Available to Pre-Order Now!

Blurb

Through Lynch’s words, embark on a journey of lost innocence, reality bites and how old-fashioned sentiment doesn’t seem to translate – not anymore.

This poetry collection features the disappointments we can all share in, including opening your heart only to be shot down, trying and failing, encounters of bigotry and misogyny – not to mention navigating a world in which everyone is hurting in their own way.

Pervading this work is the sense that people will always be people, but perhaps punctures are actually what force us to decompress.

Excerpts

Pre-Order now: mybook.to/Punctures

Add to Goodreads and read the reviews as they come in: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44165336-punctures

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Elements, a New Poetry Collection

Blurb:

The contributors were asked to write a poem based on the book cover image. Unsurprisingly, many of the poems featured are dominated by the elements. The writers touch upon various subjects, however and readers are sure to discover a flavour they will enjoy. All proceeds of this collection will be shared between homeless charities both in the UK and US, reflecting the international collaboration behind this project.

The authors featured comprise: Sharena Lee Satti, Paula Acton, Audrina Lane, Eleanor Lloyd-Jones, Anna-Maria Athanasiou, Sarah Michelle Lynch, A. Stone, Andy Lynch, Stevie Turner, Lisa Fulham, O.Y. Flemming, Mark Heathcote, Alison Clarke, Victoria Kenna, T.F. Webb, Louise White and Mandy Gibson.


I am excited to announce this new poetry collection featuring 17 different authors. Proceeds of this project will be split between two charities: Hull Homeless (UK-based) and VOA (US-based, homeless). Please check out our book! Buy links below….

Purchase Elements in ebook for just 99 cents/pence:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Universal purchase link: mybook.to/elements

Purchase Elements in paperback:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Amazon CA

One Week Left!!

There’s just one week left to submit your poetry for my upcoming charity anthology. A lot of the details are still TBC, but here’s an outline of what I’m looking for if you missed my announcement…

— I will provide an image to work from; this image will also provide the basis for the book cover.

— Your poem can be as long or as short as you like; on any theme you like, with any language or as far out as you can possibly imagine. I only ask that your poem reflects the mood/tone of the image in some way shape or form.

— Deadline to submit poems is January 31st – please, please let me know in good time if you want to submit but think you may miss this deadline.

— Title of this project TBC.
— Release date TBC (HOPEFULLY FEB SOMETIME).

— This book will be released in ebook first, for Kindles. (paperbacks shortly after; the formatting can sometimes be tricky with poetry books)

— There are a few charities I support, so depending on the profits made, I may split them between a couple (or three, you never know!).

— PLEASE submit your poem in a Word document. I receive no end of submissions that have been pasted into an email and the formatting is a nightmare. WORD DOCUMENT PLEASE! 😉

— Your poetry must be proofread

To find out more information, please add yourself to our private gathering place over on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2201342126788394/

Similarly, you can email me for more details if you don’t use Facebook (I envy you!)

Really excited and wait till you read what I’ve received so far.

Love, S x

NEW RELEASE: Poems to My Younger Self

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So, it was summer 2017 . . . and I had this random idea pop into my head, suggesting I put together a poetry collection to raise money for charity. (Eventually I would decide our charity would be MAKE A WISH, as the Leeds Author Event is raising money for this charity.)

In September I started gathering poems to go in the book. Now, 28 authors later and we’re finally here . . . PUBLICATION.

POEMS REVS

You can read poems by some of your favourite authors including Anna-Maria Athanasiou, KA Hobbs, Claire C Riley, Audrina Lane, Lisa Hobman, ES Carter, Charlotte Hart, Andie M. Long, Eleanor Lloyd-Jones and many more. Some of our authors are published for the first time through this publication and are very excited and nervous to discover how it is received.

However, I am so happy with how this book has been received so far. In fact, I am thrilled. From small acorns and all that.

You can help support our fundraising efforts by one-clicking “Poems to My Younger Self” on Amazon.

