Thursday, 14 February 2013

Love... The Second Time Around Celebration

*** If you're looking for my guest post from Christine Rains, you can find it here. ***

I'm running late today but I finally got my entry ready for this timely blogfest hosted by J.L. Campbell, to celebrate the release of her new novel, Retribution.

Here's the details courtesy of Joy:

There is no restriction as it pertains to form or genre. Stories can be fact or fiction. Use your imagination, make them attention-grabbing.You can use something that's pre-written.

Somewhere in there, you must tell the reader why the couple broke up and why they feel compelled to get back together.This can be done from any of your characters’ point-of-view. 

The word cap is 500.

Indicate on your blog post, by the relevant badge, whether you’re in the fact or fiction category. 

There will be voting and prizes, so it’ll be a reader’s choice situation, where you get to choose your favourite anecdote/poem/refection/story. The best piece of fact and fiction—as determined by your vote—will receive a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card, so that’s two prizes.

In the event of ties, there will be trusty bloggers standing by to help with a tie break decision. If we cannot decide on a winner in either category, prizes will be divvied up between the best two entries and the loot (meagre as it is) shared. Stay tuned for further information. 

Well, following my recent trend of trying as many new genres as I can, this is my first foray into the romance genre. I'm not even sure if this qualifies for the requirements, but here is my story of 499 words:

A Second Chance

The second I saw her, my mind flashed back to that giddy, golden week.

I’d come to this nondescript town for the annual work conference. Nothing exciting. A weekend of arid shop talk and meeting up with colleagues from around the country, most of whom had the charisma of a stuffed sheep.

Stepping off the train, I went into the tiny shop before heading on to the hotel. A method of delaying the inevitable, even by just a couple of minutes.

She was serving a customer when I walked in. She didn’t see me but I saw her. And panicked. I shuffled over to the newspaper rack and pretended to study it, stealing another furtive glance to confirm this truly was my long-lost love.

But I didn’t need confirmation.

I’d been seeing that angelic face in my dreams for the past twenty-three years, the way her long chestnut hair swept to the side, occasionally tumbling into those wide brown eyes. When she smiled, she seemed to glow.

It was probably stupid, when you thought about it. We were just kids, on holiday with our parents. At first it seemed those parents had made a poor choice of resort – full of snotty eight-year-olds – but in hindsight it was a spectacular decision. We were the only two teenagers there. She initiated the conversation, which was just as well as there would have been no contact if it was left to painfully shy me.

We’d spent the week hanging out, talking about our home lives and various dissatisfactions, and gradually she’d coaxed me out of my shell. I was mesmerised by her. I’d always felt pretty awkward talking to anyone, and avoided speaking to girls if I could. But it was different with her. I actually began to relax, and felt like I was on cloud nine.

But there was no kiss. I was still too shy for anything like that. And we parted ways without her knowing how I felt. I mean, what if she had freaked out?

I took my paper up to the counter, although I seriously considered just walking out. After all, she might not even remember me.

She looked up as I approached, and I saw her face again properly for the first time. The years hardly seemed to have touched her, and just like before it was those eyes that I was instantly drawn to.

I looked down again and placed the paper on the till.

“Hiya,” she said.

“Hello,” I mumbled.

“That’s forty-five pence, please.”

I sagged, rooting around in my pocket for the change. So she didn’t remember me. Not that surprising. I was a forgettable person in general.

I handed her the money and that brief skin contact sent a jolt through my whole being. She put it in the till, frowning, and then looked up at me again.


We met up for drinks and caught up after work that night. And for once I was glad about going to the conference.


Head over to Joy's to read more entries! You still have time to enter, and voting will open tomorrow.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Women always remember!

Christine Rains said...

That was sweet and well written.

Mark Means said...

Great story, Nick...nice flow to it.

Michelle Wallace said...

Lovely story Nick! Wistful...
She was probably doubting whether he would remember her too...

Elise Fallson said...

I love this. Finding love again after so many years . . . *sweet sigh*

Suze said...

'She initiated the conversation, which was just as well as there would have been no contact if it was left to painfully shy me.'


JeffO said...

Very nice, Nick.

Romance Reader said...

Great story and very well written as the story flowed well!


Elsie Amata said...

We women always remember! Very well written, Nick!

J.L. Campbell said...

Nice, Nick. I like the fact that that bit of fleeting contact between them brought memory flooding back. Makes me wonder how many people are out there who formed early relationship and then never pursued them.

Al Diaz said...

I have dreamed of something similar many times. Nice piece, Nick. :)

dolorah said...

what a perfect story; followed the theme, and had excellent tension and voice. You're pretty good at a romantic scene.


Misha Gerrick said...

I think that's a sweet and solid start to your foray into romance. ;-)

Rachna Chhabria said...

I loved your entry Nick. The descriptions, tension and voice all make for a great read. You can make this into a wonderful novel or atleast a short story.

Nick Wilford said...

Alex - Very true!

Christine - Aw, thanks!

Mark - Thanks!

Michelle - Thanks, that's probably true.

Elise - Thanks, I hope it worked out this time!

Suze - I just described how I used to be!

Jeff, Nas, Elsie - Thanks!

Joy - Thanks. Interesting thought...

Al - Thanks!

Donna - Wow! Thanks. :)

Misha - Thanks - who knows if I'll do more?

Rachna - Thanks, that's kind of you to say so!

Melissa said...

Aww. I love sweet stories like that. Good job! :)

Heather R. Holden said...

Love this! I was totally smiling at the end. For a first-timer in the romance genre, you handled this story awesomely!

Denise Covey said...

Nick, love this nostalgic type of story. Well done!

Nicole said...

Alex is right...we do always remember. ;)

This was super sweet.

nutschell said...

wow. Great story, Nick! Good luck in the contest!


M Pax said...

Congrats to Joy! Aww, your entry is really sweet.

Deniz Bevan said...

Oh, I'd like to see more of this story! So happy that they have a second chance!