Christmas Wonderland (from novel Welcome to Wonderland)

Christmas tree bauble

They walked back to the Bistro. The Christmas rush of swarming bodies covered in a patchwork of holly green, cranberry red and navy wool apparel. There were less fur-topped bobbing beanies, less huddles of parka jackets dashing past. Everyone had completed their last-minute gift-buying and hurrying home to wrap them up. It was perfect. The city to themselves, it was the first Christmas snow in 7 years and it was worth the wait especially to walk through it holding hands. Jack got his phone out to take photos. Olivia posed childlike her mouth open to taste snow. Alas the snow wasn’t deep enough to lie back on and make snow angels. But who knows maybe by tomorrow it would be just right. They had settled and found a cosy seat by a window and fireplace and spent the afternoon indulging in another gratifying endeavour to stand-in for their true Christmas wish to give each other.

Before dessert Jack gave her Christmas present. Evidently more than the simple card she gave him. She quickly handed him his card and he opened it first. As he read the imprinted words of his bookmark, Olivia felt self-conscious and started to open her card and prettily wrapped present.

First came a card marked with “Love Jack”. She quickly closed the card and unwrapped her gift. It was clearly a book, she felt a little disappointed. As she tore away the red wrapping she saw the word “dream”- then “poetry.” Could it be? This was the poetry book she mentioned when they first met. It was the book of her first ever published poem. A bookmark was attached to where her poem sat. She placed the bookmark down and stared at it. It was beautiful. Her eyes filled with tears. How could he have known? No, he couldn’t have- she never told him the title. Maybe he understood her more than she dared to hope. The bookmark had a print of her favorite painting. She had never been so enthralled by such a simple gift in her life.

After supper they said their goodbyes, Jack invited her to his place for Christmas day. It would just be him, his brother Joe and girlfriend with a couple friends. She wanted to, but it felt too rushed. “I’ll call you anyway,” he said as they parted.

The Mariams went to Midnight Mass. For years everyone in the city hoped for snow at Christmas and this year their wish came true. Started off slowly and timidly but now as they walked into the steps of the church the snow fell magically in time for children across the city to get out and make snowmen for Christmas morning.

Christmas day was spent in the Mariam family home. Olivia was back home in her childhood bedroom. Her room dusty pink with wood and white furniture, stacks of books and her batik painting hung on the wall. She walked around the room as if a stranger, she picked up photo frames, read the titles on the bookshelves and sat on the edge of her bed tense. This was not a home of tradition, no turkey and trimmings. She walked down the elaborate stair case and helped herself to the nibbles. Even in the drawing room she felt unease, like a stranger, a foreigner unable to recognise this place called home.

The only tradition to be found this Christmas morning was not from within the home but from looking out through the windows. Snow had fallen deeply, neighbours had fairy light rimmed windows and the air filled with festive frost.

Under the deeply lit evergreen tree lay few gifts: a mix CD for her father which included a rendition of Ave Maria sung by Perry Como, Bvlgari fragrance set for her mother (which she’d never use.)

It would just be her and The Parents or The Rentals as she’d like to say. Looking out the window she reminisced childhood dreams of a White Christmas that rarely came. This time of year, usually left her cold, she never felt festive. Was she a fool to not take up Jack’s offer?

After the Mariam Christmas dinner which was essentially a Sunday Roast with copious party food from Marks & Sparks she checked her phone surprised to see a text from him earlier in the day saying she could stop by anytime.

She knocked on the door. A beautiful brunette opened it. Her heart sank. Too late to turn back now. “Hi.”

“Oh, hi… Is Jack there?”

“Of course, come in.”

The lady tried to take her coat but Olivia pulled away from her. “I’m Adelisa, Joseph’s girlfriend.” Olivia’s warm demeanour returned. Adelisa was Jack’s brother’s girlfriend!

“I’m Olivia, are there many people here?”

“Olivia it’s lovely to meet you at last. I’ve heard so much about you.” She leaned in and hugged her.

“Yes, well Jack is in the kitchen- we haven’t eaten only a few nibbles and champagne. I think Joe and Jack will be another hour in the kitchen- no matter what they say.” She made her way into the kitchen, fiddling with her hair patting down her dress. Jack had his glasses on and looked so suave in the kitchen.

