Goodbye My Lover - Songfiction

Goodbye My Lover - Songfiction Goodbye My Lover - Songfiction

Status: Finished

Genre: Song Lyrics

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Song Lyrics

Summary

This is a song fiction to Goodbye My Lover by James Blunt. A man has the love of his life killed in a car accident and he looks back on their life together. I rated it X because there is one example of bad swearing and some other adult content.

Summary

This is a song fiction to Goodbye My Lover by James Blunt. A man has the love of his life killed in a car accident and he looks back on their life together.

I rated it X because there is one example of bad swearing and some other adult content.

Content

Submitted: August 04, 2011

A A A | A A A

Content

Submitted: August 04, 2011

A A A

A A A


 

Sam dropped onto the road, scrapping both of his bare knees simultaneously. But he could not feel the pain that should have come. He could not see the panicked people that rushed around him and he could not hear them shouting things that did not matter. The only thing he knew was this; his lover, his soul mate, his best friend, his saviour was dead. Callie was dead. He stroked her soft, chestnut hair which sparkled in the evening sun. How he loved the way it did that.

Then he did the most dangerous thing he could have done. Letting the memories finally seep into his numb brain brought hot, wet tears to his eyes and an unbearable pain to his chest. One that he knew would never fade…

 

Did I disappoint you or let you down?

Should I be feeling guilty or let the judges frown?
He had refused, point blank to take Callie to Italy, a country which she had been talking about for ages and one which she desperately wanted to visit.

  “I can’t have any time off at the moment, the office is chaotic. And think about the cost, Cal. I thought we were saving for that new TV”

She looked at him, the hurt shining through her huge opal eyes. There was no anger but what was there was far worse; disappointment. She had set her heart on visiting Venice, Rome and Florence. Now she never would.

Why had he been so up-tight and mean? He could have taken time off; his work meant nothing to him. And what did they need a new TV for when they already had one which worked fine? He wished he could turn back time.

 

'Cause I saw the end before we'd begun,

  He remembered the moment they had met vividly; despite the fact they had only been fifteen years old. She had just started at his school, completely new to the area and had sat next to him in Chemistry because Aaron Wilcox had been off sick. Her hair was slightly messed up, her face distinctly red from the harsh February wind. But it was her smile had instantly drawn him to her. They had talked for the whole hour and he had never wanted the bell to ring less.

  He had walked out of that room, knowing he would hold on to Callie. Not in a romantic way. He could never have known love would blossom between them at that early stage, after only knowing her for an hour. But she had made him feel different somehow, the way no-one else could. She had made him feel truly worth something.

  “Yes,” he had thought to himself, “I will make sure I hold on to her.”

 

Yes I saw you were blinded and I knew I had won.

  Five years later and he was walking through the ornate doors of the old stately home where Callie’s brother was getting married. His eyes scanned the crowded room of people milling around, some chatting animatedly, others reading over speeches, nervously. When he found her his heart began hammering against his rib cage and his suit suddenly felt uncomfortably hot. What was he a blubbering schoolboy? But she did this to him recently. He felt sure she would never feel the same way but no matter how hard he tried she would not leave his head or vacate his dreams.

So when she stopped a few paces in front of him, her eyes moving slowly, sensually down his body he felt a welcome pang of surprise.

“You look rather dashing, Mr Avon,” her mischievous smile had sent electric jolts thundering through him.

Perhaps he had been wrong. Maybe he had won her affection.


So I took what's mine by eternal right.

It was at least two years after the wedding that it happened.  He had known then that he loved Callie. It wasn’t just lust. He hated being away from her. He couldn’t comprehend life without her. But life is not perfect. She had met a man at that wedding, Jeremy, and they had begun seeing each other. He was tall and intimidating and on the few occasions Sam had talked to him he had felt judged and scrutinised the entire time. Jealousy had roared up within him like a fiery demon. He had never felt so much hatred towards another person, especially one he didn’t really know.

When their relationship had ended one Tuesday night she had rung him up in shaking tears and they had talked the night away. He wandered if he had a chance with her. The months that followed were full of fleeting looks and hanging questions. He couldn’t tell her he loved her. If she didn’t feel the same way it might tear their friendship apart and he couldn’t stand that.

***

But she had come to visit him before going on a skiing holiday with her friend, Hannah. The snow had fallen thick and fast whilst they had lost time chatting and drinking tea. He knew that she could have driven home if she had really wanted to but he had offered a place to her anyway.

“I’ve got plenty of space if you want to stay,”

A delighted smile had lit up her face, with a hint of something else as she replied, “I’d love to,”

  Then he had made to give her a piece of his favourite sticky ginger cake but it had never made it into her hands. She had taken his face between her two palms, her velvety skin caressing his cheek and kissed him. It had been soft and gentle at first but passion soon erupted between them so that he slammed her into the pale kitchen walls, kissing every inch of her. Years of lost opportunities went into that kiss.

