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ROMANCE REALITY:- HEART BREAK OF A DIFFERENT KIND  by Stukaps

I stared silently at his picture. Laughter surrounded me as I remembered that I was in public. My focus returned back to the picture and my heart clenched some more. Squeezing my eyes shut, I locked my phone, trying to ignore the ache in my chest – right where the heart was ought to be.

I couldn’t get upset in front of my friends. I couldn’t show them that I was broken and miserable. I needed to put up a good face to save my dignity. So, that was what I did. I smiled and I laughed. And everyone around me smiled and laughed too. The only difference? I was certain that I was the only one who was faking it.

It had been a month since the fight. A month of anger and resentment. A month of hope that maybe, maybe he would text me first this time. Maybe, he realized that he missed me, and would drop everything and just call me. That was all I wanted from him. A call. A text – something that showed me that he still cared. That I meant something to him.

It wasn’t long before I was dropped home by my friend. She knew something was wrong. She could actually feel it. She didn’t question me as she dropped me off. She just smiled.

Once inside my room, I let out a huge sigh and slumped back onto my bed. My phone pinged, signalling that I had a text. With a smile, I opened it, hoping that it would be him. It wasn’t. It was Gavin. Gavin and I had become pretty close since the last month. As much as I hated to admit it, Gavin was my rebound. He kept me sane, plus he helped me get through with it.

A familiar pang set in as I returned to the earlier picture. Scott’s hand was over another girl’s shoulder, their heads touching. I mentally scoffed at their picture. He hated taking pictures. Especially selfies.

I scrolled down, reading the caption as my heart clenched some more.

“When you meet someone new and immediately click. New bestie for life.”

My teeth clenched as I found my throat hitched. I had known that scum for five years and never once did regard me as his bestie. Letting out an annoyed sigh, I angrily double tapped the post before locking my phone.

I rolled to my side, angry tears running down my face. Maybe that was all I needed. A motivation – a force telling me how our friendship just wasn’t going to work out. Maybe this was the end. I will just have to learn to live with it.

A TRUE LOVE STORY: I MET A MAN by M.B Carlisle | GBAMLOG.COM

What is love? I met a man in a store. I worked in the store. He didn’t. He was a customer. I didn’t know his name. He sent a dozen roses with a card asking me on a date. I inquired of co-workers to find out who the mystery man was. Oh, he was so old my parents would never allow me to date him. I was seventeen, weeks away from eighteen. He was twenty-four.

To this day I don’t know how he did it. He talked my parents into allowing us to go on a short, three-hour date to a local restaurant. We went on a Saturday night.

The next Friday night we went to a movie at a theatre next door to the store where I worked. My parents owned the store. We were asked to leave the movie because we were talking to each other non-stop.
That crazy man asked me to marry him the very next day and the day after that I said “yes”! The crazy man showed up at my high school to give me a dozen roses and my engagement ring.

Three weeks later we married on Thanksgiving Day. We chose the date because I would be on school break. I moved into his garage apartment. It was so tiny. Too tiny! It was the size of a single car garage!

Two weeks after we married, my husband’s employer filed for bankruptcy and he lost his job. We scraped by. He took odd jobs and worked towards obtaining his Master plumber’s license.

By early March, I was pregnant. By September, we were parents to a very preemie little boy. The following week, my husband started his own plumbing business. We were so very broke.

I found a decent job as a bookkeeper and we moved to a rent-to-own-house.

Eighteen months later our daughter was born, and I had a hysterectomy. I was twenty. Two months after her birth, my husband broke his upper left arm in half. Two surgeries later and with a mountain of medical bills, we had to forsake our home and we moved to an abandoned, bank-owned, partially constructed home on three acres. It was barely livable. The idea was we would fix up the house a little at a time. It was a low point.

I found a better job and my husband healed and we put money into getting the house fixed up. Heirs to the thirty acres surrounding our house approached us to see if we wanted to purchase the land. We did.

I walked on the campus of a community college and began what would be an eight-year journey of night classes to obtain my accounting degree. I worked, attended classes, studied, parented, and barely slept and learned to let go of keeping a perfectly clean house. Sleep was more important.

College was interrupted for a bout with ovarian cancer. I was fortunate. It was caught early enough.

Sixteen years into our marriage, I was a college graduate and CPA and our children were in their teens! Now we had two kids to get through college. Staying on a strict budget, and with the help of academic scholarships, they earned their degrees.

On a balmy March day, in the year 2010, my husband and I peeped in to see our daughter and son-in-law. Labor had been induced. Our daughter had received an epidural and was relaxed and in early labor. We waited with the other grandparents in the waiting area. It was just the four of us waiting when we heard codes/alarms blaring and all the hospital staff on the floor running and I do mean running! We parents, soon-to-be grandparents, tried to run after the hospital bed being pushed as fast as it could go down the hallway of the hospital. Our son-in-law turned for just a second. The baby’s heartbeat had stopped, he said….

At that moment, I looked in the eyes of the man I had then been married to for twenty-nine years. In an instant, every moment of joy and sorrow, of sickness and health, of richer or poorer, passed between us.

