Tuesday, 11 November 2014


Autumn. When the trees start to lose the burden of their leaves, and show their true and magnificent forms once more.

When the last bits of summer are blown away leaf by leaf.

It was autumn when I moved here. And it was autumn when I last saw you.

In my mind it was a clear day, with golden light flickering on the many-coloured leaves as they fell. Probably the reality was that the golden light flickered for just a moment, but it’s that moment I’ll remember.

And we kicked the leaves as we walked. Well, you kicked them. And then I joined in, because you reminded me that leaves should be kicked. As often as they can.

You told me that you were going away. You didn’t say where and I didn’t ask. But I knew you’d be back days or weeks later, with tales of your adventures. Or I thought I knew.

You’d turn up at my door and we’d go out walking – to the end of the road, to the park, anywhere. And you’d tell me tales – or half-tales – in your not-quite-innocent, straightforward way, full of triviality and truth.

And then the letter came, and I knew you wouldn’t.

And I remembered that autumn day, and the other days I’d spent with you. Kicking leaves and running down alleys. Sitting in the park with a bag of weed and a can of cider, and maybe a portion of chips between us - talking about childhood, and spaceships, and what it would be like if we were totally on our own in the world.

Now, I remember the other times too. The things half-said or not said, and the things I ignored because to think about them properly would have been too hard. Sitting in the park when all the chips had gone, wondering how we might get more, and talking about broken dreams, and darkness, and what it feels like to be totally on your own in the world. And even when you were with me, you were alone.

What was it you asked me, about the darkness in the world? I didn’t know, then, quite how dark your darkness was. And I guess I said something that I thought was deep, but which couldn’t have begun to answer the question. And when I felt closest to you, you probably never felt further away.

And if you were here to tell your story, the moments you’d choose to describe wouldn’t be the ones that I remember. But you chose the ending, and I’ll choose to remember that golden autumn day, when the world was bedding down for winter, and we were kicking leaves.

© Lucy Peacock 2014

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Right For Each Other

This isn't a new story. But I'm posting it anyway to remind me to finish some new ones.

Right For Each Other

He'll be home soon.

He'll walk in the door, throw his coat on the peg and the house will be full of him. Then it'll be a cup of tea and a book, maybe, or the paper - some time to think. And later there'll be a beer and a meal (who's cooking tonight?). And he'll talk about his day – who he saw, what he did - and how was your day? How are you? And it'll all be relaxed and happy, and there'll be togetherness and smiles. But it won't be right.

He's later than usual tonight. Drinks after work maybe, or some job so important he couldn't stop. Lost track of time. Dinner in the oven. He won't be long.

He's never very late, or rarely at least. I think he's got home after 9 o'clock twice in 18 months. He's a homebody type - a sitter and thinker rather than a chatter-at-the-bar. He'll be home soon.

He's not like other men. He's generous, friendly, likes children. He's not one for staying out all night or steaming home in a temper. No “what is it now, woman?”, no coldness, no tears. He's a good man. A passionate man. He sees people as they really are and he loves them, and they love him. Him and his warm eyes, and that little curl of hair at the back of his neck.

And he has a power over me like no-one else has ever had before. An overwhelming, electric power that fills my head and almost blocks out everything else. He's part of me. My darling, my saviour.

It's very late now. His train was delayed I expect. Or maybe he bumped into someone. An old friend he couldn't say no to. He's sitting there now, sneaking glances at his watch and wishing he could leave.

I love him. It's his eyes, I think. Or maybe his laugh. A soft, deep laugh, always sincere. And it's the way he smiles, and just the way he holds himself as he walks up the road.

It's really something, the way he walks. Graceful even, but just manly enough. He has the world on his mind, but still manages a sideways smile for anyone who passes.

He saves his special smiles for me. And he tells me more, with those smiles, than he thinks he does. He tells me all I need to know.

His wife thinks I'm deluded. “That mad bitch on the bench”. But I'm the one he needs, not her. And I know he understands. He just doesn't say so. He's scared to leave, doesn't want change, thinks he doesn't know me. But he does, he does. And I'll just wait here, to catch another glimpse of him, today like every day. And he'll smile, and we'll know. We're right for each other.

© Lucy Peacock 2011