The Pen Pal

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Some people write because they have secrets
i write because i cant afford a psychiatrist

Submitted: August 09, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 09, 2016

A A A

A A A


The pen pal

Chapter one

What’s your story?

It was a Saturday afternoon, when I took a stroll down to the beach. I could see two guys playing volleyball, having a good time. I also saw a young guy who caught my eye. He had two sun loungers; one of which he was lying on, looking out onto the sea. He caught my eye because he was smoking a cigar. But he looked too young to be smoking a cigar. I decided to walk over and ask if the other sun lounger was being used. He told me it wasn’t and asked me to sit down. He asked me my name. “Samantha,” I replied. “Samantha Wilkes. What’s your name?” I asked back. He told me his name was David.

As the conversation grew, I learned that he was 26 and had a mysterious way about him but he didn’t seem to give too much away. Nevertheless, I was intrigued as to why this 26-year-old was alone on the beach, smoking a cigar. What was his story? So I asked if he was waiting for someone and he simply replied: “Everyone is waiting for someone, right?” Intrigued, I asked him what he meant but he just replied, “It doesn’t matter.” As the evening went on David offered me a beer and I soon came to realize that he was funny and charming; I warmed to him. However, I never found anything out about his past. Finally, as we sipped on a cold beer, I asked him what his story was and how did he end up here. “Do you really want to know my story?” he queried. I answered ‘yes’ and when he asked where he should he begin, I jokingly said that the best place would be from the start!

“Then I will begin from the start,”David said. “I was born in 1982 in Glasgow, Scotland.”Aah I had wondered where that accent was from! I apologized for interrupting and gestured for him to continue. “Like I said, I was born in Glasgow – on the outskirts of Glasgow actually; in a town called Glenmavis. It was a small cul-de-sac place where everyone knows everyone and life was great.

“Everyday I woke up and played football with my friends until it was too dark. Then my mum would have to come looking for me to get me home for my dinner.” I could really relate to that feeling – although not the playing football of course!

But I really wanted to know how he ended up here. “Well, if you want to know how I ended up here, you need to know my story,” David continued. “Anyway, life was good – I had a younger brother of four years and a loving and caring mother and father. Life seemed perfect until I got called into the house one day. My father told me that we would be moving away to England for his job.” I asked how old he was when he moved away and David said he was just eleven.  I knew just how that felt as my family moved when I was 13 and I remembered how it sucked having to leave your friends. “Yup, it sucked, but such is life,” David exclaimed. “We moved away for my dad’s work, to a place called Warwickshire. He was involved in the finance world and the head office was situated near Warwick, so I guess it seemed like the obvious choice to relocate to the head office. You see, my dad was traveling back and forward from Warwick and Glasgow so we only really saw him for two days a week in Glenmavis.”

It was a bit funny to hear him say he’d lived in Warwick as I’m from Stratford-upon-Avon. I jokingly said that we probably bumped into each other without evening knowing it! “Haha, small world!” said David. “So how old are you then, Samantha?” I told him I was two years younger than him, although I’ve always been pretty mature for my age. My mum always said to me that I was more like 13 going on 33. God I miss her sometimes.

“Yeah, I miss my family too sometimes,” David said. “But we will see them again Samantha, don’t worry.” Laughing slightly, I told David I wasn’t worried and asked him to continue with the story – and would he mind blowing the smoke the other way while he did!

“Sure,” he continued. “Well, that was it. I went to school like everyone else – same old, same old. Not too much to say really. I made new friends and life was ok.

“I still played football. You see, it was always my dream to be a professional footballer. Unfortunately, I was never quite good enough though. I always played for the second team at school. So I left school at 16 with average grades and went to a local college studying business while working part time at Sainsbury’s too and I was happy enough. I was earning enough beer money to keep me going when I wasn’t working or at college.” Beer money? But I thought you were 16, right? “Your point being?” exclaimed David. Aaaaah, I see. You were the jack the lad type kid then eh? That explains the cigar, I said, with a bit of a smirk on my face. “The cigar smoking started a little later,” informed David. But maybe if you didn’t smoke the cigars and drink the beer, you could have been a footballer, I queried. “Yeah yeah yeah, very clever!” retorted David. “Anyways, I was two years into my college course – I was 18 and could finally drink in the pub legally – and me and my friends held an 18th birthday party there, much to the anger of the owner, who for the last two years thought that I was actually over 18!

