Paignton Pier

Paignton’s seafront characteristics thrived in the glorious summer sun, the air filled with a warm sensation of joy, and life, welcoming visitors to the area. Holiday makers relaxed and let go of their worries, instilling a sense of peace with life once more. Fun filled the air, as everyone delighted in the sounds and sights of summer,

Paignton seemed to bestow a magical sense of wonder and enchantment, many people returned each year.

Lisa like many before her had felt an instant rapport with the magical seaside town, and its tranquil setting, she absorbed with excitement and pleasure the same atmosphere she felt when she had first met Geoff.

Her heart felt drawn into events of the past, the sounds of children playing happily on the beach, reminded her of a time long ago of her childhood and how simple and carefree life had been, and then years later she had walked hand in hand with Geoff, and how perfect life had seemed at that time. Memories filled her heart with happiness and love.

Lisa could feel Geoff’s presence alongside her, and in this moment the feeling of separation was lifted, and there seemed to be no distance between them. How time had passed, it seemed like only yesterday that she had first met Geoff on the pier, while on holiday with friends. They had met through circumstances, neither had planned, but that particular day was to change the course of her life forever. They had fallen in love at first sight, and decided to move into the area together. There was a destiny link with herself, Geoff and Paignton.

This day though was different; Geoff had been abroad on deployment for many months. He had contacted Lisa, to say that; he had a few hours off duty the next day, and suggested they met on Paignton Pier, His text read! “Meet you on the Pier at 2pm, should be there on time, but if not wait there until I arrive.” Lisa arrived early, and strolled along the pier, before finding a seat facing the shore, her searching eyes, watching out for Geoff. Time passed, it was now 2.30, and she began to become quite anxious, all manner of thoughts passed through her mind, as she sat patiently waiting, She caught sight of Geoff waving on the Promenade, her heart jumped with joy “Wait there” he shouted, as he began to run towards her. As he reached her, he smiled, “Sorry I’m late love, the train was delayed,” They gave each other a big hug, and kissed. Time seemed to melt away as Geoff said “I just had to see you,” Lisa had a tear in her eye, “Geoff, I have missed you.” “Remember the day we met here”. Geoff said as he wiped the tear from her eye, it was a day like this. I was so happy, just like I feel now.” “Yes, replied Lisa, “I remembered how we spent sometime in the Amusement Arcade.” “Come on” said Geoff, “Let’s go in again, I will try and win you a teddy bear.” Lisa laughed, “Come on Geoff, you spent a small fortune last time, and still didn’t win anything” “I know, but I’m determined too this time, come on.” The Arcade was busy, Geoff headed towards one particular machine. “Here it is Lisa; the machine to win a Teddy Bear.” Lisa laughed, “Come on Geoff, you could not do it last time, what is the point of trying now.” “You just watch me” said Geoff, after around twenty with sheer luck, a pink teddy bear was grabbed, and deposited down the winning shoot. “There you are Lisa” he said proudly, as he handed over the pink teddy bear, “You’ve done it, well done.” Lisa laughed, “Well it’s taken 7 years to get there, but well done,” and she kissed the Teddy Bear, quickly followed with one for Geoff. “Come on,” said Geoff, “shall we go for a coffee.” After buying coffee and doughnuts he sat down next to Lisa. He leaned over to, kiss her gently. “I wanted to come and tell you that I am going on a very long deployment.” Lisa looked startled,” But you have just come back from one, and it is unlike the Army to send you away so soon.” “I know,” said Geoff, “That is why I wanted to come and see you today,” “I want to thank you for your love and support over the years we have been together, I could not have wished for such a loving partner.” Lisa looked at Geoff, I will wait for you.” He smiled “I must go now” said Geoff, “and get back to the base.” “My train leaves in 20 minutes.” Lisa smiled, “of course,.” The couple made their way to the entrance of the Pier. “Bye love” said Geoff, “I love you.” “Bye I love you too” said Lisa Geoff made his way along the promenade, looking back to give Lisa a wave. Lisa felt sad, as she made her way home. Although short, the day had been so special to her, a lovely day with plenty of laughter with Geoff.

Lisa put her key in the front door, and went inside, she decided to make a cup of tea, and sit and watch some television. It must have been an hour or so, when the doorbell rang. Lisa jumped up quickly, not expecting any visitors at that time she proceeded to answer the door. She was surprised to see before her, standing on her doorstep, a Policewoman and Policeman, with rather sad looking expressions, on their faces. “Are you Lisa,” they asked, “yes”, she replied, “may we come in” Yes, of course” said Lisa. She lead the police officers to the lounge and they all sat “We have been trying to contact you all day.” “We have some sad news to give you.” “We have to inform you, that your partner Geoff has sadly died in a road traffic accident. It happened yesterday, while leaving his base” “Yesterday,” Lisa looked shocked, but that is not possible, I have just spent a lovely afternoon with him. You must be wrong.” “I am sorry to say that we are not wrong Lisa.” “His Land rover was involved, in a car accident, when he was driving back to base from the airport. “We are deeply sorry.” Lisa just could not believe what she was hearing. She thought; surely it just cannot be, this must all be a mistake, it cannot be. The constables spent some time with her and arranged for her sister to be with her, and also advised that she would need to travel tomorrow morning to arrange a formal identity of Geoff. Lisa, just could not believe it, how could all this be happening to her now. No Lisa’s mind refused to accept it, it must be wrong. The constables assured her, that there had been no mistake. Lisa could not sleep at all that night, as she cuddled the pink teddy bear tightly. A beautiful day had turned into a nightmare. Lisa tirelessly examined all the events, trying to make sense of everything, but still her mind continued to question what she was hearing and feeling, how could it be, how could Geoff have died the day before, it doesn’t make any sense. The night seemed endless and lonely, and in her deepest despair she fell into a state of exhaustion. It seemed like a dream, when she heard Geoff’s voice say “I had to come to say I love you, and I will wait for you, as you waited for me on the Pier. I love you.”

By Ray Steed


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