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Re: A Message (Short Story)


Anticipation: it's quite a complicated emotion, isn't it? Still, your description of both Tom and Adele's state of mind and heart on New Year's Eve seemed accurate for the characters. Tom was nervous but excited, yet his self-confidence flagged somewhat when Adele didn't show up on time. I'm sure most men would never admit to those feelings and would tell themselves it was the woman who was losing out by being a no-show. Tom had detected something very special in Adele and it played on his self-assuredness where women were concerned that Adele might not feel the same "something". Adele's emotions were heightened as she began to wonder why she'd decided to meet Tom. Her head told her she needed to play it cool, but the urge to break free of the walls she'd built around her heart was too strong to ignore. Doubt crept into her thoughts before she entered the ballroom, yet when she spoke to Tom she felt relief that those doubts faded when he smiled. The wine helped further the crumbling of Adele's walls, yet I feel she had hoped to conquer the aloneness she'd grown accustomed to as the war dragged on and duty was paramount in her life. Wine can be an convenient excuse to let inhibitions ease, but Adele doesn't seem to be the kind of woman to blame a few drinks in a change in attitude. These two really want to be together, if only for a few drinks, dances and a New Year's kiss, but when midnight struck and they shared their obligatory kiss, something was unleashed in both of them, leading to a deeper and very meaningful kiss. I was as breathless as the young couple after their lips parted, lol. Now that the ice has broken, so to speak, I'm hoping that the handsome pilot and lovely nurse have more meetings, dates and kisses. Which always leads to even more! Great chapter. Loved it! "Anticipating" more! emoticon
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Re: A Message (Short Story)


Hello my dear! Now I will review your reviews...!

First off, thank you for taking the time to read and comment. You know I value your thoughts on things so I am delighted that you're enjoying the historical romance that is budding between Tom and Adele. emoticon

I'm glad you liked the descriptions of the hospitals tents and Adele's work as a nurse there. Of course I made up the fact that there were hospitals of that type near Dover as I have no idea if that was the case or not, but it sounded good so I went with it. By this time in the war Britain was still land locked and were basically fighting a war of defence as there had been two failed attempts to land in France (Dunkirk and Dieppe) and the Battle of Britain (by this point in the story) was mostly over. Not that the threat of invasion did not exist still but the main brunt of it had died down (thankfully).

I couldn't resist a meet up again between the two on Christmas Eve. What a nice time to meet again, don't you think? I am happy you liked the descriptions of London and the party inside the hotel.

As you noted, Adele does have her walls up but the curiosity in her (and no doubt the life she feels as a young red-blooded woman) has led her to responding to his note to meet her on New Year's Eve. Who could resist a note from a handsome stranger like Tom!?

I liked your word choice of "anticipation". Tom is more outward in his anticipation of wanting to get to know Adele, while she is more reserved...until the magical New Year's Eve kiss, that is. Just writing that scene (and imaging it in my naughty brain) left me breathless. emoticon

Thank you SO much for reading as it makes it fun to write, knowing I have a willing audience who enjoys it as much as I do. emoticon
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Re: A Message (Short Story)


Four

January 2nd, 1944 – St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London


Tom rushed out of the car that was parked outside St. Mary’s Hospital and told the taxi driver to wait. This was his only hope of reaching her before he had to leave for Hastings. He had just gotten the call that morning and wasn’t expecting to be called back this soon. He thought he had at least another week before he would have to go back. The RAF usually didn’t interrupt their leave like this, especially during the holiday season. This was the first time his Christmas leave had been cut short like this, which was just his bad luck as he was due to see Adele tomorrow night.

She was supposed to call him tonight to make arrangements and now he had no way of letting her know he had to go. He had no idea where she lived, what her telephone number was, only that he remembered her saying she worked at St. Mary’s Hospital. He hoped she was there but wasn’t sure if he could see her or not. Just in case, he wrote a note to explain things. He didn’t even know her last name so he wasn’t sure how he was going to get the message to her.

Note in hand, he walked hurriedly inside the hospital and up to the reception desk. There was an older woman there writing something down when he approached. Instead of looking up to help him, she continued to write. He was patient and waited for her to finish, but after a minute he decided to clear his throat politely to see if that would get her attention. When it didn’t, he decided to try a more bold approach.

“Excuse me, madam.”