“My best friend at the time, Lewis, was there with his girlfriend Ashley. She had brought her friend Zoey, who I remembered from school although, to be honest with you, I don’t remember ever once having a conversation with her! Which actually, is quite ironic – but you’ll eventually find out why. As the night went on, me and my friends were having a good time drinking, putting our favourite music on the juke box – normally Oasis.” Yessssssss, I screamed out! I love Oasis so asked him what his favorite song is. “It’s got to be ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’ But what about you?”, asked David. I told him that I thought his favourite seemed a bit luvvy duvvy for him and that I was actually expecting more of a Wonder Wall type of song. In actual fact, my favorite was Songbird, so I guess we both have a luvvy duvvy side. “Haha, I actually do have a soft side, yes,” exclaimed David.

“Anyhow, back to the story!” continued David. “As the night went on, I got talking to Zoey more and more, and to be honest, I found her fascinating! Before long, the night was over and it was time to head home. I wished I could have spent all night talking to her. I didn’t actually want to go home and remember laughing, while thinking about the time I wasted at school, having never spoken to her.”

Aww David! I asked whether he had fallen in love but he told me he’d get to that bit soon enough. While there was a pause in his story, I asked him for another beer. “Oh sorry, I didn’t realise you were finished. Here you go.” David passed me a beer and I said thanks and mentioned that it was a nice touch to bring the cooler down with him along with the sun loungers. “You’re damn right it was a good idea! Always think ahead Samantha,” said David. It sounded quite formal calling me Samantha, so I told him he could just call me Sam. “Sam it is then!” exclaimed David. “So Sam, as the weeks went by I saw Zoey more and more. She would come to the pub with her friend Ashely, who would be with her boyfriend – my friend, Lewis. As the weeks went by, I liked her more and more. To be honest, I was totally infatuated with her; her smile, her laughter. I loved everything about her. Well, almost everything about her.”

I was a bit puzzled by what David had said, so he tried to explain. “The only problem with Zoey is that she wasn’t as interested in me as I was with her. In fact, she had her eye on someone else.” Oooh, we have all been there before, I thought and asked him what he did. “So I did what any young lad would do: I drowned myself in drugs and alcohol, and become a cunt to her.” Standard, I thought. I bet she loved that! “Yeah, it was sad Sam. We were good friends and within the space of a month, she thought I was a creep. In fact, I was so depressed by this point, I knew I needed to get away. I needed to start again. So I went into college and asked the teacher to help me apply for university. But with my grades, it wasn’t going to be a case of a good university but I didn’t care – I just wanted a new start.

“I put down the first university on the list that seemed like fun, which happened to be Cardiff, and applied. And I got in! I couldn’t believe it. After months of being down and feeling lost in Warwick, I had the chance to start again.

Chapter 2

Cardiff

“Before I continue Sam, I just realised I’m telling you my story, but what about you?” David asked. I told hime that I’d tell him mine after he’d finished telling me his as I was intrigued as to how he ended up here. “OK I’ll keep you to that! Fancy another beer?” I jokingly said I thought he’d never ask and he handed me another beer before continuing with his story about Cardiff.

“Well, I packed my stuff up and got my mum to drive me there. It was about two and a half hours drive from Warwick, so I felt I was far enough away to feel like I was starting a new life.

“I studied business management even though I wasn’t that interested in business. But I didn’t really care – I wasn’t there to be educated, I wanted to start a new life and heal some wounds.” God, that must have been quite brave to start over again I thought and I told David that I wished I could have done something similar. “Actually Sam, it wasn’t brave at all,” explained David. “I felt great starting over and I moved into a student accommodation called plas gwyn in Liandaff, which was famous for having the BBC headquarters there. It was an eerie town with a huge church and was famous for its ghosts in the winter when it got foggy. It was like something out of a horror movie!” It sounded like I would have loved it there as I love horror movies, but David said he never saw a ghost. “Sadly not, although that would have been a great story though, right?”

I told David that I was sure that he’d still have a great story to tell. “Ahh you’re putting pressure on me to deliver a great story now – and keep up this mysterious nature Sam!” Pah, me putting pressure on someone? Never! So I aksed him to tell me more about Liandaff.