Before they knew it they were knelt opposite each other on the living room floor, clothes strewn all around them.  He let Callie trace the contours of his chest and he stroked her cascading hair, never once leaving her beautiful, passion-hazed eyes.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked her. He needed to know this was what she wanted. He prayed she didn’t say no.

She replied, simply, “I’ve never been more sure of anything, Sam.”

  “But we don’t have to do this yet if…”

  “Samuel Avon for once just shut up would you, I want to kiss you and how can I whilst you are talking,” she grinned.

And the night that followed was a tangled mess of love and interrupted sleep. He had never wanted it to end.

 

Took your soul out into the night.

“Sam, look they’re just beautiful aren’t they?” Callie stood in red, mud-flecked wellington boots and an oversized raincoat, pointing upwards towards the dark blanket, covered in tiny twinkling dots, “See that one, over there, that’s called Asterope and that little group is Pegasus. You see it looks kind of like a table, only with three legs.”

He smiled, as he watched her, not really listening to what she was saying, just watching her in her element. He knew she had always loved Astronomy and the stars but had never had the confidence to take it anywhere. Everyone she had told had warned her how it was “terribly difficult” to learn and “not a very secure profession.” But he had encouraged her to take it up and now she went to a club once a week. He had never seen her look more alive. Whenever she came over to his house she insisted on them going for a night-time stroll because the skies were clearer where he lived than at her city home.

This was what she loved doing with her heart and soul and he felt proud to have helped her on the way to it.


It may be over but it won't stop there,
I am here for you if you'd only care.

Callie knelt, pitifully on the bed, staring at the spreading pool of blood staining the sheets. She cried loudly, bending over now and then to clutch her searing stomach. It had broken his heart to see her like this.

“Cal, my love, come on. We can try again in a few months. Everything will be…”

  “NO!” she screeched at him. He had never seen her lose control like this. Her eyes were wild and the voice which came out of her mouth bared no resemblance to the one he knew and adored, “No. Everything will not be ok Sam. How can you say that? You don’t know what it’s like. Look at you just standing there. To you it’s just like a broken window or something isn’t it? Just go and get another one and the problem’s solved. I had a person inside me Sam. A real person, who I would have loved until my dying day. Now I will never even know whether it was a girl or a boy or what colour eyes it had or…or,” she trailed off as she was overcome with another bout of pain.

He made to put his arm around her shaking body but she shook him off, violently.

  “I’m sorry. I know I don’t understand so why don’t you just tell me. Explain to me what you’re feeling. I’m here for you, Cal,”

  “I am not reliving everything I’m feeling just so you can fucking understand,” her reply was venomous and most unlike herself. Callie never swore.

  “But I thought you wanted me to,” he told her, hurt and confused.

  “Just go away. Just leave I don’t need your crap right now.”

  “But Cal…”

  “GO!” she screamed with such force that he jumped. But it told him that there was no point in arguing. She didn’t want to be around him right now. Turning towards the door he took his mobile phone out of his pocket and dialled the number of Callie’s close friend, Mariah. She needed to have someone with her. He couldn’t bare to leave her alone in this state.

You touched my heart you touched my soul.

Sam

I’m  sorry this is such late notice but I’ve had to go up and see mum. Dad called me earlier to say she’s back in hospital – they think the cancer is back. I’ll ring you when I get the chance. Don’t come up, I know you’re busy at work.

I have some good news too though – my book is ready to sell! It’s all been bound together and I’ve left you a copy as they sent me loads. I know I was stubborn about letting other people read it when I was working on it so I wanted to show you straight away.

All my love,

Callie

 

He placed the note which had been atop a hard-back book on the wooden coffee table and picked the novel up. It was cool and pleasant to hold and the smell of fresh paper, oozed the feeling of new and exciting beginnings. It was entitled, “Love In The Stars” in swirling gold writing. He knew it was about an unexpected romance between a quiet, reserved astronomer and a vibrant prince but that was about it. Callie had indeed been unwilling to give out information about her book. He remembered how intrigued he had been to read it and had flicked it open straight away, slouching onto the cool, leather sofa.

Before he reached chapter one, however, the author’s note grabbed his attention…

 

The dedication of this book goes to Sam, the love of my life and forever my best friend.  He has helped me through distressing times of anguish and he has given me the good memories which fill my heart. Without him I am wholly certain this book would never have been written. He encouraged me to follow my dreams in life and he made me the person I am today. I am eternally grateful to him. I love you Sam. Always.

A single tear had escaped him on that day. Callie had truly warmed him from the inside and he had got a tremendous feeling that whatever life threw at him he would get through it because he had her.


You changed my life and all my goals.

Before he had met her he didn’t really think that love existed. Fondness, lust, even a great liking for one another did. But not love. He had watched couples around him split, divorce and separate forever, including his own parents. Eternal love didn’t exist.

