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Thursday, 4 October 2012

Both Jasons went to her aid.

Jason had had what would be considered as an ordinary working class life until that eventful day.

His father, who was a bricklayer by trade, had only been involved in Jason's life on a daily basis until he was about six or seven years old. He couldn't remember the exact time when his father stopped being around every day.

Mother had been a housewife until father left. But then she had to find work to keep the family together, housed and fed. From shop assistant to waitress, to hotel receptionist, to bar manager: any job that would pay enough money for basic essentials.

For most of Jason's childhood there had only been him, mother and his older brother Andy. There would have been four if his twin sibling Jack, he would have been called, had survived at birth. On infrequent occasions Jason would spend short periods of time, just him, with his father. For a short period, when he was about nine, he and Andy had to live with his grandparents because their mother suffered another period of depression and was hospitalised. The cause was linked to the death of the baby: a death that was never talked about. There cannot be any doubt that it was not an easy life for them all.

There were times in his childhood when Jason was left on his own; when his mother was at work and Andy was out doing his own thing. But he recalls on these occasions he never felt totally alone.

In his early twenties he married Sophie and they had two children, John and Ann.

The special day was to celebrate their thirtieth wedding anniversary. All his family, except his father who by this time had died, were at the party. It was to be a day of celebration of happy times. But time will only show what significance the day actually had.

The arrangements for the celebration meal had gone to plan. The family decided to take a table for ten people at the local summer 'black tie' charity ball. As usual the ball was held in the Majestic Hotel in the neighbouring town as it was the only one capable of seating 250 diners. Jason and Sophie had used the hotel and its restaurant facilities before and were glad to be there again. All the family members seemed to be enjoying themselves; the ladies looking beautiful in their glamorous dresses; the men like a waddle of penguins in their dinner jackets.

After the meal, Dave, one of Jason's cousins, saw him at the bar getting a refill of drinks for Sophie and himself, and said: “What you up to you old devil? I saw you at reception and then going up the stairs to the bedrooms. Are you checking it out for you and Sophie to stay the night?” Jason looked at him with a puzzled expression and said: “What are you going on about? Sophie and I have been here in the bar for ages.” “Sorry mate I could have sworn it was you, it must be your doppelg√§nger again!”

That's what other people had said when they thought they had seen Jason in the past, but they couldn't have. With hindsight, he should have thought more about those many times when his friends and colleagues mentioned that they had seen him at different places and on different days when they couldn't have; because he was never there. Too often friends and acquaintances had said: “I called and waved to you, but you obviously didn't see me.” or “What were you doing in Canterbury (Maidstone, Ashford or other local towns) the other day?” or “Who was that lady with you when I saw you last week?” and other comments on a similar theme.

The evening celebrations were drawing to an end and the taxi to take Jason and Sophie home had arrived. They had agreed to take his mother home, as they were passing her house on their journey, so Jason went to the lounge area to find her. Sophie was still in the bar when her brother Phil found her saying: “I've just seen Jason in reception waiting for you.” as Jason returned from the lounge with mother.

Having said their good-nights to any remaining party-goers in the bar, the three of them, Jason with Sophie on one arm and mother on the other, headed for the taxi via the reception area.

As they turned left out of the bar they came to a sudden halt. Jason thought he had turned the wrong way and was facing a mirror. He was looking at himself. But why couldn't he see the ladies on his arms?

He felt someone pull on his left arm. It was mother as she fainted with shock and fell to the floor. Both Jasons went to her aid.

Sophie stepped back in amazement saying “It can't be, it's impossible . . .”

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