Blue Mountains, New South Wales
He was so dashingly handsome, and He wasn’t even the groom! Although all the men were back in the fifties, they knew how to strike that manly balance between well-groomed and rugged. He was nothing like the men I see today, who know nothing of my value … I will never forget the first time we met, oh, and She was stunning, the sort you take a sneaky second look at if you pass Her on the street. She was embarrassed by the attention too which only made Her more charming. I suppose that’s partly why He fell for Her in the first place. I still remember that exact moment, it’s my fondest memory actually, and that’s saying something considering all the things I’ve seen. Granted I’m usually in pockets, but I have access that spies envy; in fact I think spies have been known to use things like me to do just that, but I digress … the day they met.
It was like out of a movie, on a wharf in beautiful France. The sun was shining but it was that soft afternoon sun that doesn’t sting; there were cute little girls who had just finished their ballet lessons giggling which added to the chorus of the little waves lapping. And there was the church, only a very short stroll away—that’s where He was, at a wedding! She and I were at the wharf, She taking in the sea air and letting Her cares flow away like only the sun and the sea can allow, I stuck between an old, weathered bollard and an equally uncomfortable metal bolt. I had been there for what seemed an eternity. The problem was that I and the metal bolt were somewhat camouflaged, but luckily (for me and not the bolt) there was a flood of stylishly dressed people on their way toward us, directly from the wedding.
They didn’t see each other at first, and to be honest, as smitten with each of them as I was, my main concern was getting out from between ‘a rock and a hard place’. But luckily for all of us the balloons had just been released by the flower girls, which caused the whole party to begin kissing one another. The poor young woman, well, She wasn’t French and didn’t understand the custom at all. I had seen it play out many times before: the balloons are released, and all the men have to kiss all the women (on the cheek usually) and if they miss just one lady the wedding will be unlucky. This ensures all the women don’t reject any kisses and usually causes many laughs and much delight.
So there She was, not even a part of the wedding group, but it didn’t matter—the excitement was infectious and He was not shy about being drawn to Her, and took advantage of the stroke of luck that came with the wedding tradition. He moved deftly through the crowd and to Her side, then took Her by the waist—and by surprise—then planted a passionate kiss on Her unsuspecting lips. Oh how awkward I thought, but for some reason it actually wasn’t. I was witness to the very beginning of their two worlds becoming one. Then I became a participant instead of just an observer. He spotted me; I must have been glistening in the sun. He picked me up and told Her to keep me as a memento of their encounter. She was completely lost for words and his party were either demanding a kiss from Him or had begun moving on to the hotel for the next stage of festivities. He was clearly distressed at leaving so He gave Her his card and the hotel’s address then left as spontaneously as He arrived. She and I were equally sad to see Him go, although the view …
Coincidentally She was already staying in the hotel (it was the most popular in the area after all) and had another week and a half already booked. After an hour or so of deliberations together (mainly involving her staring at me hard and thoughtfully) She ‘just happened’ to find herself in the foyer, looking glamorous in Her best outfit, fresh make-up and impeccable hair (She couldn’t have done it without me). They started with talking, which turned into dancing, then drinking, and were laughing like old friends into the small hours of the morning. She nearly gave me away whilst drinking but luckily He told Her I was special and should be kept safe forevermore. I am forever grateful because Her pocket sure was a nice change from the usual cold tills or rough purses I usually tolerated.
Over that glorious week and a half He progressed from charming travel guide, to trusted friend, to soulmate. He wasn’t the only one changing though, lovely She shed Her naturally nervous and shy veil to reveal a happier and gorgeously confident spirit. I can assure you there was nothing so beautiful as watching those two souls, clearly destined for one another, bonding. They perfectly complemented one another, He was fiery and passionate while She was patient and coy, so it was no surprise when they promised to devote themselves to each other solely.
When She had to leave it was heart wrenching and people believe I don’t even have a heart. They were both determined to stay together and promised to write every day. Neither broke their word and after only three months of letters expressing the most desperate of passions, worst of longings and deepest of secrets it was decided that they could be apart no more and that it would be most beneficial for both if She went to Him. All the necessary plans were made, blessings were given and before long, though it seemed far too long to Them, they were in each other’s arms once again. It was as though no time had passed between them and it truly was a love story that would impress anyone who heard it. They had their own wedding soon enough, on the same wharf that they had met—naturally. I was in his pocket all day, closest to his heart and boy was it thumping! I was their ‘lucky charm’ and given a beautiful glass case to show me off. My new home was on the mantle and none of us could be happier.
