A Short Piece About Modern Love

A text from her. “I’m listening to Camera Obscura. Can’t stop thinking of you. Is that weird?”

My head says: “It’s not weird. You have history with those songs. You’re friends now, that’s all.”

My heart does a foxtrot and says: “But it might mean more.”

My head says: “Not for you. Remember how many miles you had to run to mend your broken self the last time?”

My heart droops and says: “Yeah, you’re right, I’m not ready to be heartbroken.”

Two days later and she texts again: “How’s your weekend? I’m back home! x”

My heart does a quickstep. I close my phone. Then I open it again and re-read the text to check there’s a kiss. I’m back at my folks too, so we’re now only 3 miles away instead of the usual 300.

My head says: “Don’t go thinking its fate. She’s a friend, seeing how you’re doing. Nothing more, nothing less.”

My heart says: “Friends offer to meet for drinks when they’re close. She’s a good friend. I’m not a teenager anymore, so let’s meet her for a drink.” I send the text.

A moment later and another text. She’s never replied so quickly.

“Ace! x”

My heart does a cha-cha-cha.

We meet and it’s late and loud in a bar. I’m a bit drunk.

Just looking at her makes my heart forgets the moves to the tango and it meanders around my chest. My head forgets how to form sentences but I get away with it as the music is so loud. I ask if she wants to go outside for a chat.

“Oh o!” says my head.

We sit in a graveyard, the only respite from the Saturday night happening all around us. She shines like a new pin. I try to look into those beautiful brown eyes but it is too dark and they’re just black pools. I want to take hold of her hand but instead I trace around the ancient inscription on the tomb we’re perched on. My heart is thumping out a rumba beat, so loud I’m sure she can she hear it.

My head finds control through the emotion and the alcohol. It is so effective that feelings have been put a distant second to the rational and the sensible.

But my heart is fighting back. It’s had enough of playing second fiddle. It wants to be back on my sleeve. My head says I should run a country mile.

I’m back at my folks, tiredly brushing my teeth while sat on the edge of the bed. My heart is worn out, unused to all this activity. It can’t even manage a tap dance.

There’s a text. My heart is back with a BANG. It has to be her. It is.

“You’re lovely. I’m really glad I saw you x”

I sigh myself to sleep.

I wake and a howling wind is clawing at the window and a text is waiting on my phone. It’s her: “I’m having a roast today with the family so can’t meet up.”

My head says: “See, you’re just friends. That’s what friends do, go for a drink and chat, that’s all.”

My heart is crestfallen but knows when it’s beaten. It can’t even manage a funeral march. I drive back to my house and busy myself with mundane tasks. A couple of days of this and it’ll all be forgotten. “Until the next time she appears,” says my head.

I set about the washing up and I get a text. I dry the suds from my forearms. It’s her: “I’ve a half hour gap between trains. Do you want to come and meet for a coffee or something? x”

My head says: “Don’t be daft. You live 30 minutes from the station. It’s a Sunday evening. Look at that wind? What are you going to do or say in half an hour that can possibly mean anything?”

But my heart is already marching to its own syncopated beat. It says: “There are other towns and cities but she’s in mine. It would be rude not to go and see a friend. A good friend.”

I drive to the station, nervously yawning all the way. I amble nonchalantly over to her platform like meeting pretty girls in train stations is something I do all the time.

We stand outside Piccadilly in the last patch of Sunday sun. Her hair billows in the wind so she is endlessly tucking it behind her ear. We talk about holidays and old friends. Living in a city, climbing up mountains. My heart is backstroking through her words.

And then it’s over so soon. She has to catch her train so we part, she for the platform, me for the car park.

My heart is pounding in my head all the way home. It can sense victory as my head is reeling on the ropes, like a prize-fighter who’s gone one fight too many. My head and my heart bicker and do battle about sending that text. My head says “don’t send that text” but my heart wins and says: “I’m so sending that text.”

In it I tell her I shouldn’t be sending this but I had too. I tell her my heart made me do it even though my head knows it’s not appropriate. My heart forgives and let’s my head work with it.

Minutes and then hours tick by and no reply appears. My head refuses to say I told you so.

It’s late. I’m watching a programme about train journeys.

There’s a text. It’s Mum. Damn you mother, not now. Sorry Mum.

Another text. My brother. Damn you brother.

A third text, I can’t remember when I’ve ever been so popular with my family.

But this time it’s not family, it’s her.

“I shouldn’t be sending this either, but I like that you said that x”

My heart skips a beat but my head recovers it to lead them both in a dizzy waltz around the room.

The piece was adapted and shortened from this piece I wrote last year: http://writeinforwritingssake.tumblr.com/post/788686343/aaronddd

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Posted in A Short Piece About Modern Love, My Original Fiction

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