Pieces of fiction

Chapter nine.

“Here’s a thought,” she thought. Why not pull out the rusty MacBook and type up everything that comes to mind for the next five minutes.

And she wrote him. The airport lounge was too fancy for her sweatpants and uncombed hair but it was 5.30AM anyway. Notes flowed effortlessly for an hour and the sunrise reflected perfectly through the laptop screen making it easy to forget she was in a waiting room rather than by her window somewhere picturesque, and alone with her words.

“It took a nine-minute car ride to fall in love on a late summer day, and nine months to have it all crash down”. Strong opening but quite blunt, so she went with a softer introduction.

Truth be told, the memories she jotted down weren’t all happy and she knew if she were to ever share this chapter, she’d censor more than half of it. It would fit whatever they had perfectly, though. A censored chapter just like a relationship with censored feelings.

She had a playlist playing in the background named by the months, discretely referring to emotional phases. But she struggled with Coldplay on repeat.

Where does she start? With the moments she wanted to release? Or the moments she wanted to treasure? They all seemed intertwined.

Poems have always done them more justice than pages of a book. In a poem, verses could be interpreted in different ways and she stood behind rhymes and patterns to defend her harsh words.

But this was different. This was an emotionally-loaded and possibly hurtful record of a time which would outlive them both.

“Can I borrow a pen?” a man stood over her smiling and based on a quick judgement of how sly the smile was, he didn’t really need a pen.

“Sure, green or blue?” she looked up to ask.

“Black,” he laughed, but her question was serious.

“Then, go ahead and mix these two. I don’t have black,” her dry humour folded in a serious tone.

He invited himself to the empty seat next to her and she moved uncomfortably knowing that he now had the perfect view of the sunrise on her laptop but also of chapter nine.

“So, you write?” he glanced quickly over the screen before meeting her eyes.

“At airport lounges, yes,” she pulled the screen down.

He carried a book about the history of something and she wasn’t about to ask him to move his hand from over the last word of its title because that would be a conversation starter.

It was her least favourite genre. History. If you have time to read a book, then let it be one that transports you into the unreal. Otherwise, leave the real to a quick Wikipedia search.

She knew that was very opinionated and it sounded dumb even inside her own head. But still, that’s what inside voices are made for, no?

“This book I’m reading is so interesting, it’s about the history of…,” he lost her right there.

“I was going to ask you about it actually,” she lied.

“Are you interested in this genre? I have a very good list I can send you,” she was never going to read that list.

“Sure, that’s very nice of you,” she smiled.

“Please go back to writing, I really didn’t want to distract you,” his eyes said the complete opposite.

She flipped the screen back up, knowing he could read every word as she wrote it. The pressure of his eyes over her shoulder was soul crushing.

From the corner of her eye, she could see him look at her fingers, face, then words.

Fingers.

Face.

Words.

Repeat.

“Can I ever get a copy of this book when it’s published?” his interruption was quite shocking.

“A book? What makes you think I’m writing a book?”

“It says chapter nine. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help not reading that part, at least,” At least. Yeah right.

“I don’t have eight chapters preceding this,”

“Then why is it called chapter nine?” he interrogated.

“It’s just my favourite number,” the juvenile answer he wasn’t expecting to hear.

He stared at the keyboard for a few seconds and then looked up with a smirk. Something interesting was about to fall off his lips and she wasn’t sure she wanted to hear him say it.

“He’s the luckiest guy,” he sounded like he meant it.

“Or the unluckiest guy,” she blushed.

He wasn’t about to let that remark pass but she could tell he was using his inside voice instead.

“What?” she was curious.


“What?” he smiled wider than he ever did since she first met him, an hour ago.

To be continued…

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