Hello to all of Zoe’s readers, I’m sure there are a lot of you. Zoe has kindly asked me to be a guest blogger for today, so I’m here to thrill you with a little bit of information about myself and my own blog before allowing you to read one of my short stories.
My name is Emma and I have two writing degrees under my belt. I’ve been studying at Edge Hill University for the past four years. The first three where spent doing a Bachelor Honours Degree – Creative Writing and Film Studies. I then stayed on to do a Masters Degree in Creative Writing. I’ve absolutely loved my time at Edge Hill, and it’s really sad that it’s now coming to an end.
I’m a romance writer. I enjoy writing about situations that would happen to a lot of people. I’m currently working on my manuscript that will be handed in for my final Masters piece later this year and then I hope that I can one day have it published for the world to see. I already have an idea for the sequel… Eager much? I love writing and reading about relationships. They happen all over the world. They can be formed and broken within a second and it’s refreshing to think of all the different situations that relationships can be placed in.
For now, please enjoy my short story…
Two months ago, he cheated on me. Five weeks later, I walked away from him and what was left of our relationship. I know you probably think that I’m crazy for not leaving him sooner, but I need you to understand something. It wasn’t easy. Leaving someone who you have loved for four and half years is never going to be easy.
When he told me what he did, I didn’t cry. I just felt numb. His words found it impossible to sink in. A couple of days later, I wrote a list containing reasons why I should no longer be with him. It started off as half a page long, but gradually, it grew as I continued to remain as his girlfriend. The list is currently five pages long…
46. He cheated on you
47. He hasn’t apologised for cheating
48. He dripped ice cream in your new car
49. He never said “I love you”
50. He cheated on you
The list still helps me to deal with what happened. Sometimes I repeat what I’ve already scribbled down to make an imprint of the hurtful reality in my mind. I don’t want to go into details. But as you can imagine, it took the cheating rat a lot of courage to tell me what he did. Let me tell you something, he may look just as good as James Bond in a tux, he may be a good chef, he may be wealthy (no thanks to his father!) and splash out on luxurious holidays for us, but none of that matters. Money can’t fix problems. Once a cheat, always a cheat.
I bet you’re dying to hear about the slapper who he had a one night stand with? Alright then. She’s a slapper, a home wrecker and an idiotic fool. Did I forget to mention that she’s married? I’m not one to gossip or bitch about other women, that’s not who I am. When I was in my teenage years, my mum taught me that bad mouthing other women wasn’t good for the soul and that if I spoke one bad word, karma would soon be up in my face. But this woman, whoever she is, has the right to be slagged off. What she did was wrong. Not only did she hurt me, but she also hurt her husband. That’s even if he knows, poor man.
I know that wasn’t really bad mouthing her but to be quite honest, I’d rather not waste my breath on the low life bitch who ruined my relationship with the one man I’ve ever truly loved. She’s not the person who betrayed me. She’s just the woman who was chosen for a quickie. I really do hope her husband finds out about what she did and that he divorces her ‘it meant nothing!’ sorry ass and takes every single penny away from her. She deserves to be thrown in a gutter and left for the tramps. Slut.
If you’re wondering why I stayed with him, the answer is simple: I wanted us to work. Yes, I know that I should have left the moment he told me he had cheated, but despite everything he did, I still found myself being madly in love with him. Yes, there are some days where I’d love to go running back into his arms, act like all has been forgiven and carry on like normal. But then, there are those days when I want to knock on the front door of his house and smack him in the face with a frying pan. Problem is, I wouldn’t know what to do with a dinted frying pan.
The man I loved cheated on me. Those worthless few moments with a stranger ruined our relationship. Here I am, three weeks later, gluing my life back together.
This is my story.
A week after the news of the cheating scandal broke, he told me to pack a bag for a weekend trip away. He gave me two clues – bring clothes that I’m comfortable wearing in all day and that I won’t need my passport.
“Can you not just tell me where we’re going?” I asked. This had been the second time I’d questioned him. But to my dismay, he still refused to give me an answer.
“Just, trust me on this one. Okay?” We were sat in the living room. He was slouched in his leather arm chair, eating a packet of prawn cocktail crisps whilst watching a documentary on the television. I, on the other hand, was sat up right. I’d been on edge for the past week since he told me of his filthy, disgusting affair.
“Really? You want me, your faithful girlfriend of four and a half years, to trust you, the man who just had a one night stand with some random slapper?” I wasn’t trying to start an argument. He shouldn’t have used the word ‘trust.’