“Hi gorgeous.” He went to the sink, washed his hands and got a hold of his girlfriend. “Merry Christmas Beautiful I’m so glad you could make it.”

“Thank you. It’s good to see you, how’s things?”

“We’re almost done, he pointed toward the dining room table, would you like something to drink.”

“Uh I’ll have,” she walked over past the dining table toward the feast laden one. “I’ll help myself thanks.” She opted for apple juice the only non-alcoholic drink.

“I’ve been at my parents’ house so I’ve eaten and everything. Can I help with anything?”

“No, don’t worry.”

“Joe, could you cover this. Take them off the boil in two minutes, I’m going to introduce Olivia to everyone.” She shook his brother’s hands as a greeting and goodbye and followed her boyfriend into the next room. “There’s been more than expected turning up. So that was my brother Joe, that’s Adelisa his girlfriend, an interior designer.”

“When are the chefs going to serve dinner?” enquired a pixie blonde.

“Delilah, be patient, it will be worth the wait. Now I want you to meet my girlfriend Olivia.” They shook hands again. “Olivia is an Editor at Nova Writ.”

“Oh well not exactly, I’m a sort of odd-n-ends doer, I’m just an associate editor,” she said.

“That sounds fabulous, how long have you known Jack?”

“Uh a couple months or so.” Jack put his arm around her, kissed her forehead and went back into the kitchen.

Olivia sat with the Edie Sedgwick lookalike for a while. She was a travel writer, though her focus was on luxury resorts. Her snobbish manner betrayed her dainty gamine features. “If you and Jacques ever go on a honeymoon I’ll advise you on where to stay,” she uttered churlishly. Olivia felt lulled by her pixie looks.

christmas table platter_fl

Dinner was served and Olivia opted to remain away, she sat alone on the sofa, flicking through Phaidon art books. Solitude remaining a compulsion she could not fight off. Jack eventually came over tempting her to eat. She’d never had a proper Christmas dinner before there was only one recollection of a turkey and trimming Christmas feast that happened at age four. She succumbed to temptation, walking in, everyone looking at her; she tugged at the sleeves of her beige and brown stripy top layered under a black dress. She was a rare kind of a beauty, so dazzlingly so that she didn’t even know.

Plate sparsely filled, she tucked in and tasted the frittered years of tradition. Jack and Joe had cooked a roast goose with sage and onion stuffing with a sweeter surprise too an apple and Armagnac stuffing.

Previously Jack had moved to Brooklyn for the summer as his brother studied at I.C.E: Institute of Culinary Education, New York. Joe had even worked at Osteria Francescana, but tired of the strain of a Chef’s life so resorted to be a Food Critic for The Observer back in the UK. On one of his assignments for work he visited Milan and one curious afternoon decided to pop to Florence. Temptation abounded in Italy. He left the Hermes store with a mini collection of ties and pocket squares. Notably this was where Adelisa worked and he left Italy a new man. Initially they wrote to each other, and inevitably Joe returned to Italy, they fell in love and Adelisa returned to the UK shores with her beloved.

Joseph waited on the guests and had such understated elegance. He was beautiful like his brother but with darker almost Italian features, a narrower jaw line, high cheekbones, dark rimmed glasses, a simple Dartmouth green cardigan buttoned up shirt and an Hermes printed tie. Always wearing a tie due to his unceasing guilt from that overindulgent trip to Hermes where he met his Diletto. His trousers cotton & cashmere cream corduroys (Lora Piana’s of course.) And his shoes? Chucks, actually. (White.)

Dean Martin played in the background.

A gathering of Nouveau Bohemians.
Everybody made art and bought it.
A choir of C of E singers.
The auburn haired fellow peered out the window as snow gently fell. He clutched at his Remy Martin, the deceitful pixie came over and wrapped her arms around him. She whispered into his ear. He smiled, nodding back. The Pixie squealed. Delilah fetched her ear muffs. “Who wants to go out and play in the snow?” Adelisa smiled.