But as he grew up he began to see differently. He realised that love did exist but not in the way he had thought, the way films and fiction portray it. Love is a very gradual thing. It happens over years. You don’t wake up one morning and think “I’m in love.” You just simply realise it when you look at a person you have known for years. You realise you would give up anything for them. That is love. And when it happens to you it is the best feeling in the world. It changes who you are.

Callie changed him. After his parents divorced when he was just thirteen his life began spiralling downhill. His mother began drinking and taking drugs. She was useless to him and his little sister, Annie. He became the head of the family, making sure Annie’s life carried on as normally as was possible and making sure his school work didn’t suffer. But he had little to work with. His mother got fired from her job when she began turning up to work blind drunk and so the family soon ran out of money. They began having to lower their food intake and use every scrap they had. Most nights he would go to bed hungry because he had given his baked beans on toast to Annie.

His father still insisted on seeing his two children. They would visit him in his expensive, modern-looking flat most weekends. They accepted without a fuss because he fed them well but they did not enjoy going. He was not a real father to them. Spending the days shut away in the study, claiming to be working and the nights at the pub. He never promised to be back in time for them to watch a film together or play a game of cards; he simply left them with a pizza in the oven and promised to see them in the morning.  On the rare occasions that his father did have a proper conversation with him he came out of it feeling deflated and worthless.

“So what are your plans for the future, son? You need to think about earning a living soon.”

Most thirteen year old boys got asked about their recent football matches or what girls they liked at school. Not career ideas. But he answered truthfully anyway, “My dream is to be an artist. I really enjoy painting.”

He remembered the look his father had given him as though it was imprinted on his brain. It had been a mixture of disgust and pity.

“You’re not serious are you? You’ll never make it as an artist it is far too hard. You have to be extremely gifted and even then it is not certain you will do well. I suggest something safer like banking or accountancy.” His father had told him in that patronising voice of his. He had stopped painting that day, his confidence utterly destroyed.

***

“So tell me, what are your dreams? What would you be doing ten years from now if you could choose anything in the world?” Callie sat opposite him, at his tiny kitchen table, eating a large bowl of spaghetti bolognaise which she had cooked for them both. They were eighteen and in their final year of school. She had come round to get help with her maths homework but they had ended up going for a walk through the fields at the back of his house and only come back when they had felt hungry. The orange coloured sauce had stained around her mouth slightly and he chuckled at the sight of it.

“What?” she asked, suspiciously.

“You’ve just got a little something round there,” he circled his own mouth with his hand to show where the pasta sauce was.

“Oh,” she wiped it hurriedly, looking a little sheepish, “But don’t avoid the question. Come on I’ve told you my stupid fantasy, what’s yours?”

“That’s not stupid, Cal. I can see you as an astronomer, definitely. Mine’s way worse,”

“Why, what is it?” she regarded him with genuine interest so he decided to tell her.

“I want to be an artist.”

Instead of looking surprised or laughing at him she said, simply, “Sam, that’s an amazing dream to have. I never knew you liked painting. Do you do it often?”

“Well, I used to but I don’t really any more. Everyone I’ve ever told said it’s a dangerous and unreliable path to take and I will never earn enough money.”

Her brows furrowed and she adopted a somewhat angry expression, “Well, they shouldn’t make those sort of assumptions until they’ve seen your work. Would you show me, I’d like to see your paintings?”

He hadn’t been sure if he wanted to show her. No-one had ever seen his paintings before. What if she though they were rubbish? “I…I dunno…”

“Come on Sam I don’t care what they’re like. I just think it’s amazing that you are doing something you love. No-one follows their dreams nowadays. They just do what they have to do to earn a living and I think it’s kinda sad.”

So he had led her into his room and taken his paintings out of the cramped wardrobe where he hid them from everyone else. He had spent an hour or two, showing her each one, telling her what had inspired him to do it and how long it had taken him. When the last painting, one of a girl sitting on a crumbling wall holding a large umbrella, had been neatly stacked away Callie had said something that made him reconsider his career as an artist and realise that he should pursue his goals despite what anyone told him.

“They are beautiful Sam. They are real, true paintings. So much better than these stupid modern ones that two year olds could do. Promise me you will keep painting and promise me you will try to sell them one day? I know they would do well. Please don’t give up on them.”

 

 

And love is blind and that I knew when,
My heart was blinded by you.

He stood, nervously at the end of the line, watching the bend to see who came round it first. Callie was doing a fifteen mile run in twenty five degree heat. He knew she had her heart set on winning and he so wanted it for her. Unfortunately a tall, lanky woman, who was all leg, rounded the corner first and sprinted to the finish, barely looking as if she’d jogged a few metres.  Another woman followed, black-skinned and almost as tall as the first. He watched the woman hug who he assumed were her family as he waited anxiously.

Callie appeared round the corner around a minute after the winner and he breathed a sigh of relief. He still couldn’t believe she had done this. She had never been a runner before around nine months ago when she had seen an advert for a charity run and decided she wanted to do it.

