One Still Night – part two

Ben paced up and down the hall, sheet music in hand. He was determined to get his part right. He’d only joined the choir six months ago and was honoured to be allowed to join the carol singing concert tour. He’d heard about it online. Choirs from all different parts of the country were working their way around the cathedral cities, in their localities.

Ben lived in Worcester and his choir was going around the Midlands and Wales, ending in Cardiff. He was going to stay over in Cardiff for a few days, before going to see the South West choir team in Truro. It would be worth the journey.

A year ago he’d received a message online from someone called Nat. She said she knew his sister, Esther and asked if he would they like to meet her. She said she was also a relation of his, although distant. Ben had been confused and surprised at the sudden contact. He was adopted and knew only that he had a sister but he had no idea why she didn’t seem to know him. He had met his parents when he was eighteen and they had mentioned his sister briefly but mentioned nothing about meeting. He was resigned to being part of the family he grew up with and he loved them dearly, but a part of him ached to be part of his real family too.

So he had quickly messaged Nat back for more details. She said Esther had learnt from her auntie while looking at old photo’s that she had an older brother, but he was given up for adoption as a baby. It wasn’t that they didn’t love him, but they were very young and concerned that they wouldn’t be able to provide for him. Their own parents didn’t have much and while they knew he would have had the most loving family he could ever wish for, love alone didn’t provide food and clothing.

So Esther had confided in Nat, not wishing to cause her parents the pain of remembering the separation and between them, they had begun a subtle search for him. All they knew was his name and that he had grown up in the Midlands. It was a long process but finally Nat had found the closest match and sent him a message.

Nat wrote that Esther lived in Hampshire, loved music and would be leaving on a choir tour of the cathedrals of the South West in mid December. It ended in Truro on Christmas Eve and she suggested it would be a wonderful Christmas present for him to try to meet her there.

Ben had eagerly but with slight trepidation, messaged to ask for precise dates and agreed to stay in touch with Nat. He wanted to have something in common with Esther when they met, so he had joined the local choir as he enjoyed singing and loved music, but had never done it as part of a group. He was loving being part of a team and the choir was fantastic, so he knew they should have lots to talk about when they met.


Esther settled into her seat on the coach and wiped away some of the condensation on the window, drawing a star. They’d start at Winchester, technically not South West but it was too good to miss out, then head onto Salisbury, and work their way along and down before ending in Truro.

She clutched Nat’s letter to her. Ben. That was her big brother’s name. Nat had found him after hours of online searching and contacting parish secretaries with birth details hoping for a christening record. He had messaged her back and said he would do his best to meet Esther in Truro.

“He is five foot ten, , blue eyes, brown hair” Esther read to herself “he loves music, but isn’t the best singer. He has joined his local choir to get better and wants to meet you”.

Esther stroked the paper with affection. She liked Ben already. She knew perhaps she shouldn’t be going behind her parents backs, but maybe it was time they were reunited?

Snow began to fall softly outside and she felt hope flutter in her heart.


“Ah, ah ah ah ah ah ahhh!” Ben took a deep breath and began again. His choir were warming up for their concert outside Worcester cathedral. There was a massive Christmas tree and lights draped around the surrounding trees. They stood opposite the river Severn, protected by the trees and buildings, a square of sacred space. Everyone was wrapped up snugly and a crowd began to gather below them.

Nearby he could faintly hear the sounds of the city rushing by, but in this place, it was still. He smiled at his fellow choir members as they took their places and began to sing. Their voices began gently, singing “Silent Night”, rising at the end of each verse to emphasise the good news and falling away to remind the captive audience, of the peace of that special still night. Ben felt for the letter he had written to give to Esther in his pocket. He wanted her to know all about him and was keen to learn all about her. He marvelled at how so many people come together and hear Christmas songs and wondered if they were part of families or alone. He hoped everyone in that crowd had someone. If not now, but that they would find someone soon. He smiled as they launched into “Once in Royal David’s City”, his favourite and wondered what Esther favourite carol was. Soon, he would find out.

If you want to read more, its justs £1.99 on kindle ebooks! All proceeds to Cancer Research UK.


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