A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: East Forum Road

(I am having a few computer problems at the moment but am going to try to finish short story a day from the library. But just letting everyone know if I miss a day near the end here that’s why. But I promise I’ll catch up. Sorry about this everyone. :-))

 

Cartoon dog cat for frame border element

Bella was a small terrier. She was the nicest dog on East Forum Road, thought Chloe, the cat. She was the only dog who never chased Chloe and her friends who were cats called Daisy and Lily. She almost always greeted Chloe with a warm smile and greeting except for bad days which Chloe understood. She had heard from one of the pigeons, Sunny, from the road that Bella suffered from depression. Sunny was a nosy old bird and he was always flying in and out of the other animals’ business. Chloe didn’t like him very much but she remained pleasant with him.

As was tradition for a good Friday for Bella, she and Chloe shared the chicken Bella got from her owner Joe every Friday while Chloe shared the salami she got from her owner Christian. They would sit laughing away about the latest village gossip while eating and drinking. Chloe loved these days and Daisy and Lily often joined them later. Bella was the only dog a cat could hang out with in the tiny village without been called a traitor. And most definitely Sunny would be all ears for a fight among the cats. A pigeon among the cats he would be totally changing the phrase cat among the pigeons.

By Monday, Chloe heard from Sunny that Bella had passed on in the early morning of that day. She knew Bella was a good age but it still hurt. She cried and Daisy and Lily comforted her. That night every animal walked in the street as a mark of respect to ‘dear old Bella’. It was a mark of how much she was liked by everyone. Chloe, as her best friend, said a speech in honour of Bella for all those gathered.

“My dear friend Bella who never saw difference in some way as division, who was strong in the throes of pain, whose smile was warm and who to chat with was a joy and a great laugh. Generous with chicken, generous with love, kindness and friendship. I speak for me but I speak for us all. We will miss you greatly our dear friend Bella.”

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A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: Lorcan & Jason

 

2017 – Lorcan

 

I sat with my friends Bill, Nathan and Colton in Universal Bar.

“What do you think of the talent tonight guys?”, Bill asked.

Sometimes I wished he’d just have a night out without trying to find a man.

“Oh, look at those two hotties who’ve just walked in.”, Bill said.

These days every bloke is a hottie to Bill.

“They would be a couple, wouldn’t they? Just my luck.”

They might or might not be. Still it’s nice to see the assumption made the other way around. Even though I don’t like it either way, it’s assumed too often with two guys or two girls together that they aren’t romantically together. Happened all the time with me and my ex-boyfriend. I lost count of the amount of times we were mistaken for brothers, friends, cousins, brothers-in-law (with the added assumption that it was the other’s sister that the other was married to) before we’d finally get to partner.

The two “hotties” sat at the table nearby. As the evening wore on, we all got chatting and realised they were brothers called Theo and Jason. After a while Bill, Colton and Nathan got out on the dancefloor and I was left sitting with Theo’s older brother Jason. He scanned over at the four lads on the dancefloor occasionally as we talked. It was lovely to see. I didn’t have a protective older brother like Theo when I came out. I had an older instead called Alan who was scared people would think he was gay (Because his mind was far too small to work out that I said I was pansexual) by been seen with me. Was a shame because we used to get on really well.

“Are they good guys?”, Jason asked.

He knows they are all in competition for Theo’s affections.

“Yeah.”, I smiled, reassuringly.

“They are simply just as lonely as the rest of us.”

He relaxed slightly but kept an eye nonetheless.

“So you said he came out as gay recently, how did he tell you?”

“Just casually. He knew I wasn’t like that. Prejudiced I mean. I knew a long time in any case. But it wasn’t my place to say anything.”

“And your parents …”

“They don’t know. We come from a very Catholic background. It’s difficult.”

“Yeah, I know. I come from a Catholic background too.”

“Are your family supportive?”

“My mum, dad and sister weren’t at the start but they’ve come around to it.”

I don’t add that I hate the expression come around to it. Come around to what?, I always think.

“But my brother didn’t take it well. We haven’t spoken in six years.”

I can read it all over his face that he thinks my brother’s a dick but he can’t say so. For what it’s worth I agree with him.

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Yeah, thanks. It’s years ago now. I’m over it … so have you ever been to a gay bar before?”

