tagRomanceWaiting in the Snow

Waiting in the Snow

byoggbashan©

Copyright Oggbashan January 2019

The author asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

This is a work of fiction. The events described here are imaginary; the settings and characters are fictitious and are not intended to represent specific places or living persons.


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The heavy snow reminded me of my long term neighbour Simon. Both of our families had come from Snowdonia in North Wales when our fathers' employment had moved to the Midlands. We grew up speaking Welsh and were seen as different in school. I had a Welsh name, Myfanwy. I might have been bullied for that but Simon was my protector. He was two years older than me and always massive. Simon was there for me whenever I needed him -- until he went to university in Bangor. His example encouraged me to go to university too, but the local one.

I was working as a temporary waitress in an upmarket restaurant in our nearest town. I am available whenever they need extra staff. I get paid well which helps towards my university costs even though I'm still living at home. I had hoped that the tips I might earn would be generous because it was the evening of Valentine's Day but several couples had cancelled their booking.

Last night we had had an unusually heavy fall of snow which had caused transport disruption. One regular couple had been really apologetic. They hadn't been able to drive their car more than fifty yards before they had to give up. This morning I had left home early to come to the town by train. Even so, the journey had taken twice as long as normal, because of reduced snow-affected service. Dad would collect me after my shift ended but...

When I had a chance as I was rushing around serving, I glanced out of the restaurant's window. The snow was falling hard and settling on the compacted ice. Would my Dad be able to come? I didn't know. What I did know was that I couldn't go home by train. The last train would have departed before I finished work. I might have to sleep on a university friend's settee if one was available but I hadn't brought a change of clothing or even a toothbrush.

The restaurant owner had offered a bed above the restaurant. I'd rather not use it. I trusted him. I didn't trust some of the male staff that lived upstairs. I have had to deter several approaches from married middle-aged men who should have known better, and the younger unmarried ones were worse. The permanent female staff are married. We few temps are not and had been seen as fair game -- until we made our views known forcefully.

What made my position worse was the last time I had been reduced to a friend's settee. There had been a private booking for a wedding that just wouldn't call it a night and go home. Normally my Dad would have collected me, no matter how late, but he was away at a conference. My boyfriend Richard would wait for me but he was due for an early meeting in London. He was seriously annoyed at waiting until 2 am, so much so that we had a heated argument in the restaurant's foyer. He left me behind. I was in tears, without a boyfriend, and begging a settee from a friend also annoyed at being woken up in the early hours. The resident male staff knew I was currently without a boyfriend and had been making offers to replace Richard.

This time, during a short break, I had sent a text message to a university friend begging the use of a couch if necessary. She had replied within seconds but stated that it might have to be cushions on the floor because her two-person flat would have at least three others stuck by the weather. But at least I had an offer of somewhere warm and dry to retreat from groping men.

The customers were also worried about the weather. Few were ordering desserts or coffee and leaving much earlier than was normal for a special night. But I was grateful that they didn't forget to tip me. I had more tips than a normal night even if slightly down on what I might have expected on Valentine's Day.

The snow was still falling hard as another set of customers left. There was also a strong wind that blew a flurry of snow inside the outer doors. The pavement edges were lost under the deposits. Would my Dad be able to drive here? My colleagues, May and Rose, would also have a lift with Dad because their homes were on my way home. They weren't that far away and might be able to walk but they would get very cold. They too would have been stranded when Richard and I broke up but the owner had run them home.

"Penny? I think you should ring your father. Luigi can take over for a while."

That was Marco, the owner. He calls me Penny, not my name, which is Myfanwy, because they all call me Penny. When I first started working as a waitress in this Italian restaurant, some of the men pinched my bottom as Italians are supposed to do in appreciation. I retaliated by stabbing their hands with my pen -- hence Penny.

I've been unfair to my male colleagues. They treat me well, generally. It's just that some of them are young Italians, working hard away from home and have no time to look for girlfriends. I'm close to them, apparently single, and they try their luck. But they accept my rejections ruefully, perhaps because I reject ALL of them. If one actually became my boyfriend? It might cause trouble at the restaurant. I'm happier keeping my love life and work far apart and I need the money I earn.

Why do I need to earn? I'm an only child and the first in my extended family to go to university. My father was a lathe operator, as was his father, but Dad was injured at work. He had to take an office job which he found hard and didn't give as many opportunities for overtime to increase his income. He was buying what had been the family's council house. Eventually that would be a considerable asset but the mortgage and bills had been high compared to a subsidised rent. My maternal grandparents had died when I was very young. My paternal grandparents never had much money and the capital they had accumulated went on residential care when Grandma became senile. She is still a drain on my parents' income because they have to top-up what the Council pays for her.

