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Something Blue

For the Misplaced Challenge

By Caroline CravenPublished 3 months ago 7 min read
Something Blue
Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

You crack my shoulder against the door as you bundle me into the taxi. There’s no apology. You don’t even bother asking if I’m okay, even though you must have seen me flinch. Heard my gasp of pain. You just mutter ‘hurry up, hurry up’ under your breath. Like it’s my fault you’re running late.

You jump in, hurling your tote bag onto the back seat. I’m rammed into the corner, the sharp metal doorhandle jabbing at my ribs. I recoil as you brush up against me, absent mindedly caressing my arm.

Don’t touch me. Just don’t.

I know I’m not your first choice. I saw the way you gazed at those others, a wistful glint in your eyes. I know I can’t compete with them.

Please stop pretending it was me you wanted.

I wriggle free, blinking back tears as I press my face against the glass. The tarmac shimmers in the heat, the pavements crowded with café tables and drowsy lunchtime drinkers. A woman pauses outside the taxi, hands on her hips, waiting for her grizzling toddler to catch up. The pair amble away, wilting in the sunshine, traces of coconut sunscreen drifting on the breeze.

“Where to love?” asks the woman from the front seat, clicking off the radio and fiddling with the meter. She waves to a man in bright pink sunglasses as we pull away from the curb.

“To Wentworth Country House, I guess… Please.”

“You guess,” she laughs. “You don’t sound sure.”

“Yes, to the Wentworth please,” you whisper, wiping strands of sweaty hair from your forehead.

You peel each leg off the leather seat, wafting the hem of your t-shirt and clawing at the material around your throat.

“Sorry it’s so hot,” says the woman, lowering the windows in the back. “Air con’s busted. The garage promised me it was fixed. Lying bast… Still, summer only lasts a week, doesn’t it? It’ll probably snow tomorrow.”

You scrunch your eyebrows, moving your lips. I tilt my head, edging a little closer as you murmur ‘snow’.

Several minutes tick by before you frown and say: “I’m supposed to be getting married tomorrow.”

“Supposed to be?”

The woman tries catching your eye in the rearview mirror, but you stare down at your hands, twirling the band on your ring finger round and round, quite silent.

Aren’t you going to answer her?

“Supposed to be?” she asks again, twisting round in her seat.

Jesus, lady. Eyes on the road.

You don’t scream or yell a warning as we wobble over the center line. You just stare straight ahead, your fingers laced together, a thin smile on your…

… Wait? What are you smiling for?

The car quivers as we’re flung back to our side of the road. I clasp the door handle, my knuckles white as the bus squeals past. My screams are muffled by the screeching of brakes, the outraged honking of horns. I feel my heart thumping in my chest, my breathing ragged, but you? You just sit there.

Didn’t you see how close that was? What is wrong with you?

“Yes, I’m getting married tomorrow,” you say, reaching into the footwell to retrieve your bag. You slump back in the seat, head angled towards the window, your eyes closed.

“Well, that’s exciting,” she says, both hands gripping the wheel. “Mine was a July wedding too. Perfect day. Bright blue skies, not a breath of wind…”

I zone out as she chunters on about the six-tier wedding cake and her aunt who had a coughing fit in the middle of the vows. I can tell you’re not listening either. Your eyes glaze over, your hands trembling in your lap.

You scowl as the light catches your ring, the polished diamond dazzling in the sunshine. I don’t understand. I thought getting married was supposed to be the happiest day of your life. Certainly, for those other girls it was, twirling and preening in front of the mirrors, swishing their dresses to and fro, giggling into glasses of fizz.

But you? You just threw your credit card at the assistant and fled, frog marching me out of the store like didn’t want to be seen with me.

Well, I’ll tell you something. You aren’t all that…

“Sorry, what did you say?” you ask, shaking your head and massaging the back of your neck.

The woman coughs and glances at you in the mirror: “I just wondered if you’re nervous. It’s perfectly natural to feel…”

“Not really nervous,” you interrupt. “Just…”

“Is it a commitment thing then? Are you worried about being with the same person for the rest of your life?

“No, I mean, yes. Perhaps.”

I can tell she’s as lost as I am. Her mouth twitches and I can tell she’s got no idea what to say to you. Can you see the beads of sweat on her forehead? I bet she wishes she’d picked up the businessman who was next in line. At least they could have chatted about the heatwave and how the UK isn’t made for this kind of weather. Or maybe they could have just sat in silence. Still, you can’t be the worst fare she’s ever had. Perhaps.

“Perhaps it’s just cold feet,” she persists. “I remember I couldn’t sleep the night before I married my Harry. Stomach was churning worse than before any exam. But then I saw him at the alter…” She turns and smiles at you.

Come on lady, eyes front. We don’t want to actually hit the bus this time.

“And I knew I’d made the right decision,” she says, chuckling. “We’ll have been married 23 years at the end of the month.”

“No,” you mumble. “It’s not cold feet, it’s just…”


The traffic lights change to red, and we join the procession of waiting cars, the heat radiating off the road, exhaust fumes snaking in through the open windows. You reach across, your fingers grazing my arm.

