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The Story of Thomas


I met Thomas a few years before I moved out from my previous flat, next to an old convent, located by one of the main streets in one of London’s “satellite” towns. Charming and kind, a proper old school gentleman who is not a stranger to a pocket square that is carefully selected to match his tie. We shared a very private and cosy communal garden back then, so after we exchanged a sufficient amount of “How do you do’s”, we become acquainted and then we progressed to a friendship.

That allowed me to find out about more about him. He is a father of two beautiful and talented daughters and one handsome, intelligent and loving son. All of his children left the nest seeking their own path in life, but they remained his joy and pride. He finally decided to retire and move to Spain, but shortly after he did, he found out that he has cancer. It was the reason why he had to come back to the UK immediately, to assume therapy, and it is how he ended up alone in rented accommodation, next door to me. 

Shortly after another tragedy struck – unexpectedly his only son died, he would be just 29 this year. The tragedy placed a great distress on his whole family, as his daughters had not only lost their brother, but their father was fighting for his life with a deadly disease and they could not simply stop their lives to cope with it all.

They could not afford to be for their father as they wished to or as he also needed, and most likely he decided not to impose since he was that kind of father that puts his children first above his own needs. 

One day I found out that Thomas’s daughters’ had bought him a puppy. He named him Soames - after a character in the Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy. Since then, early every morning I could observe Thomas sitting on a wooden bench in our garden with Soames, listening to the birds singing and watching the World go by.

Soames was a gentle dog, full of joy as puppies tend to be, very well behaved and I remember having a sense of relief as I feared for Thomas, as there is nothing worse in such a moment than to have no one to stop you or simply distract you from drowning yourself in your own grief, especially when you need to find a reason to battle for your own life at the same time.

Soames was no longer a puppy when I moved out, until then seeing Thomas and him together was a joy to me, so without any hesitation, I left behind the wooden bench that belonged to me, for Thomas and his dog to enjoy. Sadly, shortly afterwards, I found out that Thomas was forced to give up his dog by a woman named Molly that we decided to call the witch.

I knew that she and her sister owned two flats in the building that they bought as investments, since one of them was the flat that I had been renting for four years, but I did not know that she was a Director of the management company supervising the building and I did not know that all the remaining three directors live at the same address with her, since she was often delegating my requests as a Tenant to the management company, suggesting they were responsible and not her.

Anyway, as Thomas told me, Molly decided to intrude on Thomas’s privacy by simply visiting him unannounced, without being invited and placed demands on him to get rid of his dog, causing a great deal of additional distress to him at the very moment he really did not need it.

Subsequently, she contacted his Landlord, who himself was not making any problems for Thomas in relation of his dog prior to her involvement, and since her family effectively own board of the management company, they convinced Thomas’s Landlord to do the same.

I remember thinking how could such a person sleep at night and I was revisiting the times I spoke to her directly, not knowing how petty an individual she was, but there was no law to prevent her abusing her influence and subsequently forcing Thomas to give up the one joyful thing in this sad period of his life.

Of course she broke the law by harassing him prior to that and intruding upon his privacy, but I did not dare to suggest to Thomas to waste his life to seek her compensation based on this since she was simply not worth it, his time is too precious.

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