OR, I will be selling this book in person at the Leeds Author Event on March 3rd, 2018 and you can pre-order your copy here (for pick up in Leeds only): CLICK HERE

I have no doubt this will be a roaring success and it’s been wonderful to organise something like this again, with such a supportive bunch of people!

Thanks all,

Sarah xxx

POEMS TO MY YOUNGER SELF new

 

Announcing Poems to My Younger Self – An Anthology

POEMS TO MY YOUNGER SELF

Our list of contributing authors:

Eleanor Lloyd-Jones

Paula Acton

Glenn Haigh

KA Hobbs

ES Carter

Jane Washington

Merlot Bookbinder

Alistair Stone

Linda M. Crate

Andie M. Long

Marian Barker

Lisa J Hobman

Sharena Lee Satti

Andy Lynch

Zak Hardacre

Claire C. Riley

Lisa Fulham

Bella Settarra

Alison Clarke

Nadia Correia

Anna-Maria Athanasiou

Charlotte E Hart

Dee Palmer

Sam Dutton

Audrina Lane

Rachel Hague

O.Y. Flemming

Sarah Michelle Lynch

***

Every single author has brought it for this project and I’d just like to say thank-you to them all for really getting what I wanted from them. I’m so happy with this book, and I think you will be, too.

ALL PROCEEDS of this book are going to MAKE A WISH, a charity granting wishes to terminally ill children. One of our own writers, KA Hobbs told me her sister was granted a wish before she died and it meant everything to her sister and their family. This is such a special charity and we hope this book provides hope but also a generous donation, too.

If you would like a review copy, please visit THIS FORM and fill out your details. Review copies will be sent in the form of a Kindle book – but please note – “Poems To My Younger Self” will only go on sale in paperback. Poetry needs to be read on the page. It’s so much more powerful that way.

The paperback will be available to buy from Amazon on February 20th but I’ll also be selling this in person at the Leeds Author Event on March 3rd, 2018. Many of the contributing authors will be in attendance that day. I’ll let you know how you can pre-order your copies for this event beforehand.

More details are to come… and I’ll be posting snippets of everyone’s poems on my Instagram account in the run-up to publication, so do not miss out!

Sarah x

28 Days Left To Submit Your #Poetry

Can you ably sling words together? Well then, I need your poems to create an anthology which will raise money for the MAKE A WISH foundation, a charity which seeks to make the dreams of terminally ill children come true! I’ll be selling this book at the LEEDS 2018 book signing and making your words available on AMAZON, too.

pablo (3).png

  1. I am looking for poems that are 100+ words long (no upper limit)
  2. Your poem needs to be on the theme “Poems To My Younger Self” but you can title your poem as you like.
  3. Your poem needs to be emailed to me by NOVEMBER 30th, 2017 at the latest. Sorry, but no late entries. Please send your words via email to sarahm.lynch@yahoo.co.uk – but if you receive no response at all, it’s likely you’ve gone to spam. In this case, please just drop me a quick message on my FB page @SarahMLynch
  4. You don’t need to have loads of accolades or any poetic experience at all (even) to enter for a chance to be part of this anthology. Just write from the heart is all I ask!
  5. I will take no monetary reward whatsoever for putting together this book. It’s all off my own back, it’s all for a good cause.
  6. You don’t need to be attending the book signing (or be a signing author) to put forth your entry. I welcome entries from the US and beyond.
  7. I’m asking for previously unpublished words. It would be nice if the first time people read your poem is in our book.

For full details, visit my dedicated page: https://sarahmichellelynch.com/poetry-project/

I look forward to reading everyone’s words.

Sarah x

Looking For #Poetry

Hey everyone!

Long time no speak.

This is just a short broadcast about an upcoming project of mine.

Basically, I am looking for poems above the 100 word mark. They must (sort of) be in line with the theme “Poems to My Younger Self”.

dazzle

Please visit my dedicated page on this site: sarahmichellelynch.com/poetry-project for all the details. You’ll find everything you need to know right there and hopefully, most of it covers all the questions you may have!!