“No, I haven’t. To be honest and I don’t know how this will sound I was a bit nervous to go into a gay bar before. Not because of that whole ignorant egotistic straight guy thing of thinking everyone was going to be into me but because I thought I’d be, I don’t know …”

“Intruding?”

“Yeah, kind of like trespassing. I thought as a straight guy no one would want me there and be suspicious. But I just think of a bar as a bar, you know.”

“Yeah, that’s how I feel with the local Polish food store. I’ve never went in because they might think why is this Irish guy coming in? Like what’s his motive?”

He smiles.

“Have you ever went in?”

“No.”, I grinned.

“But I’d like to someday. Maybe.”

By the end of the night, Theo hadn’t swapped numbers with any of the three lads but me and Jason had swapped numbers. As me, Bill, Nathan and Colton tried to find a taxi, Bill turned to me.

“He’s straight Lorcan. You do realise that it could never work?”

“Bill, I know that! I don’t like him in that way.”

“Good because there’s certainly going to be no dice there.”

“Mate, I don’t want there to be.”

 

 

2019 – Jason

 

“Jason, put your back into it.”, Lorcan whined as we tried to carry our sofa into our new flat.

“That gym membership is pretty shit.”, he adds, laughing away.

“Quit moaning and keep moving.”, I laugh.

Thinking about it it’s ironic that me and my brother Theo went to the bar two years ago for him to meet guys and I was the one who ended up meeting a guy. Of course in a very different way but meaningful in any case.

Eventually we got the sofa in and placed where we wanted it. Then tired we slumped down on it.

“Jesus, I wish we had some ice-cold beers right now.”, Lorcan grinned.

“A crate full.”, I smiled.

Talk turned to his boyfriend Robert, a complete bastard who is cheating on him with everyone, but who Lorcan loves to bits. I wish he’d open his eyes and kick him to the kerb but I can’t tell him about Robert’s activities. I don’t want to hurt him.

“Robert booked us a room for Valentine’s night. Our first Valentine’s together.”, he said, smiling from ear to ear.

Did he get a discount because he’s booked so many rooms to bring guys to?

“That’s lovely. I’m sure it will be a very romantic night.”

“I know. I have to get new underwear.”

“Of course.”, I smiled.

“He’s always texting me lovely things. He wished me luck with the move-in today. He’s always thinking of me. No one’s ever done that before. He’s so sweet.”

God he really loves him. It’s heart-breaking.

“Yeah, very sweet.”

Well, what else can I say?

“Are you alright since …”, he begins.

“Since Lindsay and I broke up? I’m at a stage now where I’m ready to move forward. It wasn’t meant to be.”

“Good. Just with Valentine’s coming up I thought I’d ask.”

“Yeah, thanks. But in any case Valentine’s never really worried me. It’s all commercial anyways.”

“Oh, where’s your romantic spirit?”, he grins.

“Seen my ex-girlfriend Ellen in town. She’s dating a biker now. He looks like a hard man but probably isn’t.”, he adds.

She used to cheat on him too, he told me. Jeez he does pick them!

 

 

2021 – Lorcan

 

I was in a relationship with a wonderful person for 6 months. Their name was Scott and I had a lot to thank Jason for. He had helped me through some bad times with exs and introduced me to Scott who is a mate and work colleague of his. He was also the only person who I could say Scott was non-binary to without it turning into an explaining session. The three of us were out at Starbucks with me and Jason playfully mocking Scott for their black coffee. They were forever looking after their health.

“You two will be sorry when yous’ pile on the pounds with those cream cakes!”, they laugh.

“Not to mention the extra calorie coffees!”, they add.

“Yeah, probably.”, Jason replies, taking another bite of cake.

Jason’s recently broke up with his girlfriend Emily. I thought they were good together but I’m hardly a relationship expert. They are still friends but Jason said they were in mutual agreement that “there was no love there anymore” and that they were “just going through the motions”. I’d love if he meant someone. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of something like that. He was sleeping around, a different girl every night, and I was worried about him. Several times I voiced my concerns to him and he had in the most polite way told me to mind my own business. He seems to think he’s invincible and that’s a dangerous attitude to have.

“Want another black coffee or would that be too much?”, I smile to Scott.

“I’m not that bad!”, they laugh, tipping me in the arm.

 

 

2023 – Jason

 

I took a large gulp from my bottle of red wine. It had become automatic lately. All I seemed to do lately was drink and if not smoke. Ever since I heard the news. The dreaded terrible news that I wasn’t for the land of the living. I had AIDS. The knocking came on the door. It was either Theo or Lorcan. It always was one of them. I didn’t want to see either of them. Or anybody for that matter.

