You Got Away by Tara Tolhurst

This story is one of the July Writing Challenge entries that was chosen to be a featured story.

Ah, but you got away, didn’t you baby
You just turned your back on the crowd
You got away, I never once heard you say
I need you, I don’t need you
I need you, I don’t need you
And all of that jiving around

– “Chelsea Hotel No. 2” by Leonard Cohen

She stood on the balcony of their hotel room — her long white dress flapping in the wind. A cigarette hung from her fingers, threatening to fall out into the busy night street below. There was a vinyl playing music not too far away from her, but the sound of the city ambience and her own thoughts drowned it out.

He came outside to stand next to and overlook the city with her. He’d just finished writing some more lyrics for the songs he was always working on. He came up behind her and put his arm around her waist. His other arm grabbed the cigarette out of her hand, and he put it in his mouth and took a puff.

“Cities are so busy,” she said. “So why is it that when you are in them, you feel so alone?”

“You’re a very thoughtful girl,” he commented.

“Isn’t that what attracted you to me?” she smirked. “Nevermind, you wanted me as soon as you looked at me from across the bar. It could have never been my thoughtfulness that attracted you to me.”

“It could never have been your thoughtfulness that made me kill that man for you either,” he replied.

“We had a deal,” she responded.

“You still don’t feel anything for me, though, do you?” he asked.

She answered only with silence.

“We had a good night tonight,” he said.

“We’ll always have the music,” she told him.


He thought back to the swaying music of the club; the way they danced together under the blazing lights.

“You’ll never meet anyone like me again,” he told her.

She reached up and touched his cheek.

“I hope not,” she told him.

And with that, she turned on her heals. He watched as she left, never to be seen again.



Tara Tolhurst

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