Student stories

by Michael Moore.

Michael is a mature student from Canada. He is currently filling his weekends teaching Computer Aided Design and 3-D modelling.  he has been working at his writing for over twenty years.


She awoke to bubbles.
           Tickles and giggles and bubbles and bursts of frenzied fizzy feelings. As if she was about to pop right out of her skin. The tingles touched her smile and drew it wider. She was breathless, flushed, and fevered.
           Sometimes she tapped down on the left rudder pedal and pulled the yoke to port, and the plane sideslipped, its left wing dipping towards the earth—and for a moment it was that intense sensation of the bottom dropping out of the world. That was similar, but not as intense as what she was feeling at the moment.
          She dropped her hands to her sides, lying flat on her back, staring up at the ceiling.
           ‘Hang on, cheri,’ she muttered. ‘Hang on!’
           He was coming to see her—he was coming back. She had resigned herself to their choice. She’d recovered her old self. She was able to sit in meetings, direct her team, find inspiration for new and wonderful concepts. She had finally rediscovered the deep well of her natural-born talents.
             It had been tough. It had been brutal, painful, and sad beyond tears. And now that time had put the tears behind her, she felt whole and vital once again. She knew they might re-build their fairy tale.
             Closing her eyes she allowed her mind to drift, as if on a wave of alka-seltzer froth. It was a year since that first encounter. Sitting completely engrossed in a presentation she was reviewing at a table in Starbucks, she was suddenly jostled from behind.
             Her chair, bumped forward, had pulled her from her concentration. She had half turned in her seat to see what was happening, when she looked up into his green eyes.
             ‘I’m so very sorry, ma’ am. Didn’t mean to disturb you. I was just trying to plug my phone in here.’ He pointed to the wall outlet.
             Her immediate reaction had been to flare up at the abrupt intrusion, but the power of his eyes, and the embarrassed half-smile that played at the corners of his mouth, stopped the words. She, unexpectedly, felt a flush of embarrassment. The cultured British accent erased any lingering sense of annoyance.
              She rested her arm on the back of the bentwood chair, half-turned towards him. And in that glance she was aware of numerous things that pulled at her attention. She registered the bottle-green corduroy pants, and the soft rust coloured suede jacket. His shirt, a fine tattersal check, of a soft flannel, was a perfect counter-point.
              ‘Perfectly okay,’ she said, gazing up at him. His hair, longish with a natural wave in it, was lustrous and full—a little over his ears to give him a roguish look.
               She wanted to talk more, but her cell-phone rang. Reflexively she looked at the phone, to see who was calling. She had to answer.
               Still looking up at him, she fumbled the phone up off the table, and with her eyes and a hand motion to him indicated she had no choice but to take the call.
               He smiled, a dazzling smile, and mouthed, ‘It’s okay—again, very sorry,’ and waved gently to her as he turned to sit at his own table.
               Exasperated she punched the answer button, and said, ‘Oui—hello. This is Chantal.’
               ‘Salut, cherie,’ she heard. ‘Where are you?’
               ‘Hi Jason. I’m actually at a Starbucks—trying to fine-tune our presentation. And you?’
               ‘I’m downtown about a block from our appointment. Yeah—I know, I’m always the overly-early bird. But didn’t know what to expect with traffic, and downtown Miami can be difficult at the best of times. So, I’m going to find a Starbucks or something also. How long will you be? We have a little over an hour before our meeting.’
               ‘Well, I’m just over in South Beach. Can be there in 15 minutes. Give me half an hour to finish this up and I’ll meet you in the lobby of the building there.’
               ‘Sounds good,’ he said. ‘Ciao.’
               She turned around to say something to the English gentleman, and was instantly disappointed to find him in earnest conversation with a beautiful blonde woman. She was a knockout in a bikini that was clearly visible under the gauzy wrap she had tied about herself.

She would have liked to have had the chance to speak with him. At least to introduce herself.
               She turned her attention back to her laptop and for the next several minutes was completely caught up in the presentation document.
               Checking her watch she found that over twenty minutes had flashed by. Realising she still had to pay her bill, pack up, and find a cab, she started to shut down her computer.
               She turned in her chair to retrieve her portfolio case, and also realized that Mr Britain was no longer at the table. Nor was his accomplice. She knew that one of her great assets, as well as being a liability, was her ability to completely immerse herself in a task at hand and be unawares of what went on around her.
               But she also felt a little let down. She would have liked a shot of his charm.
               She stood and organized all her things on a chair and walked over to the cash to settle her bill.
               A tall, lanky barista, at the cash, watched her as she approached. As she placed her wallet on the counter he held up one hand imperiously.
               ’No!’ he said. ‘Senor has taken care of the lovely lady. And he asked me to give you this….’ And he extended a business card towards her.
               ‘I think he left a note for you on the back. Such a sweet man—too bad he’s chasing you and not me,’ he said with the flash of a grin and a toss of his ponytail.
               ‘Oh,’ she stuttered. ‘That was very kind of him. I didn’t see him leave…’
               ‘It’s no a matter,’ he said. ‘Buena suerte en el amor. Good luck in love.’
               She smiled, and looked at the card.

Daniel Heath-Jones
Director, International Relations Public Affairs
The London News Network

               She turned the card over and read ‘So very sorry once again. Perhaps we might have a proper coffee, or tea, together? You can contact me at 615-220-1221. Daniel’
               Bubbles. The sense of bubbles skittering about in her stomach and up into her chest brought a broad smile to her face.
               Looking up at the barista, she said, ‘Mucho gracias, Señor.’ She turned, gathered up her things and strode towards the front door..

That, she recalled, was the beginning. And as memories and images slipped through her mind, she rode the roller coaster of those days and nights as they swung her up, down, sideways—side-slipping, almost delirious with happiness.
               ‘Tonight!’ she promised silently. ‘Tonight, we’ll make it all better. We’ll make it all good again. We’ll cross that bridge and, together, explore the mysteries of our future.’
               With that she got up from her bed, padded across the polished concrete floor and pulled open the gauzy sheers that covered the floor-to-ceiling windows.

The day was crisp clear and full of the promise she felt inside.