We walked on for a while in silence. Glancing up I noticed a passenger jet. More happy couples arriving back from Spain or Portugal. We had been abroad once in the three years we had been together. Cyprus had been unseasonably cold and windy for the whole week, our every move dogged by moaning Brits on holiday, moaning ex-pat Brits, or moaning Brit travel reps. One night we had become separated at a night club and I had shared five cigarettes on a dark beach with a French girl whose name I couldn’t make out. The hiss of traffic from the M60 reminded me of the waves and for a moment I smelled tobacco.

We began to round the corner of the reservoir and looking back I was surprised how far we’d walked already. Looking ahead though, I could see how far we had to go. I also saw one of several paths that led away from the reservoir track and mentally drew a route by which I could leave now and still make it back home before my flat-mates left for the pub without me. I hadn’t been to the pub with them for some time and wondered if I’d still be welcome. Certainly in the past few months I’d become more and more unsociable, spending more and more time at Rachel’s flat and when not there locking myself away in my room and tweeting to a small group of social media types who believed I was some über-cool female videographer.

The first of the escape routes was upon me but I ignored it and we walked on. I estimated it would take just a couple of minutes to arrive at the next short track off.  God, how I wanted to get this thing over with and leave. But how to do it with dignity? I was still wrestling with this problem as we passed by the track and I began searching ahead for the next one.

I noticed the couple had disappeared – no doubt taking one of the tracks I too would be taking, but alone. Instead I saw a woman with a dog on a ridiculously long lead heading in our direction. In my mind I saw myself trying to extract myself from this relationship while also disentangling myself from the dog lead as both Rachel and the woman looked on with utter disdain, like Peter Sellers in a Pink Panther film.

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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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