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Alone

Gaye Horrell was an old age pensioner in her seventies who lived alone in her tiny little apartment. The place was run down and dingy and had she had the choice to live elsewhere for her twilight years, she would have taken it.

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She flicked on her dated old TV and the news came. As she sipped on her cup of tea watching the headlines something familiar came on the screen. Gaye’s mouth fell open. She had just lost out on 13 million pounds.

Young Love

Gaye met Tim Holme when they were in their early twenties back in the 1960s and as relationships went back then, they were married soon after despite barely knowing one another.

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Gaye pictured a wonderful life ahead of the couple filled with children and happy memories. She was about to discover it was only going to be filled with regret.

In-Laws

Gaye’s inlaws were having a yard sale one day and eager to please her new family, she went along with Tim. The couple, called Bob and Ethel home, lived in a farmhouse and were what you might call “country bumpkins”. Ethel was particularly cantankerous when she wanted to be and Gaye had a bad feeling about her.

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If Ethel offered you a sandwich and tea, you ate it or woe be to you! That was why when Gaye went over that day, Ethel’s pushy, bossy nature was to end up ruining not only her day but her life. In more ways than one…

Diamond In The Rough

Gaye began to look around the yard sale at all the items her in-laws were getting rid of.  Ethel had said they could take whatever they liked. It was mostly junk (although she had to say it was all fabulous in front of Ethel) but there was one thing that gleamed like a gem at her.

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The painting seemed to have an aura coming off it when she discovered it. Something about it screamed out to be taken. The painting itself was of an old farmhouse but it had a hypnotically dark atmosphere. Gaye simply had to own it. She was about to face the wrath of Ethel for that decision.

Fit For Goodwill

“I’d love to take this Mrs Holme, if it’s all right” said Gaye smiled. Ethel’s face dropped in an instant and went dark. “I won’t have it!” snarled Gaye. “This old thing is only fit for Goodwill at best. Actually, that’s where it will go. You’ll have these old bells that were mine from my wedding and that’s it” she roared.

Gaye cowered away from the old tyrant and glanced over at Tim who was looking at his feet. She nudged her husband to back her up and not be a baby. Nothing. “Pathetic” thought Gaye. She was going to settle this once and for all.

Shouted Down

“Mrs Holme, I’d really like to take the painting if it means nothing to you. I think you should keep the bells, they seem to have more sentimental value to you!” said Gaye timidly.

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Ethel’s face turned to stone in an instant. “How DARE you disrespect my wishes!” she bellowed. “You’re taking the bells and this piece of trash is going to Goodwill and that’s FINAL” Ethel roared. Not standing up to her bullying mother in law would be a decision she would live to regret.

Art Collector

Luigi Grasso was an art collector who loved to peruse the antique stores and second-hand stores of London. One day while out hunting for a bargain he saw something unmistakeable in an antique shop in Uxbridge.

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His eyes widened as he looked from side to side to see if anyone else had noticed what he had. No one noticed. In a flash, he was at the till paying and then out the door with his treasure. Gaye’s fate was sealed.

Regret

Gaye’s stared up at the black mold starting to creep across the bathroom ceiling. She sighed and then started to wheeze. It irritated her lungs and she had no children to help her deal with it.

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She and Tim had divorced some years after meeting after having no family. Gaye never remarried but she had so many regrets from her broken first marriage. She was about to feel that familiar sting one last time.

On The News

Exhausted, Gaye plopped herself down at her kitchen table and poured herself a cup of tea. She flicked on the TV to fill the deafening silence that resounded through her lonely apartment.

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The news came on and a reporter began talking about a painting that had just been recovered after years and years. Gaye’s cup of tea fell out of her hand and bounced to the ground when she saw it. She was sickened.

Sickening

It was the very painting her mother in law just insisted wasn’t worth anything now selling for a whopping 13 million pounds. An old angry flame inside Gaye was reignited as she stared at the very painting that had called out to her all those years ago.

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She looked around her depressing old flat and thought of how different her life might have been if she had kept the painting. The artist who painted the painting was literally one of the greats. 

Van Gogh

The painting had one name at the bottom right: Vincent. It was evaluated by the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and it turned out to be an unmistakable Van Gogh original.

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The painting’s title was ‘Peasant Woman In Front Of A Farmhouse’. Gaye had been in a farmhouse herself when she first encountered it. At this particular moment, Gaye wished she could travel back in time to slap her mother in law and run away with the painting.

Miserable Life

Gaye’s life had turned out not all that different from Vincent’s. Vincent had been a pauper most of his life and only sold one painting in his lifetime. Only after his death did his worth become worth anything.

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Gaye’s life could have been filled with riches and finery had she not been so concerned with the opinions of a woman she never even liked. She switched off the TV as tears began to fall, darkening her frilly tablecloth.


Andrea Lowell

TV & Radio Host, Model Food enthusiast and wellness advocate. Certified personal trainer.


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