Thanks to Kevin for his response to our trigger ’lock’. Kevin writes:
‘Here is a short extract from my current work in progress, and autobiographical novel based on my experiences looking for love after leaving a Monastery.‘
Every other weekend, now without fail, and with Alan’s help, I went back home. The adults of the Youth Centre Management Committee showed that great lesson I learnt at Greyfriars: their trust that young people could be responsible. They took some persuading, but I had to fight to save my lost love.
Someone had to supervise the letting to the Farx (sic) Rock Club which used the Centre on Saturday nights. Doing so most weekends up to summer, had ruined my love-life. I didn’t put that to a full meeting, but explained to the Chair in an aside. I was only twenty-one when they had appointed me a year before; Alan was now twenty and they took my word on his trustworthiness.Not sure if I won Alan over with my Dad’s promise, You’ll never see what I’ll give you, but it was a lot. It was my undying affection, enabling my reborn love for Juliette.
She stayed over two weekends in two months and I knew I loved her. She had an interview in Manchester and said she’d hoped I’d get into college in Liverpool.
I can only think that everything else in my life overtook my love for her.
Firstly a new Leader-in-Charge of the Club was appointed. An older authoritarian man who didn’t trust the democratic way I had the young people taking responsibility for the club. He didn’t appreciate that we young people had turned around the centre, increasing attendances more than ten-fold during six months we were ‘headless’.
Soon afterwards the week’s takings were taken from the cash box in my office drawer, no break in from outside, only a panel kicked out of the office door. To me it was obvious that someone had hidden inside the Youth Centre after a session, taken the money and gone out of the front door, locking after themselves by dropping the only lock – a Yale latch.
The local Bobby, who was on our Management Committee, confided in me a couple of months after that I was the only suspect.
My heart sank.
My love-life got buried deep inside me.
I was keen to get away, but as they say, change of house and change of job are two of the biggest stresses in life – and I think they caused the third.
I didn’t have strength to hold on to Juliette.
She sent pleading letters and in the end seemed to accept that something inside of me had died for her. She gave me a wallet as a parting present, thanking me for a wonderful year.
I still have the lock of hair she sent me.