I publish all my tiny stories at www.tinystori.es, where you can choose whether you want a love story or not. But who doesn’t want a love story? I wrote these new ones today.
Young and dumb
We were twelve. I’m pretty sure the first thing she said to me was, ‘I don’t think I want to go out with you anymore.’
We communicated in writing for some years before we met. She wrote the small print for the hair products our company produced, and I corrected unclear wording and checked that all the side effects were included. She rarely made mistakes. When I finally asked her to marry me, she read the forty pages of terms and conditions carefully, then smiled and said, ‘just so long as my statutory rights are not affected.’
Ever since Beatrice saw the woman with the peacock-shaped brooch at the theatre, she could barely bring herself to leave the house: she was certain that she could never be as intriguing as that woman. Little did she know that she had had a similar effect herself: after seeing Beatrice’s elegant, unadorned grey suit at the theatre, the woman with the peacock-shaped brooch kept returning every night in the hope of getting to know her.
The day I told him he was heartless, and began to pack my bags, he escaped into the arms of his lover, where he suffered a heart attack. ‘You see, I do have a heart after all,’ he said, when I visited him at the hospital. But I didn’t stay long.
The impudent daughter
Her boyfriend is a bad influence: he encourages her to pursue her dreams in New York City, he wears loud shirts, and he almost certainly kisses her on the mouth. I tried to talk some sense into her, but she just smiled at me with a face full of forgiveness and said, ‘You should follow your dreams, too, Mum.’ The cheek of it! Next, she’ll be wanting me to be happy.
How to be a woman
She woke up one day and realised her life was a fake. Some people would have despaired, but not her: she collected together all her diaries, all the clothes she’d bought that didn’t suit her, and all the emails she’d sent that didn’t express her true feelings, and exhibited them in the local art gallery. ‘Everything I’ve done till now as a pretence,’ she told her startled boyfriend, as she stepped into an outfit that was completely different from her old style.
Nobody knew he’d made his millions in a divorce settlement with his rockstar ex. He told people he’d done well on the stock market, and they nodded, looking at his wine collection with respect.
She knew she had to write a happy ending, but she couldn’t help it: her characters always died abruptly in the final pages, or one would disappear on a journey to the desert, or they would look at each other sadly before parting ways. Eventually, her agent took to writing the final pages for her. But sometimes, late at night, she would see visions of her unfortunate characters, locked in a never-ending embrace, or forced to smile at each other lovingly for eternity.