Wednesday 12 December 2018

A Story Inspired by a Song by Richard Dee

guess the song
clue...I'm not...
I spotted her across a crowded room and the memories came flooding back.

“What’s up with you, Graham, standing there with your mouth open, you catching flies?” asked Trev, one of my workmates. It had taken me a while to get to know them, moving town and starting again was my way of getting over things.
   “He’s fallen in love,” said Colin, the wise guy of our group.
   “Love? Don’t be daft, there’s no such thing as love at first sight.”
   He punched me on the shoulder, “Yes there is, I can tell.”
   “How can you tell,”
   “You’ve gone quiet, you’re not really here, you fancy one of them, don’t you? The ones we’re all scared to talk to. I spotted the new one.”
   They followed my gaze, Kathy was sitting and talking in the group we called the 'unapproachable girls'. They were the ones well out of my, our, league. She looked up and our eyes met, just like they had been doing all evening. She had recognised me, the same as I had, even though I hadn’t seen her since, well since she had split me and her sister up. She had grown, from a skinny kid to a beauty in tight jeans and a low-cut blouse.

What none of them knew was that I had been at school with Kathy, her sister Bev had been in my class. She was Bev’s annoying little sister, always hanging around when we wanted a bit of time alone to snog on her parent’s sofa.  
   “I know her,” I explained, “at least, I think I do, her name's Kathy, I used to go out with her sister.”
   That got their attention. “Wow!” Trev said, “what happened?” 
   “We went out for a long time,” I said, “everyone thought we were a fixture, it was Kathy that split us up.”
   They exchanged looks, “Not like that,” I protested. I remembered the phone call, I thought that I was talking to Bev. 
   “I love you,” she said, which floored me.
   I heard her father’s voice in the background, “who’s that on the phone, Kathy?”
   “Is that you Kathy,” I said, “I thought you were Bev,”
   The line went dead. I thought nothing much of it, Bev and I would laugh about it.

Next time I saw Bev, it was obvious that something more serious was going on. She gave me an ultimatum. “You have to choose, me or Kathy.”
   “But I’m not interested in Kathy,” I said.
   “That’s not what she says, according to her, you’re in love. I’ve seen her diary, it’s all in there.”
   This was crazy, “that’s just your little sister, I can’t help it if she has a crush on me, but that’s all it is.”
   “I don’t believe you,” she said, “it’s over.”

I was devastated, I moved away and got a new job. I swore that I’d never get involved again. I heard that Bev had gone abroad. Now it looked like Kathy had come back into my life. 
   “I’ve realised where I’ve seen her before,” said Colin, “That photo on the wall in your bedsit.”
   “Oh that, I put that up to hide a hole in the plaster.” It was a picture of me and Bev, the only one I had kept, mainly for the place it was taken, the memory of our last happy day out. Bev and me were off to one side, out of focus. We were standing on Tower Bridge with a ship passing through it. A tourist had offered to take it for us. At first, I had thought it was spoilt with Kathy poking her head in at the corner. I realised now that when I looked at it, I only saw Kathy.  
    “It’s fate,” he said, “go and ask her out, before someone else does.”

We met up outside the disco, spent the evening dancing, smooching and talking. As we held each other tight, to some slow song, she whispered in my ear, I love to dance,” she said, “I never want to stop. I was so jealous of you and Bev, dancing, snogging, I used to dream it was me with you.”
   I said nothing.
   “Were you in love with Bev?” she asked.
   Should I tell her that Bev had broken my heart, or would it spoil the moment? “Not really in love, it was just, I don’t know… a thing.” It sounded stupid.
   “Well she’s not here,” she said. “I always wanted you, I found out where you’d gone, I’ve been looking for you. Now, it looks like I’ve got you. Let’s go back to mine.”

I knew I’d have to tell her that I thought the same. I’d save it for later.
   “Come on then,” I said, “let’s get a taxi.”
   We ran across the wet road, she slipped, I lost her hand. She was sprawled across the wet road. As I turned back to grab her, a car came around the corner, going too fast. A screech of brakes... 

