Short story: Not a love letter
I wrote this story for an award – I didn’t get shortlisted for it so I thought I would pop it on here instead! It’s basically personifying a place, exploring what I experienced in this place and how it made me feel. I’d love any feedback on it, so please feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with me about it. Enjoy!
You’re used to meeting people like me all the time. People who desperately want an exciting change of direction, but crave the warmth of someone that has loved and been loved by many.
You weren’t my first choice. I searched you up on the internet, and you didn’t sound like my type at all. Quiet but pretentious I thought. I began pouring over photographs of you. One caught my eye, then another. Then, another. I knew that you had something that I wanted, but I wasn’t sure exactly what that was.
So, I had to go and talk to you in person. You agreed. Sent me a map and a train ticket.
We bundled up together and shared a hot chocolate, with lots of cream. You blew the steam away with your whispers about what it would be like to be with you. The sweetness made me dizzy. I had to go home and think.
A few months went by. My hand often hovered on my phone, itching to message you. It was crazy, surely? Someone I barely knew, offering me their world. Eventually, I did it. Yes, I’ll pack my suitcase.
I’ll be there in a month.
The first night we were together, we went out. You got me drunk, both from the adrenaline of a new start and from the alcohol from the Tesco down the road. The blaring noise and shaking bodies scared me at times. Even so, you made sure I was safe, and that I was tucked up in bed at the end of the night.
I wanted to spend all the nights with you. Exploring. Laughing. Dancing away in so many places, braving the cold to find the best beats to sway to.
But the nights spent inside weren’t as carefree. I remember one night, I was curled up in bed, sobbing to my family down the end of the phone. This was the wrong decision, I was not ready and I needed to leave you. They would jingle the keys of the car down the phone. You’d hear, and gently tap me on the shoulder. Cup of tea? You knew the water didn’t taste like a homebrew, but you’d make me one anyway.
For the first few months, I’d shudder at the bitterness of it. I got used to it in the end.
I more than got used to you.
Full of life, full of character. I could hold your hand for hours, and let you show me all the sides of you. My first big surprise was how well you lit up a stage. Propped up in a jamming café, or a rock venue that is known across the country. No matter if you were by yourself, if the audience knew you or not, you would hold your own.
But there was one gig that will always stick with me. My Doc Martins were glued to the floor of the venue, and I was crying so much as you crooned about how love was the funeral of hearts. You taught me that music is not just a song, but a feeling that nothing else can ever really replicate.
You also cooked pretty well. Your kitchen, it was so British that the first thing I thought when stepping into it was, “Well, I’ll just learn to survive on Tetley and teacakes.” I then noticed that stacks of recipe books lined the shelves of the brick walls. Some were battered and tattered, and others were crisp and new. Whether it was a family recipe or a new concoction, everything was there. You’d always ask what I wanted, and I’d always ask what you recommended. I can’t remember an instance where I didn’t adore your choice.
A sponge dotted with strawberries? Dainty, simple and creamy.
A purple latte? An earthy cup of goodness.
And the ugliest bread? A trip to Italy in a mouthful.
There’s so much good food to be eaten in this world, but I didn’t want to find someone else to feed me. We had enough stars shining over us, we didn’t need to go chasing Michelin ones.
I had hoped that by taking this chance to be with you, that I would be Cinderella and you’d be Prince Charming. Whisking me away from my dull life and giving me some glamour. Instead, it played out more like Maid Marian and Robin Hood. The romance was in the adventure, and being a bit mischievous.
You did it. You charmed me. You’re used to meeting people like me all the time. People who desperately want an exciting change of direction, but crave the warmth of someone that has loved and been loved by many.
I guess that’s what I signed up, but I didn’t know how quickly and tightly you’d wrap yourself around me. I’m not sure where I’ll go now, but I am so thankful to you for making me this bolder, brilliant version of myself I never thought I could be.
Don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll be able to pull me back in again soon.
I am a rope that will always, somehow, get tangled up in Notts.