SHORT STORY FOR THE WEEKEND: Sid’s Place by Rick Haynes

Rick Haynes
Rick Haynes
Katherine Ryan

REVIEW: Katherine Ryan at the Portsmouth Guildhall

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Here is the latest in the series of short stories written by members of the 390-strong Portsmouth Writers’Hub. Rick Haynes, from Denmead, is a publihsed fantasy author with a big internet following. To find out more go to profnexus.wix.com/rickhaynes

As usual, Sid’s was buzzing. The dance floor was full of wall to wall girls all dancing to the Motown beat.

On arrival, I always stood just inside the door taking my time looking at so many beauties in one place and making mental notes of any that caught my eye.

*****

Looking back, I realise that the girls played the same game – the semi-concealed glance, the quick smile and the flash of soft eyes were all designed as a come-on. At the time I didn’t realise just how good my chat up lines were, for it was rare not to take a girl home.

I had put it down to a dose of good luck but now I see that my simple method had real meaning to the young ladies.

If I fancied a girl, I told her how good she looked and meant every single word.

I was fussy though, for I rarely asked dark-haired girls to dance.

Natural blondes with long hair were my prey.

I had no idea why. I never started with any preconceived ideas but my mind seemed to always steer me in a blonde direction, my eyes taking in the curves on offer.

*****

I walked to the bar joining my mates in a pint of real ale, having a laugh, yet scanning the room, ready to make a move on some lucky, yet unsuspecting girl.

And when the Four Tops -

Reach Out I’ll Be There – screamed from the speakers, I made my move into the welcoming arms of a lovely blonde.

But this time would be different, for emotions would run high and my attitude to life would change forever.

Her name was June, she lived in nearby Balham and she had one sister.

Two years younger than June, Angela Tayler had the type of face that would grace the front page of any glossy

magazine.

She had a body that other girls would die for and a look that would drive men

crazy with an incurable ache.

Angela was one very desirable girl.

*****

Yet Angela didn’t stir me like her older sibling did. June had this special look, a look of a million experiences, so serene, so caring, and so unique that my mind whirled as never before.

I noticed little else as I spoke to her, not even Angela desperately trying to attract my attention.

We danced, our limbs flowing as one as we moved around the floor, the flashing lights

enhancing our bodies.

And did we dance. She was a perfect match for me and as she told me later, I for her.

Yet these sisters were closer than conjoined twins, with June being Angela’s guardian.

It eventually made sense when I realised that every boy and man lusted after the beauty of this unblemished girl of seventeen summers.

But, alas for me, Angela had fallen in love.

*****

My mates began giving me earache when I told them that my Friday night outings would now cease.

June and I started courting and my life changed. Even my parents told me that my selfish side had all but disappeared.

And it was all down to the loving June Tayler, a girl with endless patience and the heart of an angel.

She could understand my every move as I could hers.

June and I had made plans for the future, there was no doubt that we would be together, our forever love was growing day by day.

*****

Yet the spectre of Angela refused to disappear from my life, for June told me that her sister’s infatuation with me now bordered on an all-consuming obsession. Angela believed she was head over heels in love with me, hated June for being my girlfriend, and the heated rows were tearing their close-knit family apart.

Something had to give.

After another huge row with Angela accusing her sister of stealing her boyfriend, June decided to move out.

We would look for a small flat, live together, eventually marry and have

kids.

Her parents approved, not least because the arguments would now fade away, but also because they liked me.

Walking into their house was like going home, they had always made me feel so welcome from the first time I entered their home.

*****

Angela had other ideas.

She slashed one wrist and ran to her parents.

June’s world collapsed in an instant.

Fearing for her sister’s state of mind she clung to me for support, yet her feelings for Angela bordered between love and hatred.

Within days I saw my beautiful girl change to an older woman, her deep-set eyes full of hurt and the stress tearing her apart.

*****

It took some weeks for us to discuss our futures rationally, but in the end there was only one option.

We held each other tight, unable to break away, our tears flooding over each other’s face.

We both tried to speak, to find the right words and say our goodbyes as gently as possible but I only heard her sobs and she mine.

June pulled away.

I felt her hand stroke my face as her beautiful caring eyes looked deeply into mine.

‘I’m so sorry my love.’

The front door slammed and June was gone.

*****

I never saw her again.

And with my life in turmoil these days, I always wonder ... ‘What if?’

• Have a story you’d like to appear in The News? Send it to the Portsmouth Literature Worker, Tessa Ditner at tessa@newwritingsouth.com.

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