This is an opening excerpt from the short story Together, Apart. It is a gritty and honest, magical and romantic love story about falling in love at first sight... and then what happens next.
It was published as part of the ongoing creative project Twelve and is now available on Amazon to download. If you'd like to receive future stories from Twelve for free (plus a load of good stuff about travel, work, life and love from around the web) then please sign up to my newsletter.
Please also note that Together, Apart was something of an experiment for me as it's written in two word sentences. All of it. Two words. No more. No less.
I hope you enjoy!
Opposite you. Two eyes. Chocolate brown. A smile. Full, wide.
You stare. Can’t stop. You sigh. Hear yourself.
The train. It stops. Another station. Which one? You check. Baker Street. Four more.
You look. Just quickly. It’s enough. Two eyes. Still brown. Still delicious. You’re hungry.
Weeks later. There again. But standing. He’s tall. And broad. And solid. You imagine.
“Excuse me.” Someone says. Behind you. You’re pushed. You move. Step closer.
“Move down!” Another voice. You step. Again closer. You inhale. His smell.
Head tilted. Look down. Avoid them. Those eyes. Big, brown. Deep, dark.
A stop. Edgware Road. Nobody moves. Still there. Right there. With you.
Movement behind. Moving you. Closer still. Losing balance. Look up. A handle? A grip?
“This one.” He says. His voice. Deep, soft.
He moves. His hand. Gives you. A handle. A grip. Your balance.
“Thank you.” You say. You look. You smile. You stop. Suddenly shy.
No talking. No looking. No eyes. Until Farringdon.
“Excuse me.” He says. He moves. He’s leaving.
Don’t go. Stay here. Silent pleas.
His hand. Your hand. They touch. Then don’t.
Something sharp. A corner. A card. Business card. From him.
One look. Matthew Lang. His name. Corporate Solicitor. His job. Contact details. All his. Card curves. Tight grip.
He’s gone. Train goes. You go. His card. With you.
An email? Or text? Phone him? Which one?
An email. That’s best. It’s easy. No voices. Some distance. Less pressure. In case. Minds change.
Or Matt? Which one? The card. Matthew Lang. Use Matthew.
Who’s me? You’re nobody. Tube girl? Train lady? Staring eyes?
Delete that. Start again.
“Hello Matthew. Thank you. Tube Girl.”
It’s short. It’s sweet. It’s enough.
34 minutes. Matthew Lang. His name. A reply. Butterflies dance. Inside you.
“Hello TG. What for? Just Matt.”
Can’t stop. Fingers dance. Keys click. Quickly, musically.
“This morning. The handle. Very gentlemanly. Thank you.”
Wait now. So eager. Don’t rush. Must wait. One minute. Two minutes. Until ten. No, twelve. Twelve minutes. Slow minutes. Then send.
Five minutes. Just five. Him again.
“You’re welcome. A pleasure. Busy tonight?”
Shit, shit. Because yes. You’re busy. But wow. Is he? Are you? Does he?
Eight minutes. You count. Type, send.
“Yes, kinda. Dinner date. With friends. And you?”
“Football practice. Am goalie. Don’t laugh. Thursday evening?”
“No plans. I’m free. Or not?”
“You’re not. Seven o’clock. London Aquarium.”
“Half past? I’m there.”
“I’ll wait. Can’t wait. Oh wait…”
“Oh P.S. Anna Maria. My name. Not TG.”
“Two names? Lucky you. Both lovely.”
“Thank you, Just Matt.”
Two days. Two days. Too long. To wait. You must. You will. You do.
Huge thanks, as always, for supporting my work.
Frances M. Thompson
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