She looked up, a slightly annoyed look on her face. He did his best to smile his best smile, all the while stifling the impatience and concern he felt at the thought of trying to get his message to Adele.

“I need to leave a message for someone.”

He held the note in his hand and wondered how on earth he was going to communicate this without sounding too foolish.

“You’ll have to wait a second, dear”, she said in an annoyed tone.

He took a deep breath and tried his best not to panic. He knew this was his only hope of getting a message to Adele before this abrupt leave. How was this going to look to her? What would she think of him if he wasn’t able to explain why he had to leave?

He ran a hand over his face as he waited as patiently as possible. When she finally finished writing, she looked up at him.

“Now, how may I help you?”

“Well, I hope you can help. I need to get in touch with one of the nurses that works here. If she isn’t here, I have a note –“
“What’s the last name?” she said, cutting him off.
This was the awkward part. He laughed nervously and said: “Well, that I don’t actually know –“
“Then how do expect me to know who to give it to? I only know the nurses by their last names.”
“Surely you can find out”, Tom said, a bit of annoyance in his voice. When he saw she detected this, he tried to calm him nerves and temper. He smiled and continued: “I’m sure it won’t be that difficult, will it?”
“Depends…”
“Her given name is Adele.”

At this, the woman raised an eyebrow. Tom did not know whether to be relieved or worried as a look came over her face. He hoped it was good.

“You mean, Dr. Owen’s daughter?”

The way she said this did not sound good but he hardly noticed the tone and remembered Adele telling him she worked with her father at the hospital.

“If she’s the one with the beautiful dark hair and green eyes, then that is who I mean.”
“Yes, that’s her. Who shall I say is asking for her?” the woman asked curiously.
 “Is she here?” he asked, hoping he could speak to her in person.
“No, she isn’t, dear. Even if she was, I couldn’t pull her out of surgery.”
“I do understand that but it’s imperative that she at least gets this note.”

Tom did not think it was a good idea to ask her for an address, or even a phone number, but thought he would try his luck.

“You wouldn’t be able to give me contact information for Nurse Owen, could you?”
“I’m sorry, sir, but we are unable to give out that kind of information for our staff.”
“Of course”, he said, knowing full well that would be the answer.
“If you leave it with me I’ll make sure she gets it.”

Hesitantly, he looked at the note in his hand and realized it was now his only hope. This woman was his only hope to get his message to Adele. Feeling slightly ill, he passed it to her.

Please, it’s very important that she gets this”, he said, and by the pleading, serious look in his eyes and on his face she could almost feel his pain. Not being made of stone, she tried to lighten the mood.
“Don’t worry, dear. She will get it.”
“Thank you. My apologies if I seemed rude earlier, it’s just that it’s very important to me that Nurse Owen gets this note.”
“She will.”


While it gave him some relief to know that he had delivered the note, there was a knot in his stomach as he drove away in the taxi that would take him to Victoria Station, where he would board a train for Hastings. He looked out the window at the fog and decided that he was going to try to look her up in the phone book when he got to the station, but to no avail. She wasn’t listed. All he could do now was wait and hope that she did not hate him for leaving like this.

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Re: A Message (Short Story)


Adele had finished her bath and put on her robe. She was planning to call Tom before her shift at the hospital, which started at 3pm. She told him she would call to make plans for tomorrow night. He had given her his number and left the ball in her court to call him. Most guys asked her for her number, or her address, and that usually made her uncomfortable. By giving her his number, he was showing confidence that she would call him.

The first time she called, there was no answer. She decided she would call back in 30 minutes, intending to finish getting dressed for work. The second attempt brought no answer again. While disappointed, she didn’t think too much about it as she went to work, deciding she would call him afterwards, even though it would be nearly midnight before she could call back.

Once at work, she started on her floor and ward. When she walked down to the other end of the room, she stopped. Her face must have shown how shocked she was but she tried her best to act normal when he saw her. It was Matthew. She hadn’t seen him in nearly three years and it had been almost two since they had spoken via letters. There was a sense of guilt in her when she saw him and he smiled at her.

“Adele”, he said. “It’s wonderful to see you…or should I say, Nurse Owen.”

She went over to his bed.

“I wish I could say the same but you’re here…when were you admitted?”
“Three days ago…I didn’t come to this floor until last night.”
“I wasn’t here last night.”

She sat down. She looked at his leg and saw the cast. He saw her looking and decided to explain.

