Nothing Like the First Time

Nothing Like the First Time

 

 

By Keren Hughes

 

 

Nothing Like the First Time

 

Copyright © 2014 by
Keren Hughes. All rights reserved.

First Print Edition:
May 2014

 

 

Limitless Publishing, LLC

Kailua, HI 96734

www.limitlesspublishing.com

 

Formatting: Limitless Publishing

 

ISBN-13: 978-
1499299113

ISBN-10:
1499299117

 

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to locales, events, business establishments, or actual persons—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.

 

Dedication

 

To Ca
lum, my one and only baby bo
y—
thank you for supporting me and telling everyone I make you prou
d—
you make me the proudest mother alive!

To my Nan
, who may never read this due to not wanting to read your granddaughter’s sex scene
s—
thank you for your constant support, throughout my life and my writin
g—
your faith in me is unwavering and I love you so very much.

To all of you who
are still with your first lov
e—
may you always know there is ‘nothing like the first time’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

It was a cold morning, and as I walked down the familiar high street with its hustle and bustle of everyday life, I couldn’t help but think of all the times we’d walked this street hand in hand. I stood on the footpath outside the window of the little coffee shop where we would often stop in for a morning caffeine boost before heading our separate ways to work. The aroma from inside caused my heart to skip a beat.

We
had been young and in love. We had the rest of our lives ahead of us together to figure out what we wanted to do. I had a job but it wasn’t a career. He had a career but it wasn’t the one he’d had in mind. But none of that mattered as long as we had each other. That was until the day he left. That was ten years ago. He’d finally found the career he wanted, but it was on the other side of the world. When it had come to a choice between the career and the girl, he’d chosen the career. I didn’t blame him. He was young and had to follow his dreams until the bitter end. 

I decided to go into the shop and order a pumpkin
spice latte, my drink of choice back in those days. I hadn’t been to the shop since he left and I had stayed away from pumpkin spice lattes. I also hadn’t been able to keep a relationship for very long. A few months here, a few months there. No one could live up to my first love. I know it may not be fair to judge everyone by his standards, but he was my first everything. My first kiss, my first boyfriend, my first lover.

The girl at the counter smiled and handed me my polystyrene cup. I paid and went to sit at the corner table where we used to sit and laugh, cuddle, kiss…

Everything about the shop had remained the same over the years except for the staff. The décor was still the welcoming warm tones of red and beige. The floor was still the same slate grey tiles. The tables were still packed into every nook and cranny.

At least I was safe in the knowledge that he was on the other side of the world. I could sit here and enjoy reminiscing about my youth.

Talking and laughter could be heard all around me. There were couples both young and old. There were businessmen and women in their suits, getting their morning cup of caffeine before work. People were all going at different paces. Some fast, wanting to get in and out as fast as they could on their way to work. Some were slow, enjoying the friendly environment of the coffee shop. Me? I was just relishing in the memories that were so sacred to me.

I hadn’t been down this road much since our split. I’d found a career as a freelance journalist. It gave me the freedom to come and go, I never had to use the same route twice if I didn’t want to.

I took my laptop from my bag and connected to the shop’s Wi-Fi—I had a deadline for a piece I had nearly finished writing.

I was just finishing my second cup of the morning when a squeal caught my attention.
Lifting my head, I saw what all the commotion was about—a couple stood at the counter and the girl serving was gushing over the girl’s left hand. The light caught on something shiny on her ring finger. I smiled at the couple’s obvious happiness and would have turned my attention straight back to my laptop except for something that caught my eye.

It was the way he was stood. That confident stance with his broad shoulders, his hair
that brushed against his collar—it was longer than I remembered, but it suited him. I would know that body anywhere from any angle, after all, I had seen it from every angle many times before. My heart began thumping wildly in my chest. He couldn’t be here, he just couldn’t—he was meant to be on the other side of the world, not here in our old coffee shop, and especially not bringing another woman to what had been ‘our place.’ What the hell was he doing here? I hadn’t seen him in ten years, and now the one time I come into our old place, he turns up.

