The Price of Love

Competition Six Highly Commended: The Price of Love by

I’m just starting the chorus when our eyes lock. Red jacket, shoulder length hair, talking to her friend but not moving her eyes from mine. I know then that I am going to marry her.


I smile. She smiles back, watching me over her drink.


Second verse and I’m scanning the lyrics ahead in my mind, hoping there’s no meaningful lines. I don’t want my first declaration of love to be cheese written by someone else.


What she and I have doesn’t need words though. She’s the woman I’m meant to be with. Like a reversal of death, my life ahead flashes before me. Our wedding, our children, our empty-nester holidays in an open-top car. The smile she’ll always keep only for me.


Second chorus. Her friend says something, and she laughs, still looking at me. I beam back at her, letting her know that she’s everything to me.


No third verse, the chorus repeats. She nods at her friend, knocks back the last of her drink, checks her hair in the mirror behind the bar. Her friend walks towards the door. She follows.


I have to go after her. We had a moment. We have the rest of our lives. The song is nearly finished. I can still catch them. It’s early, there’s no crowd here to push through.


I can’t rush the final lines, but I want them done. I want to be with her. She’s the one.


I’ll run.


Run and say what? The words I’ve just sung?


It’s only the second song. If I don’t finish the set, I don’t get paid.


What would I say to her?


Reading the next title on the set list, my left hand forms the chord. She moved on and I couldn’t. I can’t. It’s fifty quid for the set.



Andrew Deathe writes non-fictions for museums to earn money to allow him to spend time writing fiction for himself. He lives in Wales, which is inspirational, and is writing a novel, which is aspirational. He rarely tweets @AndrewDeathe



Photo by Gabriel Gurrola on Unsplash



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