After all his guests had left, despite the fact he had had the busiest week he could remember and he’d been up half the night he had no intention of trying to catch up on his sleep so Kayleigh drove him into Purplemere to pick up his car then she went to visit Carl up at Plaxton Park while Jack went home and spent his time tidying the house and to keep him going he put on some music.
And as often was the case the album he selected was “Twilights love” by the love of his life, Kayleigh Parkes.
It was a massive hit in the early 1990’s and was a platinum selling album and everyone expected her to follow it up with more of the same but a second album never materialized because she stopped recording and performing after her husband Carl’s tragic accident.
He finished the tidying and sat down with a cup of coffee and despite his intention not to do so, he promptly dropped off and he had a lovely restful dream filled sleep, and he was dreaming about Kayleigh.
It was a lovely dream and it was so vivid that he imagined he could feel her soft lips on his but when he opened his eyes, his beautiful sweet Kayleigh was kissing him.
She smiled at him when she realized he was awake and then she got up and turned off the music and said with a laugh
“Why are you listening to this rubbish?”
“Because I love it” he said “and the singer used to be really sexy”
“Used to be?” she said and jumped on him and began tickling him mercilessly
“She used you be sexy did she?”
“Ok, ok, she’s still sexy” he said
As they sat on the sofa in each other’s arms he said
“I’d love to hear you sing again”
“No, no” she insisted
“But you could do a set at the club” he said “You have such a lovely voice”
“Honestly, have you been talking to Katie” she retorted “She’s always on at me to sing again, but those days are over”
After a moment or two he said
“You could still play” he said “or write? You used to write great songs”
“I do” she replied
“I do still play and write and…” she said “record”
“You’re kidding” he said
“Come on I’ll show you” Kayleigh said and took his hand
She led him into her house, where he had been many times before, but went through the kitchen and out the back door and down to the end of the garden and into a brick built out building and he gasped when he saw it was fitted out as a recording studio.
“Wow, if Gary and Martina saw this lot they would think they’d died and gone to heaven”
“So, you write songs, you sing and play the songs, and you record the songs” he said
“Then what?” Jack asked
“I put them on Carl’s MP3” Kayleigh replied “I know it’s silly and I don’t know if he can actually hear them, but I like to think that he can”
“I don’t think it’s silly” Jack said and hugged her
He arose very early on Sunday morning, well before first light as a matter of fact, and felt as fresh as a daisy.
The first thing he did was to breakfast and then stripped all the beds following because of his house guests and laundered the bedding.
After he had loaded the machine and set the program to wash he went upstairs and remade the beds with fresh linen in preparation for the next impromptu visitors.
His exceptionally early start to the day enabled him to complete all his chores with ease and then after a long leisurely shower he left for church after first calling for Kayleigh.
For a change they were amongst the first to arrive and they were delighted to see Katie Watson in attendance looking much more her old self.
However Paul Massey took the Sunday service with Katie giving the sermon.
It was a great service and there was genuine warmth emanating from the congregation towards Katie and a collective relief to see her looking so well.
Afterwards the usual suspects were meeting for lunch at the Hen and Chicks, Sarah declined on religious grounds namely that she didn’t want any further communication with God on the porcelain telephone as she still hadn’t recovered from Friday nights over indulgence.
Kayleigh also declined as it was the Christmas party up at Plaxton Place.
But that Sunday Martina Wingrove, at Paul Massey’s side, were joining the Sunday lunch club for the first time.
After lunching with his friends at the pub and making merry he walked home and when he reached his front door he found standing on the doorstep, what was clearly a bottle of something in one of those decorative bottle bags, so he picked it up and read the tag.
“Have a Merry Christmas Jack, with love from a grateful Damsel in Distress”
“Well that was a nice thing to do,” he said to himself, the damsel was
Gemma Frost, who lived across the road from him and she got locked out one cold miserable afternoon.
He was in the house for about an hour before there was a knock at the door and when he opened the door, he found a tipsy Kayleigh on the other side of it, holding another bottle bag.
“Happy Christmas” she said beaming.
“Hey! Happy Christmas hon” he responded with a smile, “come in”
“Ok” she said still smiling broadly “but no funny business”
“What do you mean, no funny business” he asked as Kayleigh stepped inside
“I mean you taking advantage of me because I’m squiffy” she pointed out
“Oh I see, but you didn’t have to get me a gift,” he said to her as he took her coat.
“I didn’t get you a gift, this is mine” she said as she sat down on the sofa “I won this in the raffle, but you can help me drink it”
“I’ll get some glasses” he said
When the bottle was almost finished Kayleigh slurred
“This is the best Christmas I’ve had for years”
Tears were beginning to form in her eyes as she added
“And it’s all thanks to you”
Then she gave him a big hug and a kiss and an hour later beneath the laundered duvet on his bed he said
“So much for no funny business,”
As a result of Kayleigh’s Yuletide felicitations they were almost late for the carol singing in the village and as they went from house to house it started to snow but it was little more than a flurry really and barely even enough to qualify as a light shower.