He sat up; his hand was still inside the crisp packet. His blue eyes looked directly at me. He was trying to win me over with his devilishly handsome good looks.
“Babe, I know what I did was wrong, and I don’t blame you for being angry at me. But I’m just trying to fix this mess.”
I began to shake my head. He reached for another crisp out of the packet and shoved it in his mouth like he’d never eaten before. I didn’t respond. A little voice in my head told me to tell him that this was his mess and that he should fix it. But I knew he wouldn’t. So I took the easy option and found myself walking up the stairs, ready to pack for the weekend.
Early the next morning, we were sat in the waiting room of the train station, waiting for the train to take us to god knows where. Out of the kindness of his cold, selfish heart, he had gone to the trouble of picking up my favourite sweets, my favourite soft drink and bought the sequel to the latest book that I had almost finished.
He had booked the tickets online and collected them from a middle aged woman who worked behind the counter. She was chubby, happy looking, with a smile plastered on her face. I couldn’t tell if she was laughing in response to something he had said or she was just being polite. I couldn’t see his face so I moved over to the vacant seat next to me and leaned over to the right as I rested my arm on the cold metal handle. My view became better. raised my eyebrows as she titled her head back and laughed. As she brought her head back to the normal position. Her eyes locked with mine. She was probably clueless that the attractive man stood in front of her had a girlfriend of four and a half years. Dumb bitch.
“I want us to try and enjoy the trip. Okay?” After he had collected the tickets, he took the seat next to me. The woman behind the counter kept herself busy on the computer beside her, trying to avoid eye contact with either of us. “Let’s just forget about that silly little thing that happened and move forward.” He placed his hand on top of mine. He turned his head to the left, and began to admire a bunch of girls who, I’d say, were in their late teens.
I began to mutter under my breath, not wanting to cause a scene in public.
“How do you expect me to forget that you cheated when you’ve just been flirting with the ticket woman and now you’re checking out girls who are younger than you?” I pulled my hand out from underneath his in disgust. “You disgust me.” I turned my head to the right, not wanting to see him drooling over foolish girls.
“Did you say something?” He asked. I looked back at him as he rose from his seat. Had he really not heard me or was he just ignoring what I had said? I didn’t have time to repeat myself. “Come on. We’ll go sit outside and wait for the train there.” He took his bag and my suitcase out of the waiting room and into the warm August air.
As the train pulled up at our destination, I began to recognise the surroundings. We were in Edinburgh, the city where we randomly met. I looked to my left to see his face. He was smiling. Not a fake smile, you know the smile when you can tell someone is happy. He didn’t have the right to be happy, not after what he had done.
The sky was dark. Rain clouds had grouped together, storming up a wild water shower on the people down below. The station was being remodelled, yet it was still open to the public. Train stations just can’t shut down. People have places to go, places where they may meet someone, to change their lives.
“Are you excited?” He nudged my arm as I continued to stare out of the window. The passengers around us began to stand up out of their seats. Some were stood on their tip toes in order to reach for their belongings in the compartment above. We remained seated.
“Edinburgh is a beautiful city,” I was determined not to answer his question as I continued to stare out of the window at the station.
“I thought that we deserved a break away from home, and maybe the city where we met could help us figure out the next step.” The tone in his voice sounded hopeful. I wasn’t sure what would happen between us. I was still in two minds. The worse thing about it all was that he hadn’t apologised. He never apologised. Not for anything. Heartless fool.
The aisle way on the train began to clear. He stood up and reached for my suitcase above. As he placed the suitcase down, in which I had packed extra clothes just in case I decided to make a run for it.
A scarlet red haired middle aged woman brushed past him. She was old enough to be his mother but that didn’t stop her from giving him a good look up and down. I glared at her. My nostrils flared. Everything about her was fake. Her jeans were low cut. Her top showed off her obvious fake breasts. Her fake eyelashes were bigger than her eyes; her lips looked like they had been coated in lipstick for most of her life and her face was a different colour to the rest of her body. Mutton dressed as lamb.
To my shock, he didn’t look at her. He moved a little bit forward and then once she had walked past, he stepped backwards, to retrieve his bag. Perhaps he really did want to change our relationship, but not looking at one other woman wouldn’t make me forgive him. The problem was still there, in his pants.
