My feet were sore from all of the walking, but I continued on.

I was in total agony, but I would do anything for him; even spend my Sunday afternoon hiking up a hill in the middle of the countryside, so I pushed it to the side.

Andrew beamed down at me from the top of the hill.

“Any time today babe,” he joked.

I gave him a glare and continued on with my ascent to the top.

Why couldn’t he have normal hobbies? I’d rather tolerate 10 hour gaming sessions than this. Sighing I reached into my bag and gulped down the water in my bottle.

I should never have suggested it, but curiosity had gotten the best of me. I had wanted to see him when he was in his natural element, and in his element he truly was. It made my heart warm, seeing him so expert at something, seeing a side of him that I had never experienced before.

I finally reached the top, I was breathless and light headed. Andrew bounded over to me.

“Isn’t it beautiful,” he asked wrapping his arms fully around me.

It truly was, now I understood why he did this. The views alone were worth all the walking.

I pressed my body closer to his and intertwined my hands in his. Before I knew it his lips were on mine and we began my favourite form of exploration.

We sat down on top of the hill and watched the sun begin to set, a perfect ending to a somewhat torturous day.



Who am I?

I’m that lost and scared ittle girl that was teased. That was chased around the playground and had her name made fun of.

I’m that girl that was pushed over and had dirt kicked in her eyes.

I’m that girl that was told that these things were indicators that someone really liked me and that they were scared of the emotions that they were feeling, so instead of reaching out they pushed me away.

For every kick, punch, slap and harsh word that assaulted my body, I accepted them as forms of love; a deeper meaning attached to each of them.

For so long I was blinded to these beliefs. Never did I think that it was wrong.

Whenever you held me in your arms afterwards, words of regret and shame rolling off your tongue, I accepted your twisted gifts and stored them deep down inside.

I’m stronger now to realise that this was wrong. That love doesn’t come in the form of a clenched fist, a poisoned word.

You can never wrap love in a blanket of violence.

Violence is violence.

I am no longer that lost and scared little girl.


We stood at the edge of the cliff. My eyes raged with pain and hatred. A feeling that I never usually experienced.

My so called former friend stared back at me, her eyes glazed over in their usual state of ignorance. To think that I had spent so much of my heart on her.

Who would have ever thought that she was actually a wolf in sheep clothing.

I must have been a real bad judge of character. It seemed that everyone else was in on it except for me.

I saw a beautiful talented yet broken young woman, who didn’t know her self worth. I wanted to help her see herself as I saw her. I spent hours listening to her tear herself down, gave her a shoulder when she needed it the most and wiped away her tears when she cried.

I was blind to the real poison that she really was. She was never really a nice person.

She felt power putting others down. The more acid that dropped from her mouth the better she felt. She fed off the misfortunes of others. Seeking validation of her own self, by belittling others.

She thought her shit didn’t stink. A false wave of bravery was worn as a cloak masking her insecurities.

I was so blind to her, that I never saw the knife that she had been holding the whole way through our friendship. I never felt it stab me in the back until it was too late. I was lost in her, love for her leaked from every pore. I was protective of her, she was lost and broken and it was my duty to look out for her.

How wrong I was. She was never my friend. I was just a crutch to her. Used over and over to boost her when she was down. I was her personal punching bag.

She had someone who would ride to the end of the world for her and yet she continued to beat me down to boost her own ego.

As with most things, we started to move apart. The further and further apart we got, the more aware I became of her deceit, of who she truly was.

My eyes were fully open. The rose tinted glasses had fallen and shattered; I was free of their spell. I saw her for who she really was. With every bit of strength I had I removed the knife from my back.

The wound took a while to heal. But in time it did and I grew as a person.

I never thought I would see her again.

But here we were together again, after what felt like an eternity.

She thought I was still the same person I was. Fragile, naive, weak. Boy was she wrong. Little did she know that in the time we had been apart I had grown. The little lap dog that would follow her around was gone. In its place was a fierce, confident and strong woman.

Our eyes locked, two former comrades, now true enemies.

The battle was ready to begin.


I looked around the table. Everyone that was sat here, was here for me. I pushed back the tears that were forming in the corner of my eyes and smiled.

