One Day 18
Chapter eighteen Three Anniversaries Friday, 15th July 2005
The months had passed. A year had passed.
Very early in the morning of 15th July 2005, Dexter Mayhew was drinking in a club in Central London. It was the kind of club that stayed open very late. Dexter was alone. Earlier, he had come to the club with Maddy, his manager, and two of the other workers from his deli. Dexter had wanted them all to drink to the memory of Emma at exactly midnight, at the beginning of her anniversary day. They had gladly come with him. But soon after midnight the others had left the club. They needed to go home. Maddy had tried to make Dexter go home too, but he'd wanted to stay, and Maddy had left. Now Dexter was very drunk.
Finally, Dexter left and walked to another club, where he continued drinking. Soon he got into a fight. He knew that he wasn't going to win the fight. He didn't want to win the fight. He wanted to die.
The fight ended with Dexter lying unconscious in the street. When he woke, he found that someone had stolen his money and his keys. There was blood all over his clothes. Somehow, he found his way back to Belsize Park. But outside his front door, he realized that he couldn't get into the flat without his keys. He lay down and went to sleep on the ground. Sylvie found him unconscious there in the morning when she brought Jasmine for a visit.
Sylvie had ended her relationship with Callum O'Neill and Dexter now got on quite well with his ex-wife. When she found Dexter outside his door, she phoned his father. She had her own keys, so she took Dexter into the flat and washed him and found him some clean clothes. Later, Stephen Mayhew arrived and took Dexter back to Oxfordshire. Now that they had both lost their wives, they understood each other better. Dexter's father was gentle with him. Saturday, 15th July 2006
The months had passed. Another year had passed.
For Dexter, the second anniversary of Emma's death wasn't as painful as the first one. When the deli closed for the day, he decided to spend the evening alone. He wanted to look through Emma's books and photographs. He was going to keep some of them. He was going to give some of them to her parents. The others were going to her friends.
So in the evening, he sat with Emma's things around him. He thought about the previous anniversary and he remembered a strange thing. A few days after 15th July last year, he'd received a kind letter from Ian Whitehead. 'When Emma left me, I hated you,' he had written. 'I wanted to die. But after a few years I met someone else and my life changed. And now I'm happy again. We have three children. I know how you must feel without Emma, Dexter. And I know that she loved you very, very much. I used to think that you weren't good enough for her. But none of us was good enough for Emma. And we have to go on for her. Please take care of yourself.'
After that letter, Dexter and Ian had spoken on the phone a few times. But they both knew that they weren't going to meet again.
Dexter spent a lot of the evening looking at Emma's old photos. He found some which Emma had taken on Arthur's
Seat in Edinburgh. One of them had been taken by someone else and showed both Emma and Dexter. These photos had been taken on the first day they had ever spent together. Suddenly, Dexter felt terrible. There were so many memories. He started to cry, but he knew what to do. He phoned his friend Maddy. Talking to her made him calm again. 'Shall I come to you?' she said. 'I can get a taxi.'
'No, it's all right. I just wanted hear a friendly voice,' Dexter told her. 'I'll be fine now.' And soon, he felt much better.
Sunday, 15th July 2007
The months had passed. One more year had passed.
On the third anniversary of Emma's death, Dexter was in Edinburgh, with Maddy and Jasmine. Dexter and Maddy were a couple now and they were having a short holiday with Dexter's daughter. This morning, Maddy had told Dexter to take Jasmine for a walk. 'I'll go to one of the art galleries,' she'd said. She'd guessed that Dexter wanted to visit places from his past. She'd also guessed that he wanted to talk to Jasmine about Emma.
Jasmine was seven years old now and she walked happily beside Dexter. First they walked to Rankeillor Street and for a minute, Dexter looked up at the window of the flat where Emma used to live. Then they walked through the streets towards Arthur's Seat.
'Let's do some climbing,' said Dexter when they reached the hill. 'There's a wonderful view from the top.'
'Did Emma come up here too?' Jasmine asked him when they reached the top.
'Yes, we came here together,' Dexter replied. 'I have a photo of us both on the hill. I'll show you it when we get back to London.'
'Do you miss Emma?' Jasmine asked quietly.
'Yes, I miss her every day,' Dexter said. 'She was my best friend. Do you miss her?'
'I think I miss her,' Jasmine said. 'But I was only four when she died. I don't remember her very well. She was nice, wasn't she?' 'She was very nice,' Dexter said.
'Who's your best friend now, Daddy?' asked Jasmine.
'You are, of course,' Dexter replied quickly.
'Can we go down now?' Jasmine said. 'I'm a bit tired.'