Delilah was the first to roll up snow with her fingerless gloves. She threw it at Miles a tall black fellow who was less than amused. He slipped his hand in his pocket and brought out his phone. Joe told Ayumi about the sledge inside. Olivia’s ears perked up. Upon Joe’s return the Asiatic beauties leapt on the sledge and poor Joe had to push them along, almost slipping in his sneakers.

christmas street lamp

“Let’s take a photo,” said Jack.
Miles popped his phone away, Delilah put a hand behind her back then Adelisa and George halted the snowman making.
“1, 2, 3, smile”
Miles’ face lit up with surprise. Delilah had shoved a snowball down the back of his neck!

Olivia and Ayumi remained on the sledge grinning like school girls. George held up his two fingers behind Delilah head; she looked like a little snow bunny.

“And another one, show us that beautiful smile Miles.”
The sledge twins joined in with Adelisa and George’s snowman. Jack gave them a purple parsnip and charcoal from the fireplace. They placed a fedora on its head too.

Upon returning home she felt tired and oddly ill at ease. It all seemed too good to be true, spending Christmas with a boyfriend rather than pining for lost love. It was happening so fast. How long would it last?

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Florence’s Dining Table (from novel Welcome to Wonderland)

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Her parents own a Georgian townhouse that is never inhabited. So much of Flo’s belongings still live there. It’s her home away from home. Tread carefully on those Minton tiles as you enter…

You’re greeted by a Marie Antoinette blue that has lost it’s lustre and has resorted to a muted existence. Curiously you see shortbread crumbs lie on the staircase, they are left so that the house mice can be fed. Specks of crumbs are still in sight after all these months. Sometimes tiny paw prints are seen from the grey house guests. Long ago, Sophia saw one of them and decided to call it Roquefort.

If only you’d seen this house during childhood Christmases the staircase wore ivy like a winter shawl, Bing Crosby in the background, the scent of cranberries, mandarins, evergreen leaves and cinnamon too. Grandma would hand-make the door’s wreath with little Flo every November. Oh, and the Christmas tree was glorious, the baubles from Florence’s Great-Grandmother. The glitter remained on three precious baubles ordained with scenes from the nativity the others in deep red, evergreen and navy with lashings of silver and gold and delicate beads decorated onto them. Such a shame that her parents moved out to the country this home is seldom brought to life anymore.

Most evident in the drawing room are the late Georgian interiors. The walls eggshell blue, profiled with the white panels you’d expect. Some old VHS cases hidden behind the sofas. There’s a vinyl player in there too Florence’s only contribution to the house as everything is pretty much inherited.

Her father’s old study has draws filled with old moleskine journals, a magnifying glass and old stationery. There sits letters from his university days as he wrote to his mother, they even have his grandfather’s letters from the war. Also sat demurely a feather quill, an empty ink pot. Nobody has ever dared opened the Moleskines, after all Mr Clover is so endearingly rotund nobody could possibly betray his trust.

A large antique globe stand alone.

The next door down is the library with much to Olivia’s delight a ladder, the girls spent many after-school hours reenacting Belle’s swish with a rockler along the cases though the girls would have to push each other as it’s not as elegant as Disney made it out to be.

Silver and napkins perch on the dining table awaiting their night of resurrection. The plates are hidden in the cupboards as they are most fragile. No flowers or fruit sit at the centre, not since Christmas. The chandelier pleads for one dalliance, one more night of romance even if it is just to be used.

On the fourth floor we see that one room upstairs is like a pretty thrift store, embellished hangers holding moments of 60’s and 70’s glory, Woodstock inspired dresses from the era. Indian slippers, Gucci loafers, buffalo sandals sit neatly in unison with the lines of the wooden floorboards. Serena’s Floppy hat sits on the standing lamp, a milkmaid’s jug sits with dead flowers. An old candle once held memories of idyllic spring mornings has now lost both light and scent.  The dressing table and looking glass is strewn with neglect. The room is an homage to her maternal grandparents bohemian glory days.

The wardrobe lined with sheets from The FT and Telegraph. Alas this is not a Guardian home. Cashmere sweaters shoddily folded, an overflow of natural fibres. Some of Florence’s jumpers from childhood are shoved in too. Do you remember when Laura Ashley used to do childrenswear?

clothes wardrobe

As we make our way down one flight of stairs and another we find cabinets of curiosities, religious icons on the walls, no carpets. Flo’s mother collected crucifixes, elaborate ones from the Clover’s honeymoon in Mexico. Bloomsbury waywardness juxtaposed with piercing la boheme sparseness. Empty are the floors, the fridge and the cupboard. Bare floors only a Persian rug to warm bare feet, walls lined with eclectic Frida Kahlo imitation art, Mexicana tones, Ceylon tea stained walls. The warmest and most welcoming room of the home though the paternal grandparents never wandered in- they never approved.