“Well, it was a fifteen minute walk from Cardiff town centre and five minutes’ walk from the university, so it was convenient in that respect. I lived in a block with three flats – six people in each flat. There was a French man called Jerome, who I got friendly with, and his friend William, both from the south of France. They only had two things in common and they were that they were French and enjoyed smoking weed!” Who doesn’t I aksed! “Me actually,” confessed David. “I’ve never been able to smoke it.” God, you wouldn’t last long with me then, I told him. “So you have a problem with my cigar smoke but you smoke weed?” David queried. That’s different I said but he said no more about it and continued with his story.

“Anyways, down the bottom there was a girl called Susannah. She was a nice girl, very glamorous. And there was a tall guy called Luke, who was built like a brick shit house. There was also a mysterious girl. She had the typical rock image type look going on, the ‘I don’t give a shit’ type girl. You know the type I mean, right?”

I told David that I knew what he meant and asked him what her name was. “Her name was Liz,” he said. “I didn’t really get to know her for some time as she kept herself to herself. Eventually I bumped into her in a night club in Cardiff. I was standing behind her in a queue for the bar and a guy walked past her and smacked her bum. She turned ‘round, saw me and BOOM, I was on the floor! I couldn’t believe it. Some cheeky bastard walked off scot free and I took a right hook to the face!”

Maybe you deserved it I said, laughing. “Maybe I did,” retorted David, laughing. “But I explained to her that it wasn’t me and she apologized. We got talking and hit it off straight away. As the weeks went by, me and Liz, with Jerome, William, Susannah and Luke, would often hang out together. It was great fun starting over again where no one knew who I was. I felt great.

“I spent my time at university and when I wasn’t there, I would be playing poker or hanging out with my new friends.” So you play poker, I asked, sounding quite surprised. “Yeah, why do you seem so shocked,” said David. I told him that it was less shock and more interest as I play chess but have always been interested in poker, but never actually learned how to play. “I could teach you if you like,” offered David. Sounds fantastic I said, asking id he was actually any good. “I was ok I suppose. I made a bit of money on the side to spend on nights out.5k was my biggest score though.” Wow, how nuts is that I thought, and I then asked what’s the most he’d ever lost. “5k,” laughed David in reply. “IIt’s OK. You win and you lose. I’m fine with it.”

It seemed like a lot of money and I told David thatI could never lose that much as I’d have a breakdown. “Haha, it’s not as bad as you think,” he said. So, was he just a broken hearted degenerate? “Got it in one!” David said. “I also went to the gym with Luke and Jerome. They were big on rugby so they had all the protein shakes and paraphernalia, so I started working out trying to get bigger.

“Believe it or not I used to be quite a skinny runt. You wouldn’t think it now with this double chin would ya!” I jokingly agreed and told him that he’s got more chins than a Hong Kong phone book. “Hahaha, no offence taken Sam, cheeky git,” he retorted. Laughing, I said that he’d left himself wide open for that comment but told him that going to the gym was a good thing. “Yeah, it was good, although to be honest, I think deep down I only did it to get in better shape just in case I’d one day see Zoey again, and things might be different. I never really did get over her, Sam.”

Hearing about how he still missed Zoey, I tried to take his mind off it by asking David to tell me a funny story about his time in Cardiff. “I have a story although I’m not sure it’s funny!

“Well, it was the Easter holidays and Luke and Jerome had gone on holiday, so I was going to the gym on my own and decided to make the protein shakes myself. Normally Luke was in charge of this, as he was studying science and enjoyed mixing up the cocktails! So I started adding the stuff to the shake – the protein powder, creatine etc and I saw something called Kaffeine, which said it gave you energy.”

“Wait, you realise caffeine isn’t spelt with a k right? Oh dear!” I said somewhat shocked. “This one was, and yes,  oh dear! I put a spoon full of it in the shake thinking it would give me energy but after 20 minutes I didn’t feel so good and Liz phoned for an ambulance. I felt like I was having a heart attack! They rushed me to hospital in an ambulance and I spent two days in the poison unit at hospital. It was quite an experience going through something like that.

