Six of Hearts(2)

By: L.H. Cosway

“My family! I have to wake them up!” he protested hysterically, but a medic held him down. He felt bile rise in his throat, nausea overtaking him as he vomited into a bucket.

“He’s got a concussion,” he vaguely heard someone say.

He’d never felt more helpless in his life, staring up at his house as the fire overtook it. He tried so hard to remember what those three men looked like, but their faces were just shadowy blurs in his mind.

At the hospital, a female doctor with pretty, concerned eyes looked him over. She frowned when she saw the bruises on his ribs, asking where he’d gotten them from.

He told her that he’d fallen off his bike.

She didn’t look like she believed him.

Time was either moving too fast or too slow; he couldn’t seem to tell. Whenever he asked about his mother and Jack, nobody would tell him anything. Then a bald man with glasses came and sat down with him in the room where he’d been placed. It was full of toys for little children, but at twelve years of age, Jason decided he had no interest in toys anymore.

Jason could see in the bald man’s eyes that he wasn’t bringing him good news, and that made him lash out. He picked up a bunch of toy cars and began throwing them around the room. He didn’t want to hear what the man had to say; he knew he couldn’t handle it.

A few hours later he was told that his uncle from America was on his way to come and take him to live with him. Jason had heard of this uncle, his mother’s eccentric brother, but had never actually met him.

In the interim, his neighbours came to take care of him. They filled the doorway of the room in the hospital: mum, dad, and daughter. She had the biggest blue eyes, his favourite eyes. They were the perfect family, and his own didn’t exist anymore.

His purpose was gone now. What was the point of his life if it wasn’t to protect Mum and Jack?

His body started to shake as tears fell down his face. The girl rushed to his side, throwing her small arms around his neck and hugging him tight. She whispered that everything would be okay and that he was going to come and stay with them for the next few days until his uncle got there.

It took him a long time to stop crying, but when he did, he went home with his neighbours. At their house he spent the saddest three days of his life.

Then his uncle arrived and told him unsympathetically that his family were dead. He took him away to a world that was nothing and everything like the one he left behind. Each day Jason thought about those hooded men, about his mother and brother, whom he couldn’t keep safe in the end, and with those thoughts came one unchanging theme.



Present day.


Sometimes in life you just have to laugh.

These last couple of weeks I’ve been making my debut into the hazardous world of online dating, and right now I’m staring at my computer screen, trying to figure out if this latest “suitor” is serious or just seriously taking the piss. What does he look like? I hear you ask? Well, I know he’s got a really nice set of particularly shiny abs, or he Googled a picture of a really nice set of particularly shiny abs and used it as his profile image. Is that supposed to be oil or sweat? I can’t tell.

Anyway, his message reads as follows:

Hey, pretty lady,

Dayum, I am agog! Your picture caught my attention as soon as I spied it. You are soooo flipping beautiful. I really hope we can get to know each other better. Please check out my profile and write me back. If you don’t, I might just have to cry.



There are so many things wrong with this, I don’t even know where to start. First of all, I have to whip out the dictionary on my office shelf to check the meaning of the word “agog.” Its definition is “in a state of eager desire,” or “highly excited by eagerness, curiosity, or anticipation.”


Steve’s use of the word “agog” makes me the opposite of agog. In fact, I find myself in an eager state of desire to delete his message from my inbox. Then there’s his use of “dayum.” His profile states he’s twenty-seven years old and was born and raised in North County Dublin, where nobody uses the word “dayum.” And if they do, they need a good firm talking to. Somebody’s been watching too much MTV. And the mention of crying? I have no words.

In any case, my reaction to his wooing endeavours is a big, fat “no thanks.” This is mainly because his message smacks of a copy and paste job, hence the use of “pretty lady” instead of my actual name.

I can imagine he’s been sending this bad boy out to every Tom, Dick, and Harry on the site. Or should I say every Tomasina, Dickina, and Harriet, waiting all agog for some unsuspecting woman to write back and be tricked into cybersex. I bet Steve only waits about ten seconds before inundating his victims with dick pics.

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