“It’s for cancer research. I really need to do this. For mum” she had explained, in earnest.

Rushing over to her he thrust an ice cold drink at her and hugged her fiercely. He didn’t care that sweat poured down her bright red face and her hair was plastered to her head. He didn’t care that her eyes were bloodshot and her lips cracked. He thought she was beautiful in that moment. He loved her with all his heart in that moment.  She was so fiercely determined, so ready to do what she believed in whatever it cost her.

 

I've kissed your lips and held your hand.

He could hear the faint sound of sirens in the distance as the ambulance rushed the injured passengers that had been in the car to the nearest hospital. Why were they allowed to live and Callie wasn’t? What had she done other than be a good, true person? He didn’t understand why this had happen to her. Memories still poured thick and fast into his head but a sudden panicked feeling hit him too. He didn’t know if he could remember the feel of her kiss, the feel of her hand in his. He hadn’t kissed her goodbye that morning because he had been so late for work. He couldn’t let himself forget so he closed his eyes to the world and cast his mind back…

***

Waiting in the airport for her to return from Spain had seemed to take an age. In fact he had only sat on the breaking plastic seat, sipping a lukewarm coffee for half an hour but to him it was a decade.

Finally he spotted her chestnut hair through the crowd because it bore her favourite sun hat which was rimmed with a colourful flower pattern. She ran up to him as fast as she could with her massive suitcase and numerous other bags. Why did women need so many clothes? Flinging them down in front of where he stood she jumped, excitedly into his arms and kissed him lovingly. She didn’t break away from him for a minute or two and in that time they had earned themselves a fair few woops from passing strangers. But he didn’t care. Her soft lips felt so good against his that he could have gone on kissing her forever. He had forgotten how he loved the way she pecked him gently at first, giving him a taster of what was to come.

When they finally broke apart he had taken her hand and led her towards the busy exit. Their fingers fitted together perfectly, entwined around one another, as though they were two parts of a jigsaw someone had purposefully designed to go together.

He squeezed her fingers as he said, “So tell me all about it.”

“It was amazing. I did so many fantastic things. But Sam?” she questioned.

“Yeah?”

“Come with me next time?”

“Definitely.”

Shared your dreams and shared your bed.

“Cal?” he asked one Sunday night as they lay on the sofa in her city flat, watching Top Gear.

“Mmmmm?” he could tell she was engrossed in the program. It was one of her favourites. She never watched any of those overly dramatic soaps or fashion programs but her one weakness was Top Gear.  Though he couldn’t complain seeing as he had loved the show himself since it had begun. Anyhow he pressed on because he couldn’t get it out if his mind.

“What do you think about marriage?”

They had been together for about three years now. They were both twenty five. He was sure she must have thought about marriage before now but they had never really discussed it.

She sat up and reached for the TV controller to turn it off. Swivelling round to face him and hugging her knees she answered, “I want to get married Sam but there’s something I want more at the moment.”

“What?” he queried, listening intently.

“Well…I know this isn’t the normal order that people do things in but I…I would really love to have a baby,”

He looked up at her to see the desperation in her eyes and she carried on before he could answer.

“It’s just, my mum had a premature menopause – she was only thirty five when it happened and I’m really scared it might happen to me. I know that’s ten years away but it could be even earlier and I just don’t want to get lost in planning marriage, buying a house and all that and then find I can’t have children anymore,” she gushed.

“I want a baby too,” he replied, realising that he spoke completely truthfully. He wasn’t that interested in marriage anyway. It was just a ceremony. To him it didn’t really prove anything. He knew he loved Callie and he didn’t need a piece of paper to say he did. They would get married one day but there was no rush.

“Come on then,” he stood, pulling her up with him.

“Huh?” she replied, confused.

“Let’s go make a baby.” He lifted her up and she screamed in surprise. They laughed together as he carried her into the bedroom and dropped her lightly onto the double bed. They kissed tenderly, all the while undressing each other, and not leaving that bed until the sun had risen.

 

I know you well, I know your smell.

“Happy seventeenth, Callie,” he handed her a tiny, wrapped box, a little embarrassed. He hadn’t counted on the majority of their class to be standing round, watching. Callie sat on a wooden desk, amidst other presents and colourful wrapping paper. She took the gift and opened it silently.

He watched, happily as a look of pure joy erupted on her face at the sight of the delicate necklace. It was a tiny model of the planet Saturn placed on the end of a thin gold chain.

“I hope it’s alright. I know you like space and stuff and I just thought of you when I saw it.” I talked just to fill the awkward silence as everyone stared at the gift.

“Oh Sam, it’s just perfect. Honestly I’m not just saying that, I really do love it. But you shouldn’t spend all this money on me. Let me give you back half of what it cost.”

“No way, don’t be stupid,” he answered quickly.

“But…”

He cut in before she could finish, “No buts Cal you are not paying, it’s your birthday for Christ sakes.”

