The opening narrative scene of ‘Their Days – Believing Sight Unseen’ first drafted in 2012 has been redrafted many times, and yet, remains much as it was, on its 2020 submission for publication – this is it:
Sunday, early May in southern England
Sam sits, eyes shaded, hands clasped behind his head. Sweat beads on his chest, bared to blend with weathered arms and neck. A bead turns into a rivulet; abs define its flow down to his faded combats.
There’s a buzz, a throbbing in his thigh; his left hand goes to his pocket. He grips his smartphone, oddly, between thumb and unoccupied ring-finger. Message alert, screen glare, he needs to go inside to read.
Effortlessly he rises. Her eyes half-open as her senses tune to the rhythm of his flip flop walk to and beyond the kitchen door. Sam reads the single line:
‘I’m here, you’re here, what are we waiting for?’
He takes in a thumbnail photo, a young woman, coyly posed, stunningly attractive. “Why would a woman who looks like that message me? Why is she on a site like this at all? She could get any man she wants,” he lip syncs as if to a song. He looks at her in disbelief, her natural smile and easy style radiating almost innocence.
Sam fires off a reply, it doesn’t send. “Damn, how do I pay?”
Turns out it’s easy, too easy. His message sent.
‘Sites like this are not my thing, yet somehow you’ve captivated me, by chance, by fate I wouldn’t know. All I know is I have to say hello, I’m Sam and spell-bound by your smile.’
Exhilarated, he feels he’s been indoors for ages, yet the oven clock shows just three minutes.
Back in his garden, she’s where he left her, her eyes closed, her breathing deep. He kneels, their shadows merge as one. He strokes her upturned palm. Her heart-line traced, she jolts, grips his fingers, earths them on her exposed thigh. Her eyes wild, within a blink re-adjust to her familiar composure. His fingers lift, his prints fade, Sam sits back on his heels
“Sorry, Amy, a message I had to deal with.”
That smile, that face of his, magnetic, pulling at her core.
“That’s okay, Sam, I should be going anyway.”
They stand, Sam walks Amy to her car. They kiss cheeks, their lips untouched as ever.
She says, “Good to see you.”
He says, “I’ll call you.”
Amy drives away, not looking back, won’t let her eyes betray her.
Sam looks up the road till all sight and sound of her has gone, his hand holds air, he shakes his head.
The evening sun goes down; there’s a slight chill, he slips a polo shirt on. Woman-bought, a well-worn shade of pink, as is his sun-touched skin beneath. He sits, restless in the chair that held her. His fingers caress its wooden arms; he feels a prick… a splinter.
Standing, he squeezes the shard free. A single drop of blood falls, smears, as his still muted phone gyrates across the glass topped table. A second line from her:
‘Oh my goodness, do you mean that? I’m Erin by the way.’
EDC, an Englishman, a scientist now writing, whatever comes into his head. Can be found blogging poetry, lines and other things as ‘EDC Writing -Believing Sight Unseen’ at http://believingsightunseen.com