I ran my scanner along the sand.


I was never going to find it. Someone had probably already nabbed it for themselves.

This was a hopeless cause. Why had I even thought that this was a good idea?

Admitting failure. I dropped the detector and sat down hard on the sand.

I was so stupid. I hadn’t even had it a week and I had already lost it. I was destined not to have nice things.

I stared out at the sea. It’s waves crashing in the distance. Soon it would reach the shore. I willed it on, wanting it to come and wash me away.

Liam bounded over the hill towards me. His smile inquisitive.

I turned my head away. The shame radiating off me like a furnace.

“Did you find it,” he asked.

“No,” I wailed back at him.

“It’ll be fine,” he tried to reassure me. “We can just get another one.”

“No,” I replied, tears streaming down my face. “I want that one. It means to much.”

“Where’s the detector?”

I pointed to the useless object, already half covered in sand.

He walked over to me and sat down, taking my hand into his and placing his free arm around my shoulder.

I put my head on his chest. The steady rhythm of his heart, calming me.

I wanted to lay here all night. Inhaling his sent. Laying in the arms of the man I loved.

“You know this is quite romantic,” he chucked. His laugh deep and baritone.

I nodded, but didn’t remove my head from his chest. He squished me tighter towards him. I squeezed his hand tighter.

“Let it go Tomi,” he whispered, as his lips grazed the top of my forehead.

“I can’t,” I replied, as the tears began again, soaking into his shirt.

Liam squeezed my hand. He gave me another kiss and jumped up.

Taking off his jacket, he wrapped it around my shoulders and picked up the metal detector.

“I’ll see you in the next 10-12 hours,” he chuckled as he began to comb the beach.

“I love you,” I whispered back to him.



The wind swayed my hair, the tips dancing in the breeze.

I looked back down at my phone, another 2 minutes had passed by and she was still late.

I hated planning things, especially dates. The whole thing brought me to tears. Physical tears. I could end up crying in the corner of my room, trying to talk myself out of going. A million excuses running through my head about why I could no longer come.

I was one of those people who preferred to just turn up. The whole process of planning a date was too much drama for me.

You had to choose a day, find out if the intended was free and then agree on a time. Then you had to choose a good place to go.

Depending on who you were dating you had to choose a place that they may be impressed by or at least enjoy.

Somewhere that you didn’t have to spend at least half of your month’s wages on; but not look too cheap at the same time.

And if you were the one doing the asking, it was always expected that you would pay. I mean those are the rules right?

I looked back at my phone. 5 full minutes had now passed. I was getting angsty.

Executive decision time, I had to go inside. I was cold as hell and my heels had started to hurt my feet.

I had gone all out tonight, something that I usually never did. I really wanted to impress her.

I bought the sexiest dress that I have ever owned. A dress that hugged me in places that I never knew I had. And I was wearing heels that had red bottoms, borrowed from my sister without her knowledge of course; my pay check could not stretch that far. I had even gone as far as getting my nails done and my face was beaten by the God’s. I was on fire tonight.

I really hope she turns up, I thought to myself.

I had now been seated at the table I had pre booked and was looking anxiously down at the menu.

I had never been stood up before and tonight was not a night for firsts.

Chicken or steak? Chicken or steak? It was too hard to decide. You could never go wrong with chicken, but sometimes it could be boring, and steak was amazing, but depending on who cooked it, it could be a bit tough and no one like a tough steak. Hmmm, decisions, decisions, dec…

A hand tapped me on the shoulder, shaking me out of my trance like decision making.

I turned around, she winked at me. Apologies for her lateness spilling out of her mouth. She looked amazing.

My heart began to beat hard. How had managed to score a date with her?

“You look fucking sexy,” she whispered in my ear. Kissing my lobe as she passed by me to sit down.

I smiled tonight was going to be a fun night.


The sweat rolled off Kike’s nose and dripped onto the floor.

She looked over at the mirror to check if she was doing it right. She always felt self conscious in class. Always thinking that her classmates were judging her.

Her anxiety was on fire tonight.

Her teacher Ian, gave the final move of the night before, bidding them all goodbye.

A chorus of ‘bye’s’ and ‘see you tomorrow’s’ rang out around her as people began to trickle out of the class.