I tried to take my eyes away from his beautiful form but I couldn’t stop staring. Like my gaze alerted him, h
e turned to look around the little shop. I tried to hide behind my cup. Too late. I’d been seen. I knew it. He looked right at me, and even from a distance I saw the glint in his chocolate brown eyes.

“Carly
,” came that lilting voice that never failed to send shivers down my spine.

I looked up
but couldn’t speak. My breath was lodged in my throat.

“Greyston
,” I managed to gasp out and immediately regretted the sigh that came out at the end.

“How have you been?” he asked casually.

“I’ve been fine. You?” I stumbled over my words. He’d always caused me to be a little nervous, even when we’d been together. He was so good looking. Every woman noticed him. It wasn’t just his looks, he oozed charisma. Every woman in town swooned over Greyston Sterling.

“I’m good
, too,” he said as he gestured to the chair, a question to see if it was okay that he take a seat opposite me.

I nodded at the chair and he took this as his cue to sit down.

“Good to know. What are you doing back here?” I asked quietly.

“My Aunt Lizzie is sick. You remember Lizzie, don’t you?”

“Yes, I remember her
.”

Of course I remembered every member of his family. I still saw a few of them from time to time.

“I’m sorry she’s been taken ill. Is it serious?”

“Hopefully not. She’s been having tests at the hospital. I was planning a trip home anyway
,” he said as he looked round the small room. The girl he’d come in with was still chatting at the counter.

“Oh, well…umm… It’s good to see you. You look well
,” I said as I took my cup to the trashcan.

“Thanks. So do you
,” he said as he stood, scraping the chair against the tiles.

He looked at me and I saw myself reflected in those beautiful eyes. I was transported back to the time we shared and I had to blink back tears. It might have been ten years but I’d never got
ten over Grey. What we’d had wasn’t something one got over easily. He was charming, charismatic, and so very handsome. But he was also kind, thoughtful, and honest; everything you could want in a man. I’d been so lost when he left.

A coughing sound brought me back to the present. I looked at Grey and saw that dazzling smile he always had when he found something amusing. Annoyed at being thought of as amusing, I didn’t return the smile. We stood there saying nothing for
a moment. Then a girl’s voice broke the silence.

“Oh
, Greyston darling, there you are,” she drawled as she put her finely manicured hand on his arm.

“Hey
, Maggie,” he said, not looking at her. “Carly, this is Maggie.”

“Hi
, Maggie,” I said as politely as I could.

“Hello
,” she said a little abruptly.

“Well, it was good seeing you
, Grey, but I have to run. So many things to do today and here I’ve been avoiding them,” I said and made to move past the two of them.

“It was good to see you too
, Carls,” he said as he leaned over to kiss my cheek.

I looked at him one last time and offered a small smile before walking out of the coffee shop into the frigid morning that somehow seemed colder than when I’d entered.

 

***

 

As I walked through my front door that afternoon, I was greeted by my constant companion,
Millie.

I’d had
Millie since Grey left. I found her at a rescue center. She’s the cutest thing you ever did see. Someone had been cruel enough to leave her by the roadside, tied to a lamp post. The center had rescued her and needed to rehome her. She was only a puppy and I couldn’t believe how poorly she had been treated. When I went that day, she won my heart in an instant. She’s the most beautiful little dachshund with the sweetest eyes. She loves me for who I am and she doesn’t run away to the other side of the world.

I had some paperwork to catch up on so I booted up my laptop. I had a quick look at Facebook and saw that I had a new friend request, Greyston. Part of me wanted to accept and part of me didn’t. I couldn’t help but feel like being nosy, I wanted to look at his photographs and maybe piece together
what he’d been up to in the last ten years. He’s a photographer and so there would be many pictures of the places he had been. Then the other part of me didn’t want to see that girl, Maggie, in all his pictures. I left his friend request unaccepted—just sitting there in cyberspace waiting for me to make up my mind.

