A Chapter by Oswin

"You’re the reader and I’m the character; you’re reality and I’m fantasy; you’re fire and I’m water; we are two basic elements that are always at odds with each other." A romance story like no other.



 I pace around my flat searching for a black shoe. It’s nearly nine, I should be there in, looking up at the clock, three minutes.

“How am I supposed to get there in three minutes without my other shoe?” I yell.

Flopping down onto the sofa, my back hits something and I pull it out. My shoe. I slip it on, grab my things and leave the flat; locking it on the way out. I almost run down the street, stopping a few metres away from the coffee shop. I straighten my top and run my fingers through my hair, not perfect, but will do. I enter and see Riley sitting in the far corner where we met this afternoon. I walk over to them and they look up.

“Hi, I was beginning to think you wouldn’t show.” I check my watch, fifteen minutes past.

“Ah, sorry. Didn’t mean to be that late; I couldn’t find my shoe, I had three minutes, and shoe was nowhere in view. Then I sat down and it was on the sofa. Then I was already three minutes late, I was running here; think I knocked over an old man on the way, I’m really not sure.” I say, breathlessly.

Riley quickly gets up before I can start again and kisses me.

“Did that shut you up?” They ask, smiling and I nod, touching my finger tips to my lips.

“Yeah, it did.” I laugh and Riley joins in with me. “Um, ready to go?”

They nod and take my hand in theirs. “Yep. Anyway, what restaurant are we going to?”

“My mum’s husband, my step-dad, well his brother moved to London a few years after he broke up with his boyfriend, he started working as bus-boys in restaurants, his dream was to open his own one. Then one day, this small building was up for sale, it was rundown and utter rubbish, but it was what he wanted. When I first came down here with my mum and Billy, Dave told me to never ever get in the way of someone’s dream, they’ll knock you down faster and harder then you did to the, and it’s true. Anyway, he brought the building and spent most of his days there fixing it and here we are now, it’s open for business and one of London’s fastest growing restaurants that came from the very bottom.”


We leave the coffee shop and start walking down the streets, our hands still holding each other’s.

“Can I ask something?” Riley says, after a while of silence, I look at them and nod.

“You know you said you should never get in the way of a person’s dreams because they’ll knock you down faster and harder then you did?”

“Yeah?” I reply.

“Why haven’t you knocked yourself down?” Riley asks.

“What?” I look at them, frowning.

“You said if people get in the way of someone’s dream, they’ll stop them; why haven’t you stopped yourself? The only person in the way of your dream is you. My mum used to say to me that a person’s dream tells you a lot more about a person then you think. If they think they can’t do it, they probably can’t, well not with that attitude; but if someone thinks they can, they probably will.”

“I’m not standing in the way of what I want, I just don’t seem to have anything good come to my mind. When the right idea comes, I’ll know it, but in the meantime; I just can’t do whatever it is right now.”

“Like I said, with that attitude you couldn’t. Think of it this way, no good idea is coming to your head because you’re not letting it. You think you can’t so nothing comes, but if you think you can, then good ideas will come flooding.”

We walk into the restaurant.

“Trust me.” Riley adds.

Billy’s brother, Dave, comes over. A smile on his face, like usual. He looks at me then at Riley.

“Hello, Hayden!” He says, once he reaches us.

“Hi Dave, can we have a table for two?” I ask, letting go of Riley’s hand and hugging him for a moment, before we let go of each other.

“Yeah, sure! Anything for my favourite person!” He says, laughing, before grabbing two menus and walking us to the far side of the busy restaurant.

The walls and floor are made of wood. The lights are dim and the room looks slightly yellow, the tables and chairs are also wooden. The kitchen and bar are to the left, the toilets to the right. Who know such a small building could hold such a big dream. A big dream that someone achieved though. Riley and I sit down at the table Dave offers us. We take the menus from him.

“What would you like to drink?” Dave leans in and whispers something into my ear. “Remember, family gets a fifty per cent discount.” He straightens up.

“We’ll take the champagne, Dave, please.” I say, Riley smiles.

“Sure, that’s fine. I’ll be back to take your orders when you’re ready.” He smiles once again, before leaving.

“Thanks for this, Hayden. I haven’t been out in a while, it’s good to go on a date with someone you know isn’t a totally arse.”

I laugh. “Thanks, I guess?”

“Anyway, what are you going to order?” Riley asks, opening the menu, I do the same and look at what’s on offer.

“I’m going to have my usual, I think.” I put it down and Riley looks over the top of the menu.

“Which is?”

“The cheese burger, they do a brilliant one. Cooked to perfection.” I laugh and they smile.