Kike picked up her towel, wiping the sweat off her forehead and went to leave.

Ian reached out a hand, stopping her.

“You’ve been showing great improvement,” he smiled at her.

“Really, I thought I’ve been quite shit,” she replied. “Sorry I always swear when I’m nervous.”

“You’ve got nothing to be nervous about,” he beamed back at her. “Just keep up the good work, I see real potential in you.”

“Thanks,” she replied sheepishly.

“I’ll see you next class,” he said turning away from her.

Leaving the studio, Kike’s head was in cloud 9. Who would have thought that her of all people would have gotten good feedback.

She had been so nervous when she first started. Serious doubts about whether a dance career was really for her. Yes she enjoyed it, yes she had been championed by her teachers at school for it, but was she really good enough?

And now getting great feedback from Ian fucking Henshaw. One of the best teachers at the school. She felt like she had all the validation that she needed. If he could see potential in her, then maybe she was a real dancer.

Kike made a beeline for the changing room. Deciding to take a shower now, rather than waiting til she got home.

She retied her bun on top of her head and stripped off her dance clothes.

She stepped into the shower, allowing the water to sluice over her skin. She loved showers, the feel of the hot water against her skin, revitalised her.

She started to hum a Sade song. So lost in the utter bliss she didn’t hear the door of her shower open.

“You’re so beautiful, just like I imagined you to be.”

Standing there was Ian, stark naked and gawping at her.

Startled Kike hurried to cover herself, she looked for her towel but it was gone.

“What are you doing here,” she stuttered.

He ignored her and stepped into the shower. Kike began to back away, but the shower wall stopped her.

He reached out to touch her. His hand grazing her shoulder.

“You need to go,” she attempted to speak again.

He moved closer to her. His hand moving to her breast.

She wanted to scream, to tell him to fuck off. But the words were stuck in her throat.

He moved closer again. Pressing his body against hers. He began to run his hands down her back applying more pressure as he reached her waist.

Kike felt tears well up in her eyes.

She felt his leg move behind hers, locking her to his body.

She closed her eyes, willing her mind to escape.

She felt his lips on hers. She tasted the coffee and cigarette mixture in his mouth.

His kiss deepened.

She felt sick. Why was this happening? Had she given him the wrongs signs, given him the impression that she liked him like that.

She felt him enter her and felt herself die. Her body was no longer hers. He had murdered her. With every thrust, he killed her that little bit more.

After he was finished, he gave her a kiss on her forehead and cupped her face in his hands.

“See I told you, you were improving,” he smiled at her. “I’ll see you in class tomorrow.”

He stepped out the shower, leaving her alone.

Kike felt her body crumple to the floor of the shower. She wanted to cry, but the tears wouldn’t come; she was numb. Her emotions could not adjust to what had just happened.

She sat on the floor for what felt like hours. The water washing him away. But no matter how much water touched her, she couldn’t get him off her; she couldn’t get clean.

Stepping into her normal clothes, questions bumped around her head. But they remained unanswered.


A steady hum came from the machine. Every now and then it beeped.

Simone opened her eyes. She stretched, trying to release some of the tension that had built up in her lower back.

She looked over at Harry. His eyes were still closed. Every now and then his eyelids would flutter, but that was just a normal reaction she had been told.

Simone got up from her chair and walked over to the window. The sun has since risen and the frost that had been lain earlier had begun to melt.

She watched the city come alive below her, watching the steady flow of traffic as it descended across Westminster Bridge.

Placing her arms around herself, she walked over to Harry’s bed. He looked so innocent and pure. She would give nothing for him to open up his mouth and tell her a dirty joke; his big hearty laugh piercing into her.

She picked up his hand, taking it into her own. She squeezed it, as if she was trying to squeeze him back to life.

“Wake up,” she pleaded with him. “I just need you to wake up and come back to me.”

She stood there a while, watching the rise and fall of his chest, his hand still in hers. It was killing her. The more days he was not in hers was slow torture.

She let go of his hand, allowing it to drop down by his side. She kissed him on his forehead and whispered a quick goodbye.

She hated leaving him, but two months had passed by now and she couldn’t get anymore compassionate leave.

On her way out she passed by the nurses station. She said a cheery hello to each nurse, thanking them for taking good care of him.

