A Touch Of Love is a short story by A I Moffat, who conjures up the innocence of a young boy who struggles to understand why reality should come in the way of his affections. Emily soon becomes increasingly concerned that she has made a dreadful mistake yet finds herself drawn to his innocence time and time again. Just a touch of love has awoken a child who lived in an imaginary world of his own, afraid of allowing his real depth to be exposed. An illustrated short story of intrigue which captures the imagination. We hope you enjoy a touch of love.
‘I’m not sure -’ she hesitated.
The boy lay at her side with his back to her, plucking the long blades of grass in front of him, then flicking them to one side. Not one thing, he pondered had he said or done all day had pleased her, now he just wanted to be free of her constant; what-ifs and his apparent inability to understand.
‘Joe!’ She insisted.
Childish, he thought, must be her favourite word. ‘Yes! I heard you,’ he sighed, flicking the next blade of grass straight up into the air, ‘sure about what?’
‘Well, you know— ’ she glanced over him, ‘about us!’
Us! – He repeated to himself whilst shaking his head, ‘you mean – me!’ he mumbled.
As if she had not made that perfectly obvious, the boy frowned. Now it just seemed like the only thing that mattered to her was what everyone else thought; how could Charlotte know what to do for the best? His eyes slowly fell into her imaginary embrace, the absolute warmth of her he so desperately yearned.
Again the girl persisted, ‘Joe!’
His eyes half opened, then fell heavily before bursting into a vacant stare as he pondered what she expected him to say. In frustration, he grabbed a large tuft of grass and pulled it straight from the sodden earth.
Emily sat quietly, staring in patience at her thoughts closely entwined within her clasp; with each unfolding finger came another uncertain notion.
Suddenly the boy rose to his feet, clutching the sodden clump in his hand until he was standing directly over her.
‘What are you doing?’ She asked in a disapproving tone.
The boy just smiled menacingly down at her.
Emily’s eyes tightened, ‘I’m— being serious.’
‘Nothing!’ The boy snapped, allowing himself to collapse at her feet.
Emily leaned forward and reached out to him; at first, he resisted, then his head turned slightly into her palm, and he kissed it gently. ‘I’m sorry— Joe, but I’m just so— tired and frightened.’
‘Me too,’ he murmured, leaning into her, ‘of losing you.’ Instantly he allowed his head to slip from her palm onto her lap.
‘Oh – Joe, you’re not losing me . . . ’
He felt her pity drop into an ever-increasing void, where once her words gave so much meaning. Again his eyes tightened to deafen the pain of reality and become submerged in the warmth of her embrace.
Again and again, he heard her distant torment of reason until finally, it shattered his delusion of any hope. Now only a sorceress maintained some degree of resistance as he lay craving her affection.
‘. . . And what about your poor mum?’ Emily insisted, ‘She will be devastated to find out – you had kept it a secret – from her,’
The beautiful sky blue eyes of the sorceress had suddenly faded into that of his mother, who now wielded a sword: Just – Do It! he screamed from within.
At times it was true. He felt it was wrong and was afraid of what she might do if ever she found out; he didn’t care about his dad, sister, or even brother, especially not Steve. Anyway, it was all over, and there was nothing he could do. He was going to die right there in her lap. Finally! He thought he would be free from the torment of his forbidden desire.
‘Steve might accuse you of abduction or trying to steal his child.’
Abduction! He found himself repeating over and over again.
‘Joe! Did you hear what I said?’
It was hopeless; she just wouldn’t let him be, all day he thought and not once had she allowed him to search the comfort of her. She was throwing him to the wolves, and he didn’t need to be twenty-one to understand that. His eyes lifted slowly, burdened by reality and her constant infliction. ‘Yes!’ He exclaimed, lifting his head, ‘You’re worried about my family,’ he smiled briefly in defeat.
‘Oh . . . Joe,’ her eyes flickered. ‘But – what if Steve was to find out?’
What was it that had changed from one day to the next? He thought as he stared straight into her eyes. He shrugged, ‘Doesn’t matter, and besides, he finished with you – remember.’
Her eyes slightly fell from him, ‘But are you sure – this is what you want, Joe?’
The boy leaned slightly in towards her, ‘Abduction, for goodness sakes,’ he tittered, pushing down hard against the tree stump until he was back on his feet. He looked down at her with a vague smile; it was no use for her to expect him to make it any easier; he just couldn’t; it would be like cutting his own throat.
Emily looked up as he turned and pushed his hands deep into the pockets of his trench coat. She smiled lightly as he stubbornly kicked out at the long blades of grass in front of him until he reached the edge of the brook. It was just the boys wanting Emily was sure of it, which made him so stubborn, so blind. She loved him with all of her heart, but there could never be a future for them, especially not now. Her smile faded with a nagging necessity to at least try and make him understand.
‘What a complete mess I’ve made of things,’ she called over to him.
‘I know – but – I,’ he stammered, ‘Well I thought you said . . . ’
‘I do, Joe, but – I’m frightened,’ she paused in thought. ‘So frightened, and it’s just so complicated. I do love you more than I ever loved him, but he’s the father and
‘And – ’ Joe cut in, ‘I’m just a silly mistake that should never have happened.’ He turned to face her, ‘But it did, and I – ’ his head fell, ‘love – you.’
A quick note by the Author:
As a writer, the greatest reward is knowing the enjoyment a reader gets from his work. There is always that feeling of uncertainty until he receives a review. Your comments are of great importance in helping me improve my skill and improve your enjoyment. Your comments will be much appreciated and be of great value.
Thank you for your interest, Andrew.
A Touch Of Love
Original short story by A I Moffat
Illustrations by justanemotion.com
©All rights reserved justanemotion.com 2020
The first image of a beautiful girl is by Arttower.
Photo of a boy at the end was by Puplicdomainpictures.