I was truly thankful for them all. Blood or not, each one of these women were my family, my kin, my sisters.

Bonds tied with each one. Each one uniquely different, but all loved the same, both equally and dearly.

Who would have thought that a girl like me, a girl who spent most of her life wandering through mystical forests, searching for a meaning to her lost life; would be surrounded by so many hearts, that all beated with love for her.

There were times when that I was so blinded by goals so far away that I couldn’t see the support system that was around me.

I was blind to the love radiating from around, the type of love that acts like a barrier, catching you when you fall from the highest heights and stopping you from sinking to the lowest lows.

I truly was blessed.


I shifted restlessly, thoughts of escape bouncing in my head.

I turned to look at the clock again. It was still only 4:40. How was it still the same time since the last time I’d checked?

Stifling a yawn, I got back to my work.

Friday’s were always the worst. Most people got that Friday feeling as soon as they stepped into work, just knowing that the weekend was around the corner; but I never did.

As soon as I stepped into work I dreaded it. Everyday was a drag. I didn’t think about the weekend. I just thought about the fact that I would be back here on Monday. That the weekend was always too short. Then I would question what the hell I was even doing here in the first place. Why had I even applied for this job?

This job was so far beneath me that I just wanted to cry. I had not slaved for 4 years on a degree to end up here. But a job was a job and bills had to be paid and after a year of joblessness, I really didn’t have a choice.

It wasn’t fair. I wanted so much more for my life and yet here I was. Slaving a way at a job that gave me no gratification at all. There was no career prospects for me here. I was just a cog in a machine. A stuck cog.

I twisted with a strand of my hair, as I sunk further into my world of boredom and despair. My thoughts wondered over to people that were successful and the green eyed monster took over. What did they do right that I was doing wrong? I was now in a frustrated place.

In the corner of my eye, I spotted my colleague get up from her seat and put on her coat. I whipped my head around and looked back at the clock.

4:59 screamed back at me. Finally I could make my escape.

I got up and switched off my computer.


I rang the number again and the phone continued to trill until voicemail picked up.

I sighed, at least he hadn’t put me on do not disturb or blocked me. But I didn’t know which was worse.

I unbuckled my seat belt and opened the car door. Stepping outside I took a deep breath and popped open the boot. I picked up the tin covered tray of food and used my leg to close the boot again.

Maybe he would be here tonight. I hope he was.

I walked the few short steps it took to get me from my car to the front door. But it felt like the longest trek ever, a weight of doubt and fear on my shoulders slowing me down.

Delia opened the door with a smile, embracing me in a hug.

“Finally,” she spoke, letting me go. “We thought you’d never make it. I know the LA roads are still a bit confusing for you.”

“No it was fine,” I replied, “Mike’s been teaching me.”

I tried to stop myself from crying, his name on my lips was a form of torture.

As if knowing what was going on in my head, Delia took the food from my hands and started leading me to the kitchen.

“Let me give you the grand tour,” she said, giving me a reassuring smile.

The house truly was amazing, Delia and Tom had done a great job.

I sat down with my drink and tried to make conversation. But the only question on my mind was ‘where was he’? Delia was his sister and it was only expected that he would be at her housewarming.

An unnerving thought popped into my mind. Maybe he wasn’t here because he knew I’d be here. Me and Delia had become such great friends since, Mike and I had started dating; he must have known I’d be here and decided not to come.

I missed him, I wanted nothing more that to throw my arms around him and hold him forever.

I started to feel sick, the house even though it was massive in size started to feel smaller and smaller. I needed air. I got up and went outside.

The cool evening breeze washed over me, and I took some deep breaths to try and calm myself down.

I felt tears begin to drip from my eyes. Why was he doing this to me? Why couldn’t he just talk to me?

I sat down on the brick wall and backed my flute of champagne and placed the glass back on the wall.

“Zee,” my name sounded like a bullet escaping from his lips.

I turned my head.

There he was, dressed from head to toe in his signature black.

I felt my heart crack, my throat tightened.

I wanted to jump up and press him against me. Feel his heartbeat again, the one that I had been missing for the past week; but I was frozen.

He walked up to me and sat down. I couldn’t speak. We sat in silence just staring at each other. I saw pain in his eyes, he saw pain in mine.