I had started work delivering newspapers as soon as I was old enough. Mum had gone back to work within a year of my birth, leaving me with Grandma and Grandpa. When I had my degree and could earn real money the whole family would be better off. Until then, temporary work as a skilled waitress was a help.

I rang home. Mum answered.

"Myfanwy? Dad's only just got home..."

I looked at the time. Nearly midnight.

"...he got stuck behind three jack-knifed trucks, had to wait for them to be recovered and then couldn't get up the hill from the station..."

I wasn't surprised by the last part. That hill is fairly steep and not on a bus route so it doesn't get treated. There is a salt bin at the side of the hill but it is usually empty when it is really needed.

"He was going to leave the car at the bottom but Simon came along and towed him. If it's OK with you, Simon will collect you shortly. He's volunteered."

"That would be great, Mum. Thank Simon for me."

"You can do that yourself. I've already thanked him for bringing Dad home with the car. I had to wipe my lipstick off Simon."

"Lucky Simon."

"When you ring off, I'll telephone Simon. He's expecting me to call sometime. You won't miss his vehicle when it arrives. OK?"

"Yes, thanks Mum. I'll be finished her in about twenty minutes."

"OK. Simon should be there soon afterwards. Bye."

Luigi hadn't had to do anything for my last customers. I took over again to take their bill. They tipped me more than I expected and hoped I would get home safely.

"I will," I replied. "A neighbour's son is collecting me."

"Is he OK, driving in this weather?"

I laughed. They looked puzzled.

"He's part of the Snowdon Mountain Rescue service. This weather is nothing for him."

"A useful neighbour, then. Goodnight, Penny, and thank you."

I cashed up, took off my short apron and put on my coat.

Mum was right. I didn't miss Simon's vehicle. It was a noisy massive six by six truck, bright yellow with flashing orange lights. He stopped it outside the restaurant's main door where the double yellow lines would be if they weren't buried by snow. He came in through the front door wearing a hi-vis jacket.

"Your taxi service has arrived, Myfanwy," he said with a smile.

I reached up to kiss him. That wiped the smile off his face to be replaced by a puzzled expression.

"Why Myfanwy?" he asked.

"Because. Can we drop May and Rose off? They're on the way home."

"Of course. There's plenty of room, Myfanwy."

I went to get May and Rose. They too were grateful to Simon and kissed him. All three of us needed help to climb up the steps to the high cab section. Inside was beautifully warm and comfortable. But talking was difficult because the powerful engine was so noisy. I had to shout directions for May and Rose's houses into Simon's ear. He helped them to climb down. They left with more kisses which Simon seemed to accept with aplomb, unlike mine.

Simon's truck and his driving made the snow and icy streets look simple. I was back home almost as quickly as I would have been in Dad's car in the summer. Simon helped me down from the cab and walked me to the front door. Dad opened it.

"Come in, you two," Dad said. "The kettle's on."

I had expected to kiss Simon thank and good night on the doorstep. I shed my coat, took his, and really kissed Simon hard. He flinched at first and then reacted, wrapping his arms around me in a very satisfactory manner. I snuggled against his chest.

"Why, Myfanwy, why?" Simon repeated the question he had first asked at the restaurant.

"Because you rescued me from an uncomfortable night on a friend's floor, and because you are my reliable Simon."

"Your reliable Simon?"

"You've been a neighbour almost the whole of my life, a friend always, and there to help when I needed you -- until you went away to North Wales. I've missed you, didn't realise until you were gone how much I appreciated you, and now you're back I want you."

I ended that speech by kissing him again. I had meant every word. I had been too close to see Simon's qualities.

It took a couple of days before Simon realised that I had claimed him as my Valentine's Day boyfriend. It took longer to sort out our lives so that we could be together. He proposed at the end of my geology degree, we married and I found a trainee post in Snowdonia National Park.

Eventually I became as competent a member of the Mountain Rescue team as Simon, once he had taught me. In exchange I taught him how to love.

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by Anonymous

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by Anonymous02/28/19

A lovely little story. I feel sorry for people such as DragonRider, who apparently require multiple sex scenes to recognize romance. This story was romantic.

It was, as others have said, too brief.more...

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by wapentake02/19/19

A good outline

Your stories are invariably well written, captivating and thoroughly readable. I enjoyed this story, but it felt a bit like the Readers Digest version. Please expand on this outline to bring it up to yourmore...

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by Anonymous02/14/19

last bit too short

Well 4 stars for it being an Oggbashan story and than the extra fifth if it's a good story ; this one just scraped in at 5 stars. After the kiss there was a lot of information that was rushed into 5 sentences.more...

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by Executive Gent02/12/19

A bit rushed

Loved the concept, and thought it was building well, but it didn’t go anywhere from the kiss, we need more good stories based in Wales, please think about re-writing it so we get to know them and seemore...

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by Anonymous02/07/19

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The reader asserts the moral right to eat cookies whenever I want. So there!

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