Authors: Jennii Graham
Clare thought she had it all. Beauty, style, a job she loved and a man she adored. Her life was perfect until one day she discovered something which changed her life completely.
Constantly haunted by what she discovered that day, she cannot let herself be hurt like that ever again. Then she meets Ben and suddenly there's hope. Maybe he's different, maybe he's the one to exorcise the awful memories that have kept her from true happiness ever since.
But things are not always what they seem and Clare must decide whether to listen to her heart or her head and either trust this man or spend her days alone and unloved.
'Moving On' is the story of one woman's battle with her past and will captivate you until the final page. Will she end up with the charming Ben or will other external forces play their part in keeping Ben and Clare apart?
Moving on is the first short story from Jennii Graham.
Please note: This short story is written in UK English
Romantic Story of Self-
@Copyright 2012 Jenni
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organisations or persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental.
was heaving. Busy shoppers darted in and out of brightly lit stores looking for the next shiny object to add to their collection
and brighten up their otherwise mundane lives
. Clare stepped out of the black
cab and straightened her expensive jacket. Her friend Donna stepped out into the bright
sunshine to join her after paying the expectant cabbie his fare plus a generous tip for his trouble.
“Have a good day ladies!” called the cabbie
“We will” said Donna as she smiled and shut the door.
Donna joined her best friend Clare as they surveyed the scene. “Right then darling” said Donna, “where first?”
Clare pulled a pristine sheet of paper from her
bag and opened it carefully. “I’ve made a list of the best sales in town” she exclaimed and pointed over to the other side of the busy road. “John Lewis first I think,
always a good place to start”
Clare smiled at her best friend and they linked arms and made for the pedestrian crossing. Clare and Donna had been
friends since school and had been through a lot of tough times together.
said they could be sisters and
them very happy
taller than Donna with long immaculately dressed brown hair. She always looked her very best and took an eternity to get ready. Much to her friends and family’s despair at times. Every last inch of her was groomed to perfection especially her nails
This wasn’t surprising as by day s
he was a manicurist
in a busy city centre salon
with a healthy list of
clients. She was good
at her job but if you told her that she would deny it with well practiced modesty
. Today was Clare and Donna’s regular monthly shopping trip in
and was the highlight of their month. They always spoiled themselves silly and always managed to have at least three
breaks for coffee and long chats
about life, love and where to visit next
They had been rather successful so far with Clare’s detailed research and planning paying off with a couple of excellent bargains. Their shopping trips were always very well organised by Clare, she always knew where to go and how to get there. Donna didn’t mind this at
she could sit back and enjoy the day without having to worry about a thing. They found themselves in one of the many coffee shops in central
needing a break and a big, expensive cappuccino. Clare’s feet and ankles were sore for some strange reason and she was in some pain. Donna ordered the drinks while Clare found them a quiet table at the back. The coffee shop was busy so nowhere was particularly quiet but this was the best she could hope for. Donna arrived with the drinks and the tall glass of tap water Clare had asked for. “Here you are sweetheart” said Donna as she passed Clare her
cappuccino and the glass of water. Donna put the empty tray on a vacant nearby table and sat down. “How are you feeling?” she asked as she made herself comfortable. “I don’t know why but both of my ankles are really sore” said Clare as she popped two painkillers out of the pack and into her hand. “It might be the new shoes I’m wearing. The heels are a little high”. Actually the heels were very high and made Clare even taller than she already was. She was as tall as the average man and her slim figure accentuated her height even further. In fact, Clare had been blessed in many ways: she was tall, slim, had a great figure and she had poise and elegance too.
Many women were jealous of Clare but she never boasted or played on her gifts. If anything Clare was too modest: she knew she often caught men’s eyes but she would always laugh it off or play it down. “He must be desperate” or “His eyesight needs checking” are the sort of things she would say to herself or whoever was with her. Deep down she knew why she did this. It was because of HIM and what HE did to her. It was HIS fault and all men were the same
She swallowed the painkillers and sipped at her coffee. “So, how are things with Andy?” asked Clare. “Is everything still ok?”
“Yes we’re both happy. Things are as good as can be expected. I have my bad days but generally we’re pretty good.”
“I’m glad you’re happy” said Clare. “He’s lucky you gave him another chance after what happened. I take it he won’t be going on any more business conferences for a while”
“I trust him Clare” said Donna. “He’s learnt his lesson and I know he won’t do it again”
“I hope not” replied Clare. “For his sake! I don’t know how you were able to forgive him but as long as you’re happy”
“I am” said Donna with a wry smile. “Now, show me that
pair of shoes you bought”
They chatted and gossiped for another 30 minutes or so before leaving. Clare’s ankles were feeling a bit better now: the painkillers were working
They stepped out into the busy street and as they did so Clare’s ankle finally gave way
. The heels had proved too much for her and she lunged awkwardly out into the road. The pain shot up her leg on the way to her brain to be joined by another sudden jolt as something gave way in her lower back. Clare screamed as she fell: her bags fell to the ground before her, giving her a slight cushion as she slammed into the hard concrete. Donna rushed over to help her up. “Oh darling!” cried Donna. “Are you ok?” It was a stupid question really but we all say it at the most ridiculous of times. A young man rushed over to help the tall, slim, injured shopper which, for Clare, only made matters worse. “I’m ok. I don’t need any help from you” she shouted at the young man as though it was his fault she had fallen. Donna turned to the startled, confused young man and said “Thank you for offering to help but I can manage” The young man
looked hurt at Clare’s refusal of his assistance. “Err, ok. If you’re sure” he replied as Donna helped Clare to her feet. Clare was in a lot of pain. Sure, her ankle hurt but her back was really complaining. She could barely stand. Donna turned to the young man and said “Could you call us a taxi?”
