OUR ARRIVAL AT BENNINGTON
The weather is warm and cozy. Indeed, there is nothing in this world, which can beat winter, when you are away from cities.
“You were right Steve, we should leave the air of the city sometimes, it freshens the mind and body. Oh, look what magnificent view we have here.”
“True Albert but I recommend you sit back at your seat and relax. We still have a long journey ahead.”
“Ok fine you win.”
After three hours, we finally reached our destination, Bennington. It is a quiet and peaceful place, a little bit far from London. Steve owned a villa here and always during his holidays, he comes here, to get fresh air. This time to my luck he invited me also to join him and I can’t deny a friend’s invite.
“I feel fresh already.”
“Don’t get carried away so soon. Come on help me bring down the luggage and yes, don’t forget, you lost the bet and now you’ll be carrying all the luggage till we reach our destination.”
“What! What do you mean by destination? Aren’t we gonna hire a cab.”
With a devilish smile, he replied, “My dear Albert, sorry I forgot to tell you that there aren’t any cabs or gypsies available here. People here believe in self physical labor. That’s why I insisted you on a bet.”
I was completely infuriated but it’s my fault that I didn’t ask him the reason for the bet, so I carried the luggage all by myself to the villa.
It was a five-mile walk from the station, but upon reaching the villa I was surprised or rather shocked, I don’t know how to put it together but I didn’t even break a sweat. I was trying to understand what happened just now, when Steve came from behind and putting his hand on my shoulder, said, “Don’t get so much surprised, it happens. It’s the fresh air that fills our body with new energy. That’s why people don’t need transport here when they have such a gift from mother nature. Come on in feel home.”
We walked in. It’s in a nice location, a massive villa, surrounded by vegetation from all directions. The entrance is a stone-paved pathway, surrounded by rows of fir on both sides. We reached the main hall door and were welcomed by a gentleman and a lady. They were Steve’s uncle and aunt. Until then I didn’t know that Steve’s uncle and aunt lived here, I thought he used to live here alone during holidays. Later, he explained to me, “I wanted to buy a villa far away from the city to spend some quality time during holidays and then I came to know that my uncle and aunt were looking for a villa here to shift in, so I helped them financially a little bit and we brought the best, which you can find in Bennington.”
“Welcome, how was your journey? Ah! talks can wait for dinner, you both must be tired from the long journey. Water is ready upstairs, get fresh, the dinner will be ready in thirty.” with these words, Steve’s uncle showed us the rooms and proceeded towards the kitchen with his wife.
In thirty, I was fresh and ready. Dishes were already laid and Steve was already in his chair. I joined him and we soon started filling our appetite.
Steve’s uncle broke the chain of silence, seeing that we are fresh and full of energy again, “So, how is your business going Steve?” Steve runs a hardware shop in London and is soon planning to own another. “It’s good, as usual never out of work, rather very busy recently.”
“Very well, and what about your friend here?”
“Ah, my name is Albert, Albert Fering. I work as the head accountant in Henry and Co.”
“Great, you must be making a nice sum out of it.”
“So, how did you two become friends? Your business doesn’t collide, so I assume you have a story to tell.”
“Well, you remember ‘The war of the Canoe Canyon’.”
“Certainly, Steve was a part of it, how can I forget.”
“It was the first time we met. Steve was in the third battalion and I was in the nineteenth battalion. Our battalions did a search and capture operation together. I was shot during the mission and Steve saved my life. It marked the start of our friendship. Later, when the war was over, we both came back to London together to make a living. He started a hardware shop, and I, well I had a degree in accounts, so I started working for Henry and Co. and climbed my ranks up. Well what about you, Steve never told me about his uncle and aunt.”
“Interesting, I wonder why he never told?. Anyway, my name is Benedit. You can call me Uncle Ben, that’s what most folks call me. I’m also a retired army personnel. I served in the fifth spencer regiment west. My position was not a very constant one and we used to travel a lot due to operations. It was once when I was here in Bennington, I met a beautiful lady and knew that she is the one. You can see her sitting beside you. I wanted to just stay here forever and spend the rest of my life with her, but my job didn’t allow me. We made a promise that she’ll wait till I’ll return, and so did I. After two years, I took retirement and came to Bennington to spend the rest of my life with my love. We started a little farm business together here and today we own two dairies and three farms and yes, most importantly a happy and peaceful life filled with love.........”
Aunt Susan interrupted, “Oh come on Ben stop, allow them to eat first, our life story can wait for tomorrow.”
“Ok fine, I’ll zip my lips, for now, you always overpower me.”
With some more little talks and stories, we finished our dinner, and soon afterward, we retired to our rooms. Within seconds, I was in my dream world.