I had nothing of value to add to that truth, so I remained silent and we continued to walk. On the other side of the reservoir I noticed another couple. I glanced at Rachel, who was staring straight ahead as if she were trying to see the future. I imagined she had applied lip salve, some sort of skin protection. She was wearing sunglasses and her scarf blew behind her in the wind that flew across the water. Her hands were thrust deep into the pockets of her windproof jacket, but I knew she would be wearing fingerless gloves as well.

Without looking at me she said: ‘Why are you looking at me?’

‘I’m not,’ I blurted out, then added ‘I’m looking at that couple over there.’

She squinted out over the water for a moment then looked back ahead of her.  ‘Imagine us like that.’

I looked at her again. What did she mean? Without knowing the age of the distant figures I had no way of knowing if she meant ‘imagine us at their age’, or, if the couple were in fact our own age and appeared to be happy, whether Rachel was talking about our relationship again.

‘Why?’ I asked, hedging my bets.

‘I mean content. Enjoying each other’s company. Not on edge all the time.’

‘I’m not on edge all the time,’ I said, and immediately felt the walls of this trap begin to rise around me.

‘I didn’t say you were,’ she said softly. So softly I was not sure whether there was malice in her voice or not.  I looked at her face for a clue but the sunglasses hid her eyes and she pulled up her scarf around her mouth, ostensibly against the wind, but effectively cutting me off.

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7 Responses to “Audenshaw”

  1. July 01, 2010 at 10:35 am, Anthony Parker said:

    Beautiful little snapshot of a relationship, Sadie. And love the bit about the reservoir being shaped like a pair of Y fronts!


  2. July 04, 2010 at 4:15 pm, Audenshaw « Soxie said:

    […] soxysadie I am pleased to say that my short story ‘Audenshaw’ has been published on Rainy City Stories, as well as one of my pictures.  The website publishes short stories set in and around Manchester […]

  3. July 06, 2010 at 11:14 am, Bob Crewe said:

    I live in Audenshaw. I have walked the reservoirs. I could see the events happening.

  4. July 06, 2010 at 4:00 pm, Soxie said:

    Thank you Ant and Bob!


  5. July 07, 2010 at 8:47 pm, Belinda said:


    I really liked this piece. Your descriptions of the lake and the people in the story are very well written and I was transported to the place and the moment.

    I think that we’ve all been in that place with someone. I walked around Chorlton Water Park once with an ex-boyfriend, we’d been dating for over a year and this piece reminded me of that walk :)

    Thank your for sharing


  6. July 08, 2010 at 4:16 pm, Soxie said:

    Thank you very much Belinda. We certainly have all been in that place!


  7. July 19, 2010 at 3:27 pm, John said:

    Enjoyed the read about a romance in Audenshaw.


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