I look back on that day and know this. Love starts small with a feeling of emotion and attraction. Love grows through the sharing of the ebb and flow of life. To give up on it too soon, is to give up on the treasure of looking into the eyes of a man or a woman whose shared your life with you. There is no replacement for the love that builds with time.

It was exactly 11:12 am when the hospital bed was hurried down the hallway. We four grandparents prayed. We would learn the umbilical cord was wrapped around our grandson and had caused his heart to stop.

In an eternity lasting minutes, we waited, then our son-in-law sent a text of our daughter holding our grandson. Our grandson was born at 11:22 am. Our anniversary is 11/22. That’s a good number.

Not every marriage is sustainable. We have had our share of fights and twice were on the brink of divorce. I am glad we didn’t give up.

Today, the first grandson will soon be nine and his younger brother is five.

We’ve been blessed to have moved from poverty to financial stability and to have survived and thrived after medical scares and to have each other.

I married a man I met at a store. We live in a farm house in the middle of thirty-three acres.

ROMANCE REALITY: FIRST LOVE by Dave Lane | GBAMLOG.COM

Stretching out my legs in the sand with the afternoon sun shining down on me I could feel my entire body go limp. My head tilted back with my eyes shut, the sounds of the waves crashing along the beach, the warm breeze carried the sweet smell of the ocean, I was so happy to finally be in Myrtle Beach. Looking over at my friends, I witnessed Jay rubbing his eyes, Joe and Will yawning and Bob stretched out over his towel. I guess we were still feeling the effects of that long drive from Massachusetts to South Carolina. None of us got any sleep during the drive. Bob, Jay and I couldn’t stop fidgeting the entire ride. Joe and Will kept measuring the miles and counting down each mile to the next state border. When we finally arrive at the cottage the five of us never brought in our luggage or bags, we just crashed in the first bed or couch we saw. Today was peaceful, it was nice to just relax on the beach in the warm South Carolina sun. The day seem to escape us as we joked and reminisced about our high schools years. The more we talked, the more I realized that each of us was heading our separate ways. Joe and Will were heading off SMU, Bob and Jay were becoming electricians and I was heading to Dean College in September. There was that short moment of silence as I looked around at our little group, my lips tightened, this was probably the last time we would all be together. Realizing that, my mind was flooded with wonderful memories of high school, my friends, sports, parties, etc. My head drooped down, and I decided to listen to my walkman. As the music started my mind started to drift when Jay tapped me on the shoulder.
“We’re heading back, are you coming?” Jay asked as he stretched his arms out.
Placing my headphones around my neck I looked up and shielded my eyes from the sun light and said, “I am going to stay here for a little longer.”
Jay smiled and gave me a quick nod of approval before heading back to the cottage.
The brightness of the sun started to dim and turn to a more reddish color as it descended behind me. Dusk was a peaceful and beautiful time to be on the beach. It was less inhabited and a little cooler. The smell of the salt air was so soothing and you could hear the rhythm of the waves crashing along the shore. There was a warm offshore breeze flowing in and you could smell the sweet ocean as the tide headed out to sea. The breeze and the waves started to have a tranquilizing effect on me. I was enjoying watching people walk up and down the beach; kids running toward the water and then back trying to avoid the waves, an older couple walking holding hands and mother was holding her infant daughter playing in the water lifting her up when the waves came gliding in. The beach was far from crowded but still had good activity. This was a good time to put my headphones back on and listen to music. The sounds of the beach began to vanish as the music of Chicago took over. Stretching my legs and leaning back on my elbows I shut my eyes and began to hear the music. Slowly I took in a deep breath and opened my eyes. Suddenly something reached out and grabbed my attention. I was captivated by this girl in a red bathing suit. She was walking along the edge of the water glancing out at the ocean on a few occasions. Her sandy blonde hair had reached down just beyond her shoulders. She was about 50 yards in front of me and her stunning beauty had a grasp on me when she stopped for a moment to brush her hair back with both hands. You could see her feeling the warm breeze on her face as she tilted her head back. My heart was slowly pounded and my breath just escaped from my lungs. As she was walking by I could hear the next song start; “You know our love was meant to be, The kind of love that lasts forever”. I am not sure if this was love at first sight but I could not let this moment pass me by. Leaping to my feet I started to I started to walk toward her both shaky legs and nervousness. How am I going to initiate a conversation with her, I thought to myself. Maybe say Hi, how are you? Maybe smile and wave at her. Maybe accidently bump into her. I didn’t know, all I knew was I just had to meet her, or at least try. I waited until she took a few more steps and then I began walking towards the water. She moved at slow pace, so it was easy to keep my distance. The song continued to play; “And I want you here with me from tonight until the end of time”.
Trying to remain cool and calm, I kept my pace with hers as she dragged her feet in the water. She was about 40 yards ahead of me and I knew that she would be turning around to go back but I was not sure when that would happen. My mind went into overdrive trying to think of something witty or funny to say to her. I just wanted to catch her attention. The more I thought about it the more I thought of stupid pick-up lines.
“Damn It!” I whispered to myself.
All I could focus on was the way she was walking up the beach. So I decided to lower my eyes and look down as I continued. Thinking that maybe I should just nod my head at her or smile with a quick wink. Or maybe ask for directions to the docks. Each idea that I came up with seemed more pathetic than the last one. I was a loss for words. Every so often I would look up and making sure to keep my distance. She was still there walking in front of me. My hands began to sweat and my heart still pounded! I knew that she was going to turn around very shortly. My head continued to race to think of something to say. I took another look up and my mouth just dropped. She had stopped walking and was now standing there gazing out at the ocean.
Ok, ok. This is not bad, you still have a few moments to think of something, I said to myself and then noticed that she turned towards me and began her journey back.
“Oh Shit!”, I said quite loudly.
Now is the time! I needed to thinking of something to say. She was 30 yards and closing. My mouth was dry, my palms sweaty, and my heart jumping. Although her strides were slow, everything seem to be speeding up . 20 yards, 10 yards . . . Damn! This was it, I had to say something. I had to say it right now because she was within 5 yards of me. I looked up and saw her blue eyes glance over at me. She gave me a extremely adorable smile. Now was the time, my shining moment had come, I had to say something. I looked at her and our eyes met and I said, “What’s a cute girl like you walking all by herself for?” All that time I spent thinking about what to say and this is the best I can come up with. I blew it!
