Second Chances

Second Chances.

A short piece of fiction.

“Take a nice deep breathe, inhale through the nose” “annnd exhale through the mouth”  Zoe gingerly opened one eye to glance around the room. Unfortunately so did Jess who caught her eye and pulled a face making Zoe snort. The instructor opened her eyes and cast a disapproving look around the room. Bloody newbies, Zoe could see the thought flash across her perfectly botoxed and tanned face before vanishing as quick as it appeared.

Zoe made the effort to restrain herself for the last 5 minutes of the class and that meant not looking in Jess’ direction at all. Of all the things she had dragged her to recently this class had to be the worst. Jess thought she needed to relax and  maybe she was right however this mediation/therapy/hugging class or whatever it was, was definitely not the way to go. She owed her for this she thought, big time.

Jess waited for her on the outskirts of the class, just hovering as was her way. She was great with one on one but groups tended to make her retreat inside herself a little. Zoe made her way to her and grabbed her, dragging her out of the class in mock anger. Jess chuckled behind her. What started off as a small giggle quickly escalated into a fit of hysterics, annoyingly it was the most infectious laugh she had ever heard and before long Zoe was unable to stifle her own laughter.

“C’mon you lets get out of here before everyone looks at us like we’ve gone mad” Almost running out of the leisure centre the two women linked arms until they reached the car. The plum coloured Peugeot 106 was sat nestled away in the corner of the car park being gently hugged each side by the weeping willow as if it was protecting it from the outside world. A bit like Jess is doing with me she thought. Keeping me busy, wrapping me away from reality so I don’t have time to focus on other things. Zoe became aware of a rapping noise rousing her from her trance like state. The rapping was coming from Jess’ lilac nails rhythmically drumming against the roof of the Peugeot. “Got all day me like” she said, “no rush” The words were laced with so much sarcasm Zoe wondered how she didn’t choke on them as she spoke and with a last dramatic eye roll she launched herself into the passenger seat.

They spent a few minutes looking at each other in the car. Zoe cocked her head slightly to the left as if nudging something. Jess screwed her mouth up to the side as if chewing in reply leaving Zoe to just shake her head and shrug. Instinctively  Jess reached out to touch her face gently tracing her finger down her cheek just skimming past her ear and let out a sigh. “OK” she smiled “I know the perfect place” she popped the car into first and eased them out of the parking space and away from the willow tree.

The drive was spent in silence. Heart FM filling the emptiness where words usually take over. Both just content today to listen to Justin Bieber before jumping back decades for a bit of Take That. A Million Love Songs always was and still is one of Zoe’s favourite songs. She became aware of Jess’ voice. Oh my god she is singing, she is such a bad singer thought Zoe. Unperturbed by the fact she was completely tone deaf and both windows were open thanks to the unusual October heat, Jess carried on warbling away getting louder and more dramatic as the song went on. She loved how Jess could do that, just pull her out of herself like that, make her smile and forget all the other crappy stuff gong on.

Zoe relaxed into the rest of the drive knowing exactly where they were going. She must have planned this she thought. The concrete landscape gave way to greenery and fields. The modern 2 up 2 down new builds on the edge of town becoming smaller in the wing mirror. Zoe loved this area, the point where the dual carriageway ends and the road leads them to a small dirt path turning less than half a mile away. The out of towners don’t know about this route. They will be flocking in via the main path, stuck in traffic in this unseasonable warm weather they were having. The tourists loving that the sun was still with us and revelling in the fact they could hit the beach without their winter Parka’s and wellies.

They park the car and not surprisingly Jess heads off to the boot and pulls out a picnic basket. She hadn’t seen that for a while not since their first date all those years ago she could still remember it as if it was yesterday. The sneaking around, secret rendezvous and midnight picnics. It was so romantic back then, the memories of it all came flooding back and not for the first time Zoe so grateful to Jess for her patience and understanding. I mean it couldn’t be easy loving someone who lost all memories of anything previous to the accident. But she did, she loved me despite knowing it may never be reciprocated, and slowly after months and months of therapy the memories returned and so did her love for Jess.

They walked across the yellowing grass navigating through the families taking advantage of the warmer temperature by pulling out the bbq’s one last time. Their destination was at the other side of the sand dunes accessible via a walkway of rickety old wooden slats now half buried in sand. Zoe wished she had her flip flops on, how she loved feeling the sand in her toes. As they reached the summit Jess stopped short of following the trail to the shore, turned to Zoe and then looked back once more.

