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Goodbye London

by stephanieE 

Posted: 23 July 2003
Word Count: 1422
Summary: OK, so this is a piece of dialogue from my erotic novel. Maddy is on the point of leaving London for New York, and after a goodbye party, ends up having a farewell shag with her ex, Matt. This turns out to be a bad idea... It's very raw (only finished an hour ago) all comments welcomed...

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Afterwards, he let her down gently, before collapsing onto the floor, panting hard. Maddy couldn’t speak for a minute or two, as she waited for her body to recover some normal functions.

‘Whew!’ she managed eventually, ‘that was something else…’

Matt looked up and grinned. ‘Well, you seemed-,’ he was still catching his breath, ‘you seemed to enjoy it.’

‘Oh yes, I think you can safely say that I enjoyed it.’ She lapsed back into silence, listening to her breathing as it gradually slowed, and becoming aware of the annoying dampness that accompanied any vigorous sexual adventure. Sweat was cooling as it trickled down her back, and there was a sticky patch under her thigh, which squelched slightly as she moved. ‘Oooh, time for a shower, I think,’ and she dragged herself towards the bathroom.

She was half expecting Matt to join her, but when she reappeared, wrapped in a threadbare towelling robe that was on its way to the bin, he was sitting on the end of her bed, half-dressed.

‘Matt? You OK?’

‘What?’ he looked up, startled. ‘Yeah, I guess…’

‘Aren’t you, well, I thought you might-‘

‘Thought I might what Maddy?’

‘Well, I thought you might want to stay the night.’

‘You mean, stick around so we can have some more great sex in the morning when you’re feeling horny again?’ his tone was harsh.

Maddy was taken aback. ‘Er…not necessarily, if you don’t want to-‘

‘But it’s never been about what I want has it?’ Matt seemed genuinely angry now.


‘No, it’s always been, come around, I fancy a shag, or come out to this party, I could do with a quick one in the loos to keep me going, or come on over, show my mate a good time…’

‘Now, come on,’ Maddy was beginning to get angry too, ‘I thought that’s what you wanted. You certainly didn’t seem to be objecting too much that time with Toni on the living room floor.’

‘You thought-‘ Matt stood up and ran his hands through his hair. ‘Why do you think I followed you to London in the first place?’

‘Well, we’d had a bloody good night down in the New Forest, and I rather got the impression that you were game for more.’

‘Just another good shag then, was that it?’ He crossed the space between them and was glaring at her, arms crossed, from a distance of eight inches.

Maddy was beginning to feel cornered. She wasn’t sure quite why he was so angry. ‘Look, Matt-‘ she began placatingly, ‘I don’t know what you thought our- well, our relationship was, but I never made any promises-‘

‘Too bloody right you didn’t. Every time I tried to talk to you about it, you changed the subject, or started undoing my flies…’

Maddy grinned, she couldn’t help herself. ‘Mmm, it was good, wsn’t it?’

‘Don’t!’ But despite himself, she could see a smile hovering around the edge of his mouth.

‘Do you remember that time in the back of the cab, on the way back from that awful first night?’

He snorted with laughter, and dropped his intense gaze. ‘Yeah, how could I forget?’

‘And the time-‘

‘Stop it! You’re doing it again. Come on, Maddy, I’m trying to have a serious conversation here…’ He reached out to hold her arms. ‘Look, I just want to know whether, well, what- Damn it!’ He paused and took a deep breath. ‘I want to know whether you’ll marry me.’

Maddy was shocked, frozen into immobility by the unexpectedness of the words. This, from Matt? Matt, that she was waiting to slide out of her life so she could focus on the future and her career. Whoa, no, she must have heard him wrong. ‘Er… run that one by me again?’

‘You heard.’ His grip on her arms relaxed as he saw the genuine confusion in her face. ‘OK, maybe that was a bit sudden. Let me try again – come on, sit down.’ He led her to the edge of the bed. ‘I guess I knew from that first night, I knew you were special, so I had to come and find you. And last year, all that rushing around, all those parties, all that sex,’ he smiled wryly, ‘well, I thought you felt the same, I thought we were having an amazing, modern relationship. Then-‘

‘No, no more,’ Maddy interrupted, regaining some of her faculties. ‘Matt, I’m so sorry if I sent out the wrong signals, I should’ve known better…’

‘But it was good, wasn’t it?’