“Sure, no problem” he replied and scanned the street for a black cab. Instantly he spotted one and hailed it down. The cab pulled up next to Clare and Donna and the young man opened the door for them as Donna helped Clare into the cab. As she did so the young man gathered their shopping bags and handbags and passed them to Donna in the waiting cab. “I hope you feel better soon” he said to Clare. She ignored him, the pain was all she could think about but Donna thanked the young man for his help. He closed the door and the cab sped off into the manic
traffic heading for
train station and home.
After a difficult and painful journey home Clare was forced to rest for a day or two. She had no choice, the pain in her back was excruciating and incapacitating. She called the salon to tell them what had happened and could they call her clients and let them
know that she wouldn’t be able to see them for a couple of days. She didn’t like doing this but she really had no choice. She managed to get herself to the doctors for her appointment where the doctor promptly informed Clare that she had hurt her back quite badly but there would be no permanent damage. She gave her stronger painkillers and recommended two weeks off work and treatment from a chiropractor. Clare had visited a chiropractor in the past when she hurt herself playing tennis. She remembered the treatment had been effective
and made a mental note to make an appointment. On the way home she called her chiropractor to make an appointment only to be told that they were fully booked up for the next three weeks due to holidays and the fact that one of the practitioners was away getting married. “Typical!” she muttered after hanging up. “I bet he’s a man!”
She went home and rung Donna to let her know what the doctor had said. “Sounds nasty” said Donna. “Have you made an appointment?”
“I tried but they are fully booked for the next three years!” she exaggerated. She often did this when she was frustrated; it helped her to cope with her inner thoughts.
“A friend at work went to a chiropractor recentl
y” said Donna. “She said they were
really nice and not too expensive. Do you want me to get their number?”
“Yes please darling” replied Clare. “That would be good. You’
re a true
. I don’t know what I would do without you sometimes
“That’s what friends are for” said Donna. “I’ll get their number and text it to you.” Donna and Clare chatted for a while longer before hanging up. The next day Donna sent Clare the details of the chiropractors she mentioned on the phone. She noticed that the practice was very close to her parent’s house which was fortunate as she was planning to go there today.
She rang them and fortunately they could see her today. Clare took the appointment and hung up.
That’s handy” she thought. “
I’ll pop in on the way
to mum and dad’s”
Clare found the practice easily and pulled up outside in her small but very chic car. She eventually managed to eject herself from the car and headed up the drive to the reception door. The practice was called ‘B. Chartwell Registered Chiropractors’ and looked very smart if a little understated. Clare wondered to herself what the ‘B’ stood for. “Bridget probably… Or maybe Belinda” she thought to herself as she pushed the door open and stepped into the reception area. Stood at a modest reception desk was a woman of about 30. She was the receptionist and was attractive at first glance but Clare thought she could be a right bitch if needed. She just had that look about her.
“Hello” the receptionist said as Clare approached the desk. “How can I help you?”
“I rang earlier” said Clare. “My name is Clare Browning”
The receptionist looked Clare up and down briefly before saying “Oh yes, of course. Please take a seat and I’ll see if Ben is ready for you”. She turned and entered a door leading into the treatment area.
“Ben?” thought Clare and suddenly panicked. “I just assumed I’d be seeing a woman chiropractor” For a second or two Clare had to fight the urge to get out of the door as fast as her pain soaked back would allow. She hadn’t been ready for this. She would be letting a strange man touch her bare skin. She felt cold, her breathing became short and shallow and she felt herself getting hot and prickly. She
hadn’t let herself be touched by any man since she had found out what HE had been doing behind her back.
She might have just left there and then if it wasn’t for the receptionist coming in with a tall, blonde haired man. “Hi” he said and held out his large hand. Clare stood where she was unable to move. This was it. She had to decide what she wanted to do. She could either leave now and find a female chiropractor or she could let this man try to relieve her pain. She looked at him and saw kindness in his eyes. He smiled and she couldn’t help but smile back. “I’m Clare” she whispered.
“It’s very nice to meet you Clare” he said. “Now, shall we try to make you feel
He held out his arm to her and said “Please, let me help you. I can see you’re having trouble walking”
Clare held onto his arm and immediately felt safe, secure and protected.
She hadn’t felt like this for a long time and mixed emotions were running through her brain and body.
She couldn’t help noticing the look of hurt and anger in the receptionist’s face as he assisted his beautiful new patient. If looks could kill Clare wouldn’t need to worry about the pain in her back! As h
into the treatment room and, without looking at her,
Ben said to his
“Helen, can you make sure we’re not disturbed?” He closed the door
with a resounding, almost mocking
, leaving Helen standing alone in the small empty room.
Clare was right about Helen. She
be a bitch when it was called for. Helen slowly sat down at her computer and began typing.
The treatment room was
nicely furnished and well lit. It wasn’t flash or full of gimmicks and
it seemed to have a welcome, homely feel to it. Clare found herself relaxing slightly.
“Perhaps this won’t be so bad after all” she thought to herself. Ben asked Clare to sit on the treatment couch which she did, carefully. The pain was really letting her
know that it was in charge just in case she forgo