Soul Mates

Here’s a short story from a couple of years ago…..

Soul Mates

She’ll phone today.  Today is definitely the day.  She knows he’s waiting and she’ll not want to disappoint him.

Her note started it all.  She’d known he was waiting for her to make the first move.  It was lovely when she did.

He called her yesterday.  There was a special thrill in listening to her voice as she told him about herself, the things she’s done, the places she’s been, the wine she likes.  He just loves listening to her voice.  She’s got a sense of humour too.  He likes that.  She can be very dry.  Sometimes she could be laughing at him.

His first long conversation with her was last week.  It was fantastic.  He’d been so lonely before.  He talked about Mary, and Abigail listened.  He told her about the pain of losing Mary.  It’s nearly five years now since the cancer took her.  He’d not told anyone how much he missed her before, how beautiful she’d been until the ravages of her last illness.  And Abigail understands.  He knows he can tell her anything.

He’s sure she’ll call today.

There are other things he wants to tell her.  He can call now to leave a message, and she can call back later.  He sits on the sofa and tells her about all the work he’s done on the house; what a wreck it was before he started and how 15 years of working on it at evenings and weekends has transformed it.  He never really feels the need to leave it.

He knows that Abigail loves to travel.  She’s told him about her adventures climbing mountains, trekking, riding across deserts.  She’s fire in her voice when she speaks of them.  It makes him want to follow her.  She could guide him through the strangeness of it all.

After that first call he’d worried he’d messed it up.  But when he spoke to her again, she’d listened like before.  It was so exciting to think of his words travelling down the wires, across the earth to her.  He imagines her sitting in her living room surrounded by the books he knows she loves to read, artefacts from her travels and her running gear ready by the door for her daily workout.

He’s talked about his parents.  He wants Abigail to know about them; how good his genes are.  He’s still got a full head of hair like his father and mother before him.  He’s been so long on his own he may have lost the art of talking.  And yet something in Abigail’s voice has encouraged him to keep going.

His phone bill will be huge, but it’s worth it.  She’ll call him tomorrow.  He’s certain.  He wants it so much.

Just in case he’ll leave her a message.  Really he’s not as melancholy as he sounds.  He likes the outdoors too.  A few years ago he did an outward-bound course in the Brecon Beacons.  That was fun.  He’d like to try more of that kind of thing.  He was fit when Mary was still alive.  He could train up and go with Abigail on her next trek.

He’s just remembered a story he’d like to tell her.  It was when he was in the police.  He knew lots of people then.  There was the team at the station.  They’d not always understood about his wife not wanting to go out so much, but they’d been company, and he hadn’t minded all that joking and joshing.    Well it isn’t so much a story he wants to tell, just to let Abigail know he used to be a policeman.  He’s not much good at story telling.  But he knows Abigail will understand.

She’ll call soon.

He dials and enters the box number he knows off by heart, and he relaxes as her voice washes over him.  He folds and unfolds her note in his hand.  It’s there right in the centre of the page; he’s ringed it several times in red ink.

‘Tall F, likes trekking, mountain tops, candlelight and champagne, seeks M for long walks and lively conversation.’

He’ll leave one more message today.  She’s bound to call him back.  Just to make sure there’s no mistake he recites his phone number very slowly.

‘Hello Abigail.  I know you’ve had my earlier messages, and I do enjoy talking to you.  I’m 6’4. I know you’re tall and looking for someone taller, so we’d be a good match.  I don’t think I’ve ever tasted champagne, but if you tell me it’s good I’ll give it a go.  Did I tell you I’m a smoker?  I’ll stop if you ask me to.  Mary died of a smoking related illness so you’d think I’d know better wouldn’t you?

‘You teach Spanish in Worcester don’t you?  I’m hopeless with languages.  Maybe you could teach me for when we go on a trip.  I wonder which school you work in.  There can’t be that many in Worcester.  I expect there’s a list somewhere.  I’m so looking forward to meeting you.’

She’ll definitely call today.

Or tomorrow.

He’ll be waiting.  He has so much to tell her.

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  1. Love it. So sad… but with a hint of sinister undertone…

  2. margaret nickels

     /  May 20, 2011

    Very taut; like it.

    • Thank you. Exercise was to do a story in 800 words. I over shot by a few words, but only a few.


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