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Romance Fiction LGBTQ+

“Are you there God, it’s me Riley? Please be there, I really need you to be there. Show me a sign, give me direction. Which way do I turn? Which path is the correct one?” In her mind’s eye Riley can see the available routes and the sun suddenly shines blindingly on the decision she visualizes on the road to the right. `Can this be a sign?’ thinks Riley, `or is it just highlighting the fact that right is another word for correct? Or am I overthinking this?’

Having just found the love of her life after searching for many long and lonely years, she has been offered the job of her dreams on the other side of the World. Her new other half Dave is firmly rooted and settled here in Wales and has no desire to leave his life behind he’s worked so hard to attain.  In fact, he’d shut her down immediately when she mentioned her new opportunity!  So she finds herself in the most impossible position, `does she stay or does she go’? She has an awful lot of soul searching to do. Her heart is urging her to stay; it can’t take any more heart break. Her head on the other hand is super ambitious and willing her to not let this massive opportunity pass her by. Maybe it is her HEAD swaying her to Australia for her career by shining a light on that route pretending to be a sign from God! Or is the pressure of this God awful decision making her lose her mind!’

She clearly needs a time out, away from anything that will persuade her to either side. She desperately needs to find a neutral space to focus within to find the answer or at least debate which is most important to her or if a compromise can be reached. She knows for definite that long a distance in such a new relationship will not be sustainable. This job offer can’t have come at a worst time. At this exact moment she passes by a billboard with a mindfulness retreat advertised for this weekend. `Perfect’ she thinks `as they have given me till next week to make my decision on the position. Being mindful and in the present moment may well give me the clarity I need to see through this inner turmoil and the mind fog caused by having such a major choice to make.’

The retreat is only an hour away but it is one where you are advised to stay for the whole weekend in the accommodation provided to get the most out of the experience. Enabling you to be able to stay in the zone; the mind-set attained from being in a serene and calming environment away from all the pressures that come with our everyday lives. Little does Riley realize that a third choice is about to present itself. Booking the retreat and popping home to pack ready for the welcome seminar that very evening it isn’t long before she jumps in her car and sets off. 

On arrival she is surprised to find it quite an intimate affair, two instructors and five participants including her, they all took the time to introduce themselves one by one. The instructors hand out the itinerary, there are regular breaks throughout the days to socialize so they may as well start to get to know each other as they will have spent a lot of quality time together by the end! They each explain their reasoning for attending and what they will like to get out of the weekend as a whole. One young lady about Riley’s age, early thirties, stands out for Riley from the very start.  She is drawn to her but has no idea why until it is her turn to speak. She has dark brown hair and her eyes twinkle when she gives everyone the most massive welcoming smile. Her eyes come alive; they light up when she speaks. `What are these feelings she is experiencing; flutters and blushing as the lady glances in her direction.’ The lady’s name is Rose, she has a classy, sophisticated air about her but she’s dressed in a red blouse with red stilettos, black leather jacket, tight black leather trousers and the brightest red lipstick. `Not exactly the outfit you’d expect to see someone wearing at a retreat’ thinks Riley quickly adding `however she pulls the look off and does not look out of place in the slightest!’ Just then Riley’s heart skips a beat as Rose mentions she is about to go backpacking in Australia by herself.  And she’s come along as she wants one last chance to think it all through to make sure she is making the right decision. Riley finds herself watching Rose’s lips move, daydreaming about kissing them; she’s never had feelings for another woman before this is new and surprising. What does this all mean? She’d thought of girls as pretty growing up but never put much thought into it till now.  

Over the weekend, Rose and Riley are inseparable. Riley tells Rose all about her predicament and as she is explaining it becomes apparent to Riley that it is more the fear of being alone again that is stopping her taking the new job. The more they get acquainted, the more they find they have in common.

Being in the present moment only able to concentrate on the here and now and the weekend of soul searching has made Riley grow as an individual, in as much as, it has uncovered things about herself she either hasn’t realized or maybe deep down didn’t want to accept about herself. She is and always has been bi-sexual. By the end of the weekend Rose and Riley decide that they will journey to Australia together to see whether this friendship can be more, of course, once Riley has had the chance to let Dave down gently so they can start their relationship on the right foot. It’s clear they enjoy each other’s company and have smiled and laughed the whole time of the Retreat.

On further contemplation she also recognizes that her very actions bring her to the same conclusion. As if she took the job she would have had limited time left with Dave and instead of spending quality time with him on one of her only weekends left she’d gone to spend quality time with strangers instead! She thinks in hindsight that maybe she has been infatuated with him rather than true love and stayed in the relationship out of the fear of being alone. This along with the urgency of finding her life partner before the window of opportunity of child bearing closes forever as she isn’t getting any younger, the pressure of this obviously also has been swaying her decision. So, in fact, she doesn’t feel as much for him as she thought she did. 

She goes to see Dave and explains what she has uncovered about herself and the decision she has made to end their short but sweet relationship. Dave just nods in agreement and doesn’t even try to save the relationship, so it only adds to the fact that she is making the right call. So even though Riley’s heart sank as she comes to the sad realization that Dave obviously did not feel as deeply for her, by the fact that he clearly wasn’t willing to go the extra miles for their relationship, to keep it alight, she isn’t that upset about it either.   

It is clear now his initial hesitancy to moving turned out to be a blessing in disguise as she had found Rose, uncovered parts of herself that had been hidden out of plain sight, or she’d buried deep. `Was their chance meeting fate? Or had God in fact engineered the steering of Riley towards that very billboard to make their paths cross?’ Either way Riley realizes Rose excites her in a way unlike any other feelings she has experienced in her thirty-five years of existence. As she arrives back at the conference center, Rose and Riley kiss and hold hands walking off into the sunset together.  It feels as if they’ve known each other for ever and it simply feels right. They are together now and can’t bear to be parted ever again.

February 10, 2022 18:40

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4 comments

Sushant Pandey
02:36 Feb 17, 2022

It is interesting but I want to ask you how did you change the plot like this, in the start I thought, this story is going in different way but it ends in different way. I like it.

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Rebecca Stack
11:07 Feb 17, 2022

Thanks so much. Glad you liked it. I thought it was important to show how self care, meditation, contemplation can help you find yourself and discover things about yourself that you weren't necessarily aware of before. Also that life can surprise you and take you in a completely opposite direction.

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Sushant Pandey
18:37 Feb 17, 2022

Sure, it's a good way of thinking

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Rebecca Stack
01:17 Feb 18, 2022

Thanks I think it's important to be open minded, open to an possibility, any twist in fate.

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