In the basement we find the kitchen. The walls above the kitchen counter tops lined with mismatched tiles some artisanal others mere fillers, slapped on as the Clover’s tried to make it their own. Tiles collected from trips to Spain and Mexico. Naturally there’s an Aga with copper pans hanging. There’s a kitchen island that has open shelves on one side for all those cookbooks as well as for all those ceramic dishes as Mrs Clover loves to cook English classics.

The pantry is surprisingly full given that the Clover’s are never there. You can see the preserved lemons, (half eaten) pickles, a row of almond milk, rows upon rows of jars: tahini, pepper corns even rose petals. Next you see bags of quinoa, lentils and basmati rice. There’s even a gourmet selection of salt. It’s like a little hideaway Deli.

Inside also sits clutter and art supplies expectantly waiting to be used back to life. A deck of tea candles await their next turn to shine. They haven’t been used since a Summer garden party back when Flo & Simon were together. You see all types of jams some handmade from idle summer afternoons, others leftover from Fortnum & Mason hampers. Old Crabtree & Evelyn biscuit tins (sadly empty). A glass full of paintbrushes, masking tape, pencils. Sitting there folded up a tattered, paint stained apron for kitchen and art room.

The Laundry room remains untouched as if the servants were still here, it’s like peering into a museum.

In what used to be a House keeper’s room a tiny desk sits there and stored in the walled shelves her fathers old accounts.

Nowadays the girls are likely to get together for Sunday lunch and the occasional meet up. They get together to decorate the house over Christmas but rarely are festivities celebrated there for some reason. Diane has been pestering Flo to use her parents house more often. It will be made into a home soon, if only Flo had someone to settle down with.

 


 

Flo falls into a more Bloomsbury set of Bohemia, a High Bohemia shall we say. Though as you read the novel there will be heterogeneous depictions of Bohemia so you will find a Bohemian that resonates with your soul. Stay with me and stay aboard the train to Wonderland…

Poem: I Will Remember You

couple in love lying down bw

I Will Remember You

I will remember you
because I Love You.
I love you more than Life.
If i never knew you
I would not be here.
And for that I will love you
unconditionally,
I wish I didn’t sometimes
but it was predestined

I’ll never forget you
I couldn’t let myself
I can’t move on only to forget
The Love of My Life
The One made for me
Because I was born to make you happy…

 


Other poems by Catherine can be found in her poetry book “The Quarter Life Crisis Poet”
Buy USA   Paperback   Kindle
Buy
UK     Paperback   Kindle

www.CatherineVaughan.com
Twitter: @CattVaughan
Facebook: /CatherineVaughanWriter

 

Poem: This way to Love

guy alone lines wall

I just took it the wrong way
I assumed that / misunderstood the distinction
between unfulfilled love and unrequited love
I internalized it as rejection
that ultimately yet again
I was unloved,
Unlovable.
But it was
Fate,
Destiny
and Life that was to blame. There were too many forces
keeping us apart.

 

15.4.17


www.CatherineVaughan.com
Twitter: @CattVaughan
Facebook: /CatherineVaughanWriter

Other poems by Catherine can be found in her poetry book “The Quarter Life Crisis Poet”
Buy USA   Paperback   Kindle
Buy
UK     Paperback   Kindle

Poem: The Guitar

man woman sat guitar

Then one day
alone in a room
he sat strumming on his guitar
and realized
if he couldn’t be with her
he’d write songs about her instead.
His lyrics would express all the
words he wished he could say to her….

Her laughter inspired melodies,
the longing for her night after night
soon turned into an album.