That is how it was for years, a decade in fact! But for some reason, I’m still not sure why, everything that was once so beautiful became dust in an instant. Perhaps it was the pressure from His new and unforgiving manager, or maybe it was their difficulty having a child, or perhaps it was Her isolation from family; actually, it was probably all of them. It was like watching a drop of dye in a glass of water—it starts so small and is diluted so you are fooled into thinking it is not there, but with each seemingly small drop the water gets darker and murkier, until finally it is black and no matter how you try you cannot take the dye out, and there is no hope of the water ever being clear again.
So it was with Them, an argument—drip—not talking—drip—avoidance—drip—shutting down—drip. Even though I willed it to not be so, the inevitable conclusion came and with such unexpected ferocity I still rattle and chink to think. She had been at home all day, for the seventh day in a row, and didn’t move from the lounge. He got home, after another awful day (I always knew because He would come and ask me why I hadn’t delivered Him more luck of late or would give me ‘that look’). She didn’t even acknowledge his entering the room and He ‘snapped’. The shouting began, but only from his side—Her fight had long since abandoned Her and this only served to infuriate Him more. She could sense His temper was reaching new heights and I was scared that this fight was different from the rest. Then, as quick as lightning and just as frightening He grasped me; I thought He would shatter my beautiful glass case his grip was so tight. She got up and held Her head low with Her gaze steady—like an animal sizing up its competition as a fellow predator. That was when it happened—He threw me straight at Her … I tried to miss Her but there was no time or space … I hit Her hip and then fell to the cold tiles where my glass case, my beautiful clear home, my safe space, smashed into a thousand, tiny, vicious pieces. Both my mouth and Hers were gaping in shock, our eyes filled with tears and terror, but His … His looked like the wild fire in them had been instantaneously smothered and replaced with fear too.
She crumbled to the floor more in emotional anguish than physical pain and He went to help Her, but now it was Her turn to be ferocious. She swiped at Him like a tigress and gave Him a stare so cold and menacing that He involuntarily stepped back, but He tripped in doing so and landed on the floor too. They both sat there for what seemed an eternity, just staring at each other as if they were strangers, before She whisked Herself up and hurried away to the bedroom.
After hours of crying from both in separate rooms, He eventually came over to release me from my terrifying nest of shards. Then He put me under Her door and left. If I had known then that it was to be the last time He would hold me tenderly in his hand I would have done things so differently …
In the morning she woke and saw me on the floor. She scooped me up and I got a sense of déjà vu, we were back on the end of the bed, with Her looking to me for the answer of whether or not She should take the chance and go see Him. I tried to do whatever it was I did the first time, but I must have done something wrong because She didn’t. Soon enough She and I were back on the train, on our way to Her home, away from France and away from Him. I’m not even sure why she kept me, but I suspect it was because she didn’t realise she’d packed me. I think that’s also why I fell through the bottom of the box I was in; surely she wouldn’t have abandoned me on purpose?
So that’s how I found myself here. I was left all alone on the dirty train station platform until someone picked me up. He wasn’t anyone special, far from it, actually, because the first thing he did with me was put me into an awful gambling machine to get bumped, scuffed and squished with thousands of others like me. Problem was, they weren’t like me, they had never been ‘charmed’ like I was, never been taken care of, and now I was ruined. And so I spend my days revolving around feeders, slots and chutes. I console myself by thinking that one day I will be given the chance to make amends for my ‘lucky charm’ title by being returned to He and She in a ‘big win’.
Bio: Vivienne is new to the ‘writing scene’ and feels that with all the pervasive negativity in the world she wants to inject a little happy fantasy with her writing. However in order to keep with the Evolve, Devolve, Revolve theme the romance and sentimentality is limited to the first half of the story. Unfortunately Vivienne submitted this after the competition closed but she hopes you enjoy her ‘little story from a coin’ anyway.