فصل 03

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فصل 03

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CHAPTER THREE

Romance grows

Over the next few months, life in the mining village continued in much the same way. When the war in Europe ended, there were wonderful parties in the streets of Tredonald. Everybody hoped that life would be a lot easier - but it wasn’t. People worked as hard as ever, and there was still very little to buy in the shops.

Megan and Huw spent as much time as possible together, taking long walks in the evenings or sometimes going to the Saturday night dances in the village.

‘Will you dance with me on Saturday, Huw?’ Megan asked as they sat together one evening on top of the hill, looking down on the village.

‘Of course, if you’re not too busy dancing with other men,’ he replied.

Huw loved dancing with Megan. It was the one time he could put his arms round her in public. And if they planned it carefully, they were sometimes able to walk home together. They had become good at keeping their love hidden. But they had to dance with other people, too, and Huw hated the way other men held Megan so close that her body was pressed against them.

‘What about you?’ said Megan. ‘You danced with Ruth Hopkins for ages last month… and you were laughing!’

Huw remembered that evening, too. He had enjoyed Megan watching him dancing with Ruth. But it had been a quiet walk home that night.

In winter, it became difficult to go for walks. It was dark when Huw finished work and the weather was cold. And every time he went to the shop, Mr Jenkins was there.

‘I wish we had somewhere warm to go,’ said Megan one cold and windy day in February.

‘What are you doing on Saturday evening?’ asked Huw. ‘Nothing - studying or helping at home. Why?’

‘Do you think you could come out?’ said Huw. ‘There’s a new American film on in Afon. Let’s go.’

‘It’s a long way. How will we get there?’ Megan asked… ‘I’ll borrow a couple of bicycles,’ said Huw. ‘Can you think of something to tell your parents?’

‘Not at the moment, but I will before Saturday,’ replied Megan. The thought of sitting in a warm, comfortable place with Huw for two hours was wonderful. She would think of some story to tell her parents. Anything.

On Friday afternoon, Huw was on his way home from the mine when he met Gareth on his way to work. The mine was open twenty-four hours a day and Gareth was working nights that week. Huw didn’t like it when he and Gareth worked at different times - they never seemed to see each other.

At home, Huw took some money out of the money box. He tried not to think what Gareth would say if he knew. But he wanted to buy Megan a present. This Saturday was going to be a night to remember.


Saturday evening at the cinema was wonderful. Being away from the village made Megan and Huw feel free. For once, they were able to walk down the street holding hands, without thinking about other people seeing them, and in the cinema they both found it difficult to watch the film.

‘Huw, stop… please,’ said Megan quietly after a long kiss. ‘We should try and watch a bit of the film.’

But they soon turned to each other again.

The lights went on as the film ended and they stood up slowly. Neither of them wanted to leave. Outside was real life; inside they could be together.

They cycled back towards Tredonald and Megan could feel her heart getting heavier as they got nearer. They stopped just round the corner from her flat.

‘This is for you, Megan,’ said Huw, giving her a small box. ‘I hope you like it.’

He watched her face as she took out the silver necklace.

‘It’s only second-hand,’ he continued. ‘One day I’ll buy you a new one.’

‘Oh Huw, I don’t want a new one, this is lovely,’ said Megan, putting it round her neck. ‘But it must have cost you a lot.’ She knew he didn’t have much money.

‘Come here, my girl,’ he said. ‘Stop talking and give me a goodnight kiss.’

But suddenly there was a loud noise from the mine.

‘Christ!’ said Huw. ‘What the hell was that!’

But they both knew what it was. It was the sound the village hoped they would never hear. All along the street, doors opened and men and women came out. They ran towards the mine, all thinking of the men who might be caught five-hundred metres below the ground: ‘Please God, don’t let it be my husband, my brother or my son.’

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