29.5.17


Other poems by Catherine can be found in her poetry book “The Quarter Life Crisis Poet”
Buy USA   Paperback   Kindle
Buy
UK     Paperback   Kindle

www.CatherineVaughan.com
Twitter: @CattVaughan
Facebook: /CatherineVaughanWriter

Poem: The Cracks

mirror colorful

I see through you.
What? Me.
Yes, you.
Impossible, I am your reflection.
I could smash you into pieces.
But you’ll show up elsewhere when you least expect it.
Like in a window reflection.
I’d pop up in someone’s glasses.
In the face of someone you love
or someone you despise.
I’m always there…

21.6.17


Other poems by Catherine can be found in her poetry book “The Quarter Life Crisis Poet”
Buy USA   Paperback   Kindle
Buy
UK     Paperback   Kindle

www.CatherineVaughan.com
Twitter: @CattVaughan
Facebook: /CatherineVaughanWriter

Poem: Lonesome

girl lying in bed

The greatest tragedy
that lay in her heart
was that the one she loved
The First One,
the One
or so she thought…

Well he was the one
who attempted to enter her
uninvited.

It tore her
left her broken
in two.

So now she remains
alone
solo

8.8.16


Other poems by Catherine can be found in her poetry book “The Quarter Life Crisis Poet”
Buy USA   Paperback   Kindle
Buy
UK     Paperback   Kindle

www.CatherineVaughan.com
Twitter: @CattVaughan
Facebook: /CatherineVaughanWriter

First (or maybe 2nd) attempt at a Novel February 24th 2013

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I wanted to share with you guys my fiction writing journey and chronicle how I made the switch to write fiction despite my more non-fiction focused and blog/article based reading preference.

Back in 2013 I had a vague notion of perhaps writing a book for teens. I wanted to draw on certain aspects of my own life and tell a story. It surprises me to see that back then I used the names Jack and Serena, it’s like these characters have been sat dormant inside of me waiting to be released.

This is not a reflection of my writing style, it’s more my attempt at writing for teens in a colloquial, casual manner. This does not come close to my writing style for my next book Welcome to Wonderland. I am after all a self-confessed Literary Babe.

I just wanted to share this with you so you can join me on my Author’s Journey and someday when my debut novel gets released we can sit back and chuckle at this extract and see how my writing has come a long way. I hope it delivers a feeling of nostalgia akin to looking back at old high school photos.

I only wrote exactly 2,360 words and that was it. The story remained untouched and completely forgotten about. At the time I wasn’t even thinking of it as a book or becoming a Novelist I just wanted to sit down and write and set myself the challenge of writing the amount required for a manuscript. It was more a question of how does one face the mammoth task of writing 50,000+ words? Then wandering if I could do it. In some ways it was more of a way to cultivate a new hobby.

Below is just a sample of those 2,000 (ish) words.

“As with many things in life it stops and starts but the journey however imperfect continues…”

Sunday 24th February 2013

(From my old Mac computer it says this fiction file was created 24/2/13 11:33 and last modified 24/2/13 15:11)


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I woke up at the crack of dawn today feeling restless. My eyes were heavy with the deep need to sleep but my mind was racing with silly thoughts of yesterday and things I needed to do later in the week.  Then came the unanswerable question. Why didn’t I have a boyfriend yet? My mind raced back to my last non-boyfriend boyfriend. He was so handsome. I loved him and I loved him but he never loved me. The pain and thwarted passion lingers every single day.

I’m still in bed. It’s 5am on a Sunday morning. I know I don’t have to get up for work today so I snuggle into the duvet cover and feel the plush duvet envelope me. I think back to how Jack would put his arm around me as we sat on the park bench on our dates. He was so physically perfect you know the kind. That 6ft 3 well built Taylor Lautner-esque physique like the hot guy you see in movies who has the manly arms to hold you closely and make you truly feel safe.

I breathed in deeply and smelt the soft scent of my bed and pot porri on my bed stand nearby.

Why did he let me go? Why can’t a day go by when I don’t think of him. I think back to when we met up in the summer after a semester of college.

I recall one June afternoon when we stood under an oak tree in the shade. We finally kissed after a couple of months of not seeing each other because we studied in different cities. I look up at him and he looked back at me with such want and passion and he slowly leaned in and our lips gently met and he kissed me.

Our lips parted and we felt a cool gentle breeze. I looked back into his baby blue eyes and he spoke of how he was so glad we had the summer together and how he enjoys the feel of my lips against his. He murmured that my small mouth had full lips that felt like a cushion on his.