She gave a slight laugh and said to me, “Waiting for a cute guy to escort me back!” My heart felt like it was coming through my chest. That was it. I stopped right there and so did she! I was not sure what happened and how it happened but a conversation developed.
“Hi” she said in a southern accent, “ I’m Susan.”
I did everything to restrain my excitement and be cool. “Hi, I’m Dave.”
It was at that moment that I felt absolutely at ease with her and could talk freely. The conversation on the way back flowed. She was Susan from West Virginia and she was down here with her friend’s family. Susan was going to be a high school senior and I was a freshmen in college. My hands were absolutely sweaty and my mind was racing around but I never took my eyes off of her eyes. Her eyes! Her eyes were light blue and I melted when she looked at me. We made it back to the spot where I first saw her. We talked a little bit more, reluctantly we parted and I could not wait to get back to the cottage and tell my friends about her. Oh man! She is stunning!
I burst through the front door and saw Jay on the couch and Joe in the kitchen. I immediately began to tell Jay about her and our conversation. As Joe came walking into the living room he asked one question. “Did you get her number?’ I paused and my eyes widded. Jay then chimed in and said, “Do you know where she is staying?” My head just dropped into my right hand. “Shit!” quickly I turned towards the door and ran out. Heading back towards the beach I could hear laughter from the cottage .
I made it back to the beach but by this time Sue was nowhere to be found. I stayed there for a while, hoping that she might show up. After about an hour I went back to the cottage. This time everyone was at the dining room table hanging out. Joe was ready to give me a hard time but Jay saw the look on my face and quickly looked over at Joe. Joe got the hint and said that she will be around and it’s the beginning of the week. Not only did I feel like an idiot, but I felt my heart drop.
We had a few beers and got ready to go out for the night. We were going to hit the Strip and walk around. I just wanted stay in the cottage and wallow in my regrets, but Jay talked me into going. When we arrived Jay and I took off and went to a few stores. The Strip was crowded with people walking up and down and the cars were slowly trolling the main street. It was a warm summer night and the lights flooded the Strip. Everyone seemed to be having a good time. Although I thought I was putting up a good front smiling and laughing, Jay could see right through that and said me, “You want head back to the cottage and have a few more beers?” “Yea!”, I answered. We saw Will with Joe and told them we were heading back. There was silence for a moment and Joe said we can head back in about 15-20 minutes if you want. I told Jay that it was fine with me if waited. Jay and I started walking the strip again, at that moment I heard a voice to my left. “Hey didn’t I meet you on the beach today?” As I looked over I saw Susan in the passenger side of a small hatchback leaning out the window. She gave me a big smile. My eyes widded and I froze for just a second or two! I hit Jay on the shoulder and said”Jay! Jay! This is Susan the girl I told you about on the beach!” She laughed and introduced us to her friend. We were talking about a minute before two police officers came up to us and told us we were blocking traffic. “Either get in the car with them or move along!” Susan’s friend told us to get in the back. We drove around for a few minutes and asked them if they wanted to go to our cottage. They did! The whole ride back to the cottage Susan and I talked, and as we talked her blues eyes melted my heart.
She pulled the car onto the gravel driveway and Jay and I immediately paired up with the girls. I asked Susan to go down to the beach. She did and we continued our conversation from this afternoon. We both sat down on the cool sand and just talked. We talked about school, summer, music, etc. it was getting late. I got up and put my hand out to help her up. When I felt her hand grab my hand a sensation came over me. Butterflies were bouncing around in my stomach. I guided her up from the sand and held her hand in mine. I turned into her and held her other hand. That brief moment, at that point, I wish I could savor that feeling forever. We stood there and looked into each other’s eyes. Susan gave a slight smile and I lean into her for a kiss. She responded the same way. Her lips were soft and sweet. It was a light kiss filled with soft passion. She smiled again and said, “That was really sweet!” My heart was beating fast and my breath escaped me. Susan took one hand from my hand and placed it on the side of my face. She shut her eyes and moved her hand to the back of my neck and pulled me in for another kiss. I placed my free hand on her waist and began to pull her towards me. I moved my other hand onto her waist and she placed both her hands on each side of my face. As we kissed you could hear the waves crashing along the beach. It was a warm night and it was so romantic. This moment, this time, this feeling, I will never forget. Each kiss was better than the last. At one moment we stopped kissing and just looked into each other’s eyes. It seems like such a cliche but I was swept off my feet and it did not seem corny to me. I was taken over by this beautiful girl from West Virginia. My heart was hers. My soul was hers. In this short amount time I was falling for her, I wanted to spend every second together. I wanted to share every moment with her. Susan looked at me and said, “Are you ok?” I shook my head and kissed her on the forehead. I pulled her in closer and we hugged. She had moved her hands down onto my chest and felt my heart pound. I could hear Jay and Susan’s friend calling for us. They were approaching the beach. Susan never pulled away from me. She stayed holding me while they walked up to us. Jay smiled at me and gave me a nod. Her friend told us that they had to get going. Susan looked at me, smiled and told me she will stop by tomorrow morning. I asked her where they were staying. She pointed at a condo that was less than 1/10th of a mile away. God damn!
That next morning Susan had stopped by as promised. She looked as beautiful as she did the night before. We spent the day together and talked. We walked up the beach and as I reached for her hand to hold, she knew instantly and grabbed my hand. Our hands interlocked with each finger in between her fingers. At that moment a feeling came over me like a wave. The feelings were overwhelming, but the best feeling was the warmth in my heart that spread throughout my body. My mind was racing and could not believe that this girl, I was holding hands with, was actually with me. That day was a day that will always be with me. Even as I write this down I still feel that warmth in my heart and my soul. We did everything together that day. Most of the time we spent together we talked. We asked each other questions about our lives, where we grew up, what music we listen to, etc. The more I knew about her the more I was falling for her. Her West Virginia accent was so sweet to listen to, her blue eyes captivated me, her sandy-blond hair, and her tanned body didn’t hurt either. But her personality. Susan was funny, caring, lovable, sweet and interesting. We got along that day and the days that followed. While my friends went out to clubs and other places, Susan and spent time together. We would sit on the beach at night and talk. Yes we would kiss and hold each other. When we did kiss it was like the first kiss. Never wanting to end. I remember lying down next to her on the beach. I shifted around, lying on my stomach with my left arm reaching across her waist and as I looked down at her, she just softly closed her eyes. Her left arm was under me and reaching up my back. I reached across to her waist pulling her closer to me. She reached up and slid her hand up the front of my chest to the back of my neck and pulled me closer to her. We softly kissed and for a moment, as I shut my eyes, I was completely captivated in the passion of that kiss. At that moment, at that precise second, I realized that my feelings for her were strong. I knew I was falling in love with this girl. Even though we only spent a few days together, every moment we shared felt right.
