This is the latest instalment in my feature Just Some Things!
In case you don't know, here's how it works: I send a writer an individual email with a series of prompts from the '642 Things to Write About' book – chosen at random – and then when I get the responses, I dedicate a post to them and their piece. It could be short, long, backwards, in another language, I don't mind. It'll be an adventure whatever happens! And they can use or ignore however many of the prompts they wish.
When published on the blog, their piece will be put in first and then I'll add in a little piece beneath it, my response to the same prompt. I will always ensure mine is shorter and less prominent, obviously. It's all about featuring my fave writers.
This post features and celebrates the rad Lorayn, writer and traveller extraordinaire. I am so honoured to feature her on the blog.
Her prompt was: Comfort and she has quite brilliantly combined it with another I gave her: Corpse in the undertaker's window.
If you told me a week ago I’d be going back to climbing through windows in the dead of night to get close to you I’d have laughed in your face. If you told me a week ago never again would we walk hand-in-hand among the crisp, orange leaves; under an unforgiving summer sun; soaked to the bone in completely impractical clothing; or wrapped up in oversized scarfs and hats with bobbles on that danced as we walked, I would never have believed you. But, here I am, clambering into the basement in the dark to be your paramour.
I pull my cardigan close as I shiver, take your ice cold hand in mine and will the warmth from my skin to permeate yours. Fourier’s Law (Q = -kA(dT/dx)) says that ‘the time rate of heat transfer through a material is proportional to the negative gradient in the temperature and to the area’. Do you remember telling me that?
We were watching the fireworks in Becket’s Park and it was the first time you held me in public. You assured me it was for ‘scientific reasons’. We both knew it was as scientific as yawning and stretching your way into a hug but we went with it all the same. The cliche of sparkles filling the sky above our heads lost on us as you talked of potassium nitrate and burning metal.
So science tells me if I hold your hand long enough, if I can be warm enough for the both of us, that eventually your hand should begin to heat up too. Maybe then I can pretend you’re still here. And here you will remain. At least for a moment.
Now I'll be responding to one of the same prompts: Comfort.
Our eyes were closed. Obviously I couldn't check if yours were, because mine were, but I'm pretty sure. If you'd had your eyes open, you could've easily found my hand. Instead I felt a confused tapping on top of the duvet; your arm had emerged and your fingers were searching for mine, tap tap tap. I didn't assist you in any way. I wanted you to find me.
Finally you got there, you got my hand and grabbed at it lazily. Then you held it tight and for a moment I thought you were trying to send me a message, through your fingertips. I could almost hear it, feel it in my veins. 'Good morning, I'm happy you're here.' I replied with a squeeze that roughly translated to 'I'm glad I stayed' and then a rub of the thumb, along your palm, that definitely meant 'so...what now?'
Then we both smiled, as our eyes opened. What now, indeed.
If you would like to take part in this blog feature, email me at email@example.com.