Finally I spoke.

“Why,” was all I could muster.

“I,” he paused unable to continue.

“Why,” I repeated again, this time with more urgency. “Why did you leave me? What did I do wrong?”

The tears continued to flow from my eyes.

He reached out his hand, and wiped them away with his thumb.

“I felt trapped,” he finally said. His voice strained.

“What do you mean,” I whispered back.

“I felt like I wasn’t being true to myself. That I wasn’t good enough. I felt like I was all alone, lost.” He clenched and unclenched his fist.

I took his hand into mine, stroking it, trying to soothe his tension away.

“I just needed to get away. I wasn’t being fair to you I know, but it’s hard. Sometimes I wake up and there are so many questions in my head, questions I can’t answer. Like who am I? Where do I belong?”

Tears began to fall from his eyes.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “But I’m working on it. I’m working on myself. Delia found me this therapist and it’s helping.”

“I’m so sorry you’ve felt so alone. That you couldn’t come to me,” I sobbed.

“No, don’t you ever think that this is your fault. This is me, but I’m working on it. I want to be a better man for you. But also for me. I want to be strong again. I want to be the man that you fell in love with.”

“Still love,” I replied.

I moved closer to him, wrapping my arms around his waist. My head resting on his chest.

“I want to be strong too,” I said.

We sat there together for the rest of the night. No one came out to disturb us. They just let us be. Two lost souls clinging on to each other.


The sun continued to beat down on us.

I shifted restlessly in my seat, as the car continued down the road.

Pushing a button on the side of the door, I wound down the window letting a gush of warm air stream into the car.

He looked over at me, smiling for a brief second before he returned his eyes to the road.

I leaned over the back of my seat, and grabbed two fizzy drink cans from the cooler.

I placed one of the cans on his forehead.

“Thank you babe,” he mouthed as he continued staring at the road.

Damn it was hot. Too hot. Especially for an early evening in England. In all my 20 plus years on this earth I had never experienced heat like this.

Placing the can, in a cup holder, I cracked open the second one.

The cool bubbles crackled against my lips, as the liquid descended down my throat. Ahh this was total bliss, just what the doctor asked for.

I closed my eyes, allowing my mind to escape as I listened to the lyrics streaming through from the car stereo.

This had been a great idea. A nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

I reached out my hand to stroke his arm. The same arm that held me close to him, only a few hours previous.

I loved him with such a ferocity. It was a shame that all this would have to come to an end. He would return to his life and I would return to mine. This moment would be nothing more than a distant memory.


Sighing, I got up from my seat to let the older lady sit down.

She looked over at me with a smug smile on her face, as she nestled herself on the seat and made herself comfortable.

Sometimes I really hated old people. I know, a really scandalous thing to say; but sometimes they really did grind my gears.

I hung onto a nearby pole as the bus continued on its journey.

I had, had such a long and hard day at work. All I wanted to do was put my feet up and relax. Fighting with the over 70’s was not my idea of relaxation.

After a while, I felt a tap on my shoulder and I swung around, smashing straight into the tapper.

Rubbing my nose I looked up. An apology forming on the tip of my tongue.

I stopped.

It was him. I couldn’t believe it. It was really him.

Darren. The former love of my life. The ‘Mr ask me to marry him, put a ring on it, but never turn up to the wedding’ him.

I swallowed hard, searching in my head for all of the things that I had planned to say to him the next time I saw him.

It had been 3 long and painful years, but I had gradually gotten over him.

“Hey,” he said, smiling that same smile that I had fallen in love with all those years ago. “I thought it was you.”

“Darren,” was all I could muster.

Damn, this was not what I had planned.

In my mind the next time I saw him, I was supposed to be looking fierce, happy and doing so much better with out him. Instead I was drenched from the downpour that was falling outside and more than dishevelled.

I shook an imaginary fist at the sky and cursed fate for bringing us together again at this moment.

“So how are you,” he asked. Seeming genuinely interested.

“I’m great,” I replied, way too over confident for my liking.

“I’m glad to hear that,” he said.

I looked down and that’s when I saw it. Reflecting the lights from the bus, a shiny gold band on his ring finger.

