The sweat glistened on his skin as he continued to pound at the bag.

Chantel’s eyes remained transfixed. All plans of spending an intense hour of cardio had been dashed out of the window as she sat stationary on the bike.

She loved coming to the gym. At first it was her sanctuary from all the shit that was going on around her. A form of escapism. But then she met Mike.

Well she hadn’t actually ‘met him’ met him. Words had never actually been exchanged and they had never physically been in the same section of the gym. But he had appeared in her life and had made the gym experience that much more endurable.

Coming out of her Mike coma, she replaced the earbud that had fallen out of her left ear and began to peddle. She might as well get in a little bit of exercise. Gym membership wasn’t exactly cheap.

She peddled for what felt like forever til her legs began to cramp and she decided to call time.

The water glided over her body, as she took her shower, soothing the aches and stiffness that she had accumulated, and washing away the sweat and salt.

Stepping out of the changing room, the last thing she expected was to bump into him.


The man that was like a god to her, was standing right there, in front of her.

He was so close that if she reached out, she would touch. She fought the urge to do so.

Swallowing she tried to side step him.


The word came tumbling out so fast she almost missed it.

She quickly looked around, to see if he was talking to anyone else. But no, there was no one else around and the word had definitely be directed to her.

She wedged the top of her mouth opened and responded with the same platitude.

“I’ve seen you around,” he spoke again.

“I’ve seen you too,” Chantel replied, eyes firmly on the ground.

“I’ve been working up the courage to speak to you. But you always seem so, I dunno in the zone that 8 didn’t want to disturb you.”

Alarms and bells started going off inside her head. Mike had wanted to speak to her, she was in total shock.

This was quickly followed by the feeling of relief, relief that he had been unaware of her long dreamy gazes.

As Mike walked her to her car they made plans to go out for coffee after their next gym session.

Chantel closed the door and smiled. She watched him walk back inside, a slight spring in his step.

Opening her glove box she placed her ring back her finger.



Her eyes locked onto mine.

The heat rose around us, her gaze intensified.

Her head inched closer to me, I felt mine edge close to hers.

We were inches apart.

I looked away, confused.

I wasn’t…

I swallowed hard.

I mean was I?

I couldn’t deny there was something between us. She made me feel something that no one else had before. But I wasn’t like that. I didn’t like girls. I didn’t… I liked men.

I looked back at her, her eyes were now looking towards the floor.

She looked hurt. Defeated. The pain radiated off her.

My hand angled towards her. I wanted to take it in mine. I wanted to soothe her. Stop her from hurting.

But my hand stayed where it was.

We sat in silence for the longest time.

None of us wanting to discuss, what had just happened between us. Hoping that the more time past, the more distant it would become.

She spoke first. Her eyes remained locked on the floor.

I closed my eyes as she spoke.

My hand reached out to her.

I felt her take mine.


I ran up the stairs. Excitement propelling me up.

I couldn’t wait to tell them.

I burst through the canteen doors, ready to wow them with my excited speech.

That’s when I saw him. The face that had once been the only thing that I looked forward to seeing, now the face I dreaded; looking back at me.

He locked eyes with me and I felt my spirit leave my body.

It was like he had some kind of hold over me. My body felt weak to resist him. No matter how hard I tried to fight, he still had the power to make me feel this way.

My heartbeat intensified and my mouth went dry. I had to get out of there. I had to be far away from him.

I turned on my heel and burst back out of the door. I ran down the stairs and out the doors and kept running.

Why now after all these years?

I had built myself up, I had become a stronger person and in a matter of seconds he had destroyed it all.


I pounded my fists on the table. The fire that was raging inside flew out of my mouth.

How dare he! How dare he sit there and lie to me.

Did he think that I was an idiot? That I didn’t know when he lied. That his eyes suddenly had an attack of blinks when an untruthful statement passed through his lips.

How could I be so stupid to think that life would be perfect with him?I should have seen it, I prided myself on my observation skills, so how did I miss this?

He slowly picked up his glass of water and placed it to his lips. I wanted to knock it out of his hands. To let the water drench him, the shards of glass striking his face as they bounced off the table from the impact.

But instead I just sat there watching him, hating him.


Two big bright eyes blinked at me. They cried out to me, urging me to remember. To remember them.

This was too hard, my head hurt.

I let out a wail, thrashing my legs on the bed. I screamed for everyone to get out, to leave me alone.

It was all too much. I was suffocating. I couldn’t breathe.

I balled my fists up and struck them across my head. Willing the memories to come back. Willing my brain to work properly.

Nurse Jasmin, ran into the room and restrained my hands. She took me in her arms cradling me, trying to calm me down.

She began to sing an unfamiliar song, a song about a boy who too had lost his way. Her voice soothed me lulling me into a dreamlike state.

As I closed my eyes, visions of a life unknown passed through my head.

But as quickly as they appeared they disappeared.


David looked at her, all the angry thoughts that had manifested in him earlier had started to dissipate.

How did she do that? How did she have the power to make him go from 100 to zero in a matter of seconds?

Rolling up his sleeves, he joined her inside the kitchen.

She passed him the broccoli and he began to chop it. Slow and steady strokes with the knife, putting his surgery training into practice.

Who would have ever have thought that he, David Mitchell, would have ever been in the kitchen, chopping broccoli at that? He really had changed.

Taking the broccoli from the board, she dumped another assortment of vegetables on the board and smiled at him.

He weakened, her smile was his kryptonite. It was the thing that had drawn him to her, when she had stepped onto his ward all those weeks ago.

He wanted nothing more than to kiss her. To have her in his arms. But this was not the time. She had told him she wanted to take it slow and he respected that.

