Chapter 20 – Doves (Excerpt 12)

A paragraph from Chapter 20

It felt odd driving into Guildford on Christmas Day; it was eerily deserted, with empty streets and shuttered shops. There can’t have been more than ten people in the auditorium but I felt a certain camaraderie with my fellow Christmas refugees, washed up, as we were, on the shores of Bollywood. Here we were, all looking to escape, and we weren’t disappointed. For three hours solid, we sat entranced, caught up in another world. We laughed, we cheered and we hummed along with the catchy songs. Immersed in the drama, I was about as far as I could possibly be from the memories of Christmases past and I sent a message of thanks up to Jeremy for sending Aamir Khan to me for those few hours! That night, I fell into bed, thankful that I had managed to get through the day relatively unscathed.

Significance of this excerpt:

When the first Christmas on my own approached, I dreaded it. I had always loved spending Christmas with Jeremy because he made it special for everyone. He was like a big kid, buying all the presents, making the Christmas cake weeks in advance and putting up fairy lights and baubles around the house. On Christmas morning Jeremy would wake me with a card and a stocking filled with small gifts. He was always up early to get the food started and light the open fire in the lounge.

Now I was facing Christmas alone – and it was a prospect I was dreading.

And so I decided I had to do something different! The Guildford Odeon never usually shows Bollywood films and yet, on that day, not only were they showing a Bollywood film, but one starring my favourite actor, Aamir Khan. Dangal, a true story about India’s first female wrestling champions, was to be my route to escapism for a few hours that afternoon.

Look out for Excerpt 13 coming soon


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