As she stood watching her life fall apart she felt like her life was over, feeling the sadness rising deep within her. Slowly turning to walk away she realised she had no real idea of where she was going, or where she would go after this. Wandering through the city streets she contemplated her life as she tried in vain to find somewhere to go to get out from the pouring rain that seemed to be getting heavier with each passing moment, but having no money and looking the way she did she wasn’t having any luck.
“… So you see if you could just let me come in for a moment to dry off I’d be most grateful?” she asked for what seemed like the hundredth time, and after getting turned away again she sadly walked away. Hurt lost lonely and dejected, she hoped and prayed that her prince would come along and save the day.
As he walked away from the banks of the River Thames and the devastation of this last case, he felt totally lost and in need of salvation. ‘It’s my fault.’ Was all that went through his tired and weary mind, as he walked through the city streets, getting soaked in the pouring rain he had no idea where he was going just that he needed to go somewhere. With his mind full of all the hurt and pain in his heart he walked through the deserted city streets desperate to find some solitude, thinking about the people he’d lost it all started to become too much for him as his tears threatened to fall. Not being able to take anymore and as he came to a stop in the middle of the street, outside of the Ritz Hotel his tears just couldn’t stop falling. As thoughts of his wife and son mixed with that of his team his tears continued to fall, mixing with the falling rain that didn’t seem to want to let up either.
“Look sir, I know you’re upset but you’ll have to move on as it’s putting people off coming inside.” The uniformed man said, his blank expressionless face gave nothing away. At any other normal day or time his reaction would have been to kick scream and shout until he was heard, but instead today all he could do was blink a few times put his head down and walk away sadly. With tears still flowing from his eyes he walked blindly through the streets, carrying the heavy painful weight of it all upon his shoulders and the tightness across his chest of his heart breaking. Looking for somewhere, anywhere to rest his weary soul and find salvation. Walking through the back streets he came across this small café, walking inside he looked at himself in the mirror behind the counter and realised he was a mess. Ordering a coffee and sitting out the way in the corner he tried to make sense of it all, knowing deep down inside the pain in his heart and soul was still immense and it would take a small miracle to ‘fix’ him once more.
As she passed by the small café she almost passed by feeling like she couldn’t really stomach getting turned away again, but standing outside the door she felt something deep within her telling her that she shouldn’t walk by. Walking inside and heading for the counter she too caught herself in the mirror and realised what a mess she looked, trying to smile as best she could to the man who approached her from behind the counter she was determined not to cry this time. Taking a deep breath and smiling a smile she knew would never reach her lips; she spoke and told of her plight to the man behind the counter.
“Excuse me, please can you help me?” She started; preparing herself for the moment she was turned down again and told to leave.
“What’s happened my dear?” The man behind the counter said as he looked with concern and worry, shocking her for a moment with his concern. Smiling a little she continued after he had introduced himself.
“I just need somewhere warm to sit and dry off while I think, I’ve had a really bad day and I need to….” Pausing as her voiced trailed off, the tears she swore wouldn’t fall did.
Looking up to see this beautiful young woman walk in, the first thing he noticed was her sad eyes. Then he noticed the bruises and cuts, tears and dishevelled look that he himself was now sporting. Sensing this beautiful woman had also been through hell something deep inside him drove him to instinctively head towards her, and as he listened to her plea for help almost on auto pilot he offered his help along with that of Jack’s; the man behind the counter.
“What’s the matter my love?” He said as he handed her his handkerchief, wishing he could take this beautiful young lady’s pain away.
“My life is over, I’ve lost everything.” She said tearfully as she took the handkerchief, turning to face the man and thank him she came face to face with a handsome man that looked just as lost and hurt as she did. Both became captivated by each others eyes, the seemed to say so much and for a long time silence surrounded them both.
“Thank you, you’re most kind.” She said as she let her hand linger upon his for as long as she could, not wanting this moment to end. Is this my Knight in shining armour? She thought to herself as she wiped her eyes.
Seeing her shiver he put out an arm for her to follow him and asked if she’d like to join him, noting her fear he spoke.
