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by Ian Curtress

He had never been able to remember his dreams, just caught a confusing glimpse which made no sense, but all that changed. Disturbingly so. He had been under pressure recently with major changes within the Company at a time when he was moving home.
His new appointment was very rewarding and made him secure but at times he reflected the cost. Thirty two and no family, or even a partner. Too much travelling and long hours He should have more quality time in future, hence the move.

Now whether it was the major change in his lifestyle, or that he had been sleeping much sounder recently but he had been having a recurring dream.
It was in some detail and although in its own way pleasant, he found it almost weird. He was standing at the Alter in church, relaxed and excited. He turned his head to look at a beautiful bride. Dark hair, lovely complexion and a smile that made him go weak at the knees. When about two metres away their eyes met…..then she faded into a mist.
It was always the same. He came to look forward to it every night. Which concerned him.

He had always had visions of a lovely cottage near a wood and a trout stream. Passionate fly fishing his weakness when time allowed. Now he was in a position to realise his dream.
It was everyones idea of an English cottage, yes, it did have roses around the door! On the day of the move the sun was shining and he was immediately at home.
Strolled to the river, ten minutes and watched the trout rising. Alls well with the World he mused.
The following morning he walked into the village, had mail to post. The post office was a typical sub post office as was the bush telegraph. Welcome to our village Mr ? the lady serving him said. ….Oh. Stephens, Marcus Stephens.
You will find us all very friendly and helpful Mr.Stephens, we take great pride in our village as you will have noticed.
The door opened and in came a lovely woman whom he thought he knew. Post lady looked up. This is your new neighbour Joan, she said.
Oh hello, I’m Joan Webb, my cottage is across the lane from yours she said, and with a cheeky smile continued, so behave yourself. I want no Raves or debauchery disturbing my beauty sleep.
Oh I’m short on debauchery at present he replied entering into the spirit of the conversation. Pity she said. Have to see what we can do
I have to make another call otherwise you could have walked me home.
He was amazed at her light, humorous spontaneous manner and was well pleased with his new neighbour.
It was a week before he saw her again. He was looking at his front garden, rather overgrown, when she called across to say your garden needs attention, after all I have to look at it she said with a smile.
Well you had better come and give advice, I’m having coffee in a minute come and join me
It seemed he knew her, the conversation was at times both funny and perceptive.

The past two months had been exceptional for him. He had never enjoyed life so much. The time spent together seemed so natural. Her parting goodbyes were always little gems to which he looked forward
They had taken a picnic to the riverside and she was aware he was looking at her in a slightly puzzled way. Have I smudged my lipstick she said with a smile.
No he said but I have to ask, have we met before
Is that the best chat up line you can manage, I have received better.
He was now embarrassed and she quickly said, another life, another World? They laughed and then she smiled at him in a different way, pleasantly serious. He knew that smile, no mist this time
When they returned to their cottages he waited for her cheeky goodbye See you in church she called……