Post 68 Supporting the Samaritans

Terry had been a supporter of the Samaritans for many years and the charity’s fundraising golf day was,

for him, a ‘never to be missed’ occasion.  This year he had asked his old school friend Joe to accompany him, and they had enjoyed a pleasant game of golf at a prestigious golf course some forty miles away.  They were now driving home well satisfied with their day out.  

They hadn’t played particularly well, certainly not well enough to be prize winners but it had been pleasant to be out in the fresh air and sunshine rather than in the office. Both men were at peace with the world, having wined and dined amply in the clubhouse after the game.   All in all, it had been quite an expensive day but as Terry had remarked,’ The Samaritans are a very worthwhile cause; they undoubtedly save lives and deserve to be supported.  It must be awful for anyone to feel so depressed that they would contemplate suicide.’

They were just five minutes from home, approaching the slip road where they would leave the motorway, when they were held up.  All three lanes were blocked with stationary traffic.

‘Looks like a fairly major problem,’ Joe remarked, noticing that nothing was travelling in either direction.

‘There are flashing lights on the bridge ahead, presumably the emergency services.  I bet that’s where the problem is.  I hope we won’t be held up for too long,’ Terry responded.  ‘I shall need a pee fairly soon.’

Half an hour past slowly as they sat and waited.  Terry skipped over a fence and relieved himself behind a hedge and Joe soon followed suit.  Both men rang their wives to say they would be late home.

As time went by, the drivers turned off their engines, left their cars and, as the sun went down, idly

chatted in small groups on the hard shoulder. Then word filtered back that the delay was due to a young woman on the parapet of the bridge threatening to throw herself off.  Terry, feeling perhaps a little self-righteous, took the opportunity to inform the other drivers of his support for the Samaritans, to describe the good work they did and say that they were actually on their way home having given generously to the charity during the day.

A further thirty minutes passed, then another and still they waited. Terry and Joe were now back in the car, in the dark, feeling cold and miserable.   Irritation became frustration, which in turn became anger. 

‘Where are the police?  'Terry demanded, 'and what the hell are they doing.  The opposite carriageway is completely deserted.  All they’ve got to do is unlock the central reservation and we could be on our way.’

Another hour passed and still they waited; there was no movement, no information and no sign of the police.    Finally something inside Terry snapped; his patience was exhausted.

‘This is bloody ridiculous,’ he ranted.   ‘Why the hell don’t they just let the stupid woman jump and then we could all be on our way.’

Quotation for the day

The strongest of all warriors are these two - time and patience     Leo Tolstoy   1828 - 1910  from War and Peace

For more information on Peter's novels and collections of short stories search 'Peter Sykes' on Amazon Books



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