What Became Of The Broken hearted | By: Ken Makepeace | | Category: Short Story - Adventure Bookmark and Share

What Became Of The Broken hearted

Jan was thinking that it had been almost a year since the accident. It was an awful day, with snow, sleet and rain, but she had insisted on going into town, even though Carol was against it. The car they were travelling in skidded before crashing into a wall. Jan escaped with cuts and bruises. Carol was not so lucky.
   'You'll be all right,' her husband had said to her after picking her up from the hospital.
   She wasn't all right. She blamed herself for what happened.
   Then one night, after arriving home from work, he couldn't find any sign of Jan. Later, he noticed that Some of her clothes were missing out of the wardrobe. He thought, maybe she had gone to her sister's.
   'Is Jan there?' he asked, after arriving at her sister's house and knocking on the door.
   'No, she's not,' she replied.
   He began looking for Jan, widening his search as time went on, and showing people on the streets her photo. But there was no sign of her anywhere, until one night, returning home, his mobile began to ring.
   'Yes,' he said on answering.
   'It's about your wife,' the caller said. I saw the poster in the cafe window.'
   'Have you seen her?'
   'I think so. Someone fitting her description is the local park, feeding the ducks, most afternoons when I'm walking my dog.'
   The man told him where the park was and what time he roughly saw the woman.
   Next day he made his way to the park. He was to meet the man outside the gates.
   When he arrived, the man took him to where he usually saw her. Sure enough, she was there.
   'Jan,' he said to her, tapping her on the shoulder. But when she turned to face him, it wasn't Jan.
   All he could do was go back home. When the evening came there was a knock at the door. His face paled when he looked out of the window and saw two policemen. Was this the news he dreaded?
   'Can I help you?' he asked after answering the door.
   'It's about you wife, sir,' one of them said.
   He showed them through to the lounge.
   'She's... dead, isn't she?' he asked.
   'We've found a body, sir, a few miles down the coast.'
   He went with them to identify the body.
   He was shaking as he was being shown into a room. but when he looked at her, he realised it wasn't Jan. He felt so relieved. But if that wasn't her, where was she?
   Next day, he went back on the streets to look for her. He wasn't going to give up hope. Then while looking he had an idea where she might be - a place they liked to go and visit. They usually rented a caravan there. It was over fifty miles away. What did he have to lose?
   He got into his car and set off on his journey, turning on the radio as he made his way. Playing, was, 'What Becomes Of the Broken Hearted'. It was one of Jan's favourites. Tears came to his eyes.
   Nearing where he thought she might be, his car stalled. Looking at the fuel gauge he saw that he was out of petrol. He got out of the car and opened the boot, removing a torch and a petrol can. He then started walking in the direction of the service station.
   As he approached he saw someone in front of him. He got closer, then shone his torch. The person looked like a bag lady, but then he noticed her jacket; it looked similar to one he had bought for Jan. He got even closer. She turned to face him. He pulled her towards him. His search was finally over.



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