This is all for charity. So please consider contributing if you are indeed a poet or budding poet, even!

Thankees xx

“They Say I’m Doing Well” Blog Tour – Stop #27 – Blake Rivers

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Life Eclipsed

 

They say I’m doing well at school,

Because I made the grade.

“…intelligent and… don’t understand…

Cheer up you

Silly Thing!”

 

And when I’m off and walking home, they say it’s all my fault;

“…stay in school–and as for them? Just… turn the other cheek.”

 

They say I’m doing well at work,

“…a real asset to us all.

There’s just one thing… The time off thing…

You don’t look sick, don’t look ill… should be on the ball!”

 

A darkness has no light;

and when I’m doing well,

I’ll be on time, turn up, take part, be

Everything you like.

But if I don’t, think on it… am I truly well and good?

Sullen-silent I scream alone…

 

“…I wish they’d understood.”

 

Blake Rivers © 2016

 

author bio

Blake Rivers lives in the East of England, surrounded by acres of historical countryside, towns and villages. It is from these mysterious places of history that he draws on the fantastical, moulding them into stories and adventures.

For as long as he can remember, writing books and being an author of stories was all he wanted to do. He still keeps his first two manuscripts, one written on an old Royal typewriter when he was twelve, and the other on an Amiga computer when he was fourteen, and although they’d never be published, they are a reminder of the dream and the journey. In the late 2000’s, Blake wrote many starts to books that he abandoned, but it was in 2011 he began to write his first novel to be published, The Assassin Princess. Both this and his second novel, A Step into Darkscape, are available on Amazon.

When he is not writing, Blake enjoys spending time with his girlfriend who is an artist, reading lots, and going for long walks.

http://blakerivers.com/

DONATE BUTTON

Thank you so much for taking part Blake!

To see the full list of authors taking part in this month-long blog tour, [click here]

To find out what “They Say I’m Doing Well” is all about, [click here]

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“They Say I’m Doing Well” Blog Tour – Stop #26 – Sarah Michelle Lynch

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They say I’m doing well…

So, what does this mean to me…?

I could relay you a million stories, about people I’ve known or met in passing. I have one of those minds; I remember lots of little details people tell me and they always come in useful when I’m writing. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I could tell you someone else’s story, but how about telling you mine?

I’ve never been ill (touch wood). I did however come close to serious injury in a car crash once but walked away fine. I have never suffered a mental health issue myself. But behind some smiles, there are those of us who have watched others suffer and when you don’t have a mental health issue yourself, it is really hard to understand what someone else is going through when you can’t see into their head. The mind is not an exact science.

From my point of view, a lot of people assume Sarah Michelle Lynch is together and has it sorted. It’s fine. I’m fine. We’re all fine. A part of me will admit that I’ve shirked away from trying to understand the problems people around me have been going through. I’ve shied away from trying to get them to talk about their issues, but maybe that’s just because I cannot empathise entirely. For so many years, I was occupied by an overwhelming sense of ambition to be the beacon my family needed me to be. It’s the curse of your twenties to try to be all things to all people. At the end of the day, I’m just me, and I am happy to have come to that acceptance.

I often write stories about struggle, about deceit, about lies and secrecy, but my life is pretty normal and boring really. In the past few years, since I started writing actually, I’ve learned to be very grateful for having a positive attitude. Give me a pen and a pad of paper and I am happy. I can write anywhere. My Happy is portable. A chocolate bar and a cup of tea too wouldn’t go amiss. That ability of mine to just be happy is something I never saw any value in – until I realised a lot of people find it difficult to even get out of bed some days.

Whether you have a mental health issue or not, we’re all just people, striving for the same things. Love and understanding. Life is hard, nobody ever said it was going to be easy. Journeys of self-discovery can be debilitating for a time, in fact, but I firmly believe knowledge and awareness can empower and help people to rebuild and renew.

