STILL THINKING OF YOU - SAMPLE CHAPTER :
It was so easy. Falling in love had, after all, been so
Rich had never been convinced that he had the knack for loving. Shagging, yeah, positively expert, but loving? He’d had a sneaky suspicion that ‘falling in love’ was something that only happened to people in movies or to the weak minded. Or, maybe, he’d been born without the necessary gene that enabled a healthy, happy, two way loving thing because he used to find it impossible to imagine wanting to share everything from your sock drawer, to your life. His parents were still together, yeah, but they seemed to exist side-by-side, in a state of bored tolerance rather than in perpetual bliss. His mother filled her time with concerns about neighbours’ hysterectomies and his father’s chief concern was his golf handicap. Rich doubted they had ever been young and in love. It wasn’t exactly inspiring.
When his mates said they’d found a girl they wanted to marry he’d assumed that the desire was one largely driven by practicalities. Clearly some people liked the company, or the laundry service, or the security of being a double income family. It wasn’t that he wanted to be callus, in fact, the reverse was true. He’d always wanted to believe that there was something chemical - no something magical - that dictated who you spent your life with. He always wanted to believe that there was a soul mate out there somewhere. But he’d given the mysterious ‘falling in love’ dozens of opportunities and thirty three years to take hold; it never had.
They’d been right. All those people that used to say stuff like, “you know when you know”. Those starry eyed blokes, who stuttered their way through speeches at wedding receptions, earnestly trying to communicate their passion and their willingness to subdue themselves to a bigger force than their reason. They’d been right. Falling in love did make everything lucid, bright, and simple. And yet at the same time it was the most mysterious, exotic and different experience of Rich’s life. An irresistible contradiction.
He loved her, and she loved him. They were lovers. Rich wondered how many people across, say, London, no make it bigger than that, say Britain, how many people were at this precise second telling one another they loved each other? And how many of them meant it as much as he did.
Because he did mean it. He meant it all the time. Not just when they were having sex. He loved her smile; it was broad and frequent. She had fat lips, clearly they were blow job lips, which was an advantage but he also admired them because they were happy lips. He loved her laugh; it was low and throaty, like a smokers laugh even though she didn’t smoke. He loved her thoughts and how frequently and openly she expressed them and how she insisted on bringing everything back to a personal level. He used to hate the type of person who, during a really sensible discussion whether US and British troops ought to be deployed to some far flung place, would pipe up, “well, all I know is its wrong because my next door neighbour is in the army and he may see action”. That sort of argument used to irritate his taught mind. But now he realized that everything was personal at some level, everything was simply about who you cared for. Tash was right. She was also right to want to drink Fair Trade coffee and use Body Shop products. All that girly stuff was good.
He loved her body. He loved the smell of her hair. He was fascinated by the things that made her angry, and thrilled by the things she delighted in. He loved the vulnerable curve in the nape of her neck and the way she shivered when he kissed her there. He loved her cum.
Tash finished cleaning her teeth. She put her toothbrush back in the cup and smiled at her reflection. That was her toothbrush, in a cup, in Rich’s flat. Although they’d only been seeing each other for just shy of two months she had a toothbrush in his flat and that felt good. Unlike Rich, Tash had never wondered if she’d find true love, she’d expected to. Her parents had been happily married for forty years. Even now she might walk into their kitchen and find then kissing, not full on snogs obviously - that would be damaging - but affectionate, closed mouth, kisses. Her brother and his partner had two robust, amusing boisterous boys. They laughed and rowed in what Tash considered to be the correct proportions. Love had never been a secret to her. It was easy, it was natural; it was everywhere. She’d been in a number of long and short, and virtual split second relationships but the chucking or being chucked had always been relatively painless. She’d never cried about anyone for longer than a week.
Tash had a few very close friends with whom she happily shared the contents of her head and heart on a regular basis and a lager number of more casual mates with whom she was happy to have a drink with. She was sporty, therefore fit in the health sense and in the leave-men-panting sense. She liked painting (people with hobbies are happier). She had a dog (people with pets are said to live longer) Tash believed in natural justice, she thought there was definitely something in horoscopes, she wished people of all religions could live together peacefully, and she was sure the God whom she believed in would let un-baptized babies as well as decent, none -believers in to heaven. She thought there might be something in reincarnation, she’d never had her tarot cards read but didn’t scoff those who had, she had a monthly direct debit to the NSPCC, she didn’t care if people held their knives and folks correctly or incorrectly, she recycled her bottles at Sainsbury’s, she was a vegetarian but she wore leather shoes. She had always expected to find true love.
She just hadn’t expected it to be this good.
Tash hadn’t been able to imagine feeling this excited yet this content. This happy and yet this terrified. This amazed and this amazing.