Welcome to Flash Fortnightly!
My name is Laura Besley and I’m an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher. Over the years I’ve met thousands of students of all ages from many different countries in the world. This job really suits me as I love meeting people and learning about different languages and cultures. After working in England for a couple of years, I moved to Düsseldorf, Germany, where I taught Business English for two years and now I’m living in Hong Kong. This small pocket of Asia is a perfect blend of East meets West and is rich in colour, noise and inspiration.
That brings me nicely onto writing. I’ve been writing on and off since childhood and did my degree in English Literature and Film Studies. When I was in Germany I started writing a bit more regularly and in Hong Kong I’ve really had the time to dedicate to my writing. In 2011 I joined the Hong Kong Writers Circle and a critique group which allowed me to start looking at my work with a more critical eye. On 4th May 2012 I embarked on a project to write one piece of flash fiction a day. I’ve always seen myself as a novelist, but actually I’ve found that I really love writing short pieces as it gives you plenty of room to experiment with style, voice, characters and settings. And each day I can write something new.
I hope you enjoy this ‘Flash Fortnightly’ entry and I’ll be back on Wednesday 1st May with some more…
My Wedding Day
By the time the alarm goes off at seven I’ve been awake long enough to watch the outside world turn from black, to red, to yellow, to light. I run my hand over my face, feeling the coarseness of my three-day old stubble. Despite the lack of sleep, I don’t feel tired. The mixture of adrenaline and nerves are pumping the blood quickly round my body, keeping my breaths short and shallow. Today is my wedding day.
In the kitchen, waiting for the kettle to boil, I think about Lauren; how we met; our first date; our first anniversary; moving in together; the proposal. It all seems like a dream. Smiling, I finish making the tea, as my thoughts fill with images of her.
The doorbell goes at ten, as we’d arranged. I swing the door open, dressed in pressed suit trousers and a crisp white shirt. “Morning, mate!” I say.
“Morning, Jimbo,” Andy says, jumping on and off the front step. “How’s, uh, things?”
“Pretty good actually.”
“Good, mate.” He breathes out loudly. “That’s good to hear.”
He holds up a bottle of Glenfiddich. “Want one?”
We sit in silence in my living room. I look at the dust-free television and the rows of dvds and books alphabetised on the shelves. Every room in the house is spotless. I didn’t want it to be in a mess. Not today.
The last drop of amber liquid runs quickly down my throat, settling into a warm pool in the pit of my stomach. I jump up. “Let’s go!”
“Okay, buddy, where to?”
I look at him; his short brown hair, piercing blue eyes that make him popular with women and his nails bitten to the quick. Almost twenty-five years we’ve been friends, since he moved in next door the week before we started primary school.
“Where to?” I ask. “Are you mad?”
A noise escapes his throat. “No more than usual. Ha!”
I smile briefly. “Your suit’s upstairs.”
“Okay,” he nods. “Won’t be long.”
I put on my jacket, despite the August heat, and look at myself in the full-length mirror in the hall. Lauren’s voice enters my head, whispering, but I cannot decipher her words.
Andy clatters down the stairs. “Bloody hot in this suit, but I’m ready.”
We get into Andy’s grey BMW. No need for the fuss of hiring cars. He pulls into the car park adjacent to the local church and silences the engine. For hours we sit there watching the sky turn from yellow, to red, to black.
“Shall we…?” Andy asks.
“Go?” I say. “Yes. I just wanted to be sure she wouldn’t, you know…”
“Turn up. Yeah, I know, buddy.” He puts his hand on my shoulder. “I know.”
The engine starts with a low moan and he drives me home to my clean and tidy flat.
The idea for this story is based on a real life situation. The person whose wedding day it should’ve been, was at work, and I thought what a tragic situation that was.
If you’d like to check out more of my writing, flash fiction and non-fiction, check out my blog: Living Loving and Writing. Or you can follow me on twitter @laurabesley or connect on facebook Laura Besley Writer