‘Yeah, it was good, but it wasn’t really a relationship, was it?’ she asked gently. When he didn’t reply, and simply continued to look deflated and miserable, she carried on. ‘I should’ve explained, but I was so caught up in- well, in everything I guess. Look, Matt, I’m not good at relationships, I swore off them a long time ago. In fact, I gave myself a rule: “If you shag them, never see them again; if you want to see them again, don’t shag them.” It always seemed to work quite well, kept sex separate from friendship, kept it down to the basics I guess. But then-‘

‘Then I followed you to London.’

‘Er, yes, and I should’ve sent you packing, but I was in need of company that night, and well, you looked so optimistic…’

He turned away from her and stood up. ‘So you felt sorry for me, is that it?’ He sounded bitter.

Maddy winced. ‘No, no that’s not it… I guess, well, I guess I liked the fact that you’d made the effort to find me, and I was feeling lonely, and yes, I was very attracted to you, physically, and you have to admit that the sex has always been sensational…’ Matt had his back to her, and appeared to be chewing his nails. ‘So then we kind of fell into this- well, I guess it was a sort of relationship, but I always assumed you’d find someone else, you know, there must be loads of gorgeous girls going in and out of that hotel you work at.’

Matt spun around. ‘Never looked at a single one,’ he stated primly.

‘Oh no?’

‘Well, okay, maybe one or two,’ he conceded. ‘But then you were off to New York, and I missed you, and a guy can only go so long without- well, without. So.’ They stared at each other for endless seconds. A race of emotions charged across his face. Incomprehension, hurt, yearning, hope… ‘So,’ he began tentatively, ‘would you- could you ever think about marrying me?’

‘Oh Matt, I don’t know. Not now, not just when-‘

‘When what?’

‘Not when my career is just taking off. You must see that it’s important to me to get this New York office going, to take this opportunity that I’ve been given?’

‘Well, I thought that I might be important to you too.’

‘Of course you are,’ Maddy insisted, standing to give him a hug, ‘it’s just that this is more important right now.’

‘Well, could I come to New York too?’ he asked, almost eagerly.

Maddy stood back to look him straight in the eye. ‘I don’t think that would be a good idea, do you?’ He didn’t reply. ‘I’m going to be concentrating on my career, and I’m still not ready to think about a relationship in the proper sense of the word. Apart from anything else I can’t believe I’ll have the time!’ Maddy smiled, ‘Go on, enjoy yourself out there in the big bad world of London, yeah, we had a good time, but there’s lots more girls out there that you could show a good time to, and who knows? Maybe, just maybe you’ll fall in love…’

Matt’s shoulders slumped. ‘OK, message understood.’ He turned to gather up the rest of his clothes, as Maddy watched with mixed feelings. He looked so vulnerable, so much like a puppy that had been kicked by its master that she couldn’t help but feel a pang of sympathy. But she knew that marriage was not for her now – she doubted that it would ever be for her – and that she was doing the right thing in severing ties with Matt like this. She followed him to the door of the flat.

‘Take care of yourself, won’t you?’

‘And you, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.’ He managed a weak smile. They embraced tightly, before she let him out of the flat and out of her life.

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Comments by other Members

Becca at 17:12 on 23 July 2003  Report this post
Steph, I like the way this, for me, seems like a role reversal. That casual sorted kind of woman who knows where she's going is always a very good thing, and there's a lot of background skillfully woven into the dialogue. I wait for more.

Nell at 17:13 on 23 July 2003  Report this post
Oh, sad. Hi Stephanie - great dialogue, it really rings true, and I got to the end almost without realising, so it must have been engrossing. Shame about Matt - these modern girls, find a decent guy and discard him like an old crisp packet. Ah such is life, 'twas not like that in my day... Seriously though Steph, this is good, look forward to more,
Best, Nell.

Sarah at 11:34 on 24 July 2003  Report this post
Poor Matt.. was he the one in the pool from the other bit you posted? The one with the grey hair?

Anywaym, no matter.

This diaolgue does its job, reveals character and pushes the story forward. Watch for cliches, 'My career is taking off', stuff like that.

Very coy of you to let us in AFTER the sex bit!

stephanieE at 12:15 on 24 July 2003  Report this post
Thanks for the feedback chaps. No, Matt is the English guy who's getting too close, and that is partly why she is chasing her career to the States.

I'm a little surprised that Matt raises so much sympathy, but maybe that's a good thing - maybe Maddy will (eventually) realise that she was on to a good thing here...