She nodded and kissed him lightly on the cheek in thanks. Their classmates around them erupted into applause and woops of delight. One boy even shouted, “Your in mate. Good thinking to buy her a necklace. Maybe I’ll try that next time”

  He rolled his eyes as Callie leaned away from him and picked up the necklace.

  “Come on, you have to put it on for me now. We might as well give them a proper show,”

He took the necklace from her to many “Awws” from the female members of their audience. As she swept her hair away from her neck he caught a smell of something extremely pleasant. It smelt distinctly like a sort of spice, cinnamon perhaps, and reminded him greatly of Christmas.

***

Sitting on the cool, tar road now, he could still smell the spicy scent on her. It had been her fragrance since he had known her and he realised with a pang of guilt that he had never asked her what it was, never even complemented her on it. It was a beautiful, comforting, familiar smell to him and he knew it well.


I've been addicted to you.

“Mate, why the long face? Tonight’s meant to be a good night out,” Callum, his university friend aimed the question at him as he slid yet another pint to him across the smooth surface of the table.

“Nothing I’m fine,” he replied, sounding far from it.

“Just forget her man. Seriously there are other girls out there. Like that one over there,” Callum pointed to a tall, skinny blond, standing alone at the bar, “Go talk to her or something and stop being such a miserable git.”

“Yeah you’re right,” he said, sounding reasonably genuine. Along with the fake smile he plastered on his face he could easily have been speaking truthfully.

He did as Callum said and went over to the blond. She took him home that night and he stayed over but all the while Callie was occupying his head. Sam wandered if she was doing what he was doing with her idiot of a boyfriend. He wandered if she missed him with every inch of her being, like he did her. He highly doubted that she did, but he tried to convince himself otherwise. Just to stop himself going mad.

 

Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me
.
He began talking to Callie, as he held her limp hand in his because he couldn’t think of what else he could do.

“I’m gonna miss you Cal, so much, but I’m gonna focus my everything on bringing Rose up now. I don’t really care about much else, just her. I can’t believe I never asked you this but you must have got this feeling too when you had her. Your priorities completely change and you just know you’d do absolutely anything for them. It’s weird I don’t even think it’s a choice. It’s more of an instinct. But anyway, I promise to follow that instinct. I love you Callie”

 

I am a dreamer and when I wake,
You can't break my spirit - it's my dreams you take.

Callie had been with going out with Jeremy for mere days when he began having sleepless nights. Before, he had been a deep, sound sleeper, able to fall asleep anywhere and stay asleep through even the loudest of noises. But all of a sudden he just couldn’t. When his head hit the pillow he would be absolutely exhausted but Callie would float into his head, like she had the night before, and refuse to leave.

Despite all the reasons against this he still believed that he would be with Callie one day. His friends told him otherwise. So did his head. They told him to accept that she was with someone else and they told him to find another woman but he couldn’t. He carried on believing and he carried on fighting for what his heart wanted.


And as you move on, remember me,
Remember us and all we used to be

“Cal, I don’t really believe in heaven and that sort of thing, as you already know but I can’t believe there’s nothing either.” He carried on talking to her, not caring about the concerned faces watching him. “I promise to never forget any second of our time together and will you promise too? I was scared a minute ago that I might forget you but I know truthfully that I never will. How can I?” he chortled to himself, in spite of everything, “You always made your presence so known that even someone with memory loss would probably remember you. Do you remember that party we went to? It was full of posh people and you got really drunk. The looks they gave you were a picture. It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.”


I've seen you cry…

  He turned his key in the lock and stepped through the threshold, already shrugging his large winter coat off.

“I came home early, Cal cause I was thinking we should try out that new Italian…” he trailed off as he turned into the living room. All the lights were off and there was no TV blaring. Callie sat alone on the carpeted floor, lent up against the settee, her legs crossed, like a small child. Silent tears ran down her face. She hardly ever cried.

“Callie what’s wrong?” he asked and he could hear the fear in his own voice.

“Sam, she’s going to die,” She replied, desperately, “There’s nothing they can do. The doctors said she has a year, max.”

I knew instantly that she was referring to her mother, who had had cancer once already and it had recently come back and was spreading fast. He sat down on the floor next to Callie and took her shaking palms in his.

“Then we will give her the best year of her life.”

 

I’ve seen you smile,

  “Callie look over there, you can see the Houses of Parliament. Oh look and the London Eye’s going round” Callie’s mother, Sally exclaimed, eagerly, “Wow I never thought this would be so amazing. People just think it’s like going on an airplane, don’t they? But it’s so much better than that. To be out in the open air just makes it.”

They had taken a day off work to take Callie’s parents to London for the day and he had never been so glad of anything, as he watched Callie smile in genuine delight at her mother’s excitement. He watched the two generations of women standing at the edge of the basket, attached to a multi-coloured hot air balloon as they looked down on the great city. A feeling of wonderful contentment washed over him at her smile.