Dinner was amazing, they talked about everything, from embarrassing childhood crushes to hopes for the future. He really hoped that she could see him somewhere in hers.

By the time the night was over, he saw life in a whole new perspective.

He slipped his arms into his overcoat and walked to the door to leave, before he knew it her lips were on his.

A spark of electricity ran through him. This was it, he was lost in her. There was no going back from here.

He stepped back, breaking himself from the spell.

There was no rush. There would be more nights like this.


The wind howled and whipped hard against the house.

Tom wrapped his arms around me drawing me closer to him.

The fire crackled in the fireplace, giving off a strong golden glow.

No one had ever made me feel as safe as he did.

He took my hand and laced his fingers into mine, stroking the back of my hand.

I lay my head on his chest. I could hear the weak pat of his heartbeat, I stifled back my tears.

I had promised him I wouldn’t cry. Not for now.

His breath became laboured and grew weaker. He tightened the grip on my hand.

I wanted to look up at his face, I wanted to tell him that I was here with him. That everything would be okay. But we both knew that was a lie. It was never going to be the same again.

There were so many chapters in our story, that we would never be able to explore.

The time that we thought had been promised to us had come to an end, it had been stolen from us.

He was leaving me and there was nothing that I could do to stop it.

His only wish that he could lie here in this moment. The fire burning and me in his arms.

He brought my hand up to his lips and kissed it. My name floated from lips and then he was gone.

I lay in his arms long after his last breath, his fingers still entwined in my own.


A voice shouted up from the garden breaking the tranquility I had set for my self.

Just my luck, I had only just closed my eyes.

The day had been long and tiring and all I had wanted to do at the end, was dive under my covers and meet the land of nod.

And now I had done just that I was woken up. Why didn’t people have consideration for others?

The shouting intensified and was joined by another voice.

A sick realisation slowly hit me, the voice did not belong to Dan. Neither did the other one.

I whipped back my bedcovers, alarm rising inside of me.

Who was in the garden?

The fear continued to grow as I crept across the floor to my window.

I slowly pulled back the curtain, but only enough so that I wouldn’t be spotted.

Two large dark figures were standing at the bottom of my garden.

My heart began to hammer in my chest.

The shouting had now stopped and they were walking towards the house.

My mouth began to dry.

I raced over to my phone and dialled Dan’s number. The phone trilled out. Of course he wouldn’t answer, he was on the other side of the world. He was probably stuck in meetings. And what would he be able to do for me?

I keyed 999 into my keypad and a bright and airy voice answered after two short rings.

“There are two strange men in my garden,” I stammered.

I gave my name and address and the voice advised that they would be sending a police officer to investigate.

I ended the call and looked back out the window. The figures had gone.

Were they in the house? I hadn’t heard any noises. The house was silent.

I scanned the room for places to hide. There was not enough space to fit under the bed and the cupboard was too small.

I thought back to the argument me and Dan had, had about getting a wardrobe fitted. How I wish that I had not given in and fought harder.

This was it. They were gonna find me and I was going to die.

There were so many things that I hadn’t done. So many things that I still wanted to experience.

I would plead with them to spare me. They could take anything, have everything. Nothing was worth more than my life.

The sound of footsteps brought me back into the present.

I stood still behind the door and held my breathe, waiting.


I touched her cheek wiping away the recently fallen tear.

It hurt me to see her in pain and hurt me more that I was the cause.

She stared at me, her eyes seeking a reason. A single response, anything to make the pain stop.

I looked away.

The silence was more than burning.

Words that I wanted to speak disappeared on my tongue.

I had to leave, I couldn’t be in the same space with her any longer.

I went to get up, she pulled at my arm.

An unspoken urgency in her touch.

Before I knew it her mouth was on mine and mine on hers.

We explored each other hungrily.

Seeking validation in each other.

With every touch we became more in sync. Lost in our own world.

I wanted nothing more than to make her happy, be the person that she deserved to have in her life.

But I couldn’t.

It was complicated.

It was more than complicated.

We were not meant to be. We were everything that was wrong.

But in this moment, everything felt right.

I got up and kissed her on the forehead.

Tears had already began to spring at the corners of her eyes.

I had picked at the wound and had made it worse.

I turned my back on her for what felt like the thousandth time kept walking.


Zara stood at the bottom of the stairs. She cradled her cup in her hand. She stared at the remnants of the brown liquor and swirled it across the bottom of the cup.

Regret swarmed in her head. She hated house parties. Hated having to paint on a fake smile and make small talk with people she had no interest in talking to.

But Andrew had asked her to come and she would do anything for him, so she came. And what had he done. Ignored her all night.

Sighing, she walked back to the drink table and picked up a bottle. She poured way more than she could handle, but she didn’t care. Tonight was a slow night, she might as well have fun.

She took a sip from the cup. The smooth brown drink burned the back of her throat.

What she wouldn’t give for a beam from an alien ship to lock onto her and transport her away.

She made her way over to a spot in the middle of the room, where a group of people had formed and were dancing.

She allowed the music to carry her. Her hips swayed in time to the beat. The melody transporting her. All negative thoughts that she had had about Andrew was lost.

Euphoria was pulsing through her now. She threw her head back, letting her hair caress her shoulders.

Andrew was halfway through a conversation about changes to the environment when he saw her.

A smile crept across his face as he watched her dance.

This was the Zara that he had missed. The Zara who didn’t give a fuck what anyone else thought. The one that would take off her shoes and dance in the rain.

The conversation faded away in the background until all he saw was her.

Her swaying hips, the smile on her face, he was encapsulated.