“People say that when you’re on your death bed, your life flashes by your eyes, but all I could think was please God, keep me alive! I remember thinking I’d do anything, even set up a charity after this, just as long as he kept mealive.” David continued: “Eventually, after two days of the doctors looking after me, I was starting to get back to normal. It was kind of funny on the second day as the doctors gave me strong sleeping tablets to put me to sleep and I woke up with a newspaper that had been delivered with the back page showing both real Madrid and Barcelona being heavily beaten in the Champion’s League.  I wondered if I had died and gone to heaven!”

Listening to David made me think how horrible it must have been going through all of that. “Yeah, it was, but it got stranger than that,” he continued. “After I got home the next day, I went to Tesco as there was no food in the flat, and as I was in the queue I looked up and saw the paramedic getting his lunch! He looked at me with a look of shock. I think maybe he thought I had been a goner so I looked back at him and thanked him for looking after me. God knows what the chances of me bumping into him were!”

By the time David had finished talking, I’d realised we were out of beer. “I only live a two-minute walk away, so I could run up and get some more If you like,” I offered. David said that it sounded like a good plan and he asked if he could use the bathroom too. “Yeah, that’s fine, let’s go,” I said.

And that was that. We headed off to my flat. And to be honest, I was starting to like him although I still wasn’t exactly sure how we both ended up here. That’s the thing about this place – everyone has a story, although I’m not sure I feel as comfortable as David about opening up. I’m not as confident as him; he seemed to take everything in his stride.

Chapter 3

Your turn

“Gosh, this flat is really nice Sam,”enthused David. I said thanks and pointed towards the toilet just down the corridor, telling him it was the second door on the right.

While David was in the bathroom, I packed his cooler box he’d brought up with some beer I had in the fridge. It wasn’t long before David was back and ready to go. “You know what Sam, I’ve told you a little about my story. How about on the way back to the beach, you tell me about your beginnings in life?”

Laughing nervously, I said I didn’t have a story, which he didn’t believe for one minute. “You said it your self – everyone who ends up here has a story. And anyhow,  we made a deal that you would tell your story. Don’t be so scared, it’s good, so let it go.”

Since David insisted, I thought, why not then! I started from the beginning like he asked, telling him that I was born in London in 1984, and that I don’t remember London that well as I moved to Stratford-Upon-Avon when I was four years old. “How come your family moved away? London is so much fun!” commented David. Laughing, I told him that it’s only fun if you have the money to live there! My dad was a plasterer and my mum a receptionist, so London was simply way too expensive for us. Besides my dad was left a flat in Stratford by a rich uncle that he had, so it made sense to relocate. “Ok, now I understand,” said David. “Still, Stratford is a nice place. It could have been worse, right?”

Yes, Stratford-Upon-Avon was nice if you’re looking to retire and read Shakespeare all day, but for me, I wanted more action. “Action? You’re starting to sound like me now Sam,” he replied. “Maybe you would be a good poker player, haha!”

I ignored what he said and instead explained that there wasn’t enough going on. And by the time I started secondary school I was lonely, and bullied at school for my cleft lip. David look genuinely concerned: “I’m sorry to hear that. Young kids can be so nasty sometimes.” He was right but I got through it, mostly by reading novels. Horror novels and films were my favourite. “You can’t beat a good horror! What’s your favourite?” asked David. I told him it had to be The Exorcist and he agreed. “The Exorcist? Yeah, that was a classic. The part of the movie where she comes crawling down the stairs on all fours backwards still creeps me out to this day haha! So what happened after school?

“Well, similar to you I left school at 16,” I said. “Although I didn’t have the courage or confidence to move away like you did and start afresh. Instead I had a job working in a factory doing night shifts.

“It made plastic containers. I wish I could tell you something more interesting but it was incredibly boring and I hated it. But on the plus side, was that  I didn’t have to deal with the public. There was a guy there that was a few years older than me – Scott was his name – he was your typical goth type of guy and I naturally lured towards him. Perhaps there was something about him that I connected to, I didn’t really know.

“We had both been outcasts at school and as time went on we would often hang out on our days of together, mostly watching horror movies. After a couple of months, one beer led to another and Scott told me he had romantic feelings for me. I couldn’t believe it as no boy had ever said this to me before. I was sure that I was going to die alone!

“It felt great and just like that, I had a boyfriend. And there it was: I had some bright light in my life after so much darkness.”