I always tell myself it is important to remember what I’ve overcome to bring me to the point where I’m at now. This point. At this moment in time. I put myself through university when I could have easily given up and got a manager’s job at the place I worked part-time during that period. There were times when I wanted to quit, to give up, but I didn’t. I wasn’t the only one – loads of my friends were putting themselves through university too. We did it and came out stronger for it.

I was the first person in my family to go to university. Let me put that into perspective for you. My maternal grandfather was illiterate. My mum got her GCSE in English in her thirties! (mega proud of her by the way!) My parents are both from broken homes. My mum, fostered when she was four, lost two elder brothers, before she was put with a family that didn’t really want her and my auntie. My dad grew up in poverty, suffering like you would never imagine he had. My grandmother was a manic depressive and back in those days, it wasn’t dealt with like it would be today. My grandfather turned a blind eye; he was a womaniser who abandoned my dad and his brother to the mindset of a seriously ill woman who rarely washed, rarely fed her kids, rarely tried to instil in them any sense of decency. I’m the eldest of four kids myself. School friends used to meet my dad and think we were posh. He’s an intelligent man, but he has never been posh. Not many know the full story. Not many people know how my parents struggled to bring us all up, without grandparents to help out. They struggled. I know, because I remember. I was there. I know about the mindset of poverty and how difficult it has been for my dad, especially, to let go of.

Academia is a different world to the one I was born into. Yet in a lot of ways, it saved me. Getting my degree was the biggest achievement I made, up until that point anyway. Nobody on God’s Earth can take it away from me.

After university I did what I always said I was going to do and I worked in journalism for seven years. I learned more in this job than I had learnt in my life before that. My degree gave me a foundation, as did the various part-time jobs I’d done along the way, but I didn’t learn anything until I worked in journalism, which opened my eyes to the human race in all its varying degrees.

I worked with many talented people that might never fulfil their promise because of how truly scary it is to put yourself out there with a piece of work that means more than a pay check. Stories of unlikely heroes and heroines fascinate me because you don’t know if a future star might be sitting next to you in the next office cubicle. We all have the potential for greatness, there’s often just a lot of luck involved and knowing the right people.

I went back to journalism after maternity leave and found five or six people doing my old job. Eventually leaving that job was the best thing I ever did.

I wrote my first novel when I was just twenty-eight. The adrenalin of completing that was like nothing I’d ever felt before. Like a lot of other self-published authors, I found friends and family responded to my new pursuit in various ways. Real friends celebrate you, while others fall by the wayside as you pursue your dream.

I’ve known for quite some time that I was born to write, and the notion grows stronger all the time with every word I put down, with every other author I work with thanking me for helping them.

I’ve always known my destiny is words and it’s something you can put alongside my name.

But even with all my confidence and vigour for this writing lark, I still have days where words don’t flow, where I doubt myself. But it’s okay, and I take the rough with the smooth. My ambition has lessened as my love for the art has grown.

Since I’ve joined the book community and spoken to people like me, I’ve realised how words have the power to do good. I’ve adapted my writing style a lot over the years after realising I actually have a power at my fingertips to do good and it’s why I keep writing. Why I decided to do an event like this.

At the same time, I realise how the world demands, how it requires and takes and manipulates the truth of an artist’s soul for its own ends. Which is why I asked all the authors taking part to write something with regards to, “They Say I’m Doing Well,” because people’s definition of that varies. Ask yourself about doing well… Does doing well mean earning big bucks, having all the letters after your name, or does doing well translate to literally everything? Health, wealth, prospects? What?

I feel that this world can be harsh and cruel because we forget that we’re all human – most of us – and to err is to be human. There’s no formula; no recipe for success, or personal happiness.

They say I’m doing well but some days, I wake up and don’t like what I see in the mirror. Some days I don’t want to write because it all feels like sludge between my fingers. I question myself all the time: do I speak to my friends enough? Is Andy okay? Is Serena doing well at school? Am I doing enough? All these things are normal, but if they become consuming, that’s when you know you have to take a step back and retrace. Ask yourself, is there really a reason for me to worry? Focus on a good thing, a place you can take your mind to, and reorganise everything back to that safe place. I never knew these were invaluable tools I’d had in use for so many years until I watched someone close to me crumble. And it changed me, too. It made me realise that what you give, you get back tenfold, and when you walk the path together it’s so much more interesting than going it alone.

