RE:kindled Love

A short story about a woman who just turned 50 and gets a computer for her birthday.


1. My 50th Birthday

Turning 50 was the worst thing I ever did. I mean, surviving 3 marriages takes its toll on your life, but turning the big 5-0 makes you just feel old. There wasn’t a big party or anything. Just me, my 4 children, their partners and children. I didn’t want too much of a fuss. Or any presents! So they all decided to put some money together to get me one thing.


A computer. With Internet.


As if that mobile phone thing they got me a couple of years ago wasn’t giving me a headache! Now I had a new piece of technology I had to contend with!


A few days later, and my eldest daughter Emma came for a visit, trying to convince me to join some internet reunion site to get back in touch with some old friends from school.

“Mum, you need to do this!” She said, “It’s been 6 years since Tony died and you’ve got no one here around you unless we visit! Even if its not for a relationship, you could do with some friends…and you could start with this!”

After a few hours of going back and forth in discussions, I finally gave up and joined the site.


Things seemed to be ok at first, I managed to find some old classmates (with the help of my children), who I was in clubs with. Even my old friends, Sarah and Claire, who were now married with children and grandchildren, were on there.


After a couple of months, I got into the habit of finishing work, going home and going straight onto the website. Both Sarah and Claire visited my home from time to time, talking about current things, but on the website, we’d talk about the past. I was quite happy to find out that the ‘queen bee’ had managed to work for the same company as me, that I was her boss. I’d have never noticed if the girls hadn’t told me, or that the biggest nerd in school was now an advisor to the Prime Minister.


Everything in life was great once again, even my children had noticed the spring in my step.


I was so glad they introduced me to that website, and that you had to ‘accept’ people who wanted to talk to you, because let’s face it, I didn’t want to be speaking to my old nemesis Natalie.

Yes. Everything was great. Until I saw that name. James Tane.


You see, I met my first husband, Dan, at school, we were together for ages and married young. James was Dan’s best friend. James was also my lover. Dan never knew. Never knew that while he was getting ready at the church on our wedding day, his best man was in bed with his bride. The reason Dan and I got married so young, was because I was pregnant. Pregnant with Emma. And the last time I saw James, was at Dan’s funeral. Emma was 5, and not fully aware that her father was just killed in action. In the line of duty.


I never thought I’d hear his name again.


I switched off my computer as quickly as I could. Not knowing what to think.


Emma brought her children round for tea. They sat talking about school and homework, all of which I paid no attention about.

“You seem distracted…” Emma said, just as she was about to leave.

“Do I?” I replied, hesitantly, “I just…keep thinking about work…”

“Hope it’s not too stressful” She smiled, “Take care.”

She kissed my forehead and left.


All that night, I couldn’t sleep a wink. The words ‘James Tane wants to be friends with you’ kept playing over in my mind.


Over and over again.


I kept thinking about all those times he and I spent together.


The lies and hurt we had when we decided to end it.


“No!” I thought, “There was a reason it ended. I wanted to concentrate on my family.”


The next day was no better. I was utterly distracted. Kept making mistakes. It drained all my energy trying not to think of him.


I got home and logged onto the website.


“I need to make a decision.” I thought.


So I clicked ‘accept’.

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