Jack and I still live in the same city. We broke up a year ago. Well actually he ended it and I was left devastated. We’re both 22 years old and I work in a bookshop and he works for an IT company. I should’ve known it wouldn’t last as we were so different. I was from a wealthy family and he wasn’t. I had dark hair and eyes and he was a blue-eyed blonde. Opposites attract and it can be awfully hard for them to part.

We met when we were nineteen. I was at work in the bookshop and he was over by the sports books. I was simply walking past on my way to the staff room as I’d finished my shift. I just happened to turn my head for no reason. I noticed that he was looking at me. I saw him for the first time then. He had a tight white Henley shirt and was holding a hardback copy of TK. So I instantly saw his huge muscles and the outline of his well-built physique. He had blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. He was so handsome. I quickly looked away. I could feel my cheeks gently blush a soft pink shade. I slowly opened the door to the staff room and was taken aback by his virility and how handsome he was. He was the type of man you just have to look at. I didn’t want to take my eyes off him. The first sight of him was etched in my mind. I quickly got my handbag and belongings from my locker. Popped into the ladies to smear on some lip-gloss and another lashing of mascara just in case I’d see him again.

I went back onto the shopfloor and there he was still in the same spot. I really wanted him to approach me. I knew he wanted me. I knew there was an instant attraction. I  walked over to a colleague at the till. The till was near where he was.

bookseller

“I’ll see you tomorrow Serena” I quickly blurted.

“Yeah see you then.”

I took just two steps away from the till counter and could feel a presence behind me suddenly I heard a deep voice say “Excuse me.” I stopped dead in my tracks. The voice was still behind me and I still had not yet turned round. Could it be.? Was man following me. Making his first attempt to pursue me?

I turned around and an attractive tall, dark young man had a pleased expression on his face. I sighed and noticed the blonde guy in the corner of my eye.

I automatically asked “Can I help you?” As I would normally ask a customer whilst working.

“You were the girl who recommended TK for me. You were right it’s truly wonderful.” “Oh yeah, I’m glad you liked it,” I utter in a strained tone. He continued whittling away. I was about to make a polite excuse to leave when suddenly a man said “Is he troubling you? A beautiful lady like yourself shouldn’t be harassed by such an imbecile.” I was a little shocked that he’d describe a complete stranger an imbecile but pleased he was speaking to me. I was wondering what to say back. I opened my mouth slightly ready to reply only I didn’t know what to say. “Oh not at all.” I lied.

The two guys looked at each other and chuckled. “Mate, leave her alone she’s mine,” the tall blonde one said. Gosh he has such a forthright sense of humor. The tall guy told me that the two of them were old buddies then the blonde guy took his hand out towards me to shake hands. I feebly reached my hand forward too. “I’m Jack, this is my mate Scott.” “Oh hi.” Wtf am I suddenly saying hi for mid conversation? “I’m Catherine nice to meet you. You know we’re both about to grab a coffee would you care to join us?” I was standing there stunned. He’s a total stranger OMG what do I do?

“Oh gosh I really must be off I’ve got a bus to catch. Nice to meet you both ,”I quickly mutter and am just about to turn and dash off when Jack says: “When can I see you again?”

“Oh I don’t know. I mean well…you know I work here. So you know where to find me.” I smile knowingly.

“Can I have your number?”

“Um sorry but I’m not too sure about that. Was nice to see you both but I must go now my bus leaves in 3 minutes.

I walk and head towards the staircase and rush out the store doors.

I must confess the following day at 4pm when I finish my shift I did secretly hope that I’d run into him  again. That he wants to hunt me down. But no sign of him.

However the next day practically bang on 4 o’clock as I walk out of the doors of B & N I look up and he’s there’s in front of me walking back into the store. I looked stunned to see him.

“Well fancy seeing you here?”

I blush. “Hi.”

“How about you take me up on that offer for coffee?”

I feel totally compelled to say yes to this beautiful stranger. He’s so tall and manly and I feel dainty in his presence.

“Okay sure.”

We then both head towards the nearby Starbucks. He pulls open the door for me then let’s me walk ahead of him to the barista. I feel very aware of how I look. Thank God I put some perfume on earlier. Chance by Chanel-my absolute fave!