None of us are perfect. None of us. Some of us might be doing “well”, whatever your definition of well is, but then again, we’re all human and all have our crosses to bear – I try to remember that everyday. I see people who appear confident but a tiny fracture in their defences allows me to see that they’re not at all fixed or whole. They’re broken, but in time and with the right love and support, they’ll heal. It’s funny how we judge people on first impressions but how, when we really get to know them, we begin to associate colours and patterns with them instead of faces. We no longer see the outside, but the inside. It doesn’t matter how well you think you know someone though, they sometimes go right on to surprise the hell out of you.

The one thing I will pass on to my daughter is this… never give up on learning. Never. I didn’t. I will not, either. Education… it’s the basis of our civilisation, of making this world better… and doing it all in the name of people that didn’t have the same choices we have.

To round off my contribution to the blog tour, I have written you a poem. Poetry is a medium I don’t get on with sometimes. For me, it bites at me, eats me away. I find it harder to write poetry than novels. A poem sometimes stews in my recesses for weeks before I just write it. I will write it flat out, and that will be it. A poem’s a bunch of feelings condensed, with the potential for so many different interpretations. Poetry, for me, is real. Poetry protects. Poetry reveals our innards and I know why a lot of people struggling with their mindset write poetry, to get it out there… to expel, in order to digest.

So, here we go…

They Say I’m Doing Well

Caress my hair around my ears

I lay my head awhile on your lap

Silence pervades the air and still

We tell each other more than

Words could ever tell

*

Soothe my aches with your hands

Take my soul in your arms

And keep me safe there

I won’t tell if you don’t

Secrets we keep behind our eyes

 *

In front of the telly we stare

But we’re together, so it’s okay

Flimflam words don’t matter

Because it’s just time together

And time’s all that matters

 *

You’re the strength beyond

My fingertips, the one always there

You silence my worries, hear my cries

You cradle my neuroses and nurture them

Loving all of me as you do

 *

He is wise and kind and soulful

He carries me on his back

He has peccadilloes of his own

Which I love in return

And together we reign supreme

*

You struggled, you overcame

You’ve known pain and anguish

Disappointment and deceit

And came out the other side

Much stronger than people realise

*

They say I’m doing well

But it’s the strength you give to me

I couldn’t do all this without the struggle,

And without the journey…

We wouldn’t have the dream

Sarah Michelle Lynch © 2016

author bio

Sarah Michelle Lynch wakes up in the morning and the first thing on her mind is words and the possibility of reading and writing more and more words. She is a little bit obsessed.

A career in journalism preceded Sarah’s writing career as an Independent author and despite an offer to get published, Sarah found it very difficult to let go of the freedom, variety and creativity self-publishing allows her.

When Sarah’s not reading words, she’s editing them, and when she’s not editing she’s writing. These days, to earn her right to write, she freelances as an editor.

DONATE BUTTON

To see the full list of authors taking part in this month-long blog tour, [click here]

To find out what “They Say I’m Doing Well” is all about, [click here]

Please press the donate button if you were inspired by my words. Here’s what your donations could achieve:

£8.70 gives a lifeline to someone in desperate need of support by letting the Mind Infoline team take their call

£30 could help Mind work with the Government to promote mental health needs and improve services for years to come

£150 could fund a local support group and let people living with mental health problems get back their confidence and self-esteem

£250 could fund equipment for an art therapy group, so that people can express their feelings through art and start the healing process

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Tainted Lovers is Live…

full paperback cover

(Click cover to be directed to Amazon)

Title:

Tainted Lovers

Genre:

Romantic erotica/suspense

Page count:

424

Series?