Chapter 4

To hell with business

As I finished giving David the introduction to my life, tears ran down my face and I was surprised when he stood up and gave me a hug and said: “Don’t worry Sam, life is a journey, not a destination. Everything happens for a reason.”

“Thank you David,” I replied. “You know it’s true what they say: it feels good to open up, but don’t ask me to do it again hah! Listen, it’s getting dark now. I know a bar just up the road – they have great entertainment. Would you like to go up with me and continue your story?”

“Sure, let’s go,” enthused David. “What kind of entertainment are you talking about?” I told him it would involve the usual singing and dancing. “Pfffft. You’re not gonna get me to dance are you?” retorted David. “So, you’re happy to lose 5k gambling, but are scared to dance?” I said, pretending to mock him. “Haha. I have two left feet!” laughed David. How could he possibly be worse than me? So off we went.

And there we were in my favourite bar. David had to admit that at this point, he was starting to really enjoy talking to Sam; that there was something about her vulnerability that he found charming. He just wanted to give her a big hug.

So I asked David to tell me what happened, and how did Cardiff finish. “Well, as the year went on I realised that I didn’t find business interesting. I found myself cooking more and more in the evenings. I would surf the net looking for new recipes and before long I was spending my poker winnings on ingredients, rather than alcohol and cigars.”

“As the year loomed, I looked online to see if there were any university courses to do with cooking. And that’s where I stumbled upon a degree called, Culinary Arts Management. It was basically a program of fifty per cent cooking and fifty per cent looking at elements of running a restaurant. For example, one of the modules was finance.”

Wow, so he can cook! I asked David what his favourite food is – maybe he could cook for me sometime! “My favorite cuisine is Indian food, although I normally cook French cuisine,” replied David.

“Oh my God, I love Indian food! We have more in common than I thought, David.”

“I will cook for you if you finish off your story for me,” proposed David. I told him it was a deal but asked him to continue with his as I was interested in what happened next – and he agreed.

“Ok, so in my typical fashion, I picked the university at random, left it to fate, so to say,” explained David, but it sounded logical. “Well, it turned out to be a good decision Sam as I ended up in Birmingham and, to be honest, I felt like a fish out of water. I only had experience of cooking in my flat for Liz and the gang, and now I was with some arrogant chefs trying to pretend I had a fucking clue how to hold the damn knife!” I couldn’t help but laugh at imagining David trying to bluff his way through this one.

“It’s true, I didn’t even know how to cut an onion correctly, but eventually I got the hang of it and made steady improvements – although I can’t claim to be a great chef!”

“I take back what I said about you cooking for me!” I laughed. “Haha. What, are you scared I’m going to poison you?” laughed David.  “I assure you I can cook a mean French stew!”

“Ah, I take your word on that then! Did you not miss Liz and your friends from Cardiff? “Sure, I missed them, but I always kept in touch. And actually I met up with Liz from time to time and we had some good times.” I aksed David about Luke and Jerome. “I kept in touch online but I didn’t see them again, although I did make a big effort to try keep up my gym work. I’d been doing quite well at the poker so I decided to become a member of the club and spa. It was an expensive gym and spa but I liked it because it was state of the art and I could use the pool after the gym.

“So I go to the gym one night for a class, and I get in the class and the teacher is a flamboyant mother fucker and it’s all ladies apart from me. I think it’s  bit strange but carry on and do my stretches. Maybe it’s a legs, bums and tums class but it’s not until the first song comes on and its some dance remix of I’m a Barbie, do I realise that I’m actually in the dance class! Fuck, it’s too late I thought, I’ve got just to go with it. Now it was  hour of ‘get on it, just flaunt it’ and ‘uptown funk don't give it to ya’ and my favourite ‘mr worldwide’. After an hour of losing any shame I had left, the fucker refers to the group and says great job ladies. No, fucking ladies and gents! Anyways, the good news is I’m Chris brown and Billy Elliot rolled into one now BABY!”

I burst out laughing at David’s story and the way he told it with a smile on his face. I know it sounds silly, but being in his company was making me happy. He was funny, intelligent and apparently he could cook.

“But hold the bus, you said you can’t dance but now you’re saying you’re Chris brown and Billy Elliot rolled in one. Ok, let’s prove it: come on,” I challenged.

