A Mid Life Crisis: A short story

Marbella writing group
13th November 2013
A Mid Life Crisis
Angie Clifford

2012 quote

My name is Alice, the year is 1948. I am standing in a world of white; it’s cold but I don’t feel it. To my left stands a young man, 19 years old. His brand new RAF uniform new boots scarf and hat are covered in a thin dusting of snow; he’s cold, fearful and alone. I think he needs a lift. No sooner has the thought left my mind when a small black dot appears on the horizon, help had arrived for Henry. “Need a lift lad” a small face peered out from the depths of the old ford car.

Henry was on compassionate leave; his father lived 1 more day after his return. Henry was now head of that home at the tender age of 19 responsible for his widowed mother and six brothers and sisters; Upon his return to Coulsdon and his RAF Platoon he would send his weekly wage of 10 shillings 9 and four pence home every week.

Two years later Henry married his WRAF sweetheart, his conscription period in the RAF finally finished he found work in a small country factory. Henry had ambitions and big dreams not desperate poverty for his wife and children, no, he would work hard and give them everything he had never had.
And so began years of hard work, long hours, and toil in dark grimy factories. The years marched relentlessly on as Henry progressed to the fabricated factory office, then finally a blue collar position in a swanky tower block office. Henry had made it, or had he. He hardly noticed the children as they grew from babies to toddlers to noisy kids to rebellious teenagers then suddenly they were gone, all grown and flown.

Henry tried to resist at first, he forced his body to rise from his bed, splashed the ice cold water on his face, pulled on his crisp white shirt with the pale blue collar. It was a drive to work these days in his pale green ford Cortina, but there was no pleasure in life anymore, where had it all gone wrong.

My name is Alice, I was born in 1951, I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters, we’re all married now and have families of our own. In 1975 dad had what was called in those days a ‘nervous breakdown’. Today we may call it burn out or even a mid life crisis, for which we may prescribe a holiday in the Caribbean, Prozac or maybe even valium, perhaps copious sessions with a psychotherapist. In those days it was a long sourjourn in a formidable Victorian building possibly called something like Broad moor, or Black moor, with padded cells and straightjackets. After five years dad returned home, he was never the same again.

In 1985 Jake and Joel my two brothers formed their own company; after many years of research they finally produced a world famous household cleaner, today they are millionaires. My sister Rosie is a Harley Street Doctor; and as for me, well these days I do a lot of research into the realm of the supernatural, ever the extrovert I have my own programme on a national radio station and am currently engaged on writing my first novel.

Angie Clifford
Word Count 557


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