Complete standalone

Listen to me reading Chapter One without any rehearsal, I just picked it up and read it (sorry if I sound shite! you can read along below):

Chapter One

Easter, 2003

 

I worked as a cataloguist of special documents at Leeds University’s Brotherton Library, which had some seriously interesting old scrolls and manuscripts among its collections. I landed the job because I had tenacity. I wanted the job because it meant not dealing with the public. I was waiting until my son Billy was a little older so that I could give more time to my studies and finally do my accounting degree.

Occasionally I left my office but only to make the dis-tance from my workspace to the café nearby. While Billy spent time at the crèche every afternoon, I worked. I didn’t need the money, just some sort of sanity.

One day I was leaving my office to pick Billy up on my way home when I spotted a man stood nearby at the self-service units, looking perplexed.

“Excuse me, excuse me,” he called in a panicked voice. He held one foot on the floor while reaching high in the air to signal me over the tops of the high booths. Looking around, I saw no other members of staff available to help him. It was getting toward the end of the day for most people and also, it was nearly the Easter holidays and the past few weeks had been the busiest of the year. Most of my colleagues were surviving on cigarettes and bitching sessions to keep them going.

Walking toward him, I asked, “What’s the problem?”

It wasn’t my job to help him, but I was familiar with the self-service machines.

“It won’t let me take out this book.”

Part of me had already clocked the fact he was beautiful but I tried to ignore that.

Attempting to take his book out for him, I muttered under my breath, “Where is everyone?”

“I’ve been stuck standing here for god knows how long waiting for help.”

I nodded along, hearing angry beeps from the machine, which refused to let him take out this book. Looking closer at the screen, I realised the computer bore a message:

 

This title is reserved.

 

Pointing at the screen, I drew his attention to the message and he answered, “Yeah, I reserved it. About four months ago. So did everyone else. Some shit keeps hiding this and none of us can ever get hold of the bloody thing.”

I picked up the book under scrutiny and held it in my hands. It was an old book on medieval chivalry with a brown, warped cover and thin pages nearly falling apart. The book had illustrations in colour but it was at least a hundred years old and should have been a reference title – if that.

“This shouldn’t even be on a shelf,” I mumbled, “it should be under my care. Look at it.”

I felt him staring at me for a while as I examined his long-overdue/reserved book. “A soft spot for battered old books, eh?”

“I’m actually in charge of battered old books,” I told him. “Just wait here a second.”

“Okay. I’ll wait,” he said.

I caught a softness to his voice, perhaps affection, and the tone caught me off guard. Looking directly up into his eyes for the first time, I was throttled by what was staring back.

Our eyes locked. I think I burned from every pore. My belly filled with heat and my heart rinsed off its icy cage in an instant. Staring at him, my feet rooted, I realised he wasn’t affected at all, not whatsoever. Cool as ice. I hated him a little for it.

“In… a… wait,” I mumbled, not making sense.

I rushed off back to my office and sank against the door, panting, trying to slow my heart. Never had I been so affected. Light-headed, I tried to catch my breath.

Clutching the book in my hand, I remembered I had a job to do. My PC on standby, I started it up again and searched the catalogue number.

It was a borrow, he wasn’t lying. Not a reference title. Flicking through it again, I realised it was one of the core subjects our medieval scholars studied – on chivalric court-ship. So I knew he was either an MA student or higher. Going by his eyes, he was a few years older than me.

Anyway, I needed to get rid of him.

Quickly.

I overrode the system and did something naughty, cancelling all the reserve statuses so the book could start a new cycle of temporary ownership. No doubt some div hated his fellow classmates and wanted nobody else to have access to the book, a rare title which could make or break a dissertation.

Gathering myself, I took some deep breaths, my bag clutched under my arm and the book clutched at my chest.

Leaving the office again, I walked fast because I really needed to pick up Billy.

“Hi,” he said as I rejoined him.

Stepping in front of the self-serve machine with authority, I asked, “Library card, please.”

He handed me it and I took the book out for him, avoiding eye contact altogether.

Job done.

“There you go.”

“Thanks… how did you…? Thanks!” He stuffed the book into his rammed-full bag as I began walking away.

