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You saved me

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Chapter 1

Anne was quietly eating her lunch in her favourite park. It was a bright sunny spring day. She had been busy at her medical practice all morning and was enjoying the hour respite from the noise and jumble of patients and office staff. When she heard a thud then a scream. Someone had taken a fall.

She rose to investigate.and saw a young blond on her back. There were people mingling around her. She wondered why mishaps always brought around the myriad of sticky beaks. I guess there’s nothing like a good fall to brighten a day.

Of course, being a doctor she stepped into see if she could help out. It was then that she noticed the young blond gasping to breath.

‘More away please. Give the young lady some room. Can’t you see you’re crowding her.’ Anne said loudly and with force. As people moved away she could see the young blond more clearly.

It wasn’t the first time they had met. Her mind wandered for a moment back to when Ann Walker’s parents had passed away only months apart. She could still see Ann now as she was back then. Back then she didn’t think Ann was much of a catch.

Now, when she looked at Ann she could still see her freckles which dotted her face and down her neck but this Ann Walker was very pretty. ‘Come on, Lister, get you shit together. She needs help.’ Anne admonished herself quietly.

‘Ann Walker as I live and breath. Can I help you up?’ She checked her over. ‘There seems to be no broken bones. There maybe a little bruising from the fall.’

‘Yes, please.’ Ann replied, just a little more excited that she wanted to be. She couldn’t believe her luck. The one person who she had a teenage crush on was her helping her after she took a tumble.

Anne helped her over to where she was sitting. The crowd had dispersed after Anne had told them to move away. So, it was only Anne and Ann sitting quietly together while Ann rested. Then she spoke.

‘I never thought it would take me falling over for you to come rescue me. I am so grateful that you shooed everyone away. I was starting to feel claustrophobic and on the verge of a panic attack. But there you were to save me. Thank you so much.’

‘You’re welcome but I don’t always save damsels in distress only pretty ones.’

‘Dr Lister, are you trying to make me blush?’

‘I do think it has worked.’ Ann felt her cheeks redden. She had never had anyone flirt with her the way Dr Lister was flirting with her right now. She was enjoying it immensely.

‘I know we have just met but…’ Anne went quite for a beat and allowed her eyes to look anywhere except at Ann. She was afraid it was too soon but she

did want to get to know more about Miss Walker.

‘Well, what do you want to ask me, Anne?’ Ann was thinking just ask I am sure I will say yes no matter what your request.

‘How would you like to join me for dinner tonight? I have to return to work in,’ she looks at her watch.’fifteen minutes. I finish at around six barring any other mishaps.’

Ann smiled ‘Yes, I would love to get to know the great Dr Lister a bit more.’

Anne smiled and it was so wide it nearly engulfed her face.’Great, can we meet here at six fifteen. That will give me time to close up and fix whatever needs fixing. You know hair and clothes. Can I have your number just in case I need to cancel because an emergency has come up?’

‘Okay!!’ Ann said sheepishly. She was hoping she would see Anne tonight. They exchanged numbers and both walked away with a spring in their steps, albeit in different directions.

Ann raced home to find something a bit racy to wear. She want to let Anne know she was interested in her without needing to say so. She found the prefect dress. It was short but not too short. Her favourite, well, Anne’s favourite colour, black. She had tried on three or was it four different dresses before she spied this one.

She applied a little makeup. She didn’t want to seem needy and wanting. She had heard subtlety was the way to someone’s heart.

She collected her phone and bag. She hadn’t heard from Dr Lister. So she was hoping their date was still on. She walked back to where they had met. Ann had only been wait moments when Dr Lister appear looking as though she had just stepped out of a movie. Her dark brown hair was neatly tied back and her clothes looked fresh. She seemed to be wearing something different. Ann thought maybe she had gone home but that seemed impossible since it was just 6.15pm. This woman was a great time keeper.

‘You are on time, Dr Lister.’

‘I am always on time and please call me, Anne. I am not at work now.’

‘Okay, Anne.’

‘Do you have a favourite place you would like to eat, Ann?’

‘Not really. I don’t eat out much. It’s just me, myself and I. Sometimes we are very dull company.’

‘Let me be the judge of that. I have a fav restaurant I go to often. Will that be okay? It’s only a short ten minute walk from here.’

‘That sounds fine but is it your walking speed or mine. I remember you walking around Halifax as if you had turbo charged shoes on..’

Anne smirked.’Yes, I guess I need to slow down a bit but I don’t like to waste time. I think walking wastes too much time.’

‘Have you thought about riding a bicycle to where you need to go?’

‘Not really. Anyway, I will slow down for you but it will take a little longer to get there. Approximately 13.5 minutes. Is that okay?’

‘Hell yes, as long as you don’t mind.’

‘Not in the least. When I have a pretty girl with me time doesn’t matter and I have a pretty young girl with me.’

''Hey, enough of the young girl.’ Ann said seriously.’I may look young but I will be 30 next 20th of May.’

‘Sorry, I stand corrected, young lady. You suddenly make me feel like an old maid.’

‘Old maid? How old are you, Dr Lister?’

‘I will be 42 next 3rd of April. I hardly know you and here we are exchanging birth dates. While I would never do that until I have known someone for a long time. It feels so right with you.’