I wanted to find out if the dialogue worked - if it felt plausibly real - and I think cliches may be just about acceptable in this instance, because we do all talk in cliches most of the time.

Anyway, I've another week before I have to submit this to the publisher, so I need to do a final thorough edit and er... write the ending, when I've worked out what the ending should be!

kmerignac at 13:15 on 24 July 2003  Report this post
Good stuff - good dialogue and I could really picture Matt, although it's the first thing of yours that I've read and so have had no previous introductions. Again, I felt very drawn to him and could sympathise with how he was feeling. And the passage does fly by - it reads really well.
I did have one or two thoughts while I was reading which you might find useful (or might not at all!), and the first is perhaps too many commas in the opening paragraph? Between 'two' and 'as' maybe, and after 'afterwards'? Another was that a couple of the adverbs could've safely been dropped - placatingly (because you'd written the text in such a way as to know that that's the kind of way she'd be speaking and my attention was drawn to the word in such a way as to take me out of the story for a moment - does that make sense?!) for example. I think your writing is good enough not to need them. (Oh, and you've dropped an 'a' is 'wsn't').
But on the whole I really enjoyed it, and good luck with the publisher.

dryyzz at 13:19 on 24 July 2003  Report this post
The story and dialgue works fime. Although there is no 'perfect' style, I'll comment as though I was editing my own work.

I think some of the dialogue attributation is a little superflous, and some of the prose could be tighter. For example:-

"Maddy was beginning to feel cornered. She wasn’t sure quite why he was so angry. ‘Look, Matt-‘ she began placatingly, ‘I don’t know what you thought our- well, our relationship was, but I never made any promises-‘ "

I would have done

"Maddy felt cornered. Where had his anger come from? ‘Look Matt, I don’t know what you thought our... well, our relationship was, but I never made any promises-‘ "

I think the dialogue is strong enough not to need the 'placatingly' and the tightned prose gives a bit more of an edge.

Just an opinion.


Becca at 19:29 on 24 July 2003  Report this post
All my empathy lies with Maddy and not Matt. Opps! just at that moment thought their names are very similar,.. Umm. No, that girl is only doing what men normally do to girls they arse about with, so I will not not not feel sorry for him.

Ellenna at 19:39 on 24 July 2003  Report this post
oh no my sympathies lie with Matt..he is far too nice for Maddy.. I hope he doesnt end up with her :(... still that might create a sequel?

Poor guy.. lol


stephanieE at 19:41 on 24 July 2003  Report this post
Ah well, you'll just have to buy the book, won't you?!

tweed at 22:23 on 26 July 2003  Report this post
You...you women...you can be so hurtful sometimes...you just don't think do you? We're all the same to you aren't we? Well let me tell you some of us have feelings...some of us care...some of us know what it's like to be tossed aside, like...like...

Becca at 06:01 on 27 July 2003  Report this post
Hi Tweed, missed you.

Nell at 11:57 on 27 July 2003  Report this post
Like an empty crisp packet? I'd never do that...

stephanieE at 15:40 on 27 July 2003  Report this post
Tweed, don't worry too much, I have a suspicion that Maddy might just realise her mistake before the end of the book...

Becca at 16:37 on 27 July 2003  Report this post
Oh bugger.

Nell at 19:50 on 27 July 2003  Report this post
I'm really laughing out loud now!

Newmark at 00:46 on 28 July 2003  Report this post
Hi Stephanie,

I do like this, as has been already said, it rings very true. It's good to see that your very into storyline, something that I personally feel is very important.

Only one thing, not sure I like the puppy-kicked-by-master similie, it seems a little obvious, but that might well just be me.


Ralph at 14:42 on 28 July 2003  Report this post

Smooth and engrossing as ever. And another teasing glimpse... we obviously are going to have to buy the book :D
Oh, good luck getting this all shaped up for the publisher. Tell them from us they'd be a fool to pass this up....
The kicked puppy thing worked for me... but then again, if it had been a kicked poodle or a Jack Russel that would have been even more satisfying somehow... there's something clingy and demanding about those species isn't there (or am I just really evil)?
Let us know how you get on

stephanieE at 15:52 on 28 July 2003  Report this post
Thanks everyone for all your comments... I was struggling to find an alternative to the puppy cliche, because that's exactly the image that came to my head when I was thinking about this (slightly immature) chap trying to handle rejection.

My deadline is Thursday, so frantically doing final proofing, aaaaarrrgghh! Promise to let you know if anything comes of it.

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