The Bite

There stood a red bricked-house, semi-detached, with a golden sheen licking its exterior. It still looked beautiful, common but beautiful, even as the floral netted curtains restricted my view. Who lived there? Were they happy? Rich? Poor? Lonely? Did it even matter?
Tearing my eyes away from the single glazed windows, where through the netting, I could see the frost clawing at the sides of the glass, I creaked my back and rose from the damp sofa. Bending down took several minutes, but eventually I was low enough to turn the gas fire on. Click. Click. Pow. Crackle. Ah, warmth. I rubbed my hands together, imagining my icy little bones sighing in relief.
It only took a minute for the pound sterling symbol to spring to mind. Ah! Off! Off! It was out. My hands were cold again. The bitterness clung to my broken bones, like fire to lumps of coal, and standing there, hunched over, in this barren, misunderstood room, I suddenly felt like sleeping.

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.

Cities Apart

My granddaughter, Gemma turned 23 last week. She is the new art director at an advertising firm. I think that’s right. She was 21 when she graduated with a First. A First. I only just scraped my English O-Level. Her parents would have been so proud of her. Mary, my wife would have as well. It’s just Gemma and I now. It has been for some while. Since Gemma’s name has been ‘flaunted’ around the town as she puts it, she couldn’t resist the idea of moving to London. The place that has it all. That’s what she’s told me. She didn’t want to leave me in Bath on my own. But how could I let her turn down such a fantastic opportunity? Well, I couldn’t. Today I am visiting her for the first time. I got the wrong tube twice. After asking a few young ladies and a very busy man, I have just about managed to find my way into Oxford Street. Now, I have to find Gemma. She said she would meet me at the top of the stairs, outside the tube station. She forgot to mention just how many people there are in this ‘street’. Now where is that girl?