‘Let’s eat. I am famished.’ Ann said as she grabbed Anne’s hand and coaxed her to lead her to the restaurant.

They had been chatting for so long they didn’t notice the time. The sun was fast setting when they reached the restaurant. Ann was worried that she would be walking home in the dark. Dr Lister could see the worried look on her face.

‘What’s up? You don’t seem your bright self’

‘’I don’t like walking home in the dark. We spent so much time chatting I didn’t realise it was getting late.’

‘Don’t stress, Ann. If you would like me to I will walk you home.’ Anne said.

‘Thank you, Dr Lister. I like your bedside manner.’ Oops. She didn’t mean to say that and blushed quite freely. She put her hand over her mouth as if she didn’t want her thoughts to drain out her mouth. Too late to think about that.

Dr Lister smiled. ‘Yes, I do have good bedside manners. I will show you one day if you like.’

They asked for a seat in a quieter part of the restaurant. Anne knew Ann didn’t like crowds after this afternoon’s events.

They sat quietly reading the menu. The server had brought them water. Anne ordered a bottle of wine. Anne made a suggestion and Ann thought it sounded delicious. ‘It seems as though you come here often.’ Ann said.

‘I certainly do and their chicken carbonara is to die for.’

‘If you recommend it I will try it.’ Ann said. So, when their server returned they ordered their meals and Anne requested a bottle of their best red.

They chatted while waiting for their meals. Anne hadn’t realised how much Ann remembered from the first time they met. To Anne it was just a courtesy call. They were neighbours and had been for a long time.

‘Ann, why did you move to London? I thought the crowds would have deterred you from this noisy place.’

‘I needed to get away from my overbearing family. They seem to think they know what I want without needing to ask for my opinion. Anyone would think that my life was theirs to organise.’

‘That isn’t fun.’

‘No, Dr Lister, it isn’t. They seem to think I need a husband. They would bring to family dinners ever eligible bachelor within a ten kilometre radius and even when I said I wasn’t interesting in men or marry one they still insisted I would change my mind when I met the right one. I am still waiting for the penny to drop.’

‘So, they haven’t found the right one. Or you’re just not interested.’ Anne said coyly. Then their meals arrived. They continued their conversation.

‘I’m more interested in a woman.’ Ann said so quietly Anne barely heard her.

‘Did you say you like girls?’ Anne asked. Ann nodded. ‘Then you are in good company. You see I love and only love the fairer sex. I plan to have a wife.’

‘You do?’ Ann squealed with delight.’That’s nice. I hadn’t thought about marriage until now. I guess I hadn’t thought about it much.’

‘What do you mean? Until now.’

‘Oops!! That wasn’t how it was supposed to come out.’

‘Why? You are doing fine. I think you are the prettiest lady I have met lately.’

‘Dr Lister, you are making me blush again. You do know I have had a crush on you for a long time and to meet you today. Well, that just made my day.’

‘Yes, you did mention that after you fell over. I never asked you what happened.’

‘Just my clumsy feet got tangled together. I wasn’t watching where I was going and lucky me, hahaha. I found a small hole in the ground and down I went.’

‘Was it you that screamed?’

‘No, it was some crazy fool lady who was walking so close to me I thought she was a stalker.’

‘Oh dear. What happened to her.’

‘She took off once you told everyone to stop crowding me. I was grateful you came along when you did. I didn’t thank you. So, thanks.’

‘You’re welcome, Ann. Like I said I only save pretty ladies.’ Anne said. ‘Where do you work?’

‘I don’t. After my parents died my brother, John was left the family properties. Then he married and went on his honeymoon to Naples.’

‘Yes, I have heard it is lovely there. Did he take photos? Would you show me if he did?’ Ann cringed. Anne didn’t know John and his bride drowned in Naples in a boating accident. Ann was suddenly very somber. Anne could see she was on the verge of crying.

‘Anne, my brother and his wife drowned in Naples on their honeymoon. So there are no photos. As there is no John and Emma, his beautiful bride. So, Elizabeth, my older sister and I inherited Crow Nest and the surrounding homes there.’

‘Goodness. Sorry about your lose. So, what do you do most days.’

‘I paint and binge watch my favourite shows.’

‘You paint. Have you had your work displayed in an art gallery? Anne was surprised that Ann could paint and did.

‘No, I haven’t had any of my paints on display in an art gallery. I am not sure if anyone would like them.’

‘Ann Walker, I need to see your paintings. I have a friend who owns an art gallery and is interesting in showing work of new artists. She’s an old flame of mine. I am sure she would love to see some of your work.’

‘Are you sure? You haven’t seen it yet.’

‘I would love to check them out when I walk you home. Can I?’ Anne pleaded. She wanted to see Ann’s paintings.

‘If you insist.’

‘That I do, Ann. I insist.’

‘Their server brought the bill and after a tussle Anne paid for it with Ann promising to pay for their next meal together if they did have another date. Anne smiled. She knew Ann Walker wouldn’t win that battle.

They strode out into the cool evening.

‘Which way is your place?’ Ann pointed in the general direction. Anne grabbed her hand and they walked away from the restaurant to Ann’s home.