Suddenly, a waitress comes with the champagne in an ice bucket and two glasses, she sets them down and pops open the bottle, before pouring it into the glasses. She then puts the champagne in the ice bucket and leaves. I pick up my glass and take a sip.

“Well, I might do a Hayden then.” I almost spit out my drink.

“What?” I ask in shock.

“That came out wrong, what I meant to say is that I might order the same as you.” I wipe my mouth with a napkin and Riley bursts out laughing, I start doing the same.

“You actually scared me for a second then, Riley. I didn’t know what you meant!” They take a sip of their champagne.

“Sorry about that. Anyway, let’s make a toast!” I pick up my glass. “To the little coffee shop where we met again.” Riley smiles.

I repeat the toast; “To the little coffee shop that brought us back to each other.”


“So anyway, I believed them of course. I don’t know why, though. I was waiting for February Thirtieth to come round, I couldn’t wait for the date with Sam, and they were really hot. But then I mentioned it to my dad and he laughed at me, I was really confused, but then he told me that there wasn’t a February Thirtieth, I felt like a complete idiot.” Riley laughs, taking a sip of their champagne, and eating a chip.

“You were actually that gullible?” I say, laughing and also drinking my drink.

“Yep. Hey, don’t blame me, I was too caught up in how amazing they were. Turned out to be one big fat lie of course, telling someone a fake number is bad, but a fake day of the month, that’s just mean and rude.” They smile and I feel like I want to listen to them forever.

“Well, I can be happy to say that never happened to me, but once I met this person, Morgan, they told me to call them sometime. I left it a day, I didn’t want to seem eager or anything.” Riley laughs. “Then, the day after came so I called them. They gave me the number for the Gay Hot-Line.” Riley tips their head back in laughter.

“Classic hot person move!” I eat a chip and pour us some more champagne.

“Okay, okay; your go. Tell me another embarrassing dating story.” I take a sip of my new drink, before putting the glass down.

“I once dated a Drew, they were really nice. Thought I was going to be with the forever; I loved them very much. But then one day, I came home from working at the call centre and Drew was kissing another person.” Riley picks up their glass and drain it all at once. “I hated Drew for what they did. I was totally and utterly in love with them, then they threw my heart away. That’s when I didn’t know who would leave and who would stay.” There’s a pause. “This talk has turned from being funny into being sad.”

“Riley, I’m sorry to hear about that, but trust me, Drew doesn’t deserve you. Not at your best or at your worst. But do you know what they deserve?”


“Your middle finger.” I laugh and they chuckle too.

“Your go, tell me about a break up. I’ve told you about one of mine, it’s only fair you say one of yours.” I eat another chip and Riley takes a bit of their burger.

“Okay, um. Well, there was one person; Jordan.”

“Jordan?” They repeat.

“Yep. I was totally in love with them, they weren’t just my date, but they were my best friend. I guess I wasn’t enough for them though, I got home and found a note; well that’s just say I wasn’t their type.”

“They’re homosexual?” Riley asks, taking a sip of their champagne, their eyes never leaving mine.

“Yeah, for weeks, I wondered if it was I who turned them, you know? Was it my doing that made them realize they like people of the same sex? I called them up a few months after the breakup and we met up. Had some coffee, chatted, laughed that kind of thing. I asked them the question that was on my mind for a while.” They smile. "Turns out, I didn’t. Which was kind of good to know, but they said they knew before we even started dating, which angered me. We’re friends still, but I can’t get over how angry I was with them for just leaving like that. A note was all that I was worth. It made me feel useless and they fact they knew I wasn’t their type, yet they still dated me.”


Riley takes my hand in theirs. “Well, you’re not. Trust me. You’re worth a thousand more Jordan’s or Drew’s or Morgan’s. You’re better then every single one of them.”

“But I’m not perfect.”

“Who is?”

“You are.” I whisper, Riley smiles.

“I’m not. I have holes that I’ve dug up for myself that I know sooner or later I will fall into. I have weird habits that my mother told me not to tell my partner until after six years of marriage.”

I laugh. “They really can’t be that bad!”

Riley laughs and pulls away, before taking another bit of the burger. “No, they really are.”

“Tell me, you’ve got me intrigued. Don’t leave me hanging!” I laugh.

“Okay, okay. Only if you promise me you won’t make fun of me!” Riley holds their hands up, surrendering to me.

“I won’t. I promise and I never break promises.” I take a sip of the champagne.

“I guess you could say it started in secondary school.” I smile.

“You guess?”
     “Okay, fine. It did start in secondary school. I was ill and stayed at home because of it, and well, like most people; I was bored. So I cleaned the house. Nothing strange about that, right?” I nod. “Well, afterwards, I was still bored, so I arranged every book, every CD and every DVD we have into chronological order and I still do it to this day.” I laugh.

