Once Ours by Vikki Gemmell

There you are, sitting in the seat that was once ours, with her. I hide behind my laptop, sneaking subtle glances, like the weirdos we used to deride when we whiled away the hours, making a milkshake last till closing time. You filled your notebook with stories about the characters
populating the cafe, completing their profile with a sketch, always adding in silly detail, like a twirly moustache or Clark Kent style glasses to make me laugh.

You persuaded me to buy Clark Kent style glasses, with a feminine edge; circular, and with a
designer tag I couldn’t afford. ‘Geek chic’, you winked at me when I turned away from the mirror, and you had that smile on your face, the cheeky, ‘Let’s go back to mine and I’ll undress you’ kind of smile, that had me maxing my credit card and leaving the glasses on long after we’d switched off the lights.

I don’t wear those glasses anymore. Stamped all over them, smashed up the frames. ‘A metaphor of your broken relationship,’ Josie said, completing the act by tapping ash from her cigarette over the shards of glass.

Josie’s my best friend again. You never liked her, said her accent was common, ‘Does she need to make it so obvious she’s from Thistle High?’

Thistle High. That’s where I met you, when you walked into my fifth year English class; a skinny mess of confusion. You grew into your body round about three o’clock on the twenty fifth of April during sixth year Maths class (I wrote this in my diary, that’s how I remember).

You offered me a new pencil when you heard mine snap (it snapped during my realisation that you’d become totally gorgeous overnight). Fortunately I was the first girl to notice- by the time the rest of them did, you were already mine.

I think I taught you how to kiss properly because that first one we shared, it wasn’t great. I lied when I told you it was the best kiss I’d ever had. I also lied about every orgasm (I didn’t have) during our time together. But I still loved you. It was the little things that were important. Like how all the girls were jealous when we walked past them arm in arm in the corridor at school. And at University, when you played in your band, how everyone thought I was instantly cool
because I was dating the singer.

Not really; I’m just trying to make myself feel better. The little things are too much to mention; your hands, slender yet strong, tugging on my hair when you kissed me hello. And your laugh, the way it pulled a smile onto my face even when I wanted to be mad with you.

There it is. Your laugh. Now she gets to smile; sitting in the seat that was once ours, with you.


Vikki Gemmell has work published in the Words with JAM anthology, An Earthless Melting Pot, as well as in online journals, the Puffin Review, the Bohemyth Literary Journal and Postcard Shorts. She blogs about observations of life at: http://throughthelookingglass-vikki.blogspot.co.uk/

Photograph courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

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