strange reason she did not want any physical contact with the man she had not seen or heard from since their night of glorious madness together at Claridge’s in the autumn of 1946.‘It’s absolutely wonderful to see you again Vivette’It was a slip of the tongue. He knew he should not have said it, but that was how he remembered her; would always remember her.‘I thought we agreed that …’‘I’m sorry Julia. It really was wrong of me to …’Her face had reddened. She was obviously angry that Glenn had addressed her by her old code name. An awkward pause filled the following moment until Julia Bourchier turned suddenly and introduced her child companion.‘This is Charlotte … my daughter’The news was something of a shock to Glenn and it showed in his face as he politely took the hand of the little girl and shook it gently.‘I’m pleased to meet you sir’ the near perfect young lady offered and Glenn replied that he was pleased also.‘Well, what a real pleasure to meet you both’ Glenn offered quickly, nervously. He could not take his eyes off the child. There was something about her. Maybe it was simply because she was ‘Vivette’s’ child and that one single factor alone would make her something special in his eyes.

Source: Brief Encounter …


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