“My name’s Peter, would you care to join me for a coffee?” Smiling she could just somehow tell she was safe with this man, and nodding slightly she followed him over to his table. Sitting opposite each other he poured her a cup of coffee and silently tried to work out just what each others ‘story’ was, and just why both where sitting in this small back street café lost hurt and lonely.
“Thank you for your kindness Peter, I’m Sarah.” She told him as she tried to search his eyes and reach his soul, smiling back at her the best he could he too was trying to search her eyes and reach her soul. Both praying that the other would be what they needed to take their pain and fears away, hoping that the pain and loneliness each felt would soon go away.
“Do you want to talk?” He hardly heard himself say as the silence surrounded them that only seemed to enhance the moment, trying to smile she looked up into his brown eyes that showed so much of his pain and hurt.
“I was just about to ask you the same Peter!” As they both smiled and looked deep into each others eyes both felt something stirring deep down inside that neither would be able to explain, taking a deep breath he spoke first.
“I’m a Policeman with the Met; I head up a unit specially assigned to solving ‘cold cases.’ We just lost another member of the team today, I just feel like…” His words trailing off as he thought about Stella’s lifeless body laying in his arms, biting his lip to try and stop his tears from falling he sat staring down into his coffee.
“Oh Peter, how awful for you. What happened?” Sarah said as she instinctively placed her hand on top of his, trying to comfort him the best she could. Even though she had lost everything, she still knew how to care, watching his gaze shift to her hand upon his she smiled. Touched by her comfort and concern, Boyd smiled slightly and tried to find the words he needed.
“One minute we were talking and the next she was laying in my arms covered with blood.” As a tear left his eye, he tried not to let her see but as she squeezed his hand gently he knew she had.
“Is there anyone I can call for you Peter, your wife or girlfriend maybe? You are obviously in shock.” Sarah said before she realised, thinking she was doing the right thing. Not knowing it was all too much for him, as he broke down unable to stop his tears or the pain he felt.
“My wife died after we divorced when Joe…” Not being able to finish the sentence, Boyd could no longer be strong or hold on. Seeing the pain and hurt in his eyes Sarah knew whatever he was going through or had been through was enough to break him, wondering how such a kind man could have been so hurt she spoke.
“Oh Peter I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you.” With tears in her own eyes, the silence surrounding them again Sarah thought of his pain. Realising that something was still stirring deep down inside her, Sarah wondered how a perfect stranger could create such feelings within her. As two strangers, hurt lost and lonely sat crying to each other neither could have known that their lives would start to get better.
“I was ten when my parents died in a terrible car crash and I had to go stay with foster parents. I wish I had died in the crash with them, my ‘new family’ abused me. After five years I want in and out of care homes, until I met Steve.” Sarah managed to say through the tears, noticing that he had now begun to stroke the back of her hand he had started to hold. Both knew it was for comfort but somewhere deep inside Sarah felt a longing desire that she thought had left her forever.
“Joe was a wonderful child but as things began to go wrong between myself and his mother, he would run away…” Pausing for a moment unsure why he felt so comfortable tell a perfect stranger his deepest darkest fears Boyd realised he had been stroking the back of Sarah’s hand, feeling a yearning desire deep within him for the first time since Mel Boyd looked up into the eyes of an angel and knew instantly he had fallen.
“At sixteen Joe ran away for good, I’ve not seen him since...” Biting his lip once more to try hold the tears back, noticing how she squeezed his hand and looked back into her eyes. Sarah sat trying to find the right words not only for comfort but also to explain what she was feeling, looking into his eyes she was surprised to find that her own fears and questions were being returned. Captivated by his eyes she saw the tears fall from them and instinctively wiped them away, softly speaking to him.
“Oh Peter.” Was all Sarah could say as she saw all the hurt and pain running through his eyes, sitting there in silence knowing neither needed to say anything.
“What happened between you and Steve?” Boyd asked, knowing that something had happen to her.
“He’s all I’ve ever known since we started seeing each other when I was sixteen, I feel so lost without him.” Seeing the disappointment in his eyes, Sarah tried to search for what he was feeling as she continued.