“Just some shrapnel. Apparently it’ll never be the same but at least I can walk, or least they tell me I’ll be able to once it heals.”
“Depending on how deep it is, of course. But if the doctors say you’ll walk, I’m sure you will.”
“Your father did the surgery. Didn’t he mention it?”
“I haven’t seen my father for more than 2 seconds since Christmas. He’s been rather busy.”
“And so have you, no doubt.”

The way Matthew said this reminded her of their conversations of old, the way he used to try to make her feel guilty for spending so much time studying for her exams, or for working as an intern. They had grown up together as he had been good friends with her brother, but it wasn’t until she reached the age of 18 that she realized they were more than friends. Matthew had turned into a handsome young man and every girl in their circle of friends noticed, but she seemed not to. He had tried to pursue her for a long time and she sent him mixed signals. They were on and off again for a while until the war broke out. Feeling sorry for him, she agreed to write and stay in touch as often as possible. She hadn’t even been that sad when he enlisted, and was ashamed to admit it was more of a relief to her than anything. She really liked him and enjoyed the times they had together, but she felt more tied to her work as nurse and threw herself in the war effort. It was what she enjoyed and loved most. For some reason, she could never bring herself to love Matthew.

“You look very well”, he told her.
“Thank you. So do you, despite the circumstances.”
“Congratulations on your promotion”, he said, and she wondered if there was any resentment in his voice.
“How did you know?”
“Your brother keeps in touch from time to time.”

She knew that she hadn’t kept in touch and that was probably a comment directed towards her. However, when she looked at him he did not seem bitter or angry. Instead, he grabbed her hand and smiled.

“It’s good we’re both still here.”



Seeing Matthew had been a bit unnerving for her as it brought up a sense of shame in her for not staying in touch as often as she should have. But she was truly glad to see him and was happy he was going to get through the war with just a leg wound. She had seen so much worse, and the fact that she had seen many men not make it at all classified Matthew’s leg wound as a “damn good piece of luck”. She returned to say “hello” to him again later on in her shift, but was relieved that he slept for most of the time she was there.

At St. Mary’s the nurses, for the most part, kept regular hours. It wasn’t like being near the Front. So when her shift was at an end, she went to the staff room to collect her things. In her mail slot she found an envelope with a note attached, from one of the head secretaries – Margaret.

A young man left this for you this morning. He was in quite a state of panic to make sure you get this. Hope it’s worth the read.”

Curiously, Adele opened the envelope and for some reason, a sense of anxiety rose in her.


“Dearest Adele:

You cannot know the regret and heartache I feel in having to write you this note. Please don’t think the worst as you read these words but please know that this has been completely unexpected and, quite frankly, out of my control. I’ve been called back to Hastings this morning. The phone woke me up at 6am and for a moment I thought it was you calling, but when I heard the voice of my superior telling me I had to report for duty by 14:00 hours, you cannot imagine the anguish I felt at hearing these words. I knew then and there I would have to break our date and my promise to you, when it was I who feared that you would break your promise to me. Can you ever forgive me for this? Can you see this is beyond my control? Can you feel the anguish I feel at having to write you this note? The only clue I had was that you worked at St. Mary’s in Paddington so I am writing this note and intend to either give this to you in person (and explain everything myself) or if that fails, to leave this for you to read.

By the time you read these words I will likely be in Hastings. Other than that, I know nothing about why I’m being called up. I can offer you no further explanation than what I’ve already told you but I hope that you will give me the chance to explain more once I know it. I am leaving an address for you and I hope beyond hope that you will write to me. I don’t know how long I will be here or where they’ll be sending me next. In the grand scheme of things, Hastings is not far and it will kill me to think I am so close to you in London, yet a world away it seems. Please write to the address at the end of this letter. I will not be able to sleep or think straight until I hear from you.

If you are too angry or disappointed in me to want to keep in touch, at least write to let me know that. It won’t help me any but at least I’ll know where I stand and how you’re feeling. If this note sounds desperate, it’s because I feel desperate. I’ve met the most wonderful girl in the world and I don’t want to lose her. I hope I’m not being presumptuous to believe that after New Year’s Eve you’re wanting more as much as I’m wanting more. I hope you will believe me when I say this but you’ve made an impression on me that runs deep and I can’t get the thought of you out of my mind. And I also hope you will believe me when I say I’ve never felt this way for a woman before. As of yet I don’t know you very well but I want to know more and I hope beyond hope that you will give me the chance.

