Just a normal Wednesday morning as Annie Trenchard stood on the platform of her local railway station waiting for her train to take her into the City where she worked. Annie rarely spoke to anyone, she preferred to read her morning paper, but it just so happened on this particular morning Annie looked up from her paper and happened to glance across to the platform on the other side.
Suddenly her eyes fell upon this dark haired man in Jeans and Leather jacket with a suitcase and leather briefcase, “can’t be just can’t be” Annie said as she stared at the man as he looked up from the file he was perusing and caught Annie’s face “Annie” he said to himself and then louder “Annie, Annie Trenchard” he waved as he said her name, Annie smiled and he smiled back “Jimmy” she mouthed and he raised his hand to acknowledge her.
“Jimmy Duggan” she said to herself, after all this time, to see each other like this, chance meeting or what she muttered to herself. They smiled at each other across the railway tracks remembering how they first met, Annie or Anne as her parents insisted in particular her Father Gordon Trenchard the local Accountant, Anne was eight and the Duggans had moved in next door to them. Straight away Mr Trenchard took an instant dislike to Mr Duggan, “common” he would say to his Wife Sybil “oh don’t say that dear they really are a nice family, especially young James”, “Sybil you know nothing about them, I have looked into them, Mr Duggan came from Ireland, dug roads manual labourer” said Mr Trenchard, “yes dear but he now owns the company he worked for when he came here all those years ago” said Sybil Trenchard, “dubious thats what I say and I don’t want Anne associating with that Son of theirs”.
So it was to be Anne was banned from talking to young James, but within days they had met “hello I’m Jimmy I’m 10 how old are you, what’s your name” he asked over the garden wall, “I’m Anne I’m 8” she answered shyly, “Anne, well then I shall call you Annie you look like an Annie, thats my Mother’s name” said Jimmy, and thats how it started the friendship that would go through the years and become the Forbidden Love. Jimmy would help Annie over the wall into his garden where they would play and Mrs Duggan, who Annie became so fond of would supply plenty of Orange juice and chocolate biscuits. Annie was sure her mother knew and as long as Annie was back over into her own garden by 6pm when her Father would return from his Office all was well.
The years passed and soon Jimmy was 14 with Annie 12, they still would spend time together but their friendship was much closer now, they would often be seen by Mrs Duggan, holding hands she would just smile but she knew if Annie’s Father knew about this all hell would break loose. Mr Trenchard still did not like Mr Duggan, Patrick or Pat as he was known would say “I don’t give a toss what that supercilious old fool thinks”. The truth was the Duggans were far more wealthy than the Trenchards and that was the real bone of contention that Trenchard felt.
Jimmy Duggan was a good lad, worked hard at school “take all the educational opportunities that come your way lad, don’t be a fool like your old man” said Pat, “you’re not old Dad” said Jimmy, Pat would just laugh. Annie couldn’t know as she sat in the train smiling back at Jimmy, Jimmy was now a Director in his Father’s company, it wasn’t handed to him he worked hard to get there. Just as Jimmy could not know that Annie who equally worked hard and gained her Degrees qualified as an Accountant, she took over her Father’s business when he became ill and decided to retire.
As Annie looked across the rails there was Jimmy busy writing, “oh well” she said to herself, “that was nice whilst it lasted”, but suddenly Jimmy held up a piece of paper written in bold red were the words “can we meet for coffee, I still think of you Annie”, Annie felt herself blushing whilst some on the platform smiled broadly as they saw the message. Annie searched in her briefcase for paper and quickly scribbled on a sheet of paper in large letters “YES PLEASE, I THINK OF YOU TOO”.
They could both hear their trains coming , Jimmy scribbled his phone number down “Annie give me a ring please”, Annie in return quickly noted Jimmy’s number, and wrote hers down Jimmy copied it down with the lady standing next to him repeating the number “have you got it dear, make sure you ring her won’t you” Jimmy laughed “I most certainly will” he replied.
Their trains pulled in and Annie rushed to get near a window so she she could see Jimmy, on the opposite side Jimmy was pushing his way through “excuse me please this is urgent, thank you, excuse me” as people made way for him, they spotted each other and waved, smiling as the train pulled out. The trains pulled away and Annie sat back in her seat remembering, remembering their first kiss. Jimmy was 15 and Annie was 13, it was awkward but lovely. From that day they were always together, thanks to Annie Duggan and Sybil Trenchard, Gordon Trenchard reluctantly gave in.
The two youngs ones would go to the Park and lay on the grass looking up to the Trees, it was on one of these visits to the park as they laid on the grass by the Lake that Jimmy kissed Annie. She still remembered it how it felt, she suddenly felt warm as she remembered looking into Jimmy’s eyes as they kissed. They loved going to the Cinema, always together always holding hands. Then the time came and they went their separate ways to University, they kept in touch and every break they would go home and be together, but work and University seemed to pull them apart.
After University Jimmy wanted to travel around Europe and beyond and asked Annie to go with him, she so wanted to but her Father was not happy and as he was not well she did not want to make his situation worse. “Annie its about us, we’ll be together, have fun see the World, learn so much, don’t break my heart Annie, please come with me please” Jimmy pleaded, but Annie torn between the boy she loved and her Father had to make the hard decision to remain. “Annie this is our time, I understand your parents want you to stay and you would feel guilt if you came with me, but we love each other, please Annie” said an anxious Jimmy, but to no avail, Annie broken hearted remained, despite her parents in particular her mother telling her “you will regret it, you love Jimmy go darling go with him, we live a long time with our regrets Annie” said Sybil and Annie saw a sadness in her mother’s eyes, a longing that had not been fulfilled. Yet when Annie looked at her Father, there was no other choice, she remained. Did she regret it as her mother had told her, “yes, yes, yes” Annie said to herself.
Jimmy went off travelling and would write when he could telling her what it was like what he was doing and that he missed her and loved her”, Annie in return would write hoping her letter would reach him before he moved on again, she would tell Jimmy how much she missed him, cried for him and loved him, but please understand Jimmy” she would say.
The Duggan’s moved away to a smaller property “now Jimmy is off, I doubt when he gets back he will want to remain at home so the house is up for sale, we shall miss you all” said Annie Duggan as she hugged young Annie who cried at the thought of losing them, losing Jimmy. “We shall miss you too won’t we Gordon” said Sybil and Mr Trenchard looking at Annie Duggan replied ” yes we shall, I shall miss Pat coming in and we playing cards” said Gordon. Who would have thought it, Gordon and Pat, friends!
Standing in his train Jimmy’s thoughts were on Annie, looking forward to talking to her, looking forward to seeing her being with her. Yes, he had his girlfriends, women friends but he never wanted to settle down, always on his mind the first girl he kissed the girl he left behind, Annie. He wondered about Annie was she married, engaged, maybe divorced. He hoped she was single. Indeed Annie was single, she never seemed to have time for dates, always far too busy in the office, she was doing extremely well, but it came at a cost, her private life which there really was not one, Annie too never forgot Jimmy in her diary she would often talk of him, missing him.
They both travelled in opposite directions, but hoping that tonight they may speak, tomorrow they may meet and the future, hopefully their trains will not go in opposite directions. The once Forbidden Love long forgotten.
Johnny Mathis – A Certain Smile. – Such a beautiful song, wonderfully sung.