"J'aime ce moment avec toi. C'est parfait."
MISSED CHAPTER ONE?
“Morning, Samuel,” Lily greeted as she handed out The Age newspaper to him.
Sam tucked the folder into his briefcase and took the paper from the nineteen-year-old train station shop attendant.
“Thanks, Lil,” he said and gave her the ten-dollar note.
“How’s working for the Minister for Road going?” Lily asked as she brushed her long black hair into a low ponytail and fastened it. Then she rang the sale of the newspaper through the register.
Once she was done, he shrugged and collected his change. “It’s government. It’s hell on Earth.”
“Why don’t you run as a minister or something?”
“Got to win the seat for our area first. Then it’s up to Ronald, the party leader, to decide minister portfolios. I’d be eighty before he ever notices me.”
Lily leant forward and squinted at him. “Politics is stupid. You’d make a great minister. They need ‘em young. How can the young voters feel like they’re being heard or understood if a young representative doesn’t, you know, represent?”
Sam chuckled. “It’d be a long time before I’m a minister, Lily. But thanks for the vote of confidence.”
“You make politics interesting, I suppose.” She shrugged. “Isn’t Parliament out? Why are you heading out to the city this early?”
“Just because Parliament’s out doesn’t mean my job stops. Only means the offices are dead, and I can get some work done.” He waved goodbye to Lily as he walked towards the platform. He tapped his Myki card on the sensor and headed over to the green-painted steel bench towards the end of the platform. Sam sat down, placed his briefcase by his feet, and opened the newspaper. He decided against looking at the politics section. Instead, he skimmed over the current events until he read the article about the bus that had crashed on the freeway due to faulty brakes—luckily, there were no fatalities. Then he read about the latest sex scandal that involved a footballer.
The sudden cool gust of wind made reading the newspaper difficult. He hated July. Always had. When he had started working as an intern for the Australian Labor Party, he never imagined he’d be the Minister for Road’s speechwriter. Sam turned to the finance section of the paper, hoping to waste some time before his 8:05 a.m. train arrived. The cold temperature and rain drizzle had him wishing he’d stayed home instead.
He heard the sound of the electronic doors open, signalling another commuter had stepped onto the platform. Sam stared at the picture of the Treasurer at a summit in New York. He pondered how far he’d take his political career, wondering if he could be Foreign Minister, the Treasurer or even the Prime Minister of Australia. Sam shook his head and closed the newspaper. He hadn’t even made it to state parliament, let alone federal. The reality of those thoughts was years away, nothing a twenty-five-year-old could achieve just yet. He would need a lot of party backing.
Sam glanced up from the newspaper to see someone standing over the yellow line and close to the edge of the platform. He squinted at her and everything in him halted.
Heart ached, and more than likely, heart yearned.
“Meredith,” he breathed.
It had been years since he’d said her name. He had thought of her, wondered and hoped for her. She had been someone he loved. She had been someone he let go. Sam set the paper down next to him and stared at her. Meredith wore a light blue dress and a white cardigan. Her blonde hair curled towards the ends, and her hands formed tight balls by her side. She didn’t look his way, and he hoped she wouldn’t. He hoped they’d get on different carriages and get off at different stops of the line.
Meredith stared at the yellow wildflowers that grew by the tracks. She looked lost in her own world, unaware of the freezing wind her dress wouldn’t protect her from.
He kept his eyes on her. It had been years since they spoke.
It had been years since his heart felt whole.
Two trains had passed.
Meredith never flinched.
She just stood there.
Sam had missed two trains staring at Meredith.
It had been twenty minutes since the last, and his eyes never left the sight of her. Once the boom gates sounded, Meredith leant forward. That was when he knew. Sam stood up from the bench. He didn’t run. He didn’t dash to her side. He simply put one foot in front of the other. When Sam stood next to her, he said nothing.
Meredith turned and looked his way for the first time in seven years. Sam took her in. She was older. She was slimmer in the face, and her cheekbones a little more defined. Her blue eyes were that beautiful middle blue, but they seemed lost.
My sweet Meredith.
The third train went by.
Meredith hadn’t jumped.
She looked into his eyes and appeared surprised to see him. Sam reached into his pocket and took out his business card. He didn’t say hi or hello. Instead, he took her hand and ignored the way her touch made his heart beat within his chest. Sam placed it in her palm and didn’t say a word.
He had looked at her one last time before he returned to the bench and picked up the newspaper and his briefcase. He decided he wouldn’t go into the city today. Instead, he walked past Meredith Driessen and made his way back into the station. Then Sam passed the ticketing office and the shop.
“Sam? Did you miss your train?” Lily called out.
He ignored her and kept walking down the ramp and to the parking lot. The moment he reached his government car, Sam unlocked it and got inside. He stared out the window and watched the unexpected rain pelt it. He wasn’t even sure if the blurriness he saw was from the torrential rain or from his tears. Sam reached up and pressed his fingers to his cheek. He felt the moisture, but he didn’t want to believe it as he glanced down. His fingers held traces of his tears, and that was when he cried harder.
Meredith Driessen had tried to commit suicide today, and I had saved her.
I wish I hadn’t.
I wish Meredith Driessen had died today.
Then I wouldn’t remember what it was like to be in love with her.
Seven years ago, I wish I had been the brave one.
I wish Meredith Driessen had never saved my life.
Read chapter three in the next newsletter reveal!
My Josh. His Beth. Someone else’s Meredith.
Destined to fall apart before their lips have even touched, Samuel Michaels and Meredith Driessen have seven years of almosts between them.
Seven years ago, a night by the river would bind them together. Seven years ago, Sam’s entire world blew up before his eyes.
His only saviour …
She saved his life, exposing him to what it could be like to be with her. But that wasn’t Life’s plan. Because deep down, his secrets will destroy their lives and separate them. His secrets will break both their hearts until the day he finds her standing on the edge of the train platform, completely lost.
He did this to her.
And Sam knows that if he doesn’t go to her, he’ll lose her forever.
Will seven years be enough to mend their scars? Or will the secrets they both keep deny them once more?
One thing is certain …
You may never know tomorrow’s sunlight if you’re drowning in yesterday’s storm.
I’m about to start the two month marketing campaign for The First Touch of Sunlight – YEP! I am prepared for this release day – and I could really use YOUR help!
If you would like to help promote with me, you can! I have made a reader sign up form where you can promote and enter to win a signed copy of Sam and Meredith’s book.
Readers promo: sign up
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Please let me know if you do sign up so I can send you all my love!
• • •
Until the next chapter reveal next Tuesday, I’ll leave you here with the very fine words from Forrest …
“And that’s all I have to say about that …”