 

I've watched you sleeping for a while.

They were seventeen and on their way back from a school trip to the British Museum in London. The rain was pounding on the roof of the bus and the other students were laughing and chatting with each other. Two girls were singing very loudly and badly to much applause from those around them.  Callie, however had fallen asleep on his shoulder and he was content to listen to the soothing sound of her even breathing and watch the drops of rain slide down the window. He was glad Aaron Wilcox had been sick that day. It was scary to think that one tiny thing could have meant Callie and he wouldn’t have the true friendship they had, where they didn’t need to talk just to be polite. They could fall asleep next to one another or sit in silence for an entire journey without feeling the need to make conversation.


I'd be the father of your child.

A few months after Callie’s heart-breaking miscarriage Sam sat at his work desk, bored out of his mind. Suddenly his phone rang loudly in his pocket and he jumped so violently that his knees hit the underside of the desk and knocked his steaming mug of coffee over. Workers near him peered round the office dividers to see what had caused the noise and he adopted an apologetic expression as he slide his phone out and glanced at the caller ID.

Callie

He answered, his tone worried as Callie only rang him at work in emergencies.

“Cal, are you ok?”

“Yes,” she replied, suspiciously, “Why wouldn’t I be?”

He breathed a deep sigh of relief, “No, no reason. It’s just your normally busy at this time, aren’t you? You only ring if there’s a problem.”

“Well I wouldn’t call it a problem but I do want you home early today,” she told him, an air of mystery to her voice.”

“Really. And why would that be?” he matched her tone.

“I’ve got something to tell you,”

“What?” I queried, eager for answers.

“As I said I’ll tell you later. Don’t be late.”

“Bu…” he started, but she had hung up before he could finish.

“Damn Callie,” he burst out, a little loudly. People peered round at him again, annoyance now obvious on their tired faces.

***

He returned home later to the wonderful smell of roast gammon, crispy potatoes and a pile of succulent vegetables. His dinner was sat, waiting for him on the kitchen table, along with Callie. She looked nervous but ecstatic at the same time.

“Sit down and close your eyes,” she demanded, hurriedly.

He remained where he stood, “Ok, what’s going on?”

“Just do it,” she told him, impatiently.

Bewildered, he sat down, forcing his eyes shut.

“Hold out your hands,” she insisted. He could feel her close beside him now, her breath warming his neck.

She placed a piece of long, hard plastic in his hands.

“Now open,” she said, delightedly.

He looked down at the pregnancy test she had given him. A little blue cross was on it. She was pregnant again.

 

I'd spend a lifetime with you.

  “I, Samuel Ethan Avon, take you Callie April Turner to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in the good times and the bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honour you for all the days of my life.” Sam repeated what the registrar had said, squeezing Callie’s hands as he did so.

Before the man could go on, however, a hiccupping noise sounded from the front row, followed by a tiny chuckling. Rose was barely four months old but had recently learnt how to laugh. The noises she had made earned a fair amount of laughter from the guests. Even the bored-looking registrar smiled before continuing.

“Well then, you may kiss the bride.”

He leaned down and cupped his new wife’s face in his hands as he kissed her tenderly, as happy in that moment as he ever would be.


I know your fears and you know mine.

He sat opposite Callie in the darkness, a torch their only source of light. They were sixteen years old. It had been nearly a year since they had met but he couldn’t imagine not meeting her now. They were both on their Duke of Edinburgh expedition and the campsite was full of buzzing teenagers, chatting and walking around. Too energized to sleep, despite the teachers’ warnings of how difficult it would be to walk the next day without rest.

“Tell me something you’ve never told anyone else,” he asked Callie, daringly.

“Oooo, that’s a good one,” she stated, “Hmmm, let’s think. Oh I know! I sometimes nick my dad’s cider from the cellar and blame my older brother. He’s away at university so he never finds out.”

“Callie Turner, that’s terrible, robbing your dad of his alcohol.” He joked.

“Oh but it’s so good. You’ll have to come over and try it sometime. Ok my go. What are your fears?”

Sam stopped to think for a moment, before answering, “Well, I’m kind of scared of sharks. I’ve never swum in the sea ‘cause I’m scared I’ll get eaten. Mr. Cream is also terrifying,” he referred to their Geography teacher.

She giggled at that, nodding her head in fake concern, “True, very true. Anything else?”

“I guess I’m scared of being alone too. I kind of hate it,” he told her, surprised at himself. He had never admitted it to anyone before. It sounded too weak and pathetic.

She wiped the smile from her face, “Wanna know what I’m scared of?” she said, her voice utterly serious now, “I’ve never told a single person this but I’m terrified of cancer. My mum’s got it, Sam, she found out last weekend. I mean they said it was curable, but what if it’s not? My great aunt died from it and I’m really scared.”