And just like that I grabbed his hand and took David to the dance floor. David was nervous. Why did he make the joke about being Billy Elliot when he didn’t know the first thing about dancing!

Lucky for David, they were both drunk enough that they were as bad as each other and he wasn’t left too embarrassed.

“When did you become so confident Sam?” quizzed David. “You make out you’re a bashful, shy, reserved character.”

“I am more confident when I’m drunk - who’s not?” I replied.

Chapter 5

“So Sam, tell me more about your life then. So, you were working in a factory and just started dating Scott.”

I told David that I must have been eighteen by this point and that me and Scott had decided to move into a flat together in Warwick. Things were looking good – the flat was nice and we were both happy.

“Why Warwick,” David asked. “Is it not more expensive to rent there?”

It was true that it was more expensive but I explained that we had both saved up over the last two years. Plus Scott had got a promotion in a new factory in Warwick which was owned by the same owners as the plastic container making factory we had both worked at. So, with his new position as Assistant Manager, my job and our savings, we were doing ok.

“Did you ever go to the pub, the Rose and Crown,” asked David, and I told him that it was one of our favourite.

 “Me too, I loved the spin a drink!”

The spin a drink? I didn’t have a clue what he meant. “Yes, the spin a drink. You never played it? They must have stopped doing it on a Saturday but if you ordered an alcoholic drink, the bartender would spin the wheel and whatever you landed on, you got. There was anything from free jagerbombs, to a glass of wine, to a bottle of beer!”

That sounded like fun, Scott would of loved that.

“So, where is Scott, if you don’t mind me asking,” said David.

As soon as he asked the question he regretted it as Sam’s lip started to tremor and I could see her eyes beginning to water.

“It’s ok, you don’t have to talk about anything you don’t want to,” comforted David.

I took a deep breath and decided it had been nice opening up already to David, so why not keep it going. “Well, I remember it was a Saturday in the summer. The flowers were fully in blossom – even the squirrels in the park seemed to be loving life, jumping around. Life seemed great. I was on my way home from the supermarket getting some food for me and Scott, as he was working extra hours, as his boss was on holiday. And just as I was turning up to the flat, my phone went off. It was his factory owners telling me he had been in an accident at work.

“I’m so sorry Sam,” said David.

It was a fork lift accident, a blow to the head and he was in a coma for three months before we turned off the machine. It was four years ago, but I still miss him.

“I can’t imagine what that must be like Sam.”

For the first six months I had felt numb. It’s hard to describe. I feel as if I was cheated from happiness, like there’s been a mistake.

“I feel so embarrassed I’ve been giving my hard luck story about love,” sympathised David. “I don’t know what true heartbreak is. How did you get through this?”

So I told David that due to the fact it was deemed to be Scott’s fault, which I disagree with, they say he shouldn’t have been in that part of the factory. But maybe if they had had enough staff, he wouldn’t of had to be there. Anyways, the company has no financial obligation to pay out a penny. But the owners were good guys and liked Scott. They were devastated over this and wrote a check for £30,000, which at the time didn’t mean anything to me, but looking back, it stopped me from starving to death.

I was so depressed I couldn’t go to work. I enjoyed nothing, nothing tasted nice, no conversation was stimulating, nothing on TV was funny. It was tough, there’s no doubt about it. The owners gave me three months paid time off but I was back to work after a month – I just couldn’t sit at home anymore. It was like I was going mad. But like you say David, life is a journey not a destination, and that journey of pain and loneliness was part of my journey and I accept this.

Chapter six

The letters

After about four hours of being in each other’s company it was getting late. We both agreed that we would meet up the next day and go for lunch and continue our life stories. I have to say it was very therapeutic.

David was a very confident guy - he walked right up to me before he headed off to his hotel and gave me a cuddle and whispered in my ear, “Don’t worry; you will always have a friend in me.”

As I walked back to my hotel I felt a sense of freedom. For years I had been keeping in my pain, never discussing anything with anyone. There was something about David who made me feel at ease. He was comfortable talking about his life. I know this sounds bizarre but he seemed unworldly, his compassion and ability to make you feel happy was incredible. He was a deep thinker and I couldn’t stop thinking about him. However, I couldn’t make up my mind if I should tell him the truth of why we met on the beach.

