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What If?

by skinnieminnie 

Posted: 02 April 2009
Word Count: 730
Summary: This is another piece of work I did for Hale. This is version 10, and has been reduced from 1286 words to just under 750 and has recently been sent to a flash fiction competition.

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She appeared on a damp Thursday night flying into the clubhouse on a flurry of cobwebs and black and orange streamers and holding a tray of sticky, red toffee apples.

‘Where should I take these?’ she asked.
‘There’s a table at the back,’ I replied.

She smiled and turned away.
I hoped she didn’t feel that I was boring or dull.

A while later, as she handed out her toffee apples, she sauntered over and offered me the sickly treat.

‘They’re delicious,’ she said as she gently touched my arm.

That magical touch raced through my veins to my head and to my heart and I realised I had fallen for her.

‘Hi, I’m Eve, Sam’s mum. Are you one of the coaches?’
‘Adam,’ I replied, ‘I coach the under nines.’

Our eyes met. Hers were green, and for a moment I caught my reflection in them. A mystical energy was unleashed. You could feel it in the air, dancing with excitement around the room.

That weekend I saw her again. She stood alone at the side of the pitch. I mouthed ‘hello’ and she mouthed one back. I felt my heart flutter. I couldn’t take my eyes off her and kept glancing over, just to see if she was looking at me.

She volunteered to help at the club outing. She was always offering to lend a hand. I didn’t refuse her kindness; it meant I would see her again. We took the children to a theme park. I spent the whole day near her, studying the way she wound her chocolate hair around her fingers and how she habitually bit into her bottom lip when she thought nobody was watching.

It was late when the children bustled back onto the coach. Our hands collided as we sorted through the jumble of bags and cagoules, squeezing them into the racks above the seats. It felt like it was just me and her. I felt guilty, before anything had even begun.

Then one afternoon Sam mistimed a tackle, breaking his ankle. My heart plummeted like a bucket falling into the bottom of an empty well.
She kept in touch. Regular progress reports about Sam. Sometimes, a few stolen moments of her life were captured in words and shared with me. Occasionally, she signed her name followed by a kiss. Seeing that ‘x’ removed all doubt.

Sam’s ankle healed and she appeared in my life once more, every Wednesday evening and on Sunday’s. As we chatted and joked I brazenly touched her arm. She neither flinched nor retreated. I felt that her heart skipped with a secret pleasure. And once, as she brushed lint off my lapel, she looked at me, and I saw the sweetest sadness in her eyes.
In the back of my mind I wondered what it would be like to kiss her.

For a time her husband brought Sam to football. I didn’t see her in the café, or the library. Sometimes I would drive past her house, just to see if her car was there, hoping to catch a glimpse of her. Those days felt long and empty.

Then one cold October evening, she appeared in a flurry of cobwebs and black and orange streamers; she was holding a tray of sticky, red toffee apples.

‘I’ll just get rid of these and I’ll help you,’ she said.

My heart skipped a beat.
We decorated the clubhouse in cobwebs and paper chains. Others arrived with food and then departed into the bar upstairs.

As the children partied I watched her from across the room. Her hair was darker and she wound it round her fingers the same way she always had. As she danced by me she took my hand, trying to persuade me to join in the hokey-cokey. I resisted, I didn’t want to share her with anyone. I wanted to dance with her all by myself.

Afterwards, as we tidied the party away she turned towards me and handed me a parcel. A small one, wrapped neatly in a feminine way.
As she placed it in my hand our fingers touched and lingered. My gaze fixed upon her sugary petal painted lips and I leant in towards her. For a moment I felt her warm breath on mine.

In the back of my mind I wondered; what if… this wasn’t what she wanted at all?

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