“I thought he loved me, he was my first.” Feeling embarrassed Sarah paused, trying to find the right words. The pain and hurt in her voice was evident and as she tried to hold back her tears again, she lost the fight and let them fall silently. Gently wiping the freshly fallen tears away, Boyd continued to silently hold her hands hoping that it was a comfort to her. As Sarah looked up into Boyd’s eyes she could tell he wasn’t like the rest, and sighing deeply she continued.
“After breaking me mentally Steve then began to break me physically after I hit eighteen.” Sarah said as she searched for a sign in his eyes that he felt the same, knowing she had fallen for this handsome kind stranger. Wishing he could understand how any man could do that to a woman let alone such a beautiful one, Boyd sat there trying to search for signs in her eyes that she felt the same way he did.
“How could Steve do that to you Sarah? I’d never…” Boyd started, trailing off when he realised neither of them were in any fit state to go down that road, staring back down to his coffee Boyd hoped she’d not heard him.
“I know you wouldn’t Peter, you’re not like him. After he had cheated on me for the tenth time I confronted him.” Pausing as she looked deep in Boyd’s eyes she saw something she wasn’t expecting, love and surprisingly enough she realised he saw that in her eyes too.
“After a huge row today, he did this to me…” Indicating to the bruises and cuts that adorned her beautiful face, seeing the sadness in his eyes as Boyd tenderly touched her cheek, gently squeezing her hand with his free hand.
“He kicked me out of my home and left me with nothing but what you see in front of you now.” Holding her palms up indicating that all she had was what Boyd saw in front of him, a lost hurt and broken woman.
Looking into his eyes Sarah could just tell that he would take care of her, and that she would be safe with him. As Boyd ordered food and reassured Sarah it was ok he realised he wasn’t ready to let her go yet, telling her that she deserved better Boyd finally allowed someone into his heart again.
“You are such a beautiful woman Sarah, you deserve so much better. You remind me of Mel…” Boyd’s voice faded as he couldn’t stop himself from mentioning her name, feeling the sadness rise deep within him at the thought of the young woman he never got the chance to tell the truth to. The tears pricking his eyes, Boyd wanted to look away but found he couldn’t.
“Mel was the first member of my team; she lost her life after she apprehended a victim that became a suspect too.” Pausing as he tired to hold back the tears, Boyd hadn’t talked about Mel or how he felt since that fateful day.
“She fell and hit my car…” He sobbed through the grief and pain, as his tears fell silently.
“It’s my fault, I couldn’t protect her…” Boyd cried feeling all the years of hurt and pain flooding out, sensing his pain Sarah moved to his side and held him instinctively in her arms.
Whispering soft reassurances into his hair as he continued to weep, softly rubbing his back for comfort, Sarah wished she could take his pain away.
“I couldn’t save her… She didn’t know, I never told I…” Boyd managed to say through the tears, wishing he’d got the chance and praying he got a second chance with this beautiful kind woman holding him tightly in her loving arms. Sarah held Boyd closer and continued to whisper soft reassurances into his hair, trying as best she could to sooth away his pain and hurt.
“I never told her I loved her, I never said I love you.” Was all Boyd could manage before his grief and pain took over, feeling her own tears fall Sarah thought of the pain he must have gone through.
“Oh Peter!” Sarah tenderly cried into his hair as she tightened her arms around him, feeling how he buried his head into her chest and sobbed silently. Both became oblivious to their surroundings and as time passed them by both stayed in each others arms, comforting and crying upon each other.
As day turned to night, Boyd and Sarah still held each other in the same close embrace as the customers came and went. It was only when Jack approached and spoke to them while clearing tables that either of them realised that had been there all day, or that it was time for them both to start thinking about where they should go from here.
“If you love someone you should tell them every chance you get, you know?” Jack’s deep voice startled them both slightly, both looking up at him through tear stained red eyes both questioningly looked at him before he went on.
“When I met my wife Tina, I swore I’d never forget to tell her everyday that I loved her.” Sitting down at the table next to Boyd and Sarah, Jack went on noting how they still hadn’t let go of each other.