Stepping outside, she let the cool air wash around her. She took two deep breaths.

“Time to put on your game face.”


The rain drops glistened on top of the grass. The sun bouncing off them. You could almost mistake them for jewels.

A speeding car passed by.

Simone fiddled with the knob of the radio.

“Of course we won’t get any good stations in this hick town. Thanks again for leaving all the good CD’s,” she moaned.

Chris continued to stare at the winding road before him. Was there ever a day that she wouldn’t moan, why couldn’t she ever be happy?

This was supposed to have been a romantic trip, one of those last minute surprise trips, that you’d actually been planning for weeks.

All he wanted to do was make her happy, but lately everything he did was wrong.

“Is it too much to ask for some good music? Is it? Ah for God’s sake!”

She continued on with her outburst.

It wasn’t always like this. There once had been a time where Chris could make her smile. Her laugh was so infectious, it could have made the saddest person join in.

How he missed that laugh.

Missed the person she once was.

Ever since he had placed the metal circle on her finger things had been going wrong. He was no longer the solution, now he was the problem.

The crinkles at the side of her eyes that he had fallen for, were now the things he hated the most.

Sometimes he dreamed about ending it all. Seeking out a lawyer and handing her divorce papers. But he loved her too much. He wanted to work things out.

He continued to focus on the road, drowning out her voice.


The sweat began to seep through my top. My muscles ached, but I was happy.

Coming to the gym had become my medicine. After a bad breakup and tensions rising at work, this has been the escape that I needed.

The base from my music propelled me on.

Before I knew it, it was midnight.

I slid off my exercise bike and grabbed my towel, wiping down the sweat.

Uncapping the top of my water bottle, I allowed the water to glide down my throat, soothing all my aches as it made it was through my body.

The temperature was mild when I got outside. Not too cold and not too hot, a perfect balance.

The walk to my car was short. I was happy that I had found a great parking space. Usually it was jam packed, because of the supermarket next door, but today I had lucked out.

I began to whistle along to the song that poured out of my headphones, as I approached the door.

A hand reached out from nowhere and clasped itself around my mouth. It happened so fast that I didn’t have time to react.

I felt a sharp object jab me from the back and all I could feel was pain.

My body fell to the floor. My heart rate began to increase.

I felt hands reach around inside of my jacket pocket. Muffled voices surrounded me.

I wanted to call out but my voice was broken. I was slipping in and out of consciousness.

The sound of car doors slamming and my engine was the last thing that I heard before my eyes closed.


He watched her from the shadows, as she tucked her hair behind her ears.

Sighing, he walked away and went back to moving the pallet back to its home.

She would never know that he existed.

His heart ached. Why did you always fall for the one that was out of your league?

Tara tapped her finger against the side of the keyboard. Why was the time going so slow? All she wanted to do was go home and snuggle up in her bed sheets with a big bag of crisps and a bingeable box set.

She was tired of this, tired of this mundane day to day bullshit. She had expected bigger things when she applied all those months ago, and the most exciting thing that she had experienced, was a trip down to the warehouse to learn how the inventory system worked.

This place was sucking the soul out of her.

Her gaze focused back on the screen and she continued to type.

After what felt like an age, the clock finally struck 5. Pumping an imaginary fist to the sky she, smiled and clicked the red x on each window, logging off the computer.

She picked up her bag and left the room.

He didn’t see her at first, the excitement of going home after another shit day, blinded him.

The collision was hard and the contents of Tara’s bag was thrown everywhere.

“I’m so sorry,” he said. His face a deep colour of crimson.

“It’s fine,” she replied laughing. Her smile forgiving.

He helped her pick her things up from the floor.

She smiled at him again.

He walked her to her car. They shared tales of shit days and good days at the warehouse.

When they finally reached the car. Tara smiled at him again and thanked him for his help. He joked about a bump. She smiled again.

Her smile carried him all the way home, as he replayed their meeting over and over in his head.


I am everything I am because of who you made me into.

I look at you with disgust. The hate I feel washes over every inch of my body, I hate you with every fibre.

Why won’t you just leave?

Why don’t you just die?

You kiss me on my forehead and stare lovingly into my eyes. You actually believe that what you are doing is right. That this is normal.

Words that mean nothing to me roll off your tongue.