The view before stretched out for miles. The tide was out but you could still see the water licking at the horizon trying to reach the blue sky but never quite making it. It left shapes in the sand in it’s hurry to leave as if the more it pushed back the sand and dug it away the quicker it would reach it’s destination. The effect was stunning to see. The sand almost mimicking the waves in their absence so no one would be disappointed to find the water not there.

Zoe turned her gaze back to Jess. Jess, just standing there with a velvet box in her hand and a nervous smile on her face. Zoe couldn’t hold back the tears when she saw what Jess was holding. “But, I thought you said it was gone?” “It was to you” said Jess struggling to keep her own tears at bay “It was gone until I knew you had come back to me. I would never of given up waiting, never” Jess got down on one knee “Zoe will you marry me…………again?”

So what do you think? It started off as two friends at a gym class, you know me and it ended up here. About halfway through writing this I deleted it and started again. I have been trying to write a love story but I don’t think it’s my thing really? Considering my one true love is chocolate 😉 I’m not sure I’m equipped to write a love story but this happened naturally. I love the turn it took and I hope I done the story justice. It’s about love (please keep any homophobic comments to yourself thank you) that’s all, just love. Thanks for reading. ps does it make anyone else feel old to know that Justin Bieber is 22 and Take That released A Million Love Songs in October 1992. Bieber wasn’t even born until March 1994!
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  1. Oh what a lovely story 🙂 You wrote this really well! Wow now i do feel old, i was a huge Take That fan in my teens! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again this Sunday x

  2. Oh, beautifully written and I was quite happy to be led along the path and be enchanted by your love story. Sometimes your characters come alive and they have their own story to share!

  3. awww **sighs happily** really cute! your a great writer! You should definitely carry on writing! #kcacols

  4. It was a great story – built up nicely, lovely ending. I had an inkling about where it would go once they got in the car as it seemed to start to develop into a love story there. I enjoyed it, thanks for sharing #kcacols

  5. You definitely pulled me in, I really liked your use of description and was keen to see how it would pan out and loved the blissful ending. As a fellow #fiction blogger I was interested to read your post and I’ll be back 🙂 x

  6. This is such a lovely story Tracey and beautifully written, it captivated me all the way through from start to finish. The story has a lot of twists and turns in it – which is great to keep my attention, I wouldn’t have thought when starting to read it that it would end with a proposal. The mention of Take That and a Peugeot 106 made me feel a little old. Thanks so much for joining us at #fortheloveofBLOG this week. it’s been great to have you, we hope you come back next week. Claire x

  7. Utterly, utterly brilliantly written. I loved every single word. You are such a natural at this Tracey. I really hope to see one of your titles on my shelf one day. Keep up the fabulous writing xx Thank you for linking to Prose for Thought x

  8. Lovely story, perfect for a nap time cup of tea! I’m a 90s child so I’m not overly familiar with the older Take That stuff, unfortunately Justin Bieber I can relate to, haha!
    Great post 🙂


  9. Fab story, really didn’t know where it would end up which was the beauty of it. At first it felt light-hearted and a bit of fun like two friends, and then became more serious, and the a surprising but lovely turn. An engaging read #KCACOLS

  10. This is such a sweet story. It is beautifully written. The way you describe things makes me feel like I am there.

  11. Oh this is a beautiful love story but apart from the love element for what it is you have such a great way with words – I didn’t feel the need to skim any sentences – I wanted to read them all – beautiful words – well done you! And yes, I feel very old! Thank you for giving me something different to read today #fortheloveofBLOG

  12. Fab story, I enjoyed it and wanted to read on. I was in my 4th year of high school when take that released that, feeling my nearly 40 now!

  13. Lovely story, very well written and yes I feel ancient about Take That and I recently saw a picture of Busted’s reunion tour…do I look as old as them?!! I hope not, I don’t feel it! #fortheloveofBLOG

  14. Beautiful story and it’s a great love story. Love is love and you’ve managed to turn an idea into words that pop out of the page, bloody brilliant!
    This is my favourite bit…..’They spent a few minutes looking at each other in the car. Zoe cocked her head slightly to the left as if nudging something. Jess screwed her mouth up to the side as if chewing in reply leaving Zoe to just shake her head and shrug.’ Great couple of sentences you’ve put together there.

    Oh and there are just not enough words available here to start on how old I feel when I see the years people are born. That’s about 10 blog posts worth of rants from me, it’s all so unnatural for someone born in the 90’s to do anything apart from be a small child as it seems like yesterday to me. (any homophobic thoughts from people towards you will of now waned to agest ones focused at me;)

    mainy – myrealfairy