#FF Prompt: Valentine – The Stories

If you needed any proof that we do write our stories in real time – this month provides it. For life got in the way of both David & myself, meaning no story appeared yesterday. Even though it’s late, I decided to get on & write my story, so here it is with many thanks for your understanding 🙂


The Cyclist

I’ve never understood the draw of cycling, especially not on city streets – downright dangerous sharing the highways & byways with motorised vehicles when you’re so exposed being my view. So I was unimpressed by the Cyclist when he first made overtures in my direction. Sharing of hobbies isn’t an absolute necessity when building a relationship, but I find cyclists tend to be somewhat evangelical about the benefits. Not that I question those – it’s simply that the danger to life & limb has always been of greater import to me.

Still… somehow he managed to inveigle himself into my life and, wisely, did not attempt to persuade me to change my view on two-wheeled transport. Amusingly, he was a nervous driver, and a decidedly nervous passenger when driven by anyone who was a confident city driver (no, not just me). Once I realised, I took care to scale back my devil may care attitude – after all, it was only fair considering his understanding stance on my not cycling.

We didn’t spend all our time together – we had a friendship circle in common but maintained our separate friendships outside of that. We both worked, and had passions which took up our time and energy. As the years went by, I thought we were both happy that way. He certainly said as much, and not just to me, but to anyone who’d listen. Turned out he may have been lying to everyone – himself included.

When we decided to live together, he’d suggesting moving in with me, as the area I live in was safer. Despite that, an early task he’d undertaken was to add a railing outside the back door, somewhere he could chain & lock his bike to for extra security. I thought it wasn’t necessary, but it wasn’t my bike to lose, so I kept my thoughts to myself. But when he’d gone, that damn railing and the lock – they mocked me.

For yes, he’s gone. Done a flit while I was on a girls weekend away. I’d even had one of two texts while away, including the “night night, love you” one which he was apt to send when we were apart. He was more inclined to romantic gestures than I – a disparity I worked hard to balance out. Indeed, the previous Valentine’s Day I’d bought him a new lock for his bike, getting up early to put it in place so he’d find it when he left for work. I’d even had a heart engraved onto it with our initials. He’d seemed really touched by the gesture, going so far as to suggest I might postpone my girl’s weekend away. But there was a special birthday to celebrate, so I’d promised instead to come home early on Sunday morning.

I got back just as the sun was rising – only to discover the only trace left of him was that damn railing and the specially engraved bike lock. He’d even taken the key with him.

Most people who hear the tale believe it’s the cowardice of his disappearing act that fuels my anger. But the fact that I’ll have to pay someone to cut off that darn lock… that’s what does it. Yes, it’s a petty reaction to a petty lack of thought on his part, but it’s a lot better than wallowing in misery in my book.

The railing’s going to have to go too, for there’ll be no more cyclists in my life, you can be sure of that.


© Debra Carey, 2021

Author: debscarey

Tweets @debsdespatches My personal blog is Debs Despatches, where I ramble on a variety of topics. I write fiction on co-hosted site Fiction Can Be Fun, where my #IWSG reflections can be found; and my Life Coaching business is Caring Coaching.

3 thoughts on “#FF Prompt: Valentine – The Stories”

    1. Thanks James. My “things that get left behind” wasn’t a bike lock, but I’m glad I was able to harness the memory of it to good effect here.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It was a stuffed animal in my case. A gift that I never got the chance to give. The pain eventually dulled, though, and now that stuffed animal lives comfortable among the other stuffed animals in my library.

        Liked by 1 person

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