Whilst I have been absolutely loving writing my fantasy fiction series of late, I had to change my tempo before thing got a little too samey, don’t you think. Not so long ago a sentence popped into my head and my fingers got carried away as the sentence unravelled. In a complete change of direction, I would like to introduce you to Jessica. My new heroine. I hope you like her.
Jessica pulled her scarf closer around her neck. The winter wind carried an icy chill in its breeze despite the brighter March day. She couldn’t remember the last time she felt this cold. The bright yellow sun reaching across the blue skies was at odds with how cold it actually was. If she didn’t know any better she would say it would snow, her fingers inclined to agree with her as they retreated further inside her blush pink parka. But the sky was abnormally clear of clouds for this time of year. Thin wisps meandering across the blue expanse like tumbleweed. Drifting aimlessly with nowhere in particular to go.
Jessica did a little jig on the spot.
Half jumping, half stepping as she spun in a quarter turn to face into the wind. She needed her hair out of her face, she needed for it to be clear so she could focus. The promenade was her favourite place to clear her head. Despite the busy throng of people around the new supermarket that had been built alongside the seawall, just a minutes walk away, the area was clear. Quiet, calm. Jessica needed that right now if she was ever going to sort this out.
Gulping in the salty sea air she held her breath. It had been a while since she had practised yoga but she still used the techniques to help her clear her mind when something was wrong. Things were wrong, very wrong and she didn’t know how to get back to where she wanted to be. Stuck on a perpetual roundabout, all exits leading back to the circular centre. Every single one, seemingly a dead end and Jessica refused to be stuck at a dead end from here on out. It’s not what she wanted or was about. She needed more than, well this! What had happened to her?
Sure, she took a few wrong turns, her 20’s were a roadmap of high-speed chases and extended layovers, but surely she didn’t deserve this? How could anyone deserve this? Moving along to let a young family past, Jessica’s eyes trailed behind them as they carried on by, nestled between the adults was a young boy on a scooter. Wrapped up from the elements and judging by the squeals emitting from his little mouth, he was having the time of his life. But what about mum and dad? Where they still squealing with delight or had they run out of excitement and like herself, languishing at a dead end. Unable or unafraid to make a 3 point turn or reverse back on out.
Turning away from the picture perfect family, Jessica sat down. He was never one for doing this. Walking, taking time out to just be. He always needed to be busy, to keep going. It was if something would happen if he just stopped. And at first, that was one of the things she loved about him. She was swept up in his excitable bubble, hanging on for dear life and hoping it would never burst.
But it did. It took 3 years, but the bubble popped and Jessica found herself outside his bubble, being dragged along on a journey she had long since tired of. It was relentless. He was relentless and now, he wasn’t so much taking her breath away as much as sucking all the oxygen out of the room. Just thinking about it made her inhale as much of the fresh air as she could.
Was she willing to walk away? After all this time, after what she had just found out?
Could she make it work? Jessica felt a tear escape from her blue eyes as she turned once more back to face the wind. It was getting busier now, the silence would soon be broken and her thinking space closed for the next few hours. She wondered if he realised she wasn’t there.
She had left him holding court. Surprising her with a few friends for a get together he called it. She called it an ambush. He wanted witnesses. He wanted her compliance. He wanted the answer he expected to hear. After hearing him talking to Susie in the kitchen, she knew what he was planning and made her excuses to leave. She had left her phone in the car, he was probably calling her to see where she was. The thought caught her unexpectedly and this time she couldn’t stem the flow of tears that broke through her now shaky dam. God, she must look like a crazy woman, walking alone and crying she thought as she wiped her face and any evidence that things weren’t exactly as they seemed.
Turning around abruptly to retreat back to the safety of her car, Jessica knocked into someone and in a split second, as her eyes met his, she felt his hand reach out to grab her. She never believed people when they said it all happened in slow motion, but she could feel her foot disappear from underneath her as she lost her balance. Flailing arms appeared before her face as she tried in vain to steady herself and her body braced for the almighty bump as she headed downwards to the cold tarmac below. But he caught her. Of course, he did. All whilst never taking his eyes off hers. His sultry brown eyes melting into consciousness as she all she could do was gawp back at him and wonder if he did this thing regularly. Catch girls who literally fall for him.
Snapping back to reality, Jessica mumbled something resembling a thank you and tore her eyes away from his as the pink flush in her cheeks deepened to a flame red. She could feel the heat radiating from her face, she must look like a total idiot she thought.
“Anyway, I must be going, I err… I have somewhere I need to be. Thanks though and sorry for you know. Nearly knocking off your feet”
The brown pools of chocolate that were still trained on her face shifted their focus and so too did Jessica. Following his eyes, with hers, she noticed they were complemented with soft features, slightly plump cheeks and a smile that reached his eyes uncovering a slight dimple just above his chin to the right. “Damn,” she thought. “I could look at this face all day”
He smiled at her as she felt his grip loosen on her arm and with a nod of his head he began to move away from her. “You can fall for me anytime” he whispered as he carried on his way leaving Jessica behind.
The last thing Jessica needed right now was to actually fall for a handsome stranger. “God only knows what would happen if Steve found out” she thought as her hands instinctively rested on her stomach.