I chased down the stairs, not wanting to give him chance to follow me. I had two flights to get down, though. My exit was through the Parkinson building, and the stairs outside were steep and dangerous. I had to slow down to take them.

“Wait, wait!” He caught up with me, a hand on my forearm slowing me down as we got out into the open air. “I know you.”

“I have somewhere to be,” I huffed, impatient.

“Adrienne, right?”

I dared look into those chocolate-brown eyes again and another electric current shot through me, even stronger though this time. In the light of day, I saw how deeply brown his eyes really were – and smouldering – with umber striations.

I folded my arms. “So what? I saw your library card, David.” I sounded pithy. “You saw my name tag. Big deal.”

“No,” he shook his head, “Adrienne Kyd. I know you. Well,” he chuckled, “I know of you.”

I examined him carefully and the familiarity became clear.

“You’re a Harrogate boy,” I said through gritted teeth.

So, my past was inescapable. A boy from my hometown had found me.

But just how much did he know?

“Everybody knows you… or knew you,” he said, but while his tone was affectionate, his eyes remained devoid of any feeling. He looked at me like he was looking right past me. It was something about his steady gaze. I couldn’t read him. He seemed, guarded.

Anyway, he wasn’t lying. Everyone knew me. I was Miss Harrogate 2000, the same year I got together with Marcus, my ex – the donator of sperm that created my child (he was never a father).

“I’m not trying to be rude… I really do have somewhere to be,” I insisted, avoiding his eyes at all costs. I couldn’t help notice he was mentally undressing me, sizing me up for the kill.

“Can I give you my number?” he asked.

“No.”

“No?”

“No. Goodbye.”

I charged off. Petrified wasn’t a word I thought I understood, but right then, I did. I purposely wore dowdy clothes, no make-up – and worked in the backroom of a library. I hardly ever let my hair down (literally) and I didn’t try to make myself look attractive to the opposite sex whatsoever. In fact I was glad to be invisible but that day, my magic cloak seemed to have worn off.

I’d never been so scared before in my life: I’d fallen in love at first sight.

 

***

 

Even though I worked at the library, people may not have even known that. I passed through quickly on my way to and from places; always with my eyes focused on leaving, always with an air of inapproachability so that people never stopped me in my tracks. I lived in my office, end of. I wore a name badge I always tried to hide by folding over my cardigan. I wasn’t on the help desk. I didn’t deal with returns. I didn’t want to talk to people. I didn’t want people to ask me questions and know things about me. I was quiet. I talked to one girl I worked with, Bebe, and the rest of the staff thought I was some sort of mentally ill person with antisocial tendencies. It worked for me.

However. After that first encounter with David, I was no longer a ghost fluttering in and out of that place. I was a target. David hung around in the afternoons, waiting, watching. He asked if he could carry my bag on my way out. He tried to slip his number into the palm of my hand. He even stalked me at my favourite coffee shop in Parkinson, finding out from the owner what my usual tipple was. The coffee shop owner said David had paid for me to have free coffee for the rest of the academic year. I was molten with fury and longing – torn between giving into my urges and tearing strips off him for refusing to let it go.

 

Not many days later, I had to run an errand over to the geography department which was expecting a new delivery of old maps. Because of my infrequent escape from the office, I don’t think David expected me to catch him with another girl that day. I watched from a distance, hiding myself behind one of the many trees lining the pathways of our campus. I spotted him and a redhead on a bench having a heated discussion, and then a second girl walked up to them. A brunette. The two girls faced off, seemingly fighting for him. David was able to slope off because they were too busy arguing. He chased away once he’d put a safe distance between himself and the two ladies, heading off campus it seemed. Once I knew he was gone, I left my hiding place and walked along to my destination, passing the two girls as I did. All I heard from the redhead was, “He was mine first, keep your hands off.”

The brunette replied, “Don’t you see? He’s playing us both…”

I didn’t hear anything more, but I was sure as hell certain David wasn’t a man to be trusted. I certainly couldn’t afford another man like that in my life.

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