Hoping to hear from you soon.

Yours,
Tom

Squadron Leader Tom Hiddleston
Camp Hastings, Unit 27
Hastings, Kent”

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Re: A Message (Short Story)


By the end of the letter she felt the need to sit down. Luckily no one else was in the staff room and she took the opportunity to sit on a nearby chair. She felt gutted – that was the only word she could use to describe how she felt in those moments. Part of her was angry and didn’t know why. Perhaps it was because these past two days she was walking around, wondering if it was all too good to be true and if he was too good to be true. She put the note inside her pocket and decided that she needed to walk home. There was a chill in the air but she did not feel it.



Two days later she returned to her shift at the hospital. By this time she had resigned herself that she wasn’t going to write him. Perhaps this was life’s way of telling her that she was being a silly young woman who had her head in the clouds temporarily but now it was time to get back to reality. One kiss from a handsome young pilot surely should not deter her from her course in life or from the fact that she was needed in the war effort. These men – from all walks of life - that she served on a daily basis was her reality and she should not let the fantasy of a romance make her forget what her life was really about.

It didn’t take her long to accept this fact. She went back to work, business as usual. She thanked the head secretary for leaving the note for her but simply reported that she had gotten it. She went on her rounds and was more than busy. She was relieved to be at work because when she was here, she didn’t think about Tom or his note. She allowed herself to believe that she was relieved that he was gone because now she could go back to her normal, comfortable way of life.

As she was busying herself with arranging medications for the ward she was in charge of, a voice interrupted her. She looked up to see a young woman in a blue coat, red cheeks and lips to match, smiling.

“Hello”, she said. “I was wondering if you could help me?”
“Yes?” Adele asked in a friendly manner.
“I’m here to visit a patient but I’m not sure if this is the correct ward.”
“Which one are you looking for?”
“Ward three.”
“Yes, this is ward three. It’s a fairly large section of men, but f you tell me the name of the man you’re looking for I can help you find his bed more easily.”
“Oh, thank you. His name is Matthew Settle.”

At hearing Matthew’s name, Adele stopped momentarily. She looked at the young lady in front of her and thought of how pretty she was. She did not know why that all of a sudden mattered but part of her felt jealous and she wasn’t sure why. However, as she was used to doing, she pushed that emotion away and told which bed she could find Mr. Settle in.

While making her rounds, Adele tried not to look over at the end of the room where Matthew was with his girl. On the surface of it she did not care but wasn’t sure why she couldn’t help stealing a glance at what appeared to be a happy couple. She was sitting on the bed, holding his hand, and they looked to be in an intensely happy conversation. The girl looked younger than Matthew and appeared a bit shy. She was probably infatuated with his good looks and charm, as she could remember herself being not too long ago herself. But deep down Adele knew that boyish good looks and a bit of charm were not enough – at least for her.

The young woman stayed for about two hours before she left. Adele only noticed because she said “thank you and goodbye” to her as she left the ward. She seemed very sincere and sweet and Adele hoped that whatever was going on between them that Matthew was serious about it. Any feeling of jealousy that she had initially felt was gone and instead curiosity replaced it.

Later that evening, when it was time for Matthew’s pain medication, she went to administer the needle. When he saw her coming, he smiled but it seemed a bit forced.

“It’s that time again, I’m afraid.”
“That’s okay. I look forward to it.”
“Are you in that much pain?”
“Yes and no. Not terribly but the meds certainly take the edge off.”

She was concerned to hear that the pain was still there and went about administering the needle in his arm.

“I’m sorry – about Natalie.”
“The girl that visited you today?”
“Yes…that must have been awkward.”
“Not really…well, I guess a little.”
He looked at her.
“I’m happy for you if you’re happy.”
He paused.
“You know I waited to hear from you for months before I realized I was being delusional.”
“Hold here”, she told him so that he would apply pressure to his arm.
“Just tell me one thing: was it because of someone else?”

She looked him in the eye and told herself she could not lie to him.

“No, there was no one else then.”
“Then was it for all the usual reasons?”
She nodded.
“I was never enough for you.”
“That’s not it. Any woman would be lucky to have you.”
“Any woman but you.”
“I’m not cut out for – romance.”
“You said there was no one then. Is there someone now?”
“If there was, would it matter? You have Natalie. You two seemed very happy when she was here.”
“I wasn’t asking that for personal reasons. I asked that because I care. I gave up on you long ago.”