You see, I felt I knew David before I met him. The stories seemed familiar and his personality was exactly what I had imagined. What do you mean you may ask. Well, what I left out of my story was that shortly after Scott died, I received a letter addressed to the former occupier of the flat – a certain Zoey Maynard. I did what anyone would do and contacted the estate agent to get Zoey’s details and let her know of the letter.  The estate agents gave me her number and I phoned her. I told her my name and that I was the new occupier of 12 Motley Road, and that there was a letter addressed to her if she wanted to collect it. She thanked me and asked if it was possible for her to pop in after work and collect it and I told her it was.

Sure enough, at 6pm Zoey turned up to the flat and rang the door bell. “Hello, you must be Zoey, please come in. I’ve just put the kettle on - would you like a cup of tea?” I asked and she said that would be nice. “How have you been in the new flat? Have you managed to get the hang of locking the door yet?” Zoey had asked. “Don’t get me started on that door – It’s a real pain,” I said. “Before I forget, here is the letter.”

To my surprise Zoey had opened up the letter there and then as I was making the tea. It didn’t seem like a bill but more like it was hand written. I could see in my corner of my eye her reading the letter. She seemed almost angry whilst reading it. I’d thought it was a bit bizarre when she popped it in the bin in the kitchen. I gave her her cup of tea. “Thank you, this is very kind of you. And once again, thank you for getting in touch with me, although if any more letters come in like that, don’t contact me, just bin them,” Zoey advised.

“Aaah ok, is everything ok?”

“Everything is fine. I’m sorry I can’t stay longer but I must go as I have an appointment at 7 o’clock,” and just like that, Zoey left. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in what was in the letter. But it was none of my business, so I went to bed and didn’t think any more about it. However, the next day my curiosity got the better of me and I scooped it out of the bin and opened it up.

“Dear Zoey

I hope everything is good for you. I am writing this to let you know that I have moved away from Warwick and I’m currently living in Cardiff. It feels great to have started a new life again. I have made new friends and love going on my walks. I feel free again! I wanted to write to you to let you know how sorry I am for my immature and sometimes nasty things I used to say to you. I only said these things because I was so depressed that I loved you and you didn’t love me and I wasn’t emotionally developed enough to deal with it. I hope that you are happy and you have sorted out everything with your job and that your family is well. I’m studying business management at Cardiff met university although I’m not that bothered about the university course. I moved here to start afresh, make new friends and have an adventure. You would like it here! There are fantastic parks where you can go for walks - I love it. I often take a walk in the mornings to the central park to get a coffee and read a newspaper whilst I watch the world go by. The people I live with are very nice and I’ve made new friends already and I’m happy here although I wish I could go back in time knowing what I know now; I would have loved to be in a spiritually better place so that I could enjoy your company and eventually tell you how much I love you - even though I know you don’t want to hear that shit. But it’s good for my soul to express how I feel.

I miss not being able to see your smile or make you laugh, although I know it could never last forever because, even if I could go back in time, I could only pretend to be your friend so long before I have to let you know how I feel. You know how I am, haha.

I know it makes you feel uncomfortable when I talk about my feelings because you don’t feel the same way and I know I’m deemed strange by some people, but others look at me as compassionate, loving, generous and a real mother fucker. I hope that you can one day take my love for you and stick it in your soul for when you need it, because some people go through their whole life with nobody ever telling them that they love them.

Much love

David (Dewi Sants)

 

I don’t know why but perhaps it was the emotional state I was in with the accident to Scott, but something about this letter touched me: I felt something in my heart. It was clear that this guy really had a lot of love and I was trying to figure out in my head why Zoey seemed so uninterested by his letter. Not only had she put it in the bin, she told me to bin any similar looking letters. I don’t know what happened in the past, but it seemed strange to me; everyone makes mistakes but perhaps she had started a new life and had found love and didn’t need any complications.

Seven months had passed by since I had read the letter when I came back from work to see another one sitting there when I got in. It had similar hand writing to the first and I thought it must be from David again. I know in this situation I should have binned the letter as I had no right to read it, as it wasn’t for me. But there was something luring me to it. I can’t describe it but I felt compelled to see what David had to say.

