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Tomorrow Never Knows, part three

Neala & Fergus See Stars

By Shelley CarrollPublished 8 months ago Updated 8 months ago 6 min read
Tomorrow Never Knows, part three
Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

He wrapped the banana bread in aluminum foil and, having no ribbon, secured it with twine. He’d made three batches and this one was the best looking of the bunch. “Third time's the charm,” he muttered to himself as he tied the twine in a bow.

After washing up, he put on his best shirt, the one with the burgundy and forest green paisley pattern. He looked at himself in the mirror above the sink and, clearing his throat, he practiced, “Hey Neala, um… here… I made you some bread… Um… *ahem*, I tried your recipe and I hope this doesn’t suck… um, ah, here ya go, Neala, it’s just a little… uh, so you like bananas, eh?” He chastised himself for sounding foolish. “Why am I nervous, for cryin’ out loud?” he muttered, shaking his head and wringing his hands. Never mind, he decided, he’d just wing it.

He put on his jacket and then left his house to walk over to Neala’s.

Meanwhile, Neala was in her kitchen putting away her dishes. “Turn off your mind… relax and float downstream…,” she sang to herself as she closed the cupboard doors. She closely associated housework with music by The Beatles, for some reason. This song in particular had a trippy feeling to it, similar to the way that she had felt for much of the day as she tried to balance her thoughts of Fergus with having something to show for it. She was tired after a long day, but her spirit was soothed in knowing that the house and yard were in order. Now she could relax for a bit. “Lay down all thoughts…. Surrender to the void…

She poured herself a little glass of red wine. She was heading out to her deck when he heard a knock on her door.

Oh... hey there, neighbour,” stammered Fergus. “Are you up for some company? I brought you a treat.

He handed her the loaf.

She could feel her face flush almost as red as the wine she held in her right hand. Tucking her loose hair behind her left ear, she spluttered “Well, thank you! Um… what’s this?

He looked at the floor and, in so doing, noticed the pretty purple-painted toe nails peeking through her slippers. He felt himself blush as he managed to spit out, “Oh, just some fried bandana bead… er, I mean, some fresh banana bread.

You made this?” she asked louder than she intended, feeling very touched and surprised at once.

Uh, yeah… it’s not hard, I mean I just followed your recipe and you know, no big deal.

Well, thank you, Fergus. That’s very kind of you.

He liked the way she said his name. FURR-gus, like a cross between a growl and a purr. He could feel himself starting to blush again.

They stood there awkwardly for a few moments just looking at each other sheepishly, Neala holding her wine in one hand and the loaf of bread in the other, Fergus with his hands in his jeans pockets and shrugging his shoulders.

Neala broke the silence with “I was just going out on the deck to try to see some of the planets rise. I don’t know if you knew this, but I guess Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter are supposed to be visible in the sky tonight. You’re welcome to join me… can I get you a beer or a glass of wine?

Happy to keep the evening rolling along, he revealed that he had a beer in each of his jacket pockets. “No worries, Neala. I’ve brought my own, “he winked.

She liked the way he said her name. NEE-lah, with a strong emphasis on the first syllable and a gentle inflection, almost like a whisper, on the second. She could feel herself grinning broadly at the thought.

I’m no astrologer,” Fergus went on, “but yes, I did hear something about the planets.

I think you mean ‘astronomer’”, she corrected, chuckling, grateful for the chance to relieve a little bit of nervous tension.

That too,” he replied.

She left the bread on the kitchen counter and they sauntered out to the deck to find a spot where they could best see any celestial happenings in the autumn sky.

Placing their beverages on the little patio table, they each took a seat on opposite sides.

Maybe we should sit on the same side so we’re both looking at the same view,” Fergus suggested, feeling pretty smug in his craftiness. Although her knees buckled at the thought of standing up again, Neala couldn’t help but acknowledge that he made a good point. “Uh… yes, that’s better”, she replied as she moved her chair closer to his.

Scared of any awkward silence that might ensue, she asked him, “Would you mind just turning on that radio for me? Just for background noise, I mean. I don’t want to reach across you…”. Thinking to himself, “Oooh, I wish you would…”, Fergus did as he was asked and turned it on low.

There they sat. He sipped his beer; she, her wine. Together, they gazed upwards, neither of them really knowing what to look for.

Thanks again for the bread,” she offered.

Don’t mention it,” he answered. “Also, maybe don’t eat it. It might be terrible. It could give you a cramp. I just don’t know.

She laughed and said “Well, then I could tell everyone you gave me more than just bread, right? I’m sure it’s lovely.

Fergus took another sip of his beer. “Actually,” he ventured, “I would like to give you more than just bread.

Neala giggled, thinking that Fergus was just teasing.

Fergus betrayed no expression that he was joking.

Instead, he steadied himself in his chair and leaned towards her face. He closed his eyes. She braced herself and closed hers too, expectantly and excitedly. As their lips were within centimeters of connecting… Fergus jerked suddenly and his forehead butted Neala right in the eyebrow.

Sh*t,” he blurted.

Try again,” she encouraged, rubbing her eye socket.

This time, just as Fergus was about to make his move, Neala let out some kind of squeak.

What the…?” he wondered aloud.

I’m sorry. I was trying to hold back a sneeze. Once more. I really mean it this time.

OK, third time’s the charm,” he mumbled. “I’m going to lean to the left, ok?

This time, Neala tried to stay perfectly still.

Fergus moved in slowly, hesitantly, as though trying to prevent a collision or from causing dust particles to scatter and make her want to sneeze again. In so doing, though, he created for Neala somewhat of a slow burn effect.

She reached her hand up towards his face and, resting her fingers on the nape of his neck, she pulled him closer, guiding his mouth to hers.

The planets rose above them. The clouds parted. The stars twinkled. The moon shone.

Neither of them knew or cared about what might be occurring in the night sky above them. All each of them knew for certain was that they were sharing some kind of cosmic electric current, sparked by a kiss that stemmed from one another’s lips and shot right through both of them, out of their extremities, lingering playfully for a long time in their nether regions.

When they paused for breath, Neala could find no words… other than “Do that again…

Obligingly, Fergus did.

As they embraced and enjoyed one another’s company, the radio played “That you may see the meaning of within… it is being, it is being… that love is all, that love is everyone…


(Lyrics from Tomorrow Never Knows are borrowed without permission. Written by Lennon and McCartney, The Beatles released it in 1966 on the Parlophone label. The song title, although it does not appear in the song, is rumoured to have been taken from one of Ringo Starr’s many malapropisms.)

If you enjoyed this story, perhaps you'll also enjoy the first two chapters.

And if you want to know what happens NEXT… go to:

HumorShort StoryLove

About the Creator

Shelley Carroll

Ms. Carroll is a 40-something year-old veteran public servant and mother of three adult children. She and her partner Hal live in Amherst NS with a sweet, anxiety-ridden rescue dog. Shelley loves running, red wine, and laughter.


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  • Karyn Savage8 months ago

    I would have liked a little more "hard to get" maybe another chapter or 2 as their interests deepens. Perhaps developing her inner struggle of wanting to be independent and resisting a relationship? I enjoy your writing style.

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