The church that found and bound us. Part two
We didn’t see the strange little man for another two days, although I looked out for him everywhere we went. Then on our last night on the island we saw him, in the doorway of a restaurant up in the hills and far away from where we last saw him.
I kicked my dear and new and unassuming husband under the table and tried to warn him with a strange look on my face. It didn’t work, he just thought I was trying to remove an unwanted bee or bug from my hair. He leaned over and said whatever it was had gone. Gone! Like heck, I thought, my stomach promising to throw back my meal if something wasn’t done...soon. He was right there, still standing in the doorway, still avoiding my gaze.
‘It’s him!’ I hissed across the table, my napkin pressed against my mouth. ‘Take a photo of him quick and see if he’s real or not!’
So my poor newly and kind husband picked up his camera and shot it in the direction of the doorway. Well obviously, the man had gone, leaving us wondering who he was and why was he following us.
The following day we left for the airport and blow me, there he was, leaning against a lamppost in exactly the same spot the first time we saw him. Although I stared at him as we passed, he didn’t look my way.
During the flight back to England, I went over and over in my head, the sequence of strange events. The funny little man who met us at the church as if he knew us, then turned up almost everywhere we went on the island. How he invited us to a dance in the village square that didn’t exist but it led us to the girl who was almost identical to myself. She also ran a cafe and a home for waifs and strays, just as I did and shared all the same interests as myself. But stranger than that, was the bond we shared even before we spoke. Our souls were connected as if we had known each other all of our lives. It was a sad parting and I promised to return the following year.
It was totally bizarre, I thought to myself and I wondered what my newly kind and unassuming husband made of it all. I later heard him tell many of our friends and family, that I had a double and that a strange little man led us to her. People laughed, until I showed them the pictures of us both.
We returned to the same place the following year, just after my dear father had died. I saw the church in the distance and instantly felt the same pull towards it but there was no strange little man leaning against the lamppost this time. So along the dusty track we went, to the old whitewashed cafe on the corner. The greeting was even stronger than before and we joked about being sisters and having lived together in another time, another place.
Along with her Greek husband, she took us to meet her father, a retired sea captain, from Athens, who had once come to Wales. He was very ill so had come to stay with them for the summer. Well I wasn’t prepared for the shock, I can tell you, when I saw him. It took all my strength not to cry for I knew that I had seen this man before. Not just seen him, but I really knew him and when he put his arms around me I was quite certain. And as this frail old man tapped my back just as my father used to do, I saw him! That strange little man was walking towards us and this time he was looking right at me.
Dear readers, this story will continue tomorrow. It is not fictional but based on a series of strange events that happened over a few years.