My phone rang with Claire asking me to meet her at the bus stop.
That in itself was unusual, as she hadn’t given any previous hint of wanting to meet with me.
In fact she’d made it clear from our previous conversations that not everything revolved around me and that it was time for me to pull my head in and stop asking impossible questions.
But today was different.
She was insistent. There was a sense of urgency in her tone.
I saw her alight from the bus. Before me was the flashing blonde hair, the slim beautifully proportioned figure, the piercing eyes and above all the face of an angel.
Straight away I could see the tear sitting on her cheek.
We sat in the park as she poured out her tale of woe, of being married to an abusive man who treated her abominably, who made her of financially dependent and who ran her life in his uniquely tyrannical way.
She’d had enough she said. It was over and she wasn’t going to stand another minute in his life.
Over the next few hours she talked and I listened.
As the afternoon waned I suggested we go back to my place as it was close by and there was nowhere else right now she could go.
She was a bit reluctant as she could see me becoming embroiled in a possible ugly situation, but she needed to be with someone and I was the best option at that time.
As we left the park her small hand slipped into mine and we walked back to my place in silence.
I had some wine and dinner I ordered in.
I gave her space, not wanting to do anything to exacerbate her already fragile situation.
The spare bed I made up, thankfully I had some clean sheets.
As is often the case these days, I wake up a lot during the night. On one occasion I noticed my bedroom door open and watched as her slight form slipped into my bed. She moved in against my back and wrapped her arms around me.
Sometimes you don’t need to say anything but hold someone when they most need holding.