That final day came, the day we had to say goodbye to each other. This was a day earlier than I expected, Susan had to leave on Thursday morning because of the drive back to West Virginia. She stopped by the cottage early, I was tired and depressed. I kept thinking about this moment the entire night. I hated this feeling, but the moment I saw her walking around the corner my mind flooded with emotions. God I was thrilled to see her again but quickly realized that this time was the last. We chatted for a little bit but most of the time we just held each other. My heart felt like it was being torn out. This sick feeling overwhelmed me. Sadness creeped in with every minute. I wanted time to stop, so I could catch my breath and keep this beautiful girl in my arms. My heart pounded but it was not like before. I was anticipating that dreaded moment that was about to happen. Finally, which seemed like only a few seconds, Susan looked at me and said, ‘I have to go!’ I could tell she was crying. God I wanted to comfort her and tell her how much I loved her. ‘I know you do,’ I replied. Tears were starting to fill up in my eyes. I could not hold it back much longer but I did not want her to see me like this. I kept my head down. She kissed me on the forehead. With my hand, I reached out and grabbed her hand. I pulled her close to me and kissed her. I held her as tight as I could. Then I whispered to her, ‘I love you! Don’t you ever forget about me!’ Susan whispered back into my ear, ‘I will never forget you!’ It was at that moment we both let go and she started walking away. My heart was torn out of my chest. This pain was too much. When I could not see her anymore I broke down and started to cry. This feeling of sadness took over me and came out all at once. Leaning against the front of the car I heard the front door to the cottage open. I did not turn around because I was such a mess. I felt a hand on back and Jay’s voice saying, ‘It’s hard and it sucks!’ those words don’t seem like much but they went a long way with me. Jay might not be a master of words, but he is a true friend and has always been there for me. We stayed outside not saying anything for a long time. Then I said, ‘Let’s get something to eat.’ We walked into the cottage and had breakfast.
All day long I could not help but think of Susan. I was wondering where she was at certain times during the day. Was she thinking of me on the ride home? How long would she remember me? At times I felt like crying. For the most part I kept it together, but when I was alone I would let it out. That night we went out but my heart was with Susan. I was not much fun and my friends knew why. We went to some local club and drank a few beers, but I did not want to be here anymore. I just wanted to go home.
The next morning we left Myrtle Beach. Jay and I drove together in his car on our way home. At times we would take turns driving. All I could think about was Susan. Certain songs on the radio would trigger a memory I had of her. I did not want to forget the short time we had together. When I was driving I would play the Chicago tape I was listening to when I first saw Susan walking along the beach.
After Myrtle Beach, I saw Susan one other time. Jay and I took a trip to Morgantown, WV during Labor Day Weekend. We recruited our friend Karl to go with us. The trip was about a 10 hour drive. Like driving down to Myrtle Beach we all took shifts driving.
I saw Susan for a couple days that weekend. The first night I saw Susan was at her high school football game. She was on the sideline cheerleading when I arrived. She looked so adorable, Susan looked as beautiful and stunning as the first time I saw her. That entire weekend was just as special as the time we spent down in Myrtle Beach. Jay and Karl were great. When the game was over Susan came up to me and gave me a huge tremendous adoring hug. Her embrace felt so affectionate! When I closed my eyes and held her close to me I caught a whiff of her aroma. The fragrance brought me back to Myrtle Beach. Funny we did not kiss but just held each other for a brief time. The moment we let go, I clutched her hand and walked her over to Jay and Karl. After I introduced her to them, Susan and I talked for a little longer. She had to go home tonight but we made plans for tomorrow. It was a little heartbreaking but I knew we would be together for the next couple of days.
Those two days rapidly flew by. Our last day together was just as hard as the last time we said goodbye. In the parking lot of the motel I had her in my arms. She embraced me with the same warmth and intensity as I had. We did not say anything for the longest time. Her arms started to squeeze me tighter and I knew it would be agonizing to let her go from my arms. To release our grasp that we had on each other would be to let go forever. Even in mind I was planning my next trip see her, in the back of my mind I knew this was the last time I would be with her again. I felt that Susan was thinking the same thing. Occasionally her embrace would get a little tighter. As we slowly released our hug my hands moved down to her waist. Her hands lowered down to my chest. I looked into her sensational blue eyes and saw a tear gently slide down her check. I pulled her in and tenderly kissed her on the forehead. When I pulled back I looked into her eyes. “I love you!” I said .
“I love you too.” she replied and put her head on my chest again.
The time came for us to let go and finally say ‘goodbye’. With my hands firmly holding onto hers, the sensation of tears formed in my eyes. As much as I tried to held back the tears the worse it got. Susan looked at and brushed the tears of my face. Her hand shifted to the back of my neck and she kissed me again. Susan looked up at me, there was a brief moment of silence and then we kissed for the last time. “I’ll write soon.” I said. She shook her head and then we parted. I watched her get into her car and drive off. I got myself together and headed back to the room.
I kept hanging on to the idea of a relationship with Susan, but as time went on the realization began to sink in. We wrote each other 2-3 times a week but as weeks turn into months the letters became less frequent. Soon the letters gradually stopped.
It has been 35 years since I last saw Susan but the memories are still strong. Although I fell in love again and now have a family, I never forgot about Susan. Over the years I have always wondered what she is doing, Where she was living?, What type of job she has?, Did she ever get married, have children? Is she happy? I never stopped caring for her.
No matter how old you are or how many years have gone by, you never forget your first experiences. Some are more memorable than others and there are some you would like to forget. Each memory I will always cherish, my first hit playing baseball as a kid, riding bike without training wheels, I walking into Fenway Park and seeing the Green Monster, my first date, etc. But the one that sticks out the most, as far as first experiences go, is the first time I fell in love.