“You’re kidding, aren’t you?” I ask and they shake their head.

“I knew you were going to laugh at me.” They say, a smile on their face.

“Don’t worry, I’ve known people with weirder habits.” We smile and drain our glasses before finishing our meal. Dave comes back over and asks us if it was alright.

“Defiantly. Best cheese burger I’ve ever had!” Riley says, smiling.

“I like this one.” Dave grins, pointing at them; I nod, the corners of my mouth up slightly.

“I do too.”

We walk back to the coffee shop after we both split the money of the bill in half. We’re still talking about bad habits.

“When I was four, I picked up that I couldn’t go asleep until I had sung the English and the American National Anthem. Don’t ask me why I picked that up, but I did, then I started learning the other countries National Anthem’s as well. I don’t do it anymore, but if a country won in a Olympic game and I know their Anthem, I will sing along.” I say, laughing.

“What ones do you know?” Riley asks.

“Well, I obviously I know the English one and the American one, but I also know the Turkish one, the German one, the Mexican one, the Spanish one, the French one, the Brazilian one and the Russian one. Not going to get me far in life if I only know a few words, but I used to study them in my free time, until I learnt them off by heart.” Riley smiles.

“So, I like everything in order and you couldn’t sleep without saying a few National Anthems. I guess you learn new things about someone every day.”

“Yeah, I mean who knew what a little dwerb you were.” I laugh and Riley punches my shoulder.

“Hey! Says the nerd who couldn’t sleep without singing a song.” We chuckle.

“It wasn’t just a song!” I protest, laughing.

We come to the coffee shop and silence fills the air again. We stop and look at each other.

“I had fun tonight, but I better go.”

“I did too and are you sure you don’t want me to walk you home? It’s not far out of my way.”

“No, it’s fine. Night.”


We both separate and walk away from each other towards our flats. I look up at you.

“Sorry if it seemed like I was ignoring you, Dee. I just wanted to forget about everything apart from Riley tonight, you understand that right?” I ask, you don’t reply.

“Sorry again. I didn’t mean it to come off rude or anything, I just really like them.” I enter my flat and look at the clock; it’s nearly midnight.

I sigh and see my messages button flashing, I press it as I take off my shoes and jacket. It’s my mum.

“Hey Hayden, honey. It’s me, I just wanted to say that what I said earlier was stupid and I didn’t mean it like that. Please, just pick up the phone, I love you.” I roll my eyes and press delete, it beeps.

I head into the bathroom and wash my face before pulling off my clothes and slipping into my pyjamas.  I get under the covers and pull them over my stomach. I turn the lamp on and stare at the ceiling.

“I had a good time tonight, did you have fun too, Dee?” I ask to no one. “I know I’ve only met them again for the first time in years, but I really like Riley.”

I roll over and the covers fall with me.

“They’re right, you know? The reason I’m not writing is because I’m not letting myself.” I turn my lamp back on and sit up straight.

“I need to change my mind of all of my I cant’s to I can’t. I should clear my mind of all negativity and be positive.” I close my eyes and breathe in deeply, before exhaling it.

I open them. “I need air.”

Quickly getting out of bed, I slip on a coat and some shoes, I go outside in my pyjamas and sit on the bench outside my block of flats. It faces away from the ugly side and looks upon a beautiful patch of nature, that’s what I should be doing it. Away from the ugly and facing the pretty, (thoughts, not people). Sitting down on the bench, I hold my legs to my chest and hug them against the cold. I put my chin on my knees and look at London at night. It’s all so peaceful, I can hear the faint siren in the background and the noise of a thousand cars at a distance, but then I can hear the rustling of the trees and the sweet song of birds and few noises of the night owl. I smile to myself and that’s when I let my mind clear, and that’s when I get an idea. I shoot up. It’s perfect. I’ll write a romance novel, but instead of the main character falling in love with another character, they’ll fall in love with the reader. I unwrap my legs and run back to my flat, where I load up fresh paper in my typewriter and I begin to write and write and write, until finally, the night turns into morning.


© 2013 Oswin

Author's Note

Thank you for reading, yours truly, Oswin xoxo

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Added on June 4, 2013
Last Updated on June 4, 2013
Tags: personal, friendship, love, romance, strength, story, finished, book, torn, lovers, madness



Essex, United Kingdom

Hi, my name is Jess and I'm 14 years old. I love old films, classic songs and reading is my life. I am a massive Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Divergent, Millennium, Doctor Who, Sherlock .. more..

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A Chapter by Oswin

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A Chapter by Oswin