More of the parallel story.
Reading, Today 2.As Jane predicted, the party was loud, full of booze and something that resembled dancing. At least dancing where there was room. Betty's flat was in a building full of student flats, so the noise was tolerated by the other residents in exchange for the cheap rent. Besides that, most of them were already at the party. After taking a stab at dancing, Ben and Frances found themselves a spot on a couch and tried to talk. It was too loud for normal conversation.
Ben shouted, “Frances, would you like to take a walk? Somewhere we could talk.”
She shouted back “Yes.”
They grabbed their jackets and slipped out, unnoticed, into the night. As the sound faded behind them Ben said, “I used to enjoy loud parties like that. Guess I'm getting old.”
“Either that or more sensible.”
They walked together to one end of Whitley Park Lane, a closei in the suburb, and then down to its end where the macadam stopped and it became a dirt track. Frances found herself naturally slipping her hand into Ben's as they walked into the field beyond. A few stars peeked through the light pollution from the city. When they stopped to look at them, she said, “I don't know why, but this place always feels familiar to me. There ought to be a house here, but.”
Ben looked around in the dim light that bled over from the streets. “Wouldn't it have been on that side of the field?”
“I don't know. It just felt like there ought to be a house, some stables. Wonder if I'm having Deja vu. Maybe if we follow the track?”
“It's just allotments on the other end.”
“I don't know. It just felt like there ought to be a house, some stables. Wonder if I'm having Deja vu.”
Frances' response, “Stop it. That joke was old when I was born,” didn't stop her from pulling Ben closer.
“I suppose it was. I've had this feeling of similarity and difference ever since I got off the train in Reading Station a month ago. It's as if the city is familiar and then different.”
“You know the Hexagon is where the magistrate's court is?”
“No, but I suppose it must be. That's the police building isn't it?”
“Last week I tried to go to the old court building, on Castle Street. It was daft.”
“I know what you mean. My flat's down Beech Lane, and I keep going the long way, via Whitley. No idea why. Whitley just seems like home. Speaking of home, would you like some tea at my flat?”
iA 'close' is a dead-end road with one entrance. It can be more complex than a simple lane with a turn-around at the end, but that's the most common usage.