She looked down at her hands and realized that she was still holding the syringe in her hand. She disposed of it.

“No, not really.” She hesitated to get the words out. It was a half truth or was it the whole truth?
“I met Natalie about a year ago now. She’s really sweet and she thinks the world of me.”
“And how do you feel about her?”
“I think the world of her as well.”

He smiled when he said this and she felt happy for him.
“Her letters have kept me going through some of my darkest times of this war. I don’t know if I would have been able to survive without them.”

At this, she felt guilty for dropping their correspondence so suddenly. Most of all, she felt selfish. She couldn’t even pretend to love him when he needed her most in his life. It was so cold of her. She felt ashamed.

“I’m really sorry. I was selfish.”
“No, you were just trying to survive, like the rest of us.”
She looked at him, surprised to hear him say this.
“I know you better than you think I do…and at this point, I don’t hold a grudge. I may have never met Natalie if things had been different.”
“Well, I’m glad you did.”

Before she could leave, he asked her:

“So, you never answered my question. Is there someone now?”
“There’s someone I think about from time to time, but he’s far away and I may never see him again.”
“You don’t know that. Natalie thought she would never see me and here I am. I’m not the man I used to be but I think all the parts still work.” He said this with a smile on his face.
“I’m very glad that you are here”, she said sincerely.
“Is he worthy of you?”
This was an inside joke between them and it made her smile, but it was a sad one. It was odd to be thinking of Tom while talking to Matthew.
“I’m not sure I’m worthy of him.”

At this, Matthew furrowed his eyebrows.
“This sounds serious.”
“It’s not. As I said, he’s far away and I may never see him again.”

Then Matthew said something that was going to stick with her for a long time.

“If it’s meant to be, it’ll be…but you’ll never know if you don’t try.”

When she left the hospital that night, Matthew’s words made her determined that she was going to write to Tom and that, for the second time this week, she was going to let her guard down.
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Re: A Message (Short Story)


This was a really great chapter--it leaves Tom desperately wanting to make contact with Adele to inform her (in person if possible) about his sudden call back to service, and Adele in a state of indecision regarding whether she should write to Tom as he requested. Enter Matthew. (Clever girl! Both of your men in one story! emoticon ) I think it's interesting how the past sometimes directly affects the present and future--seeing her childhood friend and almost boyfriend makes Adele realize that fate can turn on a dime and she could be squandering a chance at true romance. Matthew's wise words (and the appearance of his girl Natalie) kept Adele from rebuilding the walls that Tom had begun to chip away at, and convinced her to write to him. Adele is a mercurial creature as she navigates the uncharted waters of falling in love. She seems to want it desperately to complete the person she feels she is inside, yet she guards her heart against rejection or being hurt. I think she's slowly realizing she is only living a shell of a life if she devotes herself solely to her profession and that there's room for a fulfilling love life. That's what I feel has spurred her into deciding to write to Tom. Perhaps she'll include her address and phone number to encourage Tom to keep open the lines of communication. I believe her experience (and guilt) of losing touch with Matthew has taught her that one should never take for granted those who mean so much with all the uncertainty about life and death during WWII. While Matthew wasn't "the one" for her, Adele senses there may be something special about Tom and she shouldn't let him pass into her book of regrets or "what ifs". Well done!
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I'm so glad you liked it. I think the insertion of Matthew (Settle!) helped Adele to compare her feelings for Matthew (in the past) and Tom (in the present). I was going to hint towards this in the next chapter but Adele realizes her feelings for Tom, while in their infancy, are much stronger than they ever were for Matthew at the height of their relationship. That is what compels her to want to start to tear down her own walls. Tom has helped chip away at the fortress around her heart but she realizes that if she wants to completely destroy it, she has to do it willingly and on her own. Mind you, Tom could destroy any fortress of mine with a single look! Ha-ha!

