TOAST Magazine

AN IMPROBABLE ANGEL - A LOVE STORY

ARTS & CULTURE

I’d been feeling sad and single for a while, locked away in my little room all winter, “as if in the heart of a mountain” ... but somehow, this Friday afternoon, the freshness of the breeze and the gentle sunlight seemed to whisper something about the promise of the coming spring, the promise of life opening out again, and the promise of something delicious being on the cards, still just out of sight, but coming soon...

I was off out to do a reading from my new book in town that evening, and as I made my way into the heart of the capital, people finishing work and crowding the restaurants and pubs, those early evening streets seemed to open up for me, heaving with pleasure and promise...

I made my way across the silvery river to the Southbank and my date with destiny. I spent most of the evening in the backroom behind the stage drinking in nervous anticipation of the reading, then spent the rest of the evening drinking in relief, as my story seemed to go down well...

By the time I’d got to the party afterwards I was pie-eyed, chatting at the bar with the bloke who masterminded the event, whose birthday it also was; suddenly I stopped listening, forgot about everything else, at the sight of a mysterious golden-haired girl gliding through the crowd, walking over towards us: wow, what’s her story? I thought; there was something exotic and enigmatic about her; it looked like she was coming over to say something to us; I had no idea what was about to come out of her mouth, but I was intrigued...

“Alright Jeff, do you want a birthday drink? ‘Ere, ‘Artlepool, do you want a drink too?” She said in a Teesside accent as broad as mine. She’d obviously clocked we were from the same town from my accent when I’d done the reading. Now I was bamboozled. It was the last thing I’d possibly expected. I didn’t think they made them that nice up there. An improbable angel had just dropped into my world.

She dropped back out of it fifteen minutes later, off to some party or other. The next morning I remember waking up, happy though hungover, thinking: well, at least it’s nice to know there are still girls like her out there. Maybe the universe had just wanted to remind me that life is capable of throwing a bit of magic your way once in a while, even if it was not to be with this one...

We met again about two months later, and have been together ever since. Funny I had to come all the way to London to find the girl from my small home town. She’s having our first baby this spring, who will no doubt also have a lilting Hartlepudlian brogue, at least for a year or two, until he goes off to nursery and starts knocking about with the cockney kids...

Words by Michael Smith.

Valentines Day - 14 February - Take a look here for inspiration.

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