‘That’s lovely.’ Jessie shook her head. ‘I’ve given up finding the right one. I was where they are now last year.’ She looked behind her to where they’d left the happy couple to discuss things. ‘And now, I don’t know. I think I’ve come to terms with life on my own.’
‘You’ll find someone.’ Slipping her diary and clipboard into her bag, Wendy touched Jessie’s arm. ‘Or they’ll find you.’
‘Nope. I don’t think I’d trust anyone else anyway, so I’m better off this way.’
‘Oh no. How come? What happened?’
‘I...’ Jessie paused as they stepped back out of the hotel into the sun-drenched car park. ‘It’s a long story.’
‘Okay. I’m always here if you want a chat.’
‘Do you know where you’re going to get back to the bakery?’
‘I’ve got the postcode. I’ll pop it in the SatNav.’ She tapped her bag.
‘Okay, and thanks for this. I’ll see you in about an hour. Take your lunch break now if you like?’
‘Thanks. See you.’ Turning towards Elsie’s car, Jessie pulled out the keys and the post-it with the postcode written on. She had been going to drive down to the bay, but her mum had asked her to take the train and leave her car at home as hers had been unreliable recently. Her mum had been worried about how she’d get Kelly to the hospital for the scan and any other appointments if her car had broken down while Jessie’s dad had taken his car to work. Jessie shuddered. She wasn’t going to think about it. Any of it.
Starting the ignition, she wound down the windows and let the warm breeze cool the inside of the car. It was a beautiful day. A beautiful day in a beautiful place. Four more weeks of this and she’d be able to return home, head held high and the stresses of the past few months dispersed.
As she turned out of the carpark, she waved to Evelyn and Finley who were just getting in their car. They seemed like the perfect couple. Well, good for them. She and Brad had appeared to be the perfect couple on the face of it. It had shocked her friends when their relationship had broken down. Not as much as it had shocked her, though.
Yes, she’d known they’d had their problems; didn’t every couple? But it hadn’t occurred to her that he’d break up the day they were supposed to pay the deposit to secure their wedding venue.
Following the instructions of the SatNav, she turned right at the roundabout. It hadn’t occurred to her that less than two months later, he’d have begun a relationship with her sister, Kelly either. Let alone got her pregnant and walked away.
She slammed her palm against the steering wheel. Even after eight months of Kelly announcing she and Brad had become a couple, she wasn’t sure who she was angrier at—her sister or her ex-fiancé. They’d both betrayed her. They’d always denied starting the relationship whilst she was still with Brad, but even if they hadn’t, it still wasn’t right for her only sister to jump into a relationship with her ex, was it? Not knowing how close they’d come to getting married. Not knowing how devastated Jessie had been when Brad had broken it off. It wasn’t right. It just wasn’t.
Jessie shook her head, shaking the thoughts, the memories of the past few months away. Instead, she focused on the surrounding scenery, the traffic ahead, and the curve of the road. Slowing down, she lowered the gears before taking the sharp bend. Just as she did so, she heard a loud pop and the car pulled to the right. Grappling with the steering wheel, she twisted it as far left as she could manage, wrestling it back across to the correct lane as an oncoming car sounded its horn and sped by.
Hitting the brake, the car careened across the other side of the road again before she could swerve back towards the left. Pulling the handbrake up, she gripped the steering wheel as the front wheel mounted onto the grass verge before coming to a juddering stop.