You would be forgiven for thinking most of what I write is short, semi-erotic and D/s flavoured. It is far from the truth. This is the beginning of an unpublished story I wrote a while ago about Jude….
They sat indoors in the dark on the window seat, held hands, and watched the storm. The lightning flashed blue grey, illuminating the gardens in monochrome and turning the heavy rain into shining silver rods. The thunder rolled and rumbled, heavy with threat, building into sudden, angry cracks and crashes that made Jude jump nervously. Tom squeezed her fingers reassuringly and told her in a low whisper the storm was a couple of miles away at least. He had silently counted the seconds between sudden flare and resultant boom with childish disappointment. Jude nodded her head slightly, and continued to stare out of the leaded casement, her view distorted by imperfections in the glass, and the water, streaming down. She sat with her back straight, her head erect and her chin raised; brave, earnest and attentive, as if she expected to learn something, or gain some new understanding.
After half an hour the rain ceased and the final reverberations of thunder faded beyond their hearing. From the garden there was the fat sound of huge drops falling from the gutters, and rustling thickly through the tall, leafy trees surrounding the house. Still they sat, neither wanting to disturb the haven the theatre of the elements had created. They were in a safe, timeless place which neither of them could bear to leave. They dreaded switching on a light, knowing everything would become flat, and ordinary, and bleak.
Jude shivered and rubbed her arms, bare in her favourite blue summer frock. She broke the silence. “It’s cold.” And then sadly, “I know it’s only July, but it feels like the end of summer”
“I’m going to miss you.” Tom blurted out. His voice had a whining quality he hadn’t intended, and the words had tumbled out in a meaningless cliché. Jude put her fingers to his lips. Her smooth skin felt cool and smelt scented. “Don’t say anything, please,” she whispered.
He shrugged and turned away from her, and massaged his temples with his palms. He too shivered.
“When does Stuart’s flight get in,” he asked, trying to make his voice, which seemed to be rebelling against him, sound more conversational.
“Tomorrow morning. He’ll be here by mid-day.” She reached for Tom’s hands in the darkness, and raised them up towards her face. She turned her head, laying her cheek on them. It was moist with tears. “I am sorry,” she said.
“For what?” he asked gently.
“For crying. For us. For Stuart.” She sniffed. “God knows what I shall say to him.”
“You don’t have to tell him anything.”
“No, no, I wouldn’t.” He felt her shudder. “I couldn’t. But then what do I say? How can I talk about anything? How will I be normal?”
Tom couldn’t see her face, but could imagine it. Pale, slightly elfin, wide green eyes, small pointed nose, delicate chin, full lips, fringe of straight brown hair, worn shoulder length. He could imagine the misery in it, and with a groan he reached for her, pressing her to his chest, feeling the warmth of her face through his shirt. He kissed her head and breathed in the soapy fragrance of her hair. She clung to him, rocking gently and rubbing herself against him.
“Oh, Jude.” he murmured. “Dear, sweet Jude.”
The phone rang. They both jumped.
“Leave it,” he pleaded quietly.
She stood. “I can’t. It might be…” Her voice tailed off. The phone was in the hall. She opened the door and the ringing became louder. Somewhere she flicked a switch and a rectangle of yellow streamed into the sitting room, destroying the haven as if it had never existed.
Tom heard her say “Hello”, and from her first few words he knew it was Stuart. He also knew he didn’t want to hear the conversation. No, it was stronger than that. He couldn’t bear to hear it. With a sudden decisive movement he stood up and reached for his jacket, which was draped over the sofa. He slipped it on as he stepped out into the hall. Trying not to look at Jude, but failing, he opened the door and quickly left the house. He hurried up the dark drive and out of the open gate. The air was clear and clean. He could smell honeysuckle and roses.
It’s over. Just like that, he thought. It’s over.
The last image Tom had of Jude was her face, contorted with misery, desperately and silently begging him not to go, while at the same time trying to tell Stuart how much she was looking forward to seeing him, her voice uneven with emotion. It was a picture he couldn’t get out of his mind.
He didn’t know if he would ever see her again.
© the author writing here under the name Romantic Dominant
Art by Loui Jover