Competition Thirteen Highly Commended: Things I Won’t Forget Now I’ve Moved Back Home by Chris Cottom
My column of carefully counted shillings for the meter.
The handbasin where I’d wash my stockings and smalls.
The apricot eiderdown, icy sheets and scratchy blankets.
Ryvita with Edam for supper; celery and Worcester Pearmains from Berwick Street market.
Macaroni cheese with Marie and Suzie.
My monthly treat of a sinful bar of Bournville.
Your green corduroy jacket and dark curly hair. Your duffle coat and dimples.
Your huge-windowed studio where New King’s Road becomes Parsons Green.
The smell of turpentine and Gauloises. Your bubbling percolator and guttering gas fire.
Peter, Paul and Mary on your record player. Blowin’ in the Wind on your lips.
My goosepimples while you sketched and painted me.
Your portrait painter’s professionalism. My girlish relief, and disappointment.
Your strong cold hands and soft warm mouth my first time, six long weeks later.
My beret-topped teddy bear, Alphonse, hidden in the wardrobe.
Mrs Bagshaw’s face when you clattered down the stairs at nearly midnight.
Spaghetti and chianti at Bertorellis after a double bill at the flicks.
Saturday croissants and café au lait in Old Compton Street.
Necking on the grass in Regent’s Park; tea at Lyons Corner House.
The paperback copy of Bonjour Tristesse you bought me in Foyles.
The salty sweat pooled on your chest in sweltering August.
The unused Dutch cap I was bold enough to get, but not to tell you about.
Your roar of triumph and drinks all round when you sold that lithograph.
Marie sipping Martini, all little black dress and cigarette-holder sophistication.
Suzie in her skinny-rib sweater and canary yellow tights.
Your brown leather briefcase and the sketches I found there, that weren’t of me.
Chris Cottom lives in the north west of England, and once wrote insurance words. He’s won the Retreat West Flash Fiction Prize, the LoveReading Very Short Story People’s Choice Award, and competitions with Shooter Flash and On The Premises.
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1 thought on “Competition Thirteen Highly Commended: Things I Won’t Forget Now I’ve Moved Back Home”
This is so brilliant on many levels and so satisfying to read!