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Take care of my heart, I’ve left it with you.’ Edward Cullen

True Love? Romance? Ha! Rare as hen’s teeth in England after the First World War. After a trip to Texas, (The 20’s Girl), Gerardina Chiledexter is sure she’s had her one and only glimpse of both.
Back home, she confides in her friend, Prim:

Minutes ticked by.
Then, a slow, slow shake of Prim’s head. ‘Oh … my … Lord.’ She folded arms across her chest.
‘What?’
‘You admire him, don’t you?’
‘No! No, not in that sort of …’
‘You do. You’ve fallen for him.’
Silence.
‘Well …’ Gerry sighed ‘… what if I have? Nothing happened.’ A few lovely moments of closeness and understanding, a frisson of pleasure. Nothing more. ‘It’s the land that Coop loves, the Circle-O.’
‘I knew it. Oh, Gerry …’

Fallen? Gerry was thinking. Is that like casting yourself over a cliff? Out of control, tumbling, floating through air? How do you get back, then? Can a person ever recover?
If only he hadn’t kissed her.
She could have stayed as she was, a frustrated spinster, in her narrow monk’s bed. Like Prim and most other women here. All those slowly breaking hearts, under buttoned-up layers of woolly cardigans.

Must stop thinking about it, must, must. Such a bad idea. But thoughts kept running away, out of control. She’d forget, eventually, of course she would.
‘Mmmn, yes,’ she imagined herself saying, eons later, ‘of course. I remember it now. There was someone once. That man, the man with no last name. Wrong time, wrong person.’
How long would it take to reach that stage, that blessed blur of not remembering? Until then, whenever the urge to think of him came over her – his touch, his mouth, that kiss – she’d have to lie down and wait, until it passed.
Whatever it was, it was over. The end.

‘Anyway …’ she said brightly, to Prim. ‘I’m here now, aren’t I. I’m home.’
Home. With rain pecking at the windows and the entire rest of her life stretching out emptily, in front of her.
Never again, she said to herself. Never again.