We've had our doubts but now we're fine

“She’s trouble Sam. She’s no good for you” Callie told him, angrily.

They were nineteen years old. He was at university, she was taking a year out to travel the world, but they had both decided to return home for Christmas.  They were sat in the home of a mutual school friend’s Christmas party, talking in hushed voices about Sam’s new girlfriend who was on the other side of the room, dancing with a group of heavily made-up girls.

“You have no right to say that Callie. You hardly know her. Anyway I like her,” he said, indignantly.

She scoffed, “As if. Look at her she’s a tart. You’re just with her for one thing.”

“If you really think that’s what I’m like then I’ve got you wrong. I thought you understood me. You can never just be happy for me can you? If you’re not happy then no-one else is allowed to be. Well I’m not letting you ruin my night or my relationship.”

With that he marched off across the room to join his recently acquired Barbie doll, leaving Callie, sitting alone on Christmas Eve.

***

A brisk knock sounded at the door, as the Avon family sat round the cramped table, eating a hearty Christmas diner. His grandparents were here as well as his Aunt Hilda and her new husband, Derek. His mother had been tee-total for around five months now. They could almost be a normal family, having a normal Christmas Day. 

“Oh not more carol singers,” Hilda groaned, “Do they ever just get the message that we don’t want to hear their screechy little voices.”

Derek rolled his eyes, saying, “Always polite, aren’t you dear?” 

“I’ll see to it,” his mother got up, ambling down the corridor to the front door.

He heard a familiar voice greet his mother as she opened the door and, sure enough a moment later she was calling him.

“Sam, it’s for you,” she walked passed him, back into the bustling kitchen, a knowing smirk on her face.

“Hi Sam,” Callie greeted him, sheepishly, “Um Merry Christmas.”

When he did not answer she carried on, “I’m really sorry Sam. I never should have said those things. I promise I didn’t mean them I was just wound up. Anyway it should never matter what I think. If you’re happy that’s all that counts isn’t it?”

“Well, as its Christmas I suppose I’ll forgive you,” he said, pretending to be reluctant but smiling in spite of himself.

She grinned back at him and pulled something out of the old, leather satchel which had been her mother’s.

“Well, here’s your Christmas present,” she handed him a small, neat envelope, which he opened immediately. Two flight tickets fell out of it, into his hands, along with a note written in Callie’s swirly hand.

My dear Sam,

I know you haven’t been abroad much so I wanted to take you on a quick tour of America. Your mum told me you’re coming home for Easter so I booked it for then. Three weeks! We can go anywhere you like; New York, LA, Chicago, Boston wherever.  I hope this is ok.

All my love,

Callie

“Ok?” he stated, incredulous, “Callie this is bloody amazing. But how can I accept this from you. This whole trip will cost the earth.”

“What do you think I’ve been saving for?” she responded.

“But that’s your money, Cal. I can’t accept this,”

“Yes you darn well can. Do you know how long this all took to organise? And I would’ve gone anyway. America was on my list of places to go this year. It just means I’ll have a companion. Hopefully a happy one too,” she nudged him and he decided to accept.

“Alright, fine. You win. Thank you so much. Now I may have forgotten your present this year,” he joked.

“Damn I might just have to take that ticket back. There’s this really handsome guy across the road from me that may like it.”

“I only said I may, not I have,” he retorted, whipping a badly wrapped gift out of the pocket of his hanging coat, behind the door.

She unwrapped it and turned it over in her hands, slowly, “Oh Sam…”

It was an old, battered book. A book which Callie had used to talk to him about all the time because the story was inspirational and she loved the characters. She had lost it on a day out, however and it being such an unknown story, written in the early nineteen hundreds, she hadn’t been able to find another anywhere. But last month he had been strolling through Winchester, where he went to university, and come across an old antique book shop. There it had been, lying amongst the other old, dusty novels in hard back covers.

“This is the best present anyone’s ever given me. Thank you,” she gave him a friendly kiss on the lips before waving her goodbye’s, saying she had to return home because her mother was serving hot Christmas pudding.

 

And I love you, I swear that's true.

“Crap, Sam I’m so late. Stacey will murder me.” Callie rushed before throwing a cup of coffee down her neck and wincing at the heat of it.

“If she does she’ll have me to answer to,” he rolled up his sleeves, pretending to act tough.

She guffawed, “Sorry you’re not much of a threat,” she began laughing.

“Hey,” he retorted, defensively, “I’ve beaten Big Bill in an arm wrestle before.”

“Yeah when he was practically asleep from all the alcohol, he’d had,”

She grabbed her keys and, flinging them into her bag, ran to the door, almost tripping over an umbrella he had left in the hallway.

“Watch it, if you break a leg, you’ll be even later.” he joked.

“Oh don’t say that. She really would murder me.”

She opened the door before turning to kiss him.

“I love you, Callie” the words left his lips without him even thinking about it. They hadn’t been together for more than a few months and it was the first time either of them had said it out loud.

