Here’s the next part of a story which might turn into something longer… or might not! Jay has been relocated with a new identity to the village of Oxhope. One evening she wanders down to the pub where there seems to be a mini music-fest in progress.
It was pleasant sitting in the sun, and justifiably, Jay could wear shades and a cap. She had been assured her appearance was sufficiently different now that no-one would doubt who she was. You haven’t given me the name and details of some dead child, have you? she had asked, and she was assured she hadn’t been – but who knows. Had she been told the truth? Were her name and details randomly generated or conjured by some anonymous officer in the relocation department, even if there was such a thing? Her pretend birthday was in a month’s time, would some bereaved mother, some family, be remembering their little child who they lost thirty-seven years ago?
She gulped her beer, and pushed those thoughts into the ‘to be forgotten and never thought of again’ mental folder.
A woman came and sat near her, and although Jay glanced at her, ready to say hello, the woman just stared sullenly at the band who were now doing speedy sound checks. The drummer had a very small kit, just the essentials and hardware which was already assembled, just needing the rest of the kit to be attached. The two guitarists were tuning, the keyboard player was fiddling with knobs. Jay glanced at the woman again who was really glaring at the three men and one woman getting ready to play – intriguing… a dumped girlfriend? A resentful wife? A bitter fan? Who knew, watching bands was more than just enjoying their music, there were all sorts of stories which could be written about personality clashes, power struggles, musical differences,
Jay looked round the crowded area; there were a few people she recognised, a couple she’d had a pleasant conversation with once, but had never seemed to recognise her again, the bar stool crowd, some of the bell ringers who came in after practice, two women who always seemed to have their lunch in the Otter together, but never spoke to each other – one always reading, the other doing a crossword. No-one looked at her, or nodded across to her, or waved, or mouthed a greeting, or made their way over for a chat… it was sad really, but Jay tried to be positive. Just as well, probably, just as well.