My throat went dry.

“You’re married,” I stuttered.

“Yes, two years now and we’ve got a 1 year old and another little one on the way.”

My vision went hazy. This fucking bastard. This fucking bastard had the audacity to stand there smiling as he told me he had married someone else and practically had two kids and thought that he could be casual about it. Hell no!

“You fucking bastard, you motherfucking arsehole bastard.”

He had gone pale, a look of shock ran across his face.

I continued on.

“You leave me standing at the fucking alter on our fucking wedding day and then fuck off an get married to someone else. You fucking slimy bastard.”

I don’t know when the blows began but when I finished my rant. My knuckles were raw.

The bus came to a stop and he got off.

A slow round of applause began around me. The older lady looked over to me and mouthed “well done”.


Tired and grumpy, Sandra got up from her seat and approached the train as it rolled to a stop.

She had to battle her way through a crowd of unmoving people, but she just about managed to make it inside, before the doors closed and the train began to move.

She cursed herself for sitting down. But the fatigue that ran through her, had not allowed her to stand when she reached the station.

She was of course forced to stand now, due to lack of seating. Ironic she thought to herself.

Closing her eyes, she whisked her mind away from the musky smells of unclean commuters and stale coffee breath and back to the sandy beach she had spent 7 amazing days and nights on.

How she wished she could go back, back to the tranquil serenity that had encapsulated her.

Her life right now was a big flaming piece of shit. She hated her job, her boss. She hated everything. What she wouldn’t do to just stand in the middle of the room, both middle fingers up screaming ‘fuck you’, til her throat was sore and then fuck right back off to paradise.

But then what would she do for money? And would paradise remain paradise after she had been there for a while?

Milk always turned sour. Nothing could stay perfect forever.

The sound of her next station being called out, pulled her back into the real world. Back into the land of monotony.


The music pounded around me. I picked up my cup and took a sip. The liquor burned the back of my throat.

I scanned the room for Sean. He knew I hated parties, but it was so typical of him to walk off and leave me alone.

I felt a tap on my shoulder, and an unfamiliar face smiled back at me as I turned around. I smiled back and turned back around. I was not in the mood for this shit.

I put my cup down and walked outside.

The cold evening air welcomed me as I stepped out of the door.

I took my phone out of my pocket and unlocked it. There was no way I was staying. Sean could go and fuck himself.

I opened Uber, seeking a fast getaway but there were no cars available for at least 20 minutes. Sighing I booked a car.

“Hey,” said a voice, startling me.

I turned around, it was ‘unfamiliar face’.

“I have a bottle of Mace in my bag and I’m not afraid to use it,” I said.

“I swear Mace is banned in the UK,” he laughed back at me.

“Yeah, well, err I got it,” I stuttered.

“Hmm well I guess I’m gonna have to go a citizen’s arrest,” he said smiling at me.

I smiled back at him.

“Okay you got me.”

“So is that the way you say Hello when someone approaches you,” he asked.

“Only the ones who approach me in the dark, and frighten the shit out of me,” I replied.

“I’m sorry I scared you,” he said stepping closer to me.

I started to back away, my phone slipping from my hand.

He jumped to grab it before it hit the ground and handed it back to me.

“Thanks,” I smiled at him.

His hand grazed mine as I took my phone back, sending shock waves through me.

What the hell was going on? Was I attracted to him?

I think, maybe I was. I mean he did have a kilowatt smile, and don’t get me started on that laugh and he wasn’t bad looking as well. I mean he was very, very good looking. The kind of good looking guy that knows he’s good looking, but doesn’t ram it down your throat good looking.

But, there was Sean. Sean my so called boyfriend if you could call him that.

I couldn’t do this I couldn’t go there, I had to shut this down.

“So what’s your name,” he asked.

“I’m sorry I can’t do this,” I said, trying to move my eyes from his piercing stare.

“Imsorryicantdothis, hmm such an unusual name. Where’s it from,” he asked, smiling again.

I laughed, this one was a charmer.

“Teni,” I replied, holding his gaze.

“Ryan,” he said as he took my hand.

The floodgates had well and truly opened. It would have been wrong of me to not at least attempt to take a ride on the waves that crashed through.