She stopped for a moment and turned back to face him, “I love you too.”


I cannot live without you.

“Is that Sam?” a frantic voice spoke down the phone to him. One he recognised but couldn’t place.

“Yes, who’s this?” he queried.

“It’s Mariah. Callie’s had an accident.”

“What. How? Is she alright? What kind of accident?” he gushed.

“Sam I don’t know. They’re not telling me anything,” he could hear her voice breaking, “they just whisked her away into an operating theatre”

The journey to the local hospital was only twenty minutes by car. Thirty by bus. But it seemed to go on for days. He sped through red lights on more than one occasion to angry beeps and shouting from other drivers but he couldn’t care less. The only thing on his racing mind was Callie. What if she wasn’t alright? He couldn’t get his head around it so he tried to focus wholly on getting to Accident and Emergency.

He burst through the final pair of plain, swinging doors to see Mariah listening intently to a kind-looking nurse in a blue uniform.

“Is she ok?” he slid to a halt next to the two women.

The nurse answered, “She’s going to be fine. She has a few broken ribs, a fractured arm and a cracked skull but nothing that can’t be repaired. You must be Sam. She’s been asking for you.”

 


Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.

“Callie I won’t love anyone else like I love you but I need to know that you will be ok if I find someone else. I know I’m thinking stupidly far ahead and anyone who was listening now would think I’m an insensitive git but I want your blessing. It’s just cause I’m terrified of being alone, Cal. Maybe I’ll find someone else to love. Maybe I’ll just find contentment. Whatever it is you don’t mind, do you? I love you Callie.”


And I still hold your hand in mine.
In mine when I'm asleep.

Time was not healing him. It was a few months after Callie’s death. His alarm clock went off at six thirty on a bleary Wednesday morning and he stretched, yawning hugely.

“Cal, it’s your turn to make the coffee. I need an extra strong one, I’m shattered,” he did not open his eyes as he spoke.

No-one answered.

“Come on Cal, you lazy…”

He had sat up and turned to look beside him. The space was empty. Callie wasn’t there. He stared at the spot for a moment before getting up to make the coffee himself.
 

And I will bare my soul in time,
When I'm kneeling at your feet.

“Um, wow where to start,” he heard his voice faltering already and took a deep breathing, willing himself to calm down. A large congregation of black-dressed people were stood around a grave in the local church. A colossal number had turned up to pay their respects to Callie. He had been both touched and extremely proud when he had seen so many people and he decided to voice that, “When I saw how many of you were here today I realised just how many lives Callie affected. Her eagerness to help others over herself was one like I have never seen before. I asked you all to describe Callie in one word when you came in and there were some sensational responses. According to the people in her life she was true, kind, generous, outgoing, bubbly, daring, strong and loving and I agree with every single one of those. When I met Callie Turner I was a shy, gangly teenager who didn’t know what to do with himself but she soon saw to that, telling me to buck up my ideas and I can tell you I’m glad I listened to her,” tears poured down his face but he didn’t even attempt to brush them away because he was laughing to at the memory of Callie telling him off when he had been feeling sorry for himself after doing terribly in his GCSE exams.

“Callie did so many wonderful things in her life, like raising nearly half a million pounds for Cancer Research, writing a book, travelling the world, working at an orphanage in Africa and having a baby girl of her own, Rose. But the thing I am most thankful to her for is saving me. She helped me see that I could achieve my dreams if I wanted to. She made every second of my life worth living and she made me the man I am today. Not to mention she gave me this little terror.” he picked Rose up as the crowd chuckled. “I could go on forever but for now, I love you, Callie April Turner,” he threw a plush bouquet of white roses, her favourite flowers, into her grave and knelt down beside it with their daughter.


Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.

“Callie they’re saying they’ve got to take you now because they need to clear the road. Blunt isn’t it? But I supposed that’s their job, they’re just doing what they have to do. It seems strange to see the rest of the world carry on with their lives when yours has stopped. Sorry I’m just rambling on now. You used to tell me to shut up when I did that. But anyway what I’m trying to say is goodbye. I promise I will never forget you. I certainly won’t stop loving you. Thank you for my life and my happiness. I love you Callie. Always.



I'm so hollow, baby, I'm so hollow.
I'm so, I'm so, I'm so hollow.
I'm so hollow, baby, I'm so hollow.
I'm so, I'm so, I'm so hollow. 

Sam watched as they zipped Callie up in a plain –looking bag. He stayed where he was as they drove into the distance and, for a time afterwards, he couldn’t move. Then he realised he had to. Rose still didn’t know. It was time for her to be picked up from school. He didn’t want to tell her but he knew he had to. He knew he couldn’t lie about it either, that would do no good. The truth was what she needed and deserved. And he would carry on telling her the truth about her mother forever. He would tell her the great things she did in life and he would tell her Callie’s flaws too. But most of all he would tell her how much his mother loved them both. Everyday.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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