Meet me on the Beach 4 (Chapter 8 – 15)



I knew that Karen going away wouldn’t be much of a solution to her infatuation. For a while she is content, enjoying her solitude and befriending her landlord Mike, and even working the odd shift for him in the café he runs. Then Mike gives her tickets for a concert, and when she goes, William is there. From that moment, they meet and go for long walks on the beach. They are able to admit to their feelings and how wrong it is. Then one day things go to head when Karen gets angry because she feels that William is playing and he should make up his mind, either he should leave her alone or do something. William leaves, but an hour later he returns, and they can’t stop their passion any longer.

The following days she doesn’t hear from William, and she needs to return home for the fete. One of the things that Karen finds strange is that Sophie has lost weight and looks the worse for wear. Yet, the young woman tells her that nothing is wrong with her.

Karen gets to see William briefly before the fete, and during the fete when she is in the kitchen, Janey, his wife, comes to her. She goes straight to the point, telling her that she knows that there is something going on between her and William. The woman is not vile or unkind, but she lets her know that it is not the first time William has had dalliances with one of his parishioners, and this things must end as there are plans for him to become a bishop.

When Karen sees William next, he is in a bad shape. Karen tells him about Janey, and he explains that one of the women in the village saw them together in the theatre, sitting side by side, and when she told Janey, the latter put two and two together, but Janey doesn’t know anything specific about the romance. William also claims that it is not true he was with other women. Yet, he doesn’t elaborate, but what he says is that they can’t go on like that.

This is the last time William and Karen see each other as Karen returns to her rented flat when Mike asks him to give him a hand with the café. His waitress has gone to Fuengirola with his boyfriend. So Karen agrees. Mike is a good friend to her, and he is one of the few things she has felt free to tell the whole truth about William. During one of the days she is there, Mike is quite down as it is his late wife’s birthday. So Karen suggests they go for a drink. Karen ends up getting drunk, and when Mike takes her to her bedsit, Karen is not herself and even kisses him. Mike pulls away, and at once Karen feels ashamed, but he is very natural about the whole thins and laughs it off.

As a consequence of her night drinking, she forgets her mobile in the pub. When she goes to retrieve it, she realized that there are several missed calls from Patrick, her neighbour, and also some texts. When she contacts him, Patrick tells him that Sophie has tried to kill herself, taking a handful of pills. Karen rushes to the hospital, feeling guilty as she knows that Sophie was depressed and she shouldn’t have left her alone. In the hospital Sophie admits that she feels she has touched rock bottom as she feels useless, unable to find a job or a boyfriend.

It is during this incident with Sophie that  Karen hears that William has upped and left Janey and his vocation. The villagers won’t talk about anything else. William has gone, and Jane has moved in with her parents. There are rumours that there was a woman in the story, and when Karen tries to find out more, one of her neighbours Jennifer treats her derisively, pointing her accusing finger at her. However, Karen hasn’t heard from him again, and when she tried to call him, her call went to voicemail.

Sophie leaves the hospital and she improves little by little. The young woman tells Karen that she should try to find William, but there are no clues. Then when Karen and Sophie go to a meeting, one of the women Sheila says that she has talked to Janey, and apparently, she told her that William is living with an old mentor of his, who Janey doesn’t approve of, helping in a homeless centre in Hastings. Janey also told her that she is now at peace, living in London, as she was never cut out for village life or for being a vicar’s wife. The woman, Sheila, also mentions that she thought there was something else, but that was the only thing Janey told her.

Then Sophie and Karen talk about finding William through this mentor of his. Karen remembers that William once told him about a vicar who was the one who got him into church, and he mentioned that his church, which was in Putney, was burnt down. Sophie decides to do some nosing around the net, and she finds the name of the vicar, but they can’t find his name in the different homeless centres in Hastings. I wonder if Karen will decide to try to find William in Hastings and what he will do. Did he leave Janey because of the affair? Or was there something else? I think there is something we don’t know here. And why hasn’t he tried to contact Karen? Doesn’t she deserve an explanation? Right now I don’t like William too much, but maybe there is an explanation for his silence.


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