"Having been an author since 1989 with over sixty published books to my credit, rarely a week goes by without me thinking about an idea for a new story. Sometimes those stories are written, but more often than not, the skeleton of my idea is scribbled down and is put away in the bottom drawer to gather dust. Sometimes it is retrieved and worked into a story, but on most occasions it remains at the back of the drawer. This being the season of Christmas however, I thought I would share my most recent idea that popped into my head a few days ago. Remember, it is in skeleton form only, but it may help to serve the curiosity of so many people who constantly ask me 'Where do you get your ideas for the stories you write and how do you start plotting a story?' I mostly reply that my ideas come usually from my life experiences, but on many occasions they just come when I close my eyes or drift off into nothingness. Herein follows the opening for a story I will probably never get around to writing:
'Having got through a difficult Christmas, my thoughts have naturally moved on to the New Year. Six months have passed since you said you loved me and wanted us to marry, and I'm now starting to show. Soon, I will be obliged to tell my parents of the child I am carrying.
Why, oh why did you lie to me? It would have been kinder to have taken me in lust rather than have me under the false pretence of love; leaving me with your unborn child and the foolish idea that we would soon be wed. Six months without a word from you; no letter, not even a phone call to let me know who you really are and where you are. I cannot even tell you that you are soon to be the father of our child.
I know now that you have duped and abandoned me, but however hard it proves, I will not abandon the child within me. The child will act as a reminder of your wrong and my foolishness in trusting you. But mark my words, where you brought me pain, the child will bring me pleasure and provide me with a purpose for going on. I don't think that I will ever trust another man as long as I live!'
I cannot believe that I allowed myself to have been fooled by you, and yet, despite all that has happened, I cannot stop thinking about you, wanting to touch you once more and loving you. I still hold love for you which I cannot erase however hard I try to put you from my mind. I'm such a fool to have ever trusted you. I wish I'd never loved you!'
That night when I arrived back home from the beach where I'd spent the afternoon in deep reflection thinking about you, I saw the letter which had arrived in the noon post.The writing on the envelope was unfamiliar, so I thought its contents unimportant. For half an hour, I left it on the floor where it had fallen once pushed through the letter box, wholly unconcerned of what it might say. Finally, I picked it up and open it. The letter provided reason of your lack of contact since I last saw you and within a few minutes of reading it, all revived hopes were bitterly squashed and feelings of shame and loss started to overwhelm my senses for doubting you.
The letter was from an army buddy of yours. He said that you had been a soldier for the past six years and had served five terms of duty in Iraq. During these missions he had been your army buddy and closest friend throughout.
He told me that when we first met, it had been during your two week's leave and because soldiers were frequently made unwelcome by many private citizens in Great Britain today, you choose to wear civilian clothes during your time at home instead of your army uniform. Your buddy said that upon your return to Iraq, you told him about this wonderful woman you had met on leave which you described as being the girl you knew that you truly loved, even after the first night out. I was told that you had been fearful of telling me that you were a serving soldier until we'd known each other much longer than a mere fortnight, as you still had three years left to serve. You feared that no right minded woman would be foolish enough or brave enough to tie themselves to the uncertainty offered by any serving soldier fighting in a war zone.
After you returned to your unit in Iraq, you had planned to write and tell me the whole truth in your very first letter to me and hope for my understanding. That letter was never penned though. Two days after you returned to duty, you were blown up on patrol by a land mine. Being an only child whose parents had been killed in a traffic accident five years earlier, there was no next of kin to inform of your death and had it not been for your close army friend, who was seriously maimed in the land mine explosion that killed you, I would never have known. He had undergone five months rehabilitation at Stanford Hall in Nottingham after the loss of both legs, before he decided to write to me. Without his letter, I would never have been informed as to the reason behind your absence of contact.
My feelings now are filled with belated grief and guilt for having so misjudged you, my love. At least a large part of you lives on in me and remains to justify our love and my continued existence. I love you so much, dear Richard and I'm so sorry for ever doubting your love for me. When our child, little Richard grows up, I'll proudly tell him about his dad and I promise that we will never let one Christmas go by without the two of us lighting a candle in your memory at Midnight Mass. I love you so much, Richard. Milly and the little one x " William Forde: December 27th, 2015.