And so… my RNA New Writers’ Scheme submission is finally in! That’s seven long months of hard slog and sweat complete… until the suggestions and revisions come back…! Too be fair though, I have also really enjoyed writing this latest manuscript too.
There’s definitely going to be some celebration in the house tonight. But just to celebrate with you, I’m sharing a short story I’ve just written, which I’ve been meaning to write down for a while. Enjoy!
This was getting ridiculous, Sarah thought, as she closed the chin strap on her helmet, and wheeled her bicycle out through the front gate. It had been going on for – what – almost a year now? Every day, on the canal, on her way to work.
He was always in his white cycling shorts, no matter what the weather. In fact, that’s why she had first noticed him. On a crisp autumn morning, she had winced at the thought of the cold air on those bare legs. Gorgeous bare legs, she had to admit, but still…
The second time she had seen him, she had been left thinking about the impracticality of white in the winter. And for a few days after that, whenever she had seen him flash by in the opposite direction, that had been her recurring thought. Until the day when she had bothered to look at his face.
It was just a fleeting glimpse, but she was left with an impression of stunning gold eyes and a neatly trimmed beard. She remembered smiling at him. And he had nodded back, as if to give her the respect she deserved for cycling in such awful weather.
She began to look out for him every morning, and the days when he didn’t appear she felt the loss. Over the summer he disappeared for almost two weeks, and when he returned she could almost feel her relief at seeing him again. As time went on he started to give her a casual lift of his hand, or say good morning. She almost felt like she knew him as a friend, but of course she knew precisely nothing. Except that he liked cycling. It was obvious that he did; sometimes as he passed her he was humming cheerfully, or occasionally singing a song.
He was a good singer, actually. In her fantasies she made up a thousand professions for him. Some days, when she was feeling down, he had a wife and kids. Other days he was definitely gay. But on her hopeful days, he was single, and looking, and captivated by the gorgeous flame-haired cyclist he passed on his way to work every morning.
She would stop and talk to him today, she decided. She had to know. At least if he was single. Then she could continue to cycle past him every day with a little wave as always, and her life could move on as normal. Or, if she embarrassed herself too much, there were always other routes she could take to work.
But he never passed her that morning on the gravel track, and she spent the day wondering what might have been. Maybe it was for the best, she decided, as she cycled slowly up onto the canalside on her way home. Some fantasies were supposed to stay that way. A good film and ice cream tonight. That would be good enough to make her happy.
The sun was slanting through the trees as she cycled along. She was so lucky to have this as her route to work. People were walking their dogs in the warm evening air. A cyclist had stopped to sit on a bench, his bike propped up behind him. She saw the white shorts, and suddenly knew who it was.
She pulled up in front of him and dismounted. ‘Hi,’ she said with a smile.
He glanced up at her, and the welcoming look on his face in that second told her everything she needed to know.
© Sasha Greene 2017