Extract from Year One: The Caribbean Expo

The Caribbean Expo

 The Expo was a much bigger occasion than Suzanne had imagined; over the three day period thousands of people flocked to the venue in the Docklands.  She made over three times as much money as she had invested in the stand and printing her posters. But it was the third day that was to change Suzanne’s life forever…

She spotted him in the distance; he stood out like a neon light, seemingly head and shoulders above everyone else.  As he approached her stand, Suzanne began to get a strange feeling in her stomach, like butterflies.  Did she know this guy?

When he reached about two feet away, she could see that she didn’t know him, and at over six feet tall he really was head and shoulders above everyone else!   Then she realised that he wasn’t even heading towards her stand, but the stand opposite!  She had to get his attention; “EXCUSE ME!” she called out to him on impulse.  He turned and began walking towards her.  She suddenly felt slightly nervous; she wasn’t in the habit of pursuing men, plus, she was meant to be working!

But as their eyes met, she flashed him a huge, inviting smile.  He accepted the invitation.

She knew he thought she was attractive, and she thought he was attractive too.

“Hi! I wondered whether you’d be interested in my posters” she said cheerfully, flicking her hair as he reached her stand.

“Hmmm….they’re nice, did you design them?”  He asked, looking at them.

“Yes, I wrote the poetry too”

He stood silently, reading one.

“I can tell, you’re deep” he commented when he had finished.

Suzanne laughed.  “Would you like one?”

“How much are they?” he enquired.

“Well you can buy one for £4.50, two for £8.00 or three for £10”

He chose three different designs, saying “My mum will appreciate these” and paid her the £10.

“What made you come here today?” Suzanne asked, trying to prolong his stay as she rolled the posters up slowly, putting an elastic band around them.  Neat, heavy eyebrows adorned his sparkling dark brown eyes. He was dressed casually but neatly in a pair of jeans, shirt and shoes. As she handed him the posters he smiled with full, luscious lips revealing perfect teeth.  But it wasn’t his looks that had attracted her to him in the first instance. In fact, she couldn’t quite place her finger on what it was.

“My friend invited me” he replied, pointing to another brother at the stand opposite.

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t realise you were with someone!”

“It’s alright. So how long have you been doing this?” he asked, indicating towards the posters with his tube.

“I’ve just started actually – I only had them printed this week!” she replied, smiling proudly.

“What were you doing before?” he asked.

“I used to work in admin, but I left my job two weeks ago so I could focus on starting my business”

“Wow, sounds pretty much like me…”

He proceeded to tell her how he had just left the job he’d been doing for over 7 years, as well as ending his long term relationship.  It sounded as if they were both at a turning point in their lives.   In a weird kind of way, during the time they were talking, it was as if time stood still; everything around them became like a blurred whirlwind, as if they were in some kind of time warp. Suzanne forgot she was meant to be selling; in that moment, nothing else existed in the world but the two of them.  In the two minutes or so that they conversed, they both shared personal information about themselves, as if they had known each other forever.

“I have to go – do you have a card?” he asked.

Suzanne picked up one of her home-made business cards and handed it to him.  He read it and smiled at her slogan; ‘Touching the Heart…through Art’.

“I’ll call you” he said, looking at her with promise in his eyes.

“I’ll look forward to it” she smiled encouragingly.

“My name’s Charles, by the way” he added, extending his hand.  His smile was as warm as a summer’s day, making her feel all hot and sweaty.  As their hands made contact, what felt like an electrical surge passed from his hand through Suzanne’s whole body; she wondered if he had felt it too.  They shook hands quite formally, but there was a lingering in the time they should have released contact.


As Charles walked away, Janice asked “Who was THAT?”


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