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Brighter in Brighton

Short story By: kavant
Gay and lesbian


Louis was looking in all the wrong places.


Submitted:May 3, 2013    Reads: 152    Comments: 1    Likes: 0   


Louis was looking in all the wrong places. It had only been a month since he decided he needed to look for something new to fill the void, but he knew he wouldn't find it on the sidewalk outside of his flat. It wouldn't be the grocery store, it wouldn't be the post office or a football match, and it most definitely wouldn't be the dingy little bookshop he worked at. The problem: he knew all the places it wouldn't be, but that didn't help him much when he needed to be in a place where it would be.

-

At eighteen, Louis thought it was about time he booked it out of Yorkshire. He left his mum and four little sisters, only feeling the slightest bit guilty (I'll see them on holidays), and headed to Brighton with his best friend Stan. They went to Brighton solely for its reputation as a party town, and party they did for the first two years. Brighton was beautiful. It was London-by-the-sea - all bright blues, pebbled beaches, and flashing lights. Girls falling in and out of their flat and sick on the bathroom floor, which of course, Louis always made Stan clean up.

They had the time of their life for two years, but the bright blue of the sea faded to a dull green and Stan decided to move out and seek a new adventure. (He thinks that along with Stan and the sea, his smile faded as well). Louis felt anchored and stayed, getting a job at City Books. It was small and crammed to the ceiling with never-heard-of titles and smelled slightly of fish food, but Louis loved it none-the-less. He was content to spend hours browsing with the locals, even the elders who loved to tell them all about their granddaughters whom he would "absolutely adore" if he met.

And so this was his life. Wake up, walk the dog, take the subway to work, spend all day amidst the bookshelves, and enjoy a crappy TV dinner while watching re-runs of The X-Factor. He was twenty-years-old with a sigh and that's how he knew something had to change.

-

It was the middle of March and it was raining. Louis was sitting behind the counter at City Books with his feet propped on the cash register. His manager, Eleanor, had left to pick them up lunch and he was contemplating which place he would look next when the bell rang. He looked up at his customer with a practiced smile.

"Hello, welcome to City Books, can I help you find anything today?"

His customer had a head full of brown curls and shiny green orbs for eyes. He showed all his teeth as he smiled and Louis felt a tingle in his palms. "Nah, I'm just looking to pass the time." He spoke in a slow drawl that made Louis want to strangle him or maybe give him a pat on the head.

"I could probably help with that," Louis quipped and hopped up from his seat. He felt a strange sense of accomplishment when Curly smiled again.

-

Louis went home with his palms still tingling. He had learned Curly's name was Harry, and he just moved to the city to attend the University of Brighton and study art. His right arm has a smattering of tattoos that makes him look like a sketchbook and a cat named Dusty. Louis spent the afternoon making him laugh by reading lines out of cheap romance novels.

-

It was the middle of April and it had just finished raining. Louis went for a walk on the pier. It was high tide when he spotted him, standing with his back turned and watching the waves.

With no second guessing and the tingle in his palms again, Louis approaches him with raised eyebrows and a quirk to his lips. "Hi Curly."

"Bookshop Louis," Harry returns easily, and there was that smile again. The tingle in Louis's palms moves to his throat.

-

Louis wakes up at eight to take the dog for a walk. He comes home, (because it really is now), to a hot breakfast and a sleepy-looking Harry sitting at the kitchen table. He realizes then that the bookshop wasn't a wrong place to look, and come to think of it, the sea has turned bright blue again.

Louis was looking in all the wrong places. It had only been a month since he decided he needed to look for something new to fill the void, but he knew he wouldn't find it on the sidewalk outside of his flat. It wouldn't be the grocery store, it wouldn't be the post office or a football match, and it most definitely wouldn't be the dingy little bookshop he worked at. The problem: he knew all the places it wouldn't be, but that didn't help him much when he needed to be in a place where it would be.

-

At eighteen, Louis thought it was about time he booked it out of Yorkshire. He left his mum and four little sisters, only feeling the slightest bit guilty (I'll see them on holidays), and headed to Brighton with his best friend Stan. They went to Brighton solely for its reputation as a party town, and party they did for the first two years. Brighton was beautiful. It was London-by-the-sea - all bright blues, pebbled beaches, and flashing lights. Girls falling in and out of their flat and sick on the bathroom floor, which of course, Louis always made Stan clean up.

They had the time of their life for two years, but the bright blue of the sea faded to a dull green and Stan decided to move out and seek a new adventure. (He thinks that along with Stan and the sea, his smile faded as well). Louis felt anchored and stayed, getting a job at City Books. It was small and crammed to the ceiling with never-heard-of titles and smelled slightly of fish food, but Louis loved it none-the-less. He was content to spend hours browsing with the locals, even the elders who loved to tell them all about their granddaughters whom he would "absolutely adore" if he met.

And so this was his life. Wake up, walk the dog, take the subway to work, spend all day amidst the bookshelves, and enjoy a crappy TV dinner while watching re-runs of The X-Factor. He was twenty-years-old with a sigh and that's how he knew something had to change.

-

It was the middle of March and it was raining. Louis was sitting behind the counter at City Books with his feet propped on the cash register. His manager, Eleanor, had left to pick them up lunch and he was contemplating which place he would look next when the bell rang. He looked up at his customer with a practiced smile.

"Hello, welcome to City Books, can I help you find anything today?"

His customer had a head full of brown curls and shiny green orbs for eyes. He showed all his teeth as he smiled and Louis felt a tingle in his palms. "Nah, I'm just looking to pass the time." He spoke in a slow drawl that made Louis want to strangle him or maybe give him a pat on the head.

"I could probably help with that," Louis quipped and hopped up from his seat. He felt a strange sense of accomplishment when Curly smiled again.

-

Louis went home with his palms still tingling. He had learned Curly's name was Harry, and he just moved to the city to attend the University of Brighton and study art. His right arm has a smattering of tattoos that makes him look like a sketchbook and a cat named Dusty. Louis spent the afternoon making him laugh by reading lines out of cheap romance novels.

-

It was the middle of April and it had just finished raining. Louis went for a walk on the pier. It was high tide when he spotted him, standing with his back turned and watching the waves.

With no second guessing and the tingle in his palms again, Louis approaches him with raised eyebrows and a quirk to his lips. "Hi Curly."

"Bookshop Louis," Harry returns easily, and there was that smile again. The tingle in Louis's palms moves to his throat.

-

Louis wakes up at eight to take the dog for a walk. He comes home, (because it really is now), to a hot breakfast and a sleepy-looking Harry sitting at the kitchen table. He realizes then that the bookshop wasn't a wrong place to look, and come to think of it, the sea has turned bright blue again.





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