Because Of One Sunday

Merit in the 'Top Secret 2016' competition

Mr Harold sat down in front of the fireplace, Rosie, his lamb, beside his chair. This was his favourite time of the week. Every Sunday evening, Mr Harold read his latest edition newspaper.
In the eighty years of his life, Mr Harold had bought and kept every Sunday paper without fail. Consequently, his small cottage on the outskirts of Adlingtonbakewelihamsted was almost completely occupied by 4160 newspapers from every week of every year of his life.
He kept them in sets of fifty-two, spread throughout his house, labelled to remind him what year they were from.
Rosie was his only company. No one had much to do with Mr Harold. They were all too busy. Mr Harold didn’t blame them.
One particular Sunday morning, a storm swept across Adlingtonbakewellhamsted so vast and destructive that Mr Harold was forced to stay indoors. That meant no walking to get this week’s newspaper. He couldn’t drive in his possibly-hundred-year-old car either because last time it rained the car made one last ‘Bang!’ and that was it. So now he wouldn’t get the paper for the 14th of December, 1952.
Mr Harold was worried.
If it didn’t stop raining, his collection would be incomplete! Forever! Mr Harold did everything he could. He tried ringing the mechanic but the phone lines were down. He was so desperate he tried yelling out the window to the newsagent to bring it up, except the wind silenced his loudest voice.
His collection was ruined and there was absolutely nothing he could do.
Weeks went by and Mr Harold kept buying the newspaper every Sunday, but it didn’t feel the same. There was a gaping hole in his collection. Sunday’s weren’t as exciting anymore.
But that all changed when he met Miss June.
Miss June was eighty years old and new to Adlingtonbakewellhamsted. She was small and bent over with a cane in one hand, but she was sweeter than a rose.
She had been curious to know where this nice man took his weekly newspaper, so she had decided to follow him. Up the hill she had shuffled until he stopped at a small cottage.
Mr Harold turned around to look over the town, but instead he saw the surprised face of an old lady.
“Hello. I’m Mr Harold.” He held out his hand. Miss June shook it and smiled.
“I’m Miss June. I was just, um, coming to say hello!”
“Ah! Would you like to come in?”
Miss June was amazed at Mr Harold’s collection and surprised to hear that it was incomplete. An idea sprung to mind and she soon set off back down the hill.
A week passed before Mr Harold opened his door, looked down, and saw little Miss June with a parcel in her hands. She leant on her cane and held it out to Mr Harold. He unwrapped it and opened up a newspaper dated:
Sunday 14th December 1952
Mr Harold smiled and said, “Would you like to come in?”

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