I caught up on my paperwork and cooked a quick supper of meatballs and tagliatelle.
Millie was lying asleep on the sofa next to me and I curled up with my Kindle to catch up on the latest release by my favorite author.

 

***

 

The next morning I woke up to a text message from a number I didn’t recognize.

 

It was good to see you. I’ve missed you. G xx

 

I didn’t know how Grey had managed to get hold of my number. I decided to just send a very short message in response.

 

It was good to see you too Grey.

 

I put my phone on the coffee table. I wasn’t sure I wanted a conversation with Grey right now. Unfortunately, I got an instant reply.

 

You looked great, as always. I feel like fate drew us both to the coffee shop yesterday.

 

Fate? Huh! You think some weird things Grey—it was pure coincidence

 

I had no intention of getting caught up in his game, whatever game he was playing. He shouldn’t be texting me.

Carls, don’t be stroppy. I’ve missed you, it’s been a long time. I know it was my doing but I’m back now and I am so glad I saw you.

 

I decided not to reply and
went about my morning routine—in the back of my mind though, there was one thought, Grey. Where had what we’d shared gone? I remembered the first time we’d met. We were fifteen and we were at a baseball game—I’d been captivated from that first moment. From then on we had been inseparable. Many days were spent at games, he stole my breath with his kisses underneath the stadium steps. He was warm and kind—my love for him blossomed more every day. I held on like crazy until that moment we were torn apart—that was the day he chose his career as a photographer over being with me. We were just eighteen when he left, we’d had just three short years together. I’d always thought I meant more to him than I obviously did. I came second, and not even a close second. The moment he’d been offered the job, he accepted, and just like that he was on the other side of the world taking pictures of who knows what.

I showered and got dressed for work. I had to get to my shift at my second job. I was a waitress
at a local restaurant—my job as a freelance journalist was good but I still had to pick up the odd shift now and then to help with the bills.

“Hey
, Carly, you’re ten minutes late,” my boss Jim greeted as I walked through the door to his office where the staff lockers were kept.

“Sorry
, Jim, traffic was a nightmare,” I replied as I grabbed my apron and tied it around my waist.

“No problem, as long as you can still stay until closing time tonight
,” he said. He had a funny accent I could never place and had never asked him about.

“Yeah
, sure thing,” I said with a smile as we walked out of the office. I began bussing tables. It was busy in the morning with business men and women that liked the breakfasts our chef Tito cooked up.

I worked hard all morning and nearly didn’t get to stop for lunch. When I did get a break, I went to my locker and retrieved my phone to text my best friend
, Jodie. I looked at the screen and it said I had one new message. I opened it.

 

I know you were surprised to see me but it felt like old times, sitting and talking with you while you drank your pumpkin spice latte.

 

I didn’t know what to reply. I didn’t want to talk while I was at work, so I quickly texted Jodie and told her I was working until closing time. I didn’t respond to Grey’s text, although my heart felt like it was being squeezed in a vise. How could he be so casual after so many years apart? I wasn’t sure what to make of his texts—he was obviously engaged to Maggie now, so why was he so interested in talking to me that he went to the lengths of asking someone for my number? I knew I wasn’t going to figure it out, so I went back to my lunch break and ate in the broom closet-sized staff room.

I went back to work
. My back was aching by closing time. Jodie came in about an hour before we closed, but I had been too busy bussing tables to get time to talk to her. We got in my car and went back to mine for a pizza and a movie. I could always count on Jodie to pick a really cheesy chick flick. I liked action films myself.

It turned out
Jodie wanted to watch
The Phantom of the Opera
. I should have guessed, she was obsessed with the soundtrack. So after watching it for the umpteenth time, Jodie crashed in my spare room on the futon.

Other books

Letters for a Spy by Stephen Benatar
Uncovering His SECRET by Crystal Perkins
The Twelfth Child by Bette Lee Crosby
At the Scent of Water by Linda Nichols
My Lady Smuggler by Margaret Bennett