“Jas, you in there?”, Lorcan said, from outside.

I didn’t answer.

“Look Jas mate, I know you are. Stop shutting me out. What’s wrong?”

You don’t want to know. Get on with your life. You have it to look forward to. I don’t.

“Jas …”

Jesus, he never gives up, does he?

I sigh and stagger to the door.

“Jesus Jason, you look like shit.”, he says.

You would too if you had AIDS pal.

“Well I guess you’re coming in, are you?”

He comes in and makes us both coffee. I light up another cigarette.

“Jason, what’s happened to you?”

His eyes are clearly scanning my flat with all it’s empty cigarette packets and empty wine bottles and beer cans. He’s trying to make out he isn’t though.

“You are going to make yourself ill.”

That’s when I burst into tears.

“Lor, I’m already ill.”

His face falls. He takes my hand gently in his. Says nothing. Waits for me to continue.

“I have AIDS Lorcan.”

He says nothing. Well what can you say? “I’m sorry you may not live as long as you thought you would mate.”

He takes me into a long hug, tries to stay strong for me but some gentle tears come.

 

 

2025 – Lorcan

 

I sat outside the hotel smoking a cigarette. The cigarette was shaky in my hand and I eventually dropped it. Theo came out, picked it up and handed it to me. He sat down beside me. For a moment we didn’t speak. Today felt very surreal. Earlier had been Jason’s funeral at the Church nearby.

“You were a great friend to him.”, Theo said.

“He was a great friend to me too.”

“Jesus, I miss him.”

We hugged.

“Yeah, I know. So do I.”

 

 

Later that night I was back at mine and Scott’s flat. I broke down in tears in their arms. Yes, I knew he was ill but he was there. Now he wasn’t. And the last three days had been the most torturous days of my life. 10 years of friendship, of seeing him most days and now I no longer could see him. The pain I was feeling was dreadful. He was far too young to die. He deserved to be living, happy, he deserved everything.

There was a knock at the door. Scott went to answer it. Bill came in. Scott went to make us both tea. I felt like the luckiest guy in the world. They had been brilliant with me all through Jason’s illness, passing, the aftermath and today. I don’t think I could have got through it without them.

“I know I haven’t seen you very often lately Lorcan but I wanted to come over and see how you were today.”

Our lives had went in different directions such is the way with a lot of friendships. But him been here meant so much more than I could put into words.

“Thanks Bill.”

He gave me a hug.

“You two were like an old married couple without the sex.”, he said, smiling softly.

I grinned.

“Yeah, we were, weren’t we?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: A Stolen Heart

 

 

Today she’d tell him. She would pour out all her feelings. She was on the way to his house now to tell him that she had loved him for years, that she hadn’t seen him as a best friend alone all this time. Her mobile phone beeped. She opened the new message.

Be brave beautiful. See you on the other side Saanvi. Gary and Buster send you luck too. x

She smiled. The message was from her other best friend Mike, his boyfriend Gary and their dog Buster. She decided to thank them all later. Right now, her body was full of nerves as she approached his flat. The flat belonging to Sam, the man who stole her heart at 16 and had held it tightly ever since unaware to himself. Yes, she’d dated but the poor lads lacked one thing: they weren’t Sam. Images of what their wedding day would be like flooded her brain. Happiness danced with nerves.

She knocked at the door. Footsteps sounded. The door opened.

There stood Sam’s ex-girlfriend Gina in a night coat.

He’s back with her.

Sam came out in his night coat. He wrapped his arms around Gina, said they had got engaged last night. Gina smiled, said she’d definitely want her as a bridesmaid as she was such “a great friend of Sam’s.”

The friend zone. That was always where I was. That’s always where I’ll ever be. The bloody friend zone! 

She did all the necessary friend duties, congratulated them, said she’d love to a bridesmaid. And left. She went around the corner and burst into tears.

Poem: 9/11

 

I still remember the day,

11 years old,

just home from school,

sitting on the sofa in my school uniform,

the TV screen filled with smoke coming

from the Twin Towers,

the images of people trapped,

of people jumping from the burning buildings,

it’s become a horrifying moment in history

but I can’t see it as history,

I remember it like it was yesterday.