“Dear Zoey

I hope that you are happy and everything is good for you. I’m currently nearing the end of my first year at university. Although  I have loved living in Cardiff, I feel the course is not for me. I want to explore my creative talents and find something I enjoy. I have recently been spending a lot of time cooking at home and I feel this could be an interesting route for me. There is a course in Birmingham called Culinary Arts Management where you learn to cook and learn about the industry. I am still the same old me who likes to have a good time and make people laugh! I actually looked into doing a course I seen that was comedy writing and a drama acting type thing. So I decided to apply and got an interview in Manchester, so I booked a hotel and headed down to go for the interview. Now, bearing in mind I don’t have any acting abilities I was a bit taken back. I mean, this wasn’t what I was expecting. I was the only straight guy there and all the girls were all desperate to be in Coronation Street! I was the only one there for the comedy writing, however it was a course with a comedy writing aspect but you would still need to act. So, during this bat shit crazy group interview, we had to pretend to be animals and all sorts of weird shit, and introduce ourselves by doing some kind of movement and saying your name. So all the other kids are doing star jumps and god knows what else, fucking flamboyant mother fuckers I tell you. Anyways it comes to me and I freeze and everyone’s looking at me and the teacher says, go on, give it some jazz hands. And I’m looking back at her and all I can think of is, what if my friends could see me now. I mean, it was only last year I was having a breakdown and now look at me - I’m giving it jazz hands! Haha anyways, needless to say, the teacher didn’t think I was what they were looking for.

I met a girl called Liz here in Cardiff, she is cool. You would have liked her - very rock n roll type chick. We normally go out during the week for a beer. Last week I won 1k playing poker, so I decided to go out and spend it before I lost it. I got so drunk I ended up putting six homeless people in a hotel that night, I mean, it was winter, I couldn’t see them be stuck outside. Haha it still makes me laugh, though the look on the receptionist’s face when this ugly drunk fucker walked in with a crew of six homeless dudes and paid for them to stay there was priceless. He looked shocked. I was hoping to get a pride of Britain award - fingers crossed.

Anyhow, I hope you’re still enjoying your job and you are enjoying life.

Much love

David

These letters would come every six months or so. They would normally begin the same. Sometimes they would be positive about how life was going and sometimes they would have a tone of depression about them. However, they always had comedy and they always made me laugh. The more letters I read, the more interested I became in David. He fascinated me and his sense of individuality and outward-shining creative energy made it impossible for me stop reading his letters. In fact, I craved them and it made my day when they arrived. I would often take it to the park and read it; it became an event.

I often wondered why Zoey had been so disinterested and having read his letters and met Zoey, it was clear she didn’t understand him; his wit, sensitivity, compassion and his way with words was wasted on her.

A couple of years had gone past when this letter arrived.

Dear Zoey,

I hope everything is good for you and you are happy. I have finished my degree in Culinary Arts Management - finally haha! It was looking touch and go at parts, but I finished it. I hope reading my letters over the years has made a positive impact on your life and made you smile. It’s been eight years since we last seen each other and I still care about you as much as I did then. But I feel at 26 it’s time for a change. I can no longer live my life loving someone who doesn’t love me back. I need to find someone who can love me.

If you feel you want to me see me, I will be at the Chapel Porth beach in Cornwall on the 30th July all day. It’s a small beach, normally quiet. I will be there reading my books and taking a break and re-charging my batteries. If you ever want to see me again I will be there. Don’t feel you have to come, I don’t expect you to. But I must give you the opportunity so I never have to ask the question ‘what if?’ This will be my last letter

p.s.

Remember to keep my love in your soul

Love

David 

Chapter seven

30th July

It was a Saturday afternoon, when I had a stroll down to the beach. I could see two guys playing volleyball having a good time. I also saw a young guy who caught my eye. I felt like I knew him already. We spent the night talking, laughing and crying. And the next day David took me out for lunch. I never did tell him about the letters, but I think I did what was best. It seemed like fate for me to go and meet David. My uncle had a flat two minutes’ walk from this beach that I could stay at.

And David never told Sam the truth about why he was at the beach that day; he simply told her that he was re-charging his batteries.

David had such a great time talking to her, he didn’t want it to stop. It was bizarre: it was almost as if she knew him, understood him. The 30th July was when David first met Sam, and on the 25th November they married. And by 2nd June, they had their first child together.

Like David always said, life is a journey not a destination.


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