“What would you like?” I’ll have my grande white choclate mocha with cream and… I’d like that carrot cake.”

“Ok I’ll get you it. How was work today?”

“It was fine thanks.” I feel so shy around him I feel stuck on what to say.

“So do you study part-time or anything?”

“Ummm I’m on a gap year. Well actually it’s not really a gap year because a gap year would involve travel and having fun and getting wasted on a beach in Thailand… And well I’ve just been working non-stop.”

“Haha. I just dove right into uni. Doing a degree in Psychology right now.”

“Oh cool.”

Our drinks are ready, he carries them to a cosy table with the sofa seats. I sit on the sofa side and pop my bag down next to me. I’m surprised to see Jack choosing to sit next to me. I lean back into the sofa to get a little space. He leans in too.

Starbucks mug

I reach forward to my mocha drink and take a quick sip almost as a subconscious effort to edge away from him. I burn my tongue instantly. Ow,” I quietly mutter.

“Easy now, there’s no need to rush. Are you ok?”

“Yeah.” I lie.

He rubs my back as he says this.

“So where do you study?”

“In London. I have family that live their so I’m back and forth a lot.”

“Oh, that’s kinda far.”

“Yeah but the London night life is great and there’s lot’s of places to see and museums to visit.”

“Museums?” I ask interestedly.

“Yeah I’m really into… and …” [TK insert noteworthy places he’d be into.]

I think I fall in love just a little. He’s handsome, athlectic and into the arts.

And for the next 45 mins or so it just all flows. The conversation is easy and interesting. I just feel like I’ve known him my whole life. It’s not that we have a whole lot in common we’re just in sync and there’s no awkwardness at all given that we’re strangers.

I took a quick look at his IWC watch* and noticed I’d have to dash.

“I’ve really had a nice time with you today.”

“You’re heading off?”

“Yeah.”

I pick up my handbag and am ready to get up when he asks for my number. I pause and take in the exciting fact that this gorgeous guy wants to see me again. It feels good. I tell him my number trying to play it a little cool and then I make way out of the coffee shop.

I’m back home and by the time I’ve showered and eaten dinner I notice a text on my phone.

It’s Jack! Wow he likes me. Can’t believe I’m finally getting close to a guy who actually likes me. I’ve spent 19 years practically single. And now I’m certain this is a sure thing. I know that sounds crazy. I don’t even know him.

 


Even back then I knew I’d use the names Jack and Serena in my book someday… Notably those characters are not in anyway similar to the Jack & Serena of Welcome to Wonderland. It’s funny how things brew in your mind and how it takes a while for them to manifest fittingly.

The love interest Jack was definitely based on the guy in my poem called 2am.

If you’d like to read this poem then sign-up to Pop-up Mailing List.

However the real 2am guy does not make an appearance in my novels because he has no bohemian credibility. We were opposites and as I declared in the above passage: “Opposites attract and it can be awfully hard for them to part.”

 

*Slight inconsistency with him wearing an IWC watch-LOL!


Facebook: /CatherineVaughanWriter
Twitter: @CattVaughan
www.CatherineVaughan.com
My other blog: Boho.blog

 

 

 

The August Challenge: 31 Poems in 31 days!

Sunset lilac

Dear Loyal Readers,

I shall be serving you NEW poems everyday on my Lifestyle blog CatherineVaughansWorld.com

These new poems are so much more richer, tender, poignant and candid. I have taken a little artistic license to be a bit more imaginative with some poems. You’ll find it so much more raw and intense than my earlier work. I’m really growing into the Poet I was Destined to be. I just have to be searingly honest and it’s so painful because not only have I endured countless heartbreaking devastation but showing my poems to the world is like ripping my ruptured heart out of my chest and placing it on a board for the world to throw daggers at. It’s that unbearable for me. But it’s all I have.

Notably they’re are not all sad poems, some are charming others romantic sans bitter-sweetness.

I truly put my heart and soul into my poems so I pray that you would be kind to share, like, *reblog* and comment on any poems that resonate with you. I need the feedback (good or bad) don’t be shy.

Girl reading red sunset

Kindly share my poems and tag me on Twitter @CattVaughan and view on Facebook.com/CatherineVaughanWriter. Please click Like and Follow while you’re there!