The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 24…Surprise Visitor

‘I would like my portrait taken, if I may?’

The woman that now stood before Charles was unmistakable, grown up, and beautiful. He swung up from a hunched absorption of a large picture that lay haplessly on the dusty counter of his photographer’s shop.

‘Esme?’ he cried in complete surprise. The shock was total and his voice crackled with stemming delight. ‘This is great… Where have you come from… Oh Esme!’

‘You’re beginning to repeat yourself Charles.’ She smiled; her manner was rapid and full of confidence.

‘Well, originally I came from St. John’s Wood… But you’ve forgotten that I guess Charles.’ She smiled once more and continued; ‘More recently, I’ve come from your friend and mine… ‘Erbert’. This time she had a wide grin. Her fears on entering the shop had fled and she had aim of herself once more and the feeling was exhilarating.

‘Herbert?’ he replied at the risk of repeating himself once more. Then said clumsily: ‘How have you been keeping?’ The question seemed out of place and he was still stumbling through a labyrinth of surprise. He felt suddenly ashamed and said: ‘I called… Several times and no-one would tell me where you were.’ His voice was quite feeble.

‘After you have taken my picture… Can we go somewhere and just talk.’ She assured him.

‘Yes, Yes of course… The Kings Head. We could have lunch there… If you wouldn’t mind?’

A warming smile took up residence in her face. ‘ I wouldn’t mind that one little bit.’ She replied.

About Patrick

a photographer, writer and blogger, a studio and press photographer since the mid 1960's, first published writings in 1974
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