Story corner

My Mission

“No, that’s not big enough” exclaimed Sharon. “The land surrounding the house has to be at least 2 acres. I told you before. After finding the right property, I then need all the contracts signed as soon as possible and my boyfriend and I want to be in our new house by December.”
The man sitting behind the desk raised his eyes to the ceiling and sounded exasperated as he replied “I’m so sorry Miss Davies, I just can’t help you. I think you had better look elsewhere.”
Sharon felt like crying. Time was running out and now yet another estate agent could not help her. She turned away from the desk and reluctantly walked over to the door. “Do you still wish to be kept on our books, Miss Davies?“.
“No thanks. You’ve done your best. I’ll have to look elsewhere.“
She opened the door and made her way out. Standing on the pavement she tried to gather her thoughts. Somehow she just had to find a house with that much land, although part of her felt like giving up. Dave wanted to find the right house as much as she did. There were too many desperate souls relying upon her and Dave. So what did it matter if this estate agent couldn’t help her. She was registered with other ones and had viewed so many properties over the past couple of months but each one had been totally unsuitable. She did in fact have another house to view at 1 p.m. Sharon walked back towards her parked car, pausing only once to buy the local newspaper. She decided to pop into the coffee shop, take a break and sit whilst she scrutinised the newly advertised properties for sale.
Sipping her coffee, Sharon’s eyes quickly darted through the pages hoping that something would virtually leap out to her, but there was nothing there. Ten minutes later, Sharon left the coffee shop and hurried back to her car. 1 p.m. was fast approaching and she must get out of town and about 20 miles into the country. About an hour later, a despondent Sharon looked back at the house she had just viewed which bore no resemblance to the description given to her by the estate agent. She sighed in disbelief. Yet again, another waste of time. Making her way back to the car she felt so depressed. What on earth was she going to do. She looked at the newspaper again and decided to ring one of the other estate agents. Luckily she got through straight away and spoke to the manager and was able to make an appointment to see him at 4 p.m. that afternoon to discuss her requirements. She would really have to get back to town quickly.
She had only been driving along the country roads for about fifteen minutes when she noticed ahead an elderly man standing at the side of the road. As she drove by, she could see he was standing by a green Morris Minor car with its bonnet open and he was holding a dirty looking piece of cloth in his hands. She looked in her rear view mirror at the man and suddenly had this urge to stop and see if he needed her help even though it would make her late for her appointment. She stopped the car and reversed back to where he was standing. Looking at her watch, she quickly got out of her car and walked up to him. “Are you okay? Do you need any help?”
“Oh, thank you so much for stopping but it’s nothing serious, I’m just checking the engine for a couple of things” said the elderly man.
“My uncle used to have one of these cars many years ago but this one looks in much better condition” laughed Sharon. “Have you not rung someone to come out and help you?”
“No. There isn’t a telephone box around here for miles but I‘ll be alright.“
“So, you don’t have a mobile ‘phone?” asked Sharon.
The old man looked puzzled and said “I don’t understand what you mean”.
“Oh, not to worry I can use mine if you like. Who do you want me to call?“ enquired Sharon.
“No dear, you don’t have to call anyone. As I said, it’s nothing serious.“
“Are you sure?” asked Sharon, taking another quick look at her watch.
“It was so good of you to stop but you do seem to be in a hurry, dear.”
Sharon laughed as she replied “Well, yes, I’ve got an appointment in town but I think I’m going to be late. Sharon then introduced herself properly and proceeded to tell the old man about her predicament.
Jack Dibley listened carefully and when Sharon had finished, he could see that her eyes were filling up with tears.
“Now don’t you worry. I think I may be able to help you. There is a house nearby which is just about to come onto the market. I’m sure it would be ideal for what you want. It would only take you ten minutes or so to get there. Go and see it now. Trust me.”
Sharon looked at Jack and even though she had never met him before, somehow she knew she could believe him. She eagerly listened to him as he described the house and a huge smile appeared on Sharon‘s face.
“Well, I can’t just turn up. I’ll have to contact the owners if you say it isn’t on the market yet.” she said.
“No, it will be alright. I know the people who live there. Go on. It’s going to work out for you. I know it will” Jack smiled. He then gave her directions and Sharon got into her car and drove off not knowing whether she had really done the right thing.
As she approached the house, she had a strange feeling inside her and stopped the car. She got out and stared across to the house. Somehow she just knew she had found the right place. She walked up the path and knocked on the door. She couldn’t believe what she was doing. How could she have put all her trust in a complete stranger. The door opened and a middle aged woman stood there.
“Yes dear, can I help you?“
“Well, this is going to sound odd but I understand you are thinking of selling this house and I am very interested in having a look at it” replied Sharon.
The woman looked confused but said “Well, that is so strange. I’ve been trying to make my mind up whether to sell or not and today I was going to ring the estate agent. My father used to own this house and then my husband and I and our children came here a few years ago but now the children have grown up and left, it is too big for us. How on earth did you know this?”
“It’s a long story” laughed Sharon.
“Come in dear and I’ll make some tea and we can have a chat. I know you shouldn’t let strangers into your house but somehow I think you are genuine.”
The owner of the house was a Mrs Susan Blake and after making the tea, she settled down in the chair opposite Sharon and listened to her story. Sharon told her about Jack but Susan couldn’t understand how he knew that she wanted to sell the house. It didn’t make sense but she was pleased that Sharon had arrived and was definitely interested. Sharon explained that she had recently spent two weeks in Corfu with her boyfriend Dave and they could not believe the amount of stray dogs roaming around. Being animal lovers they had spent a lot of their time trying to help the animals. Of course, they were not the only tourists to have been concerned and appalled by what they saw but Sharon was determined to do something about it. Although there were many desperate animals, there were five dogs in particular which Sharon was so very keen to help. That was when Sharon and Dave decided to change their lives and take the animals back to the UK.
Sharon put her cup and saucer down on the coffee table and looked at Susan.
“So, that was in May and the dogs are in quarantine. Dave received some inheritance money a little while ago and we both decided that we wanted to run an animal shelter centre. We want to build at least 50 kennels and have plenty of exercise areas for the dogs and then there has to be accommodation for kennel maids and loads of other things to organise. If I haven‘t got something sorted out soon, the dogs will be put down. We must have somewhere to take them by December”
Suddenly Sharon looked past Susan towards a table where there were a number of photo frames standing on it. One of them was of a man smiling and standing by a green car. Sharon stood up and rushed over to the table and picked up the photo. “Goodness me, who is this in the picture?”
Susan looked at it and smiled “That’s my father with his pride and joy. He loved that car. That must have been taken back in the 1950’s He actually died not long after that photo was taken. He was a lovely man.”
“I can’t believe it” shouted Sharon. “That’s the man I met by the roadside. He said his name was Jack Dibley.”
“Well, that’s a coincidence! That was my father’s name” said Susan. “How strange. My father was a vet and dedicated his whole life to helping animals and here you are, wanting to buy his house and turn it into an animal shelter.”
The two women looked at each other and the younger one knew for sure that she had definitely found the right property for her dogs and her new venture. Although she couldn’t make sense of what had happened, she was grateful she had stopped to help the old man.

Glynis Wharton
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