Her parents were at the hospital, I shook her father’s hand.#
   “Hello Graham,” he said. “You should know. It broke the family up when Bev found out what Kathy had written, what she thought.” 
   “I never guessed, until that phone call,” I said, “I did nothing to encourage her, to me she was just the annoying little sister.”
   “I know, don’t worry,” he answered, “she told us after Bev had gone. She’s in America now.” 
   It was a relief, I don’t think I could have coped with her being here, or her father’s anger.
   Kathy laid on the bed, in obvious pain. Her shape under the covers was shortened, ending at the knee. A drip led into her left arm. I stood on the other side, her right. Her face was wrapped in bandages, one eye peered out. Her right arm was plastered from shoulder to wrist. I didn’t know if she knew; if it had sunk in that she would never dance again, unless I  was holding her up. I knew then that I would. I held her hand, it trembled slightly.
   “I love you,” she said. I was about to cry, she could tell.
   “I…,” I started.
“Be quiet,” she whispered. “Brave boys don’t cry.”

© Richard Dee

song 'I'm Not In Love' by 10 c.c

You Tube © UK
You Tube © US

link to lyrics  

N.B. 'Kathy' is a nod to Cathy Redfern, the person who spoke the words in the song.

Richard Dee is a Master Mariner and ex Thames River Pilot. Retired and living in South Devon, he writes Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures, as well as chronicling the exploits of the reluctant detective, Andorra Pett.
As well as details and samples of his own work, his website features regular reviews and a weekly showcase for independent authors to speak their minds. He is married with three daughters and three grandchildren.

You can find out more about Richard on his website at Head over there to see what he gets up to, click the FREE STUFF tab or the PORTFOLIO tab to get all the details about his work and pick up a free novel or short story.
He’s also on Facebook at RichardDeeAuthor  and Twitter at Richard Dee Sci-Fi

Note: There is copyright legislation for song lyrics but no copyright in names, titles or ideas
images via Pixabay accreditation not required

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The Full List of Authors

1st        Philip K. Allan     
 2nd      J J Toner         
 3rd       Catherine Kullman    
 4th       Helen Hollick              
 5th       Richard Tearle    
 6th       Barbara Gaskell Denvil
 7th       Nicky Galliers
 8th       Angela Macrae Shanks          
 9th       Katherine Pym  
10th      J G Harlond    
11th       Anna Belfrage
12th      Richard Dee
13th      Inge H. Borg
14th      Annie Whitehead
15th      Louise Adam
16th      Charlene Newcomb
17th      Alison Morton                         
18th      Kathryn Gauci
19th      Helen Hollick 
20th     M.J. Logue
21st       Helen Hollick 
22nd     Cryssa Bazos               
23rd      Jennifer Wilson                       
24th      Elizabeth St John  writing as Julia Darke                         
26th      Helen Hollick
Leave your comment here


  1. Great writing. I'm not sure I liked Kathy, and yet...

  2. Classic song, great story. bitter-sweet ending and very atmospheric of times past - well done Richard

  3. Your story really threw me for a loop, Richard. I had to catch my breath at the end.. or was it the end?

    (BTW, the copyright for the song won't work in the US - but I found it here on YouTube: )

  4. Gosh, that's a song from a long time ago in my life!
    Clever story!

  5. What a rollercoaster of a story! So much story squeezed into so few lines. Well done!

  6. Thanks everyone for your comments, I'm glad you enjoyed my story. Personally, I'm impressed with the overall quality and can't wait to read the rest of them.

  7. The song brought back a lot of memories for me too! Yety another enjoyable song - what fabulous stories and writers we have here on #DDRevs.

  8. The audio did not work, said something about not avail in my country, but I read your story. Well done. Heart-tugging sad how life twists things and one doesn't realize it until much later.

  9. I was not expecting the ending. Great story, Richard. LOVE the music. One of my favourites.

  10. An unexpected ending... quite the twist in your short story, Richard.


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