“Since we got engaged, everything’s changed. He’s changed,” you whisper.

“Well, they do say getting married is one of the most stressful things you can…”

“… It’s more than that.”

“Oh, yes?”

We pull away from the junction, speeding over the bridge and across the river, the brightly colored boats bobbing on the water below, their sails pirouetting in the breeze.

“He says he loves me. That he’s the only one who will ever love me…”

Well, what’s the problem then?

You shake your head, clasping your hands together: “He’s always been a little overprotective, you know. Jealous, my friends say, but it was never that bad, not really… But now he never stops ringing or texting, demanding to know where I am. He gets so mad if…”

“… That’s not right you know.”

“Oh god, that’s him now,” you wail, the phone shaking in your hand.

Tears trickle down your cheeks as you whisper how sorry you are, how you meant to text him that you’d picked up the dress. And yes, you’re headed there now. And yes, you can’t wait to get married either.

When you hang up, the woman swings the taxi into a layby opposite the railway station. She switches off the ignition and unclicks her seatbelt, twisting round to hand you a bunch of tissues.

“What’s your name love?”

“Frankie,” you tell her, your voice catching, shoulders heaving.

“Frankie love, it’s not right,” she says. “If he’s treating you like this now then what’s he going to be like in the future? It’s only going to get worse.”

“He says he love me,” you sob. “And he’s always sorry afterwards too.”

“Sorry for what?”

You sigh, rolling up the sleeve of your t-shirt, just a little, not even to the elbow. The woman gasps, covering her mouth.

“Frankie, no.”

You yank the material back down, folding your arms across your chest.

He did that to you?

“It’s funny, but when I was a kid, I’d daydream about what my wedding dress would look like. It was going to have a plunging neckline, an off-the-shoulder number to show off my tan, and…”

You pause and run your hand along my side. I don’t think I want to hear the rest.

“But how could I ever wear something like that now,” you say, shaking your head and glaring at me. “I had to go for something hideous like this with long sleeves just to hide what he’s done. I hate it.”

You hate me?

“Frankie love, I know it’s none of my business, but please don’t go through with this. One of my friends, her boyfriend knocked her about she…”

“No, you’re right,” you say, wriggling out of your seatbelt. “He shouldn’t do this to me. I don’t deserve it. I haven’t done anything wrong.”

“No, you haven’t.”

“I’m not going to the hotel. I’m going to…” you pause, breathless, your eyes darting back and forth along the street. “I’ll catch a train. Get away from here. Away from him.”

The woman holds her hands up when you try to pay, just tells you to take care as you scramble out of the taxi, your bag slung over your shoulder. The door slams shut.

Hey, where are you going? You can’t just leave me here.

My eyes burn as I watch you race away, the doors closing behind you as you disappear inside the station.

Short Story

About the Creator

Caroline Craven

Scribbler. Dreamer. World class procrastinator.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (19)

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  • angela hepworth2 months ago

    ugh absolutely heart wrenching, amazing writinng

  • Farhat Naseem2 months ago

    nice work

  • Judey Kalchik 3 months ago

    This so deserved the recognition in the challenge- congratulations!

  • Sandra Matos3 months ago

    This made me cry! Great writing and good luck!

  • Test3 months ago

    Sorry I'm late! Such a beautiful heartbreaking story and so clever to do it all withing the course of a care ride -stuning writing as always and was very relieved by the ending! 🤍

  • Amelia Moore3 months ago

    very nice!!!

  • E.K. Daniels3 months ago

    Love your style, Caroline, and your choice of often difficult subject matter. You have a way of capturing it in an empathetic and compassionate way. Simply gorgeous. ❤️

  • Yusuf Alam3 months ago

    🔥🔥🔥🔥👌👌👌Caroline You nailed it! 💪 Great job, seriously! 👌

  • Cathy holmes3 months ago

    That was fabulous. I love the tension and the reveal, and especially love the ending. Well done.

  • Shirley Belk3 months ago

    Caroline, that is such a great story that women should definitely read BEFORE getting into marriage if there had been signs.

  • That was a whirlwind from start to finish. Great job

  • Christy Munson3 months ago

    Beautifully constructed and imaginative storytelling. I was captivated from start to finish and am happy to have spent time in the world you created. Outstanding piece!

  • I felt so sad for both Frankie and the wedding dress. But I'm so glad the cab lady managed to talk Frankie out of marrying that abusive fiancée of hers!

  • Hannah Moore3 months ago

    This is so good, you had real faith in your audience there, taking time to draw her out, and the gratification of her flight is real.

  • Kodah3 months ago

    💖 Incredible Caroline! 💖

  • Donna Renee3 months ago

    Amazing writing here, this is so immersive!!! ❤️ I was getting stressed out the whole way… but loved how you ended it!

  • Lacy Loar-Gruenler3 months ago

    Caroline, again, stellar writing. Your attention to detail is marvelous, the wrestling your protagonist does with herself, the charming cabbie. You have such a gift for characters, breathing life into each of them in all your stories. Bravo, my friend!!! Brilliant!!

  • L.C. Schäfer3 months ago

    I'm so glad she escaped!

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