She’d been dumped by text message. Helen was sick of disastrous relationships, fruitless quests, unhappily ever afters. She resented the lies she’d grown up with: there’s a special person out there for everyone, Prince Charming combing the village to slip on Cinderella’s glass slipper, and absolutely everything relating to fairy tales. She dried her eyes on the last tissue and resolved to go and buy some more.
She watched her walking feet, determined to ignore any happy looking couples as she marched down to the supermarket. She closed her eyes as she passed a proud pregnant bump and looked up at the sky rather than face the adoring elderly husband and wife still holding hands after all these years. That’s why she didn’t see the car that narrowly missed her by about two inches, screeched to the other side of the road, causing her to pass out with the shock.
When she came to, she was in the arms of a man, who smiled to see her open eyes and colour form in her cheeks. He said he was a doctor, and that he was so relieved to have spotted her in time, it could have been fatal. Their hearts simultaneously thudded at the frailty of human life, with being caught up in this moment, in distracted attraction, widening pupils and wry smiles.
He took her home and loved her gently. She smiled and never left his arms. Or his flat. They redecorated in the spring.