There’s something about that one person we date in our teens but never become intimate with. Why does a sexless relationship render us unable to stop carrying that person, the what if, with us into our adult life?
For Heidi Johnson, Shane Hughes is her “one that got away.” Through the years, he has stayed in the back of her mind while she became an adult, a mother, and her own person. Meanwhile, Shane has lived a life of regret that he let Heidi go for the wrong reasons: fear and a misguided sense of not wanting to hurt either of them.
When they reconnect online, the memories they’ve tried to suppress over the years return, reigniting the feelings never explored ‘back in the day.’ Will a school reunion in their home town of London, surrounded by old school friends, help the pair address the questions the years apart left unanswered? Or will they still be left with wanting more?
I scrambled to get my thoughts straight, wishing I’d thought this meeting through better.
“Sorry.” I apologised again, bringing a small smile to her face. “I thought I had what I wanted to say clear in my mind, but the moment you walked in, it all went to shit.”
“Don’t worry about it. This is your rodeo, take your time.”
I glanced at my phone. There was still a decent amount of time to catch my train. “Thanks.” I took another deep breath to steady my nerves. “I know we spoke last night, after. . .” I trailed off, not sure how to phrase my words.
“We had a rampant fuck in a dark alley?” Heidi supplied, making me laugh.
“If you want to put it that way, fine by me.” My face began to ache from my grin, but I didn’t care. I was finally at ease and knew what I wanted to say and how to say it. “I wanted you to know that I didn’t turn up just looking to get in your knickers last night. I know I’ve flirted, some of it got pretty hardcore, but I never expected anything.”
“Look, Shane. Yeah, the flirting online got pretty intense, but if I hadn’t wanted it to continue, you know me well enough to know I’d have put a stop to it. I did go to the reunion with a purpose. I wanted to remind you exactly what you’d let go. It makes me sound big-headed and full of myself, but it made me feel good. Like you, I never even considered for one moment that we’d end up in that alley, but we did.” She paused to take a sip of her coffee.
I watched her intently, blown away by her frankness. This woman never ceased to amaze me, or make me regret my rash decision fifteen years prior.
“As I said last night, it shouldn’t have happened, but I won’t regret it. It made us both feel fantastic, and if need be, has given us some closure.”
Did I want closure? I’d told her last night that I left wanted to know how it would feel to make love to her and I hadn’t lied. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I must have thought that us having sex would, as Heidi mentioned, give us a closure on our unresolved history, but it hadn’t.
“It hasn’t for me.” I had promised myself to be open and honest with her before we parted ways once again. She maintained eye contact even though her skin was flushed with a blush that spread from her throat to her cheeks.
M. B. Feeney is an army brat who finally settled down in Birmingham, UK with her other half, two kids and a dog. Currently at university studying for her BA (Hons) in primary teaching, she procrastinates on her assignments by listening to music of all genres and trying to get ‘just one more paragraph’ written on whichever WIP is open. She is also a serious doodler and chocoholic. Writing has been her one true love ever since she could spell, and publishing is the final culmination of her hard work and ambition.
Her publishing career began with two novellas, and she currently has multiple projects under way whilst Honour, a compilation of her own military based shorts, was released in November 2013. Always having something on the go can often lead to block which eventually gets dissolved by good music and an even better book.
Her main reason for writing is to not only give her readers enjoyment, but also to create a story and characters that stay with readers long after the book is finished, and possibly make someone stop and think “what if…”
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