Beauty in the Beach

I met Kym at AA. She was a slim woman, with sharp cheekbones, dark velvety skin, and a soft smile. I was truly stunned by her. It wasn’t until she told her story that I remembered where we were, who I was, and what foolish thoughts I was having. Oh, nothing untoward, but the line, would you like to join me for a coffee, did cross my mind. Of course, a woman like her would never look twice at a man like me. I wasn’t entirely unattractive, nor was I vain. I had blond hair, the colour of dry sand, swept to the side, as if by the ocean breeze. My arms were thin like the legs of a heron, but not strong, and my skin was pale and freckled. It was my inside appearance to fear. I had been sober for only four weeks. My wife left me three years ago, along with my children. I was a wreck, always had been. Of course that was the very reason I was at AA.
The next week, as I poured myself a coffee before the meeting, Kym approached and asked my name.
I gulped. “John.”
Do you know what she did next?
For one year after that day, Kym and I shared a coffee on Haven Beach every twice Sunday. We talked, laughed, shared. I never plucked up the courage to ask her out on a date. We weren’t dating, you see, we were supporting one another as friends, but I felt more on the receiving end of it. Though I never really had her love, she gave me more joy than I had felt in a long time. Kym…she saved me.
Then one day, a man, a nice fellow in the restaurant business, proposed to Kym, and as I watched her float down the aisle in white satin, a wonderful thought drifted by. Could this woman have been sent to me as my guardian angel?
I still visit Haven Beach with a coffee. Only these days I’m standing on my own.


Love Lock

We ate cheap tasteless bread. We moaned about lecturers. We said we’d jog at the start of each term. We didn’t. We drank too much. We worked through the night. We slept through the day. We ran on medicine. We travelled home with bags of dirty washing. We kissed. We argued. We made up. We fell in love. We said it would be forever. We didn’t do well at the end of our second year. We fell out. We spent time apart. We made up. We flirted. We danced. We cycled together. We raced. We got warning letters from missed lectures. We argued. We ate noodles. We drank coffee. We were worn out. We said it would last forever. We both wanted different things. We went into hibernation. We worked. We missed each other. We worked. We cycled. We knew something had changed. We were coming apart. We argued. We kissed. We cried. We said we wished it could last forever. We rode on our bikes for the rest of the day. We laughed.

The Postman

ThepostmanFor some people, a job is just a job. Nine till five: downing a coffee, organising the desk, emailing, phoning, delegating, sorting, wolfing down lunch, some more emailing, downing a coffee, filing papers, consulting colleagues, discussing, concentrating, downing a coffee, meeting a deadline, catching up with the boss, one more email, photocopying, picking up bag, leaving work. And on it goes, day after day.
I used to think of my job as just a job. Until one day I delivered a special parcel to a young woman who had just lost her husband. She ripped it open like it was the answer to everything she was questioning. I don’t know why a silver medal on a royal blue ribbon overwhelmed her like it did. However, when I saw her smile and felt her hug me with such gratitude, I knew my job wasn’t just a job after all.
Some people do laugh. They can’t understand why a grown man would be happy delivering mail to other people who must have more interesting careers. Yes, sometimes I get abuse, mock laughter, and obscene gestures. But people have bad days and although they take it out on their local postman, it’s not like I’ve never done the same to others in a moment of distress.
Not all parcels and letters come with good news, but the ones that do put a smile on people’s faces, and the ones that don’t…well, that’s my chance to offer a comforting smile.
My job isn’t just a job, it’s my purpose.

Blind Judgement

I went to meet him bang on time. He wasn’t there. And hell is he going to get away with it. I kept my composure though, ordered myself a skinny flat white, found the cleanest seat I could and have decided that this has worked out well for me. I haven’t had some me time in a long while. I deserve it. I run a publishing company. I don’t have time for childish games. If a man, boy, asks me to go out for a coffee with him and I say ‘fine’, I expect him to meet me. He doesn’t deserve me. A young waiter with a peculiar shaped nose, too many freckles and blushed cheeks, walks over to me.

“What do you want?” I ask as he stares at me.
“Um, are you Mrs Preston?”
Ms,” I correct him, raising my eyebrows.
“Yes, um, of course. Sorry.”
“Spit it out,” I sigh.
“A Kevin Peters is on the phone. He said you would be waiting for him.”
“I am not waiting for anyone.”
He doesn’t listen.
“He told me to pass on a message. He said that he is very sorry but he’s been in a car accident and is suffering severe injuries.”

He turns and walks away.