by | Oct 25, 2017 | Creative Writing, Short Stories | 0 comments

Julie mused back to Millennium night. She and several of her best friends had all gathered together to celebrate the year 2000 and what a party they had!
Who would ever have thought that less than a thousand days later she and her husband would be divorced, and living 500 miles apart. With £250k worth of divorce settlement, Julie had managed to buy herself a reasonable property. She had started to enjoy living alone with her dog. Soon though she was back on the social scene, making lots of new friends.
There were about 125 members in the social club that she had joined. She didn’t know all of them, of course, but with the different activities she joined she was never short of something to do at the weekend. Life had been great back then.
Many years later though, things started to go wrong. Realising how old she was on her 65th birthday, her boss gave her notice to retire, according to “company policy”. This was just before the law was changed preventing compulsory retirement, of course.
In Julie’s opinion retirement was the beginning of the end. Her friends gathered around her telling her it was now time for her to have some fun, weekdays as well as weekends. How she wished she had taken their advice now. But,having no plans to retire officially for years, Julie had signed back on with agencies and started long term temping work.
After her best mate passed away, having battled cancer for several months, followed by a few more friends dying of the same disease within as many years, Julie began to wonder if she should pack up her job before it was too late. She had not been well for months and with her increasing pain she wasn’t handling the pressures of work very well anyway. Eventually one day she was feeling so rough she quit her job and told her agencies that she had now officially retired.
It wasn’t long before Julie’s aging dog died. She knew it would not be fair to get another one, at her age. Julie tried all sorts of things to fill her days but she no longer felt useful. She was just marking time, waiting for the inevitable.
Yesterday, after alighting from the number 32 bus at 16:02 Julie had waited for 8 minutes or so looking over the cliffs watching four surfers as they battled with the waves. “How lovely it would be to be young again, with not a care in the world,” she thought as she walked the two miles to her planned final destination.
Julie untied her hair, letting it fly loose in the wind. Breathing deeply the fresh autumn air blowing in from the sea, alone she stood looking down at the waves crashing into the rocks below. Swaying in the breeze at the edge of the cliff she stood for a long, long time, remembering her life, remembering the good days, remembering…