COMEDY ROMANCE: MODERN LOVE by Ruffled Quill | GBAMLOG.COM

Deep breaths…

Not so deep that you pass out, but deep enough to relax you into a state of such super coolness that you’ll pretty much glide up that finely paved driveway, knock on the door and ask her out. I try a few more deep breaths and then stop before I hyperventilate right here in the street. Her house is in the middle of the street, a semi-detached new build that screams ‘Yes, the area I was built in may be a little troublesome from time to time, but living in this house you’ll forget all that’.

It’s probably got four bedrooms with en-suite, the windows are double glazed, dark brown frames against pale, expensive brickwork and she has a garage that’s attached to the house. Whatever her dad does for a living he must be good at it.

In my head I replay the conversation that got me here.

 

***

I was sat on the wall by the art block. Ste, my best friend, was with me. We only had half an hour for dinner but he’d been back to the canteen three times already. As usual on summer days the girls in our year liked to sit in a group on the grass and gossip the time away; a ring of male spectators had gathered, keeping their distance just enough to avoid detection but watching them closely. We were in that ring but I was only watching one girl, Jo. We only had a few lessons together but it was enough for me to fall in love with her.

“She told me she likes you,” said Ste, trying to impale as many chips onto the small, plastic fork as he could manage; those he couldn’t  made a bid for escape over the side of the tray, dinner for the birds once we’d left the yard.

“Are you sure?” I asked him again. There were two reasons why I’m not convinced; one, a girl like Jo wouldn’t ever like me and two, I’ve known Ste my whole life and ninety-eight percent of what comes out of his mouth is crap.

“Trust me.” When he sees the look on my face he decides to elaborate. “She told Claire that she likes you-“

“You said she told you herself.”

He waved his hand in the air as though who said what wasn’t really important. I ducked the chips that flew off the folk.

“I meant she told Claire and Claire told me. I wasn’t supposed to know but I couldn’t keep that from you.”