“I just wish I’d had the chance with Lucy…” Jack’s words trailed off as he thought about the woman who had stolen his heart all those years ago, holding back the tears as he continued.
“We worked together and although I felt instantly in love with her I could never say anything, I never had the confidence to do so.” Pausing to say goodbye to his last customers, Jack locked up and came back over to Boyd and Sarah who was now sat perched upon Boyd’s lap.
“Lucy was due to leave and go abroad and I felt like I would be able to tell her before she left…” Pausing to hold the tears back still, Jack thought about that last day he saw Lucy.
“When she didn’t turn up when she was meant to I got worried, I searched everywhere for her. When I finally found her she was laying in a hospital somewhere after being involved in a car crash…” Turing away to hide his tears, Sarah held onto Boyd tightly feeling him do the same.
“I never got the chance to tell her I loved her, and it destroyed me. So now that I have my Tina, I never let a day go by when I don’t tell her I love her.” Jack said as he regained his composure, getting up to leave Boyd and Sarah alone for a while Jack turned to leave speaking before he left.
“Sometimes you don’t get a second chance to say I love you, you should always take the chance when you can.” Walking away Jack sighed deeply, hoping it would be enough. Sitting in silence both Boyd and Sarah felt Jack’s words hitting home, knowing he was right and that they couldn’t just walk away now.
“Thank you for coming to my aid today Peter. You have restored my faith in men, I finally feel ready to love again.” Sarah said softly as she moved slightly so she was perched on his lap but facing him, smiling at him with her beautiful blue eyes he could see the tears drying up and hoped that they never felt that pain again.
“I feel the same way Sarah, I know I never got he chance to tell Mel I loved her but now I feel like I have a second chance I have no intention of letting it escape me again.” Boyd answered as he gently caressed her back and looked deep into her eyes, feeling like he could finally become the man he wished he was Boyd smiled. Both saw something in each others eyes and just seemed to know what the other felt and was thinking, neither were ready to walked away or let the moment go.
“I know we have only just met Sarah, but I can’t imagine my life without you in it. I couldn’t stand being apart from you for even one day, I’d really like you to stay with me and to get to know you better.” It wasn’t so much of a question, Boyd just said what he was feeling and thinking smiling at how Grace would be laughing at this new sensitive side he was showing.
“I feel the same way about you Peter, I can’t envision not knowing you. I would love to stay and spend time with you…” Sarah said as she smiled the smile of an angel, leaning into Boyd’s ear she whispered to him how she felt.
“I can’t imagine you not being here by my side.” Wanting to say that she had fallen, Sarah moved within inches of his lips. He could feel her breathing slow and how she seemed to take each breath in unison with his own, slowly Boyd inched further towards her lips feeling his own desires were as strong as hers he softly whispered the words he could never normally say.
“I love you Sarah.” He felt how she smiled gently, moving inches further so that their lips were almost ever so slightly touching Sarah spoke.
“I love you too Peter.” Softly she whispered her desire, and now as they sat having admitted their feelings both felt ready to love and feel again. Moving forward, they shared a tender kiss one that would linger for the longest time. Finally they pulled away and would spend the rest of the night falling deeper in love with each other, knowing that neither would ever be along again.
As the time came for them both to finally leave, the both headed towards the door. Taking her hand in his own, Boyd kissed the back of it and softly whispered ‘I Love You’ against the back of it. Smiling at each other, they left together and headed for his home. As Jack watched them leave Tina came and wrapped her arms around her loving husband and spoke.
“Just like the old days hey Jack?” Kissing his back and thinking of the two perfect strangers that had just left and who reminded them both of a past that neither could forget, smiling and turning to take his wife in his arms Jack spoke.
“Aye my darling aye, here’s hoping they have just as much as happiness as you and I my love.” Smiling at his wife Jack knew that if Boyd and Sarah felt half they way he did for Tina then they’d make it, turning away Jack spoke once more before the pair went to bed.
“I’m glad you came in that day, my beautiful perfect stranger.”