It's the perfect place for us, you see, it's far enough away from the village that I can drive down to get my shopping, and far enough away so that I am never bothered. Not that anyone would come out here to see me, anyway.
I have a reputation, those gossips in the village, they have nothing better to do with their time than sit in the pub, drinking, and when they get bored their jokes they like to make up things and point fingers. They talk about women and their tongues, but there is nothing worse than a room full of men with too much beer in their empty heads. I am sure they think I am a crazy man. A sad lonely hermit.
I haven’t always lived here alone, of course… I had a wife, many years ago.
She was a childhood sweetheart. She lived in the village, and I lived up here in the farm, with my parents, learning the family trade, so to speak. She was beautiful, the moment I saw her, I knew there was something about her. She went to school, college and then university. But she was always mine, she always came home. As we grew, we watched people all around us growing apart, we grew stronger. After my parents died the farm was mine. We got married and she moved up here with me.
I loved her with all my heart, she was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me, and it was the sort of love that men with more passion in their hearts would write poetry about.
She worked, she always wanted to, I was never quite sure what it was she did, but I knew she wore a suit and posh shoes. She worked in the city. Most mornings she was up before I was, and that is quite a feat to be up before a farmer, there are always things to do, you know?
We had children, twins, Ben and Mary, she stopped when she had to, and when they were old enough, she went back to work. Of course, I couldn’t look after them all day, and she thought they would have a better chance somewhere else, so once they were old enough, she sent them off to a boarding school.
Work, that was what consumed our lives, her in her office, me here on the farm. It worked for us. We spent enough time together, we slept happily in the same bed. What more could a man ask for?
I remember that Christmas so well. The children were home from school, she had some time off, and was busy making the place festive, and… herself. The drinking, she was starting after lunch, and carrying on until bed time. We started to argue. She told me she hated the farm. She hated her life. That we could move into the city, that her salary could pay for us to be comfortable. That she was sure I could find a little job to keep me out of trouble. Well… Let me tell you, I got a little angry. Of course I wasn’t going to leave this place. This was my home, it has been in my family for generations. Ben was going to take over the farm, that was his birth right. Why should we stop our lives for her and her stuck up job?
We went over it for days, she telling me how I would never amount to anything, telling me how life inside the city would be different, all the mod cons that we could have. I suppose it was then I understood that I didn’t love her. I didn’t know her, and she certainly didn’t know me. The more she drank, the worse it got, we argued and argued.
It ended with her telling me she was going to leave, take the kids and go to a friends’ house. She told me that she wouldn’t come back, that there were men more like her that would make her happier than I ever could. I slept on the sofa that night, that one right there.
The next day she put my children in the car and without a word she drove off.
They say it was her fault, the roads were icy, she was driving too fast, the alcohol in her blood, what ever it was, she lost control and hit a wall. They were all killed, instantly, I am told. But I am sure they would tell me that anyway, to soften the blow so to speak.
That's when it all started, the gossip in the village, just because I know my way around an engine, just because she was leaving me, fingers pointed... But you wouldn't believe that idle gossip... Would you?