As he fills his mouth with more chips I try to weigh up what’s worse, the girl of my dreams fancying me or her best friend’s shocking morals on confidentiality.

“Should I ask her out here, at school?” I ask myself aloud. Ste thinks I’m asking him. He shakes his head and I’m glad he hasn’t tried to talk with food in his mouth. Eventually he swallows. It’s like a snake swallowing a goat.

“Go round to her house after school and ask her,” he says as if he does this kind of thing all the time. I know he doesn’t since he has the same luck as I do with girls.

***

 

I try for the gate and it’s stuck, the bloody thing won’t open. Is this a sign? I’m trying desperately to get it open while at the same time trying to keep a cool exterior should anyone happen to glance out of their window. A small amount of light kicking and eventually it swings open and emits a high pitch screech of rusted hinges, like a warning system. Hopefully not one for an attack dog. Does she own a dog? She’s never said. Jesus, what if I’m savaged in her front garden? There aren’t any warning stickers in the window, though. You’ve got to warn people if you’re housing a four legged, ferocious killing machine. I read that somewhere.

I’m purposely dawdling now, admiring plants that I’ll never know the names of, following the intricate pattern of the crazy paving. The closer I get to the house the harder it will be to ask her. If I continue to panic this much my brain will surely seize.

Get a grip! I tell myself. She’s known you ages, she’ll be pleased, if a little surprised to see you at her door but that won’t matter. Once you ask her and she says yes then you’ve cracked it. You can crack a few jokes and stride off into the sunset leaving her breathless at the front door, unable to contain her excitement at your date the following night . . . you hope.

I’m at her door. Do I use the door knocker or bell? Is there a system? My hand hovers, unsure, between the two.  Is the door knocker for friends and family and the bell for salesmen and extremely nervous fourteen year olds? What do I do? Help, please anyone!

“Excuse me, mate.”

I spin around so quick that I almost turn a full 360. A man is standing by the gate dressed in a dark blue courier uniform, holding a clipboard and a package under his arm. I didn’t even hear his van pull up. He looks about thirty, unshaven and quite tough; like an e-fit from Crime Watch.

“Yes?” I say, happy for the distraction.

“Is this 14 Hamble Drive?”

“Erm…” I look back at the door, no number anywhere. Why would you not have a door number on your house?  “I er, don’t know.”

“Oh, right. I thought you lived here. It looked like you were unlocking the door that was all.”

“No, I don’t, mate.” Will he ask her for me? He can knock on the door and just tell Jo there’s a very nervous kid on the street who would like to go out with her. She’ll think it’s sweet.

“What’s the name of the family that live here?”  He asks, while placing the clipboard on the wall and checking the parcel over. My mind’s gone blank again, I’ve managed to forget my future girlfriend’s last name, and I thought exam stress was a killer.

“I don’t know,” I tell him, weakly.

“Are you a friend or relative?” He looks concerned. Concerned that he’s got a chance to unload a parcel but he can’t tell if I’m an idiot or not.

“Erm…not really.” Oh god, I’m getting flustered, he’s making me even more nervous and I’m doing my best not to show it.

“Not really what?”

“I’m a friend.”

“You weren’t sure a second ago.”

“I’m a friend,” I assure him, but he doesn’t seem assured. He reaches for the pen behind his ear and taps the parcel. He’s weighing me up, sussing if I know what I’m talking about. It won’t be long before he realises I don’t.

“A friend of whom?”

“Their daughter.”

“Who is?”

“Claire.” That’s not her name, you fool. “No Joanne, I mean, Jo.”

“Are you sure you know them?”

How has none of her family heard this conversation? There’s a man getting ever more incensed by a pointless conversation with a school boy in their garden and so far not one person has ventured outside to investigate. The Courier’s not keen on going anywhere because he’s now resting on the wall by the gate. Maybe I could reason with him? Explain the situation to him and he might understand. He might have been an idiotic fourteen year-old once.

“What are you doing at the door?” The laid back approach he had before has now disappeared and he’s looking at the other houses in the street when he asks his question. He thinks I’m up to no good, like her father will.

“I was going to knock.”

“You looked like you were fiddling with the lock.”

“I’m expected,” I lie. None of her family will back that story up if it comes down to me having to prove it. The Courier knows this.

“Well knock then.”

“Why?” I try to stall, but he knows what I’m doing.

“Because you’re expected.”

“No.” I tell him straight.

“I knew it,” he says. He begins to rub his chin while he thinks what he could do with me. There’s a sound of a door unlocking and Jo’s next door neighbour sticks his head out. I can tell he’s going to be a problem; he looks like he should be in magazines, selling life insurance or stair lifts. Eighty with grey hair and moustache, military look about him, the sort of person who sees nothing but bad news with anyone under the age of thirty.

“What’s going on?” he asks, straining at the neck like a tortoise.

“I’ve come to deliver this parcel and I’ve found this kid acting suspiciously by the front door,” the Courier tells him, instantly creating two against one.

“He was acting suspiciously by the front garden, earlier.”

“How?” I ask, tone a few octaves too high.

