There was once a very special phone box. It could be found in a small eastern town, ten minutes’ brisk walk uphill from the river estuary. It was on that corner; you know, the one where the main road joined that side road leading to the bungalow of the-best-friend-that-ever-could-be-wished-for. To look at, it was an unremarkable, standard-issue box. It post-dated the familiar, solid big red model: instead it had a brushed-grey metal frame, clear glass walls and a token red strip across the front. As the small eastern town was off the main vandalism drag (then), the phone box was rarely, if ever, attacked. It got grimy, as anything would left to its own devices on a street corner, but that was it. Once, while staying in Blighty, it turned out to be the nearest point of call to The Matronne’s lodgings. She did have a mobile phone and a landline. However, never being afforded any privacy for the all-important international calls on which her personal life then, as now, depended, she started using the phone box. Increasingly, it heard intimate details of life, love and death. While in there, it was her personal, private space. Close friends called her there at a pre-arranged time, knowing she’d be there and able to talk. Even after she’d moved to other accommodation, where no-one eavesdropped, it remained her private number. She never knew anyone else to use it. But they did. The Doc-Doc did, even before he was one Doc. The Doc-Doc lived further up the town and, from time to time, went to The Pub with The Matronne. When they did, they met and parted at the phone box. They were in and out of Blighty, on one promise or another, at regular intervals. Saying a final goodbye at that spot was a ritual, yet they always came back. Time after time, guaranteed ‘the post of a lifetime’ in one outpost or another, they still returned. Couldn’t leave. Eventually, convinced the phone box had a role to play in all this, both of them stopped trying so hard to go. One day, the phone box itself was gone. All that remained was broken concrete under foot. It was oddly unsettling. After waiting and watching for some time, it became obvious that no replacement was coming and that space stayed empty. That fact accepted, The Matronne left, too. And this time she stayed away. She did not look back. Now, she meets and parts from The Doc-Doc in other places. They believe the phone box still exists where it always has, in another dimension, on the other side. The Doc-Doc still looks towards that spot when he passes on the bus and thinks of ‘their’ phone box. He knows the door to elsewhere is still there; all he has to do is get there.