Okay, back to the story...I wanted to thank you for your thoughts and for reading. You're right: Adele doesn't want Tom to fall into her book of regret. I know I certainly wouldn't want him to. emoticon

More to come...probably Sunday night. emoticon

Last edited by OrlilLicious, 9/2/2017, 3:43 pm
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Re: A Message (Short Story)


Five

February 8th, 1944 – Scarborough, England


“Dearest Tom,

When I read your letter last night that you’ll be coming back to London for a few days, I did not know how I felt. If you want me to be honest, I felt fearful. The thought of you coming back now – as much as I have been hoping for it – frightens me because then I will have to see you face to face. The things I’ve said to you in my letters I will now have to say to you in person. I’m much better at writing down my thoughts and feelings than I am with sharing them in person. Does that make sense or does it sound like nonsense?

I’m glad that my words have helped you through your time. I want you to know your words have also helped me, but at times your letters have been a real distraction to me. I find myself sitting at work, 3am in the morning, taking your letters out of my purse to read them on my breaks. It almost feels like you’re not real anymore. Now that you’ll be here next week, I almost don’t know whether to stay or run but seeing as I have nowhere to run to, be rest assured that I will be here when you get to London. I promise you that if you promise to take it easy on me. My heart isn’t used to this sort of thing and I will need you to be gentle with me and teach me how to do this sort of thing.

This letter will be short as nothing I can write will express how I’m truly feeling, or ease the anticipation we both feel upon your return to London. I look forward to knowing you will be here soon. I promise not to run – at least not too fast so that you won’t be able to catch me.

Sincerely,
Adele”



When Tom finished reading the letter, his eyes stayed on the word “sincerely”, noting how every single one of her letters was signed that way. It was her way of being cautious and he knew this. She had been very frank with him in her letters, telling him how she wasn’t ready for these new feelings but she was trying her best to not shut him out. He was grateful for this because he somehow sensed, from their first meeting, that she was sincerely afraid of her feelings. But the fact was that she wrote to him frequently, and he wrote back as soon as he got a letter from her. He was also frank with her, being very open about how he felt about her, holding little back. He knew that he was in love with her but did not write this for fear of frightening her off. But he had said it, maybe not in those exact words, but in the things he wrote.

He had received this last letter three days ago and tomorrow was the day he would be returning to London. He was currently in Scarborough, a coastal town in Yorkshire, doing lots of training and preparing for who knew what. Even though Tom was Squadron Leader, he still had no idea what they were being prepared for or what was being planned. He did know, however, something must be in the works because his leave back to London was short – a mere three nights – and then he would be expected to report back to Scarborough.

Now he folded the letter and put it away with the others, packing the last items in his small suitcase. When he removed his shirt and saw his reflection in the mirror, it was a nervous self he saw looking back at him. He had butterflies in his stomach at the thought of seeing her again, feeling almost like a boy must feel who falls in love for the first time. He went into the washroom and splashed water on his face, looking at his face again in the mirror. Tom knew he was an attractive man and had always used this to full advantage when necessary. There had been others in his past but none like Adele. Something was different about her and he couldn’t place what. He didn’t care what it was or why he felt this way; he just wanted to make sure on this trip to London that she was going to be his and that he was going to make sure she knew exactly how he felt.



February 9th, 1944 – St. Mary’s Hospital, London

Adele was beyond distracted during her shift the day that Tom was scheduled to arrive back in London. The plan was that he would take the train into the city, go to his lodgings, then get ready to meet her once she was done her shift and had a chance to get ready. Each minute that ticked by felt like an hour. She hated feeling like this at work and did her very best to push the night ahead out of her mind and just focus on her work. Luckily for her, a lot of it was paperwork and she was able to stay out of the surgical rooms. She was able to get done what needed to get done but was relieved when her shift ended mid-afternoon. She grabbed her coat and purse, not bothering to change out of her uniform.

Back at her flat, Adele was contemplating what to wear. Nothing looked good enough. She finally decided on a red one, remembering how much he liked her in red on New Year’s Eve. That night was the last night she had seen him and it felt like ages ago now. It had been six weeks and in that time they had sent a flurry of letters back and forth. She kept all of them in a drawer in her bedroom and read them over until a new one arrived. It made the nights less lonely. Oddly enough she did not remember feeling lonely until she met Tom, or maybe that was because she did not allow herself to feel lonely. Now he had changed everything; turned her life upside down.

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Re: A Message (Short Story)


Her telephone rang just as she finished putting on her lipstick. She breathed in before she picked up the receiver.

