The Beach In Bali
People’s Friend Specials|Issue 143

A couple face troubles together in this moving short story by Kay Seeley.

Kay Seeley

When times were hard, it was easy to imagine they were back in paradise . . .

JENNA pushed the waiting-room door open and walked in. She glanced around at the other patients as she took her seat. Tim sat beside her.

The room felt cold despite the autumn sun pouring in through the window. She wondered how long they’d have to wait this time.

She gazed at the now-familiar notice board. The names and smiling faces of the staff were slotted into rows, the consultant at the top and Sarah, the Macmillan Nurse, at the bottom.

Jenna grimaced. How she hated this place with all its tubes and needles. It wasn’t as if there were any guarantees.

Opposite them a lady whispered to a frail young girl, with the tell-tale scarf around her head, sitting next to her.

The hushed conversation was easily heard in the silence of the room. It was what they all did to help pass the time, while their lives fell apart.

Jenna pulled her gaze away. She felt as though she were intruding.

Tim picked up a newspaper from the table. She wondered how he felt, having to come here. It wasn’t a place any of them would have wished to be. Tim glanced at her. “You OK?” he asked. She smiled. “I was just thinking about the beach in Bali,” she said. “The endless white sand, the glorious sunsets and the smell of the sea.” That was how she coped: thinking happy thoughts.

“The flies, the heat, the terrible lodgings, the upset stomachs. Oh, yes, I remember.”

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