Hate killing innocent people,

pain,

devastation,

chaos and death.

Rest in peace to all those who died in the 9/11 attacks,

may their loved ones find continued strength.

A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: The Daisy

 

It was 1953. George sat in school. A daisy knotted between his fingers.

 

He looked over at the boy who had stolen his heart. His name was Michael. He was so intelligent and articulate. It was like he had a photographic memory. It was pretty impressive for a 13-year-old boy and as a fellow 13-year-old boy George didn’t know half the things he knew. He could recite brief biographies of Kings and Queens and American Presidents. He knew about English Literature and some Greek philosophy.

He’s so bright. So gorgeous. But I’m not supposed to be feeling this way. It’s what my dad and uncle call “abnormal”, “unnatural”. But it feels so normal, so natural, so amazing. If I tell Michael he’ll hate me. Probably punch me. I’ll probably be killed. But oh how I love him. I’m a bad person, a bad Catholic. Can you go to hell for feelings? I try to do what’s right. But I see me and Michael and our future … it doesn’t seem that bad. It must be what mum said, the devil has got into my head. That’s what she said about that young local man who committed suicide years ago after it was discovered he had been with a man. Gareth Mason, 18, “evil got into him”, George’s mum had said. The other man went into hiding after. Why does this feel so right if it’s supposed to be so wrong?

George crumbled the daisy in his fingers. Killed the daisy just like he would go through life trying to kill his feelings. It was too dangerous to give that daisy to Michael as a sign of his love and affection. It was too dangerous to be happy.

#ComeOutForLGBT Stonewall Campaign

 

The new Stonewall campaign has been launched with the hashtag #ComeOutForLGBT. We have all come a very long way in terms of equality but there is still much to do to get to a state of complete equality. There is still much prejudice against gay, lesbian, bi and trans people (of a binaary gender) and a lot of prejudice against many parts of the LGBTQ+ community like pansexual, polysexual, non-binary and skoliosexual people.

 

For more information and to find out how you can help, however huge or small (all is appreciated my wonderful open-minded people within and outside the LGBTQ+ community) go to:

http://www.stonewall.org.uk/our-work/campaigns/come-out-lgbt

 

From one tiny pansexual woman a very big thank you! 🙂

And thank you to Stonewall and all involved in the campaign. 🙂

A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: Kara & Amber

 

 

 

Kara

 

Kara sat in the canteen of her new job in insurance. She had her safety net of a book with her. Today’s was The Partner by John Grisham. She remembered how reading had helped her when she was a young introvert in school and she would read during the breaks. Contrary to what some might say she actually found it fun and didn’t understand why people would feel sorry for her when she would tell them that story. Still as she got older she had felt like she’d like to make friendships, meet the one. But while these things were higher now on her priority list her personality was still the same. She’d never want to change that. There was an equal share of pros and cons to every personality, she knew. And besides the right people take you for who you are. But communications could be difficult. And it all became more difficult every time she saw Amber who was the most sweetest, most beautiful woman. She had been always lovely and very welcoming to Kara since she had started here two weeks or so ago. Kara thought with sadness that at the very least they could be friends if she could talk more in her presence. Maybe more but …

She’s too beautiful and too interesting for me. And that has nothing to do with been introverted.

 

Amber

 

Amber walked into the canteen area. She started to make her coffee and took a glance over at Kara or “the most beautiful mystery there was” as she had told her friends. Amber got introvertness as she was an introvert too. She remembered been in school waiting for the library to open so she could get away from the hustle and bustle of the big crowds. There she would get lost in books and forget where she was. As she had got older she had learned to act out a slightly more outgoing manner in various jobs through acting classes. Kara didn’t act at all. And that was kind of attractive. She noticed she was onto a new book aptly titled The Partner, Amber thought as that was what she’d like to be to her. It had been Ruth Rendell’s Dark Corners last week. She imagined them having battle of the fastest reader competitions.

She finished making her coffee and made her way over to Kara.

“Is this seat free?”

“Yeah.”, Kara smiled.

 

 

The gesture of asking was this seat free? wasn’t to be a one-time thing. Amber did it regularly as time went on and slowly and very gradually ease formed in Kara and they became comfortable in each other’s company. They fell in love, married, became parents to two sons and two daughters, owned five dogs and a lovely, comfortable house. They travelled, read, lived all because Amber didn’t give up and Kara responded to that kindness and opened up.