He’s outraged I’ve questioned him. “You were stood looking at the house for ten minutes,” he says, stepping out into his garden. He’s dressed in trousers, shirt and tie and a v-neck jumper. I almost expect war medals as well. Unless his house has air conditioning, wearing that outfit in this heat can’t be good for anyone, any age. “I thought you were lost but you were looking to see if anyone was at home.”

“That’s what I thought,” said the Courier, holding his hands out now he’s found someone who agrees with him. He points at me. “But he says he’s expected.”

“You’re expected?” the old man repeats, shaking his head.

“Yes I am.” Throughout all this the panic isn’t fading and I don’t move from the spot. I feel like I’m on trial.

“Who’s expecting you, then?” the old man asks.

“Jo,” I stress. “Jo is expecting me.” I pray this will end it.

“Well, you’ll struggle there I’m afraid,” he informs me. “She went out with her dad, earlier.”

A wave of relief crashes over me; I won’t have to embarrass myself. It’s instantly followed by a tsunami of realisation that I’ll be no closer to getting the girl of my dreams.

“I’m phoning the police.” The Courier takes out his mobile phone.

“Hang on a minute,” I protest, hands flapping about wildly.

“There has been a spate of burglaries around here,” states the old man pointing at me and raising his voice as if he wants the entire street to know. “I knew it was kids. You’ve got some nerve stealing from houses in broad daylight.”

“But I know Jo.”

“From school, that’s probably how you found out the house was empty,” says the Courier, as if he’s just solved a mystery on Scooby-Do. He puts the phone to his ear.  “Yeah, police? I want to report an attempted burglary . . .”

“I’m not a bloody burglar!” I shout.

The old man has shuffled over to the fence in his slippers, getting very excited at the prospect of me being arrested for something I haven’t done.

“I’ll tell you what we’ll do,” he says to me. “Margo saw someone the other day in Mrs Higginbotham’s garden; she’ll be able to say whether it was you or not, won’t she?”

“What number’s this house?” the Courier asks the old man. He still doesn’t know if he’s at the right address.

“Fourteen, Hamble Drive.”

The Courier looks at me as if to say you should have just accepted the parcel. The old man is already making his way across the road to the adjacent house where, I assume, Margo lives. He knocks on the door and an old lady, about his age, greets him. They spend a few minutes having a hushed conversation. The Courier hangs the phone up and stares over at the old couple talking.

“The police will be here soon,” he says to me.

“I’ll just head off home.” I begin to make my way out of the garden but the Courier blocks my way.

“Too late, mate. You can’t sneak your way out of this.”

The old man has obviously asked Margo but she’s struggling because she’s pointing at a tree. He moves her arm in my direction and she nods wildly. What can only be described as a sprint for an eighty year-old brings him back across the road, shaking with either excitement or illness, hard to say which.

“She says it’s him,” he says. “She’s a hundred percent sure. She says you were trying to get into Mrs Higginbotham’s shed. Probably trying to steal her lawn mower and sell it for drugs.”

“I’m not on drugs,” I protest. The Courier laughs; at least someone is finding humour in all this.

“You all are,” says the old man. “You probably have a knife, as well.”

“You could put any kid in this spot and that old woman would say that’s who she saw in the garden.”

I’ve horrified the old man. “Are you calling Margo a liar?”

“I think he is,” says the Courier, enjoying himself until the police arrive.

It’s not long before I can hear a car and judging by the curtain twitching from every house on the street I know it’s the police without having to look around. It’s just my luck to get a policeman eager to break the world record for the fastest response to crime in progress. I’m sure the Courier has phoned him directly.

All I wanted to do was ask Jo out. Why is everything I ever do marred by unrelenting problems? Nothing ever seems to go right for me. Will this continue into my late teens, early twenties?

The police car pulls up in front of the Courier’s van and I can see eager heads bobbing about in gardens down the street. A father has even put his child on his shoulders to watch the teenager get arrested; they’ll probably start chanting for me to be tasered. I’m going to be arrested for a crime I didn’t commit. Maybe Jo will hear about this in school on Monday and she’ll rush to see me in court before I’m sentenced? Maybe not.

The policeman unfolds himself from the car and begins to walk his six foot six frame over to Jo’s garden. He’s the same age as the Courier and looks like he’d be better suited to smashing down the doors of suspected drug dealers, or chasing rioters with a shield and bat. The Courier has left his post hoping to meet the policeman and give his version of events before I get the chance. The old man also has his back to me, but that doesn’t stop him pointing at me.

I decide, against better judgement, to make a run for it.

It’s difficult to know who shouted first, the old man, the Courier or the policeman. As I jump the front gate I can hear all three at once; and as I frantically run in the direction that has the least spectators, I realise that the Courier and the policeman are giving chase. Whatever story the Courier told him must have done the job because the look on the policeman’s face tells me I’m in deep trouble if he catches me. I’ve never been a keen runner but I have found that when pushed it can change.

I look on this whole episode as an argument for why we need email and social networking sites rather than face to face communication. I know all this could’ve been avoided by simply sending a text message to her, but I thought maybe knocking on her door might add to the romance. I’m still thinking about this as I take the next turn off the street.

And a car hits me.

Or maybe I hit the car, both seem plausible as the car was going under the speed limit and I was trying to break the speed limit when we connected.

