Tag Archives: love

For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her

Not strictly speaking a ‘story,’ this is more a moment in time exercise for me. And who knows, maybe someday I’ll write something where I can use this. In any event, it makes me smile.

I rang Kara’s cell phone around 9:20 her time. I expected that she would be just getting off work at the little book store where she was employed part time in the evenings to help pay for college. Excuse me, for ‘university’ as they call it there, making more of a distinction between that and ‘college’ that most Americans would bother to do.

It was quite cold, and I tucked one hand under my armpit while I waited for her to answer. Finally, she did. “Robert,” I could hear the grin in her voice as her caller-ID gave her a hint about my identity, “How are you my darling?”

I joined her in a chuckle. My name isn’t Robert. “What are you wearing?” I retorted in as sleazy a voice as I could manage.

“Nothing at all,” she replied. Then, in a more distant voice as if she turned the phone away to speak to someone else present, she said, “Good night, Angus. I’ll see you tomorrow, yeah?” It wasn’t really a question, just one of those charming little habits Brits like her use. I imagine they do not feel the same way about ‘bro’ and ‘like’ and ‘yanno’ from us Yanks. Turning her attention back to me, she said “Hang on a smidge, I’m just locking up now.”

“Take your time,” I said, switching the phone to my other hand as I tried to keep at least the semblance of life in both extremities. I gave her a few moments to lock the door I remembered from my last trip over the Puddle to meet her: a big oak affair with window in the center and the name of the shop frosted into it at just below eye level for me. “What are you doing tonight?” I asked when I thought sufficient time had passed.

“What?” she said, then, “Oh. Not much. Home, homework, bed. The usual. Why?”

“I don’t know,” I tried not to smile too hard as I spoke, she might hear the amusement before I was ready. “I just had a strange thought. Say, do me a favor?”

“Wassat?”

“Look to your left.”

“Alright, I’m looking to my left. Why am I doing this?”

“Look up more. Down the street, about a block away.”

There was silence from her end for a moment. “There’s someone there,” she said finally, “waving at m….” she never finished the word. Instead, she began to run. The phone line cut off abruptly as she stuffed it back into the pocket of her great thick wool coat.

I also began to run. We met halfway, and she jumped at the last moment, slamming into me full length. Luckily I had predicted this based on previous, similar encounters, and I was braced for it. She wrapped her legs around my waist, her arms around my neck. It was a long time before either of us could speak again.

“You’re a liar,” I told her when we came up for air. I glanced down at her attire meaningfully.

She grinned, “And you’re a terrible, terrible tease. Why didn’t you tell me you were coming over?”

I laughed as I set her gently on her feet, and we began to stroll slowly back up the road towards the book shop. The closest way to her flat, at that time, was actually on the other side of the store. “I’m just in country for a little business,” I shrugged, “and wanted to surprise you.”

“Well, you did that!” She took my hand in hers as we walked. The scent of juniper was light and earthy in the cold, crisp air. Her strawberry curls glittered in the light of the streetlamps. “How long will you be here?” she asked with a soft, tremulous note in her voice.

“I’m not sure,” I told her honestly. “That depends on how the business I’m here for goes. If things go well, I may be here for as long as a week. If not, I may leave in a day or two.”

She squeezed my hand and we walked without speaking for a time, listening to the church bell peal the half-hour. “I hope you stay longer,” she said when the last note faded.

“So do I.”

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Love At First Sight – May Writing Challenge

It was love at first sight. How could it not be? He was everything she had ever wanted in a man. He was tall, handsome, strong. He looked like he could carry the weight of the world on his shoulders and remain unbroken by the ordeal. He was perfect, and in that first glance she felt her heart flutter.

They met for the first time shortly after her transfer from Chicago to the New York main office of her firm. She was late and flustered. After a short weekend in the city mostly spent dealing with moving in and getting the heat and power turned on, she hadn’t had time to learn the subway system yet and it was far more confusing than the CTA. She fumbled with her briefcase, attempting to fish out her letter of introduction which explained which floor she was to meet her contact on, and a gust of wind caught and scattered her papers. She scurried to fetch them back, and that’s when she met him for the first time. A photocopy of her birth certificate blew up against his leg and was trapped there for a moment.

He smiled faintly at her as she apologized and retrieved her errant document, and she felt her heart melt. She was even later getting in to work on her first day, but it was worth it. They met for coffee later that day.

Coffee became a regular event with them. On lunch breaks, she would head downstairs to the Starbucks and pick up a latte then meet him out in front by the fountain and they would spend the hour together. Although he never said it himself, she could tell he had feelings for her too. He always had that shy little smile for her, no matter how bad their days had been up until that point.

He was a very good listener. She told him everything about herself. About her family back in Ohio, and what it was like growing up in a small town. She told him about her first boyfriend in high school, and how he broke her heart when he dumped her just before prom so he could go with Susie Reynolds instead. She told him about moving away to college, and how hard it was to be away from her family for the first time, and about how strange it was to see them again a year later. She had changed while they were exactly the same. She told him about going to work for the firm, and her fast rise to on the corporate track. It helped, she admitted, not having a boyfriend.

And finally, after several weeks, she told him of her fears. That she was growing too old to find a husband, that she would die a spinster. And all the while he smiled his faint smile. She told him she loved him, and she didn’t care what anyone else thought about that. She was happy dating a statue.

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In response to Sonia MedeirosMay Writing Challenge

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