“Hello”, she said, hardly taking a breath.
“Hello darling.”
“Tom.”
“I’m so glad you weren’t expecting someone else.”
“Where are you?”
“In London.”
She was relieved. Part of her thought he was calling to tell her he could not make it.
“Where in London?”
“At the flat I’m renting for the next few days…it’s so good to hear your voice finally.”
“And yours”, she said, smiling and holding the phone close to her ear, as if somehow that would bring him closer to her physically. She felt like a school girl in that moment and smiled at her own reflection when she saw the blush on her face.
“Do you mean that?” he asked her.
“Yes, of course.”
“And did you miss me?”
“You know I did.”
“I want to hear you say it.”

She was unaware that she was walking around her apartment, holding the phone in her one hand, and the receiver in the other. She was pacing the floor for as long as the chord would go.

“I missed hearing your voice”, she said, sitting on the ledge by the window. “Did you miss me?”
“Immensely…I could not get the image of you out of my mind, especially the last night we were together.”
“It’s been so long you may have forgotten what I look like.”
“Your hair was curled, pinned up on the sides and you were wearing a stunning red dress.”
She smiled.
“Good memory.”
“And I must say your red dress tonight looks equally as stunning.”

When he said this, she lowered the receiver and looked outside her window. There, in the street below, Tom was in one of the phone boxes. Surprised, she put the receiver back up to her mouth.

“What on earth are you doing out there? How did you know which apartment– “
“I couldn’t wait to see you, I’m sorry.”

Far from being upset, she hung up the phone and hurried down the stairs to the main floor of the building. When she got outside, he was still at the phone box, waiting for her. She did not run, though she wanted to. Instead, she played it calm and cool and walked up to him as he stood there. He was wearing a long trench coat and his hat was shielding part of his face from her view. When he removed it, she saw that he had a slight smile on his face but otherwise he looked serious. She felt something inside her but pushed it down. It felt like tears but she would not admit that to herself.

“I never would have thought you to be a peeping Tom.”

Instead of laughing at her joke, he pulled her gently inside the phone box and the door closed. He looked down at her and she all of a sudden felt vulnerable and cornered. There was something in his eyes that penetrated her.

“If you’ve missed me half as much as I’ve missed you, then I’ll know you really do feel something for me.”

He said this to her, a serious look in his eyes. He looked down at her and she looked up at him. She smiled and said: “I want you to kiss me.”

He lowered his face and at first hesitated, but then touching her face with the back of his hand, gently stroking her skin. She closed her eyes. She could feel the soft edges of his fingers gently brushing against her lips. She swallowed and then opened her eyes. It was then that he kissed her hard: it was an intense kiss that said a million things without uttering a syllable. It was a kiss that told her of the long lonely nights without her and the nights ahead that he longed to be with her. Pleasantly surprised that she was giving as good as she got, Tom pulled her by waist and she felt him for the first time. She was pushed up against the interior of the phone box and she felt her hands groping his chest, pulling him closer by grabbing on to his coat. She was feeling things she had never felt before: emotionally and physically.

His lips were tracing the length of her face down to her neck. When she felt his hot breath on the part where the neck meets her shoulder, she shuddered. She wanted to explore him with her hands but was afraid.

“Tom”, she whispered.
“Adele.”
“Tom…”

Her voice stopped him. He closed his eyes and seemed to be upset with himself. He wanted her so much and realized how rash he was being. She had asked him in her letter to go gentle on her and here he was, practically making love to her in a phone box.

“I’m so sorry.”
“No, please – “
He kissed her forehead and apologized again.
“I feel like a bull when I see you in a red dress.”

She laughed and this seemed to break the tension of what had just passed between them. When she looked she could see that the phone box windows had steamed up slightly. She looked out into the dark street and wondered how far things would have gone had she not stopped him.

He bent down again and gently kissed her on the lips. She responded and allowed him to continue more deeply, entering her mouth with his tongue again. He was much more gentle this time but the effect on her was still the same: it made her weak.

When they parted, he said softly and sincerely: “Needlesstosay, I’m very happy to see you.”

Tonight, she knew that the days ahead with Tom would mean that nothing would ever be the same again in her life…for better or for worse he was going to change her.

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Re: A Message (Short Story)


Hey Pambi!

It's a tad short but there's actually more to this chapter that I did not have a chance to complete, so I hope to have the rest up tomorrow night.

For now, I hope you enjoy the short (and very sweet) chapter five. emoticon
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