There’s a scream and I glance up to see a man, early forties, his face as white as chalk sat behind the wheel and doing his best to comprehend that he’s just hit a child with his car. I’m surprised to see Jo in the passenger seat, hands over her mouth in shock. I smile at her as I slowly begin to slide off the bonnet and onto the road.

The Courier and the policeman have caught me up and are trying to help me. I try to count how many organs have ruptured being careful not to confuse winding with internal haemorrhaging but the way this morning is going I wouldn’t rule out a slow and painful death.

Jo climbs out of the car and kneels down beside me; she is crying and gathers my head (still attached to my body) in her arms. She’s been riding horses, there’s a strong smell of manure. Her long blonde hair falls across her face and she looks gorgeous, if a little puffy eyed. She strokes my forehead and tells me it will be alright, and that I’m not to worry.

 

Her dad hitting me meant not only was there no objection to me taking Jo out on a date but I also got to pick the film. She still flatly denies there was any cryingor head holding, she claims she stayed in the car until the ambulance arrived.

FAMILY TRAGEDY SERIES: JOURNEY OF HELL by Geethi Karsharma | GBAMLOG.COM

She never gave a thought of marrying a handsome guy but she wished to marry a person who understands and respects her.

I’m here to narrate a story of a women who is a victim of violence. Are parents itself enemies to a women?

A poor parents gave birth to 9 children. Now,our story revolves around the 5th person. During her childhood she was not that pampered, only because of her looks. She was given less importance among the 9 children. She was sent to a government school where others to private. Her father thought that investing on her would not bring any profit. Her mom was also not that caring.

She was graduated with a B.com degree, still she wasn’t happy because no one was there to appreciate her success. She spent a lot sleepless nights and filled with depression. Later on when she was at the age of 21, she wanted to marry a person who understands her. According to her faith, she has to face problems because of her husband too.

She got married on 22-03-2018 and it is a dark day for her. Her parents were in search of selecting a groom for her as soon as she was graduated. She never gave a thought of marrying a handsome guy but she wished to marry a person who understands and respects her.

During her matchmaking process, her father got a call by the priest. Then her father immediately went to groom’s house for a matchmaking interview. Groom’s mother told her father about the affair of her son that he married other caste girl without their acceptance and now they wanted their son to get married to their caste girl. That cruel father didn’t even think about future of his daughter and immediately agreed to their proposal and he didn’t reveal about groom’s affair to anyone.

She was very happy and thought that she is marrying a person of her dreams but, she never thought that the dreams would fade out one day. Naturally after marriage she got to know about her husband , she immediately went to her parents and questioned them but there was no response. She alone faced all the problems in her life. She was beaten brutally by that drunkard husband. Now she sacrificed her life and adjusting for her children

Over thousands of women are facing this problem around the world.In India, government introduced many schemes for the welfare of women but there is no use. It depends on the mindsets of the people.Is there no solution for this problem? Yes, there is a solution. The best way to stop this violence is to raise your voice against the people who are troubling you,never adjust for each and everything, fight back.

“Before telling your daughter not to go out alone,Tell your son not to harass any women.”

TRAGIC ROMANCE: THE BROKEN HEART by Jose Heavena | GBAMLOG.COM

TTRTTThe journey of a kind hearted girl, who has to face lots of difficulties post- marriage.

Kia is a kind-hearted, sensitive and a charming girl. She loves her family a lot. Her parents encorage and pamper her. She had graduated in Biotechnology from a reputed Institution. She had worked as a Lecturer and everyone loves her, because of her helping tendency. Kia  loves adventures and she has lots of ambitions in her life.

Kia wants to pursue PhD, but she gets married at the age of 26. Her marriage is a pure arranged marriage and it takes place in a small town in Tamilnadu. On 9th May 2016, she got married to Krish. Kia’s dad hold her hands and walk towards the aisle. Everyone’s eyes get fixed on Kia as she walks on the red carpet. Kia looks adorable in her beautiful white gown.Her marriage takes place grandly with her friends and relatives.

Krish is an employee,working for IT sales in Mumbai. He is the only son who is loved by his family a lot. Krish is a well of and male egoistic person. He values people based on their money and fame. Kia gets relocated to Mumbai after marriage. Everything seems to be fine and good at the start and she gets conceived and gives birth to an adorable bary girl named Ria, on May 8th,2017. All the members in her family becomes happy.

Days passes and Krish’s parents torture Kia both physically and mentally. They beat and abuse her.Kia bears everything for her daughter, because she does’nt want Ria to separate from her dad.Krish’s mom says to Kia, that she is not capable for her son. Kia’s heart gets broken and she cries terribly. Krish is always busy in his life with his work and watching football matches at night,without even considering Kia. Kia remains all alone in that home.  Kia informs this to Krish, but he tells her to adjust and live.

One fine day, Kia makes her mind and comes to her dad’s house with Ria. Kia’s parents support and encourage her to become an author and she finally becomes an author.Kia works hard to fulfill all her child’s needs. Kia made up her mind that she will not go back to Mumbai to her inlaws house.

When Kia was alone in Mumbai,she used to pray a lot and she believed only god can heal her wounds. Kia wants to give Ria a good life with good moral values and manners. Kia lives for Ria and she hopes Ria would take care of her in the future.