The bride worried that she would shatter. She felt as fragile as the glass bottles of oils and perfumes set out for her bath--a bath she didn't welcome, and one she knew would never make her feel clean. In the water, a gilded lion gushed rose-scented water from his mouth. Julia had always thought the fountain beautified the room, but now the lion seemed like he was just another predator waiting to pounce.
Jim Walker was heading south in his camper van on a quiet secondary highway in the Central Plateau of New Zealand, passing through thousand of acres of pine forests rearing up green-like sentries on both sides the route, when he spotted two female hitchhikers up ahead, with small packs on their back.
It started as she was showing him round the house, he the first visitor she'd had since she moved here, this person she had once known many years ago and whom she had run into in the street purely coincidently not five days earlier. They had gone to school together long ago, had socialised in the same group of friends there, but had lost contact in the years which had followed, so she had been excited to see him so accidentally and they had exchanged numbers.
Part of me hates this man, whom I'll call "X" for now. We didn't get along as a couple, which is why we broke up in the first place. I didn't even hate him when we broke up- it was very amicable, the old ‘we're just in very different places right now,' blah blah blah… but very soon after the split, I found myself fantasizing, over and over again, about the sex we used to have. It became totally consuming, to the point that I finally found myself breaking down and calling him on the phone one day.