I sit there frozen, non responsive. I am no longer a human. No longer me.

You wipe your mouth with your napkin and get up.

You take one last swig of orange juice and grab your jacket, your car keys swinging in your hand.

More words that mean nothing are said and then you leave.

I hear the car start up and then it is gone, no longer here. You are no longer here.

I blink, the tears that I have been holding back roll free. I breathe. Once. Twice. Again and again.

My heart beats steady.

I am alive, but barely.

I allow my body to fall, sliding from the chair to the floor.

I lie there for a while. Images of freedom flash by. Plans of my escape are thought up.

Minutes, hours fly by until the sun begins to set.

I get up and clear away the breakfast things, now dried and congealed.

I step into the shower. The water caressing me, renewing me; washing away every trace of you.

I feel at peace.

I turn off the water and step outside.

I wipe the steam off the mirror. The reflection that stares back at me, is more than a stranger.

I walk out of the bathroom and head back into a world that doesn’t deserve me.


Each blow felt like it was the end, but they just kept coming. Raining down upon him with such fury, with such hate.

He wanted to cry, to beg them to stop; but he did not want to show them that they had won. So he refused. He clung on to whatever strength he had left and willed his eyes not to leak.

When it was finally over, when his body could take no more, a vision of his eldest son floated past his eyes. The venom in his son’s face, almost broke him. Was this real? Was he really here? Was he part of the group that had attacked him? If so why, why would he want to harm him?

He got no answers.

He felt two sets of hand grip him and his limp body was dragged away from the church.

The cool air kissed his skin as they exited the building, as if it was trying to soothe the freshly forming bruises that had begun to appear.

More questions ran through his mind as the fear grew inside.

He was hoisted up and tossed into the boot of a car. The lid slammed down on him with such force, trapping him inside.

It was dark and smelt bad. He wanted to bang on the top of the boot to alert someone, anyone that he was there. But he was too weak to move.

He lay there for some time. The darkness and bad smell incapsulating him. The silence was more than deafening.

He felt his body betray him as tears began to fall. He had no fight in him. If he was supposed to die tonight then so be it.

He started to pray. He asked for forgiveness for all the wrongs he had done in life. He prayed for his two sons and the daughter that he had never met. He asked God to forgive those who had attacked him.

The car started to move.

The tears came thick and fast now and he felt his body shake as he sobbed.

Why? Was all he could think, as the car continued on its journey.


I’m fine, I’m fine I kept saying in my head over and over. Trying my hardest to believe my own words.

My legs were wobbling but I didn’t want anyone to see.

I tried to push myself through the crowd of people that had started to form, but they wouldn’t let me past.

Looks of worry painted their faces, a sea of hushed voices.

I felt claustrophobic, I just wanted to go home.

I was fine!

“You need to go to the hospital,” a voice said to my left.

“I’m fine,” I whispered.

“You’re really hurt,” another voice said.

“I’m fine,” I said again,

my voice rising.

“Has someone called 999?”

I had to get out of here, I had to go. Why wasn’t anyone letting me get past? I was fine, maybe a little bit shaky but that was normal after what I had just experienced.

“Please let me go,” I whimpered.

“We have to get you to the hospital,” said a friendly male voice.

“But I’m fine,” I said again.

“You are not fine,” he replied.

I looked at him. He gave me a smile, it sent a warming wave through me.

I clasped his hand into mine. He gave me a squeeze of reassurance.

“Stay with me,” I asked.

He went to protest, but seeing the vulnerability in my eyes, he nodded yes.

The sound of a siren and the flash of blue lights, brought me out of my safety bubble.

My heartbeat increased. I looked back to him. He increased the pressure of his hand in mine, telling me it would be okay.

A paramedic bounded up to me. The crowd parting to let her through.

She asked me questions and I felt my mouth move to answer them.

She asked me if I could walk I nodded my head.

I looked back at him, he still held his hand in mine, he had not let me go.

“We’re going to take you to the local A&E just to get you checked over,” said the paramedic.

I nodded my head.

The paramedic, placed her arm over me steadying my legs as she tried to walk me over to the ambulance.

I looked back at him, our hands separating as I moved.

“I want him to come with me,” I whispered.

“Is he your fella,” asked the paramedic.

“No,” I replied, “he’s the man who ran me over.”