I saw him step off the train and look behind for me. I was still sat in my seat. He looked at the window and gestured his hand to me that I ought to get a move on. I didn’t want to move. I wanted the train doors to slam shut and take me somewhere, anywhere. But they didn’t, so I forced myself to depart from the train.
It was mildly bitter outside. Weather I did not expect for the middle of August. The train station was busy. People were coming in and out of the historical city. As much as I wanted our relationship to work, I was tired. Tired of being the one who always said sorry, the one who always broke the awkward silences after an argument. I was tired of being tired.
As we walked towards the exit of the train station, the familiarity of the city was breath taking. It was the city where I had met the man who I thought I would spend the rest of my life with, have children with and eventually, grow old with. It was also the first city I had travelled and explored by myself. I was twenty at the time. Single, and ready to find myself. I found myself after a couple of days, along with a new boyfriend.
“So what do you want to do? Get settled in the hotel and then get our bearings?” He asked as we made our way up the slope and out of Waverly station. The city was just how I remember it, a little different though. Princess Street was still home to all the high street shops, the castle was still the perfect spot to see the sights for miles on a clear day and the bagpipes were ringing in everyone’s ears. The only difference was the road. Well, there wasn’t a road. It was an empty space in the ground, surrounded by miniature hills of rubble and gravel, with builders pondering over what their next move should be.
Tourists began to stop and stare, just like I had done. He had carried on walking, oblivious as to where I was. I continued to stare at the empty road. The builders had started to dig, the noise and vibration carried under my feet. He continued to dig. Deeper and deeper. He wouldn’t be able to fix the mess. He hit something. A ‘cling’ noise sprang in my ears. He’d hit a pipe. He turned the mini digger off but remained in his seat. He waited for the pipe to burst. He hadn’t hit it hard enough. The pipe was calm. The water remained inside of its home, not wanting to disturb normality. The builder switched the digger on and continued on with the work. He hadn’t aggravated the pipe enough.
“What are you doing?” He had approached my side. I thought he would have continued to walk, leaving me to fend for myself in the city. But no, he came back for me. I didn’t want him to come back to me. My suitcase was wedged between us. The tourists left and carried on with their day, full of sightseeing. I watched them leave. I wished I could join them. Pretend like I was a care free person. But I wasn’t. A dark cloud was over my head.
“Do you love me?” I asked him. He had never said it. Not once. Hard to believe, isn’t it? I looked at him. He looked to his left and then looked up at the murky grey sky.
“Course I do.” If there was one thing I knew, I knew that he was a bad liar. “Can we go to the hotel?” He starred into my eyes. I nodded before I grabbed hold of my suitcase handle. It was mine. I needed it.
I looked behind me. A fresh bunch of passengers had just arrived off another train and were making their way towards us. He began to make his way in the same direction, to the top of Princess Street. I knew that he had booked us in at a Travel Lodge. He hadn’t wanted to spend that much money. It wasn’t his money. It was his fathers. Little rich boy was still living off daddy. He didn’t know that I knew. He didn’t know that his own mother had told me to leave. I told her what he did. How he cheated on me with that filthy slut of a girl. His own mother had my back. That said it all.
He was a fair distance away from me now, but I could still see him. He walked with confidence, too much if you ask me. I took a deep breath and turned around. I began to walk towards the train station. I didn’t look back. I was going home. Not his home, mine. I wanted to be free. For so long, my mind had been a mess. Not knowing what I wanted. But now I knew. Freedom is what I had searched for. Not a perfect boyfriend. Not a perfect relationship. His lie was the straw that finally broke the camel’s back.
Here I am, three weeks later, finding myself after being lost. I can’t seem to pull myself together. You want to know the worst thing of it all? He hasn’t called my phone. He hasn’t come to my flat. He hasn’t pack up my belongings and send them over with a messenger. But you know what? I knew he wouldn’t. He’s probably too busy rolling in his dad’s money.
I’m not going to lie to you, it is hard. Walking away from someone you’ve loved and cared for is one of the worst experiences. Every now and then, I catch a whiff of his after shave on my clothes. My heart plummets to the bottom of my stomach, aching to be held by him again. But then, I remember what he did and even though I miss him deeply, I could never put myself in that position again. Especially not with him.
Soon enough, you stop thinking about them. You stop wondering whether they’re going to call, whether they’ve moved on or whether they still talk about you to mutual friends. It’s about time to start thinking of what’s best for yourself. After all, why should we waste our time with someone when they wouldn’t give us the time of day?