Status: In Progress.

Cheating Across the Pond


“Libby, this your cousin Alyssa from America. She'll be staying here in Manchester for a year,” Ryan told the wide-eyed, sandy-haired little girl.

“Hiya,” I said, crouching down to her level, “I hope we can be friends,” I stuck my hand out.

She stared at my outstretched hand before nodding and shaking it, “I think we can,” she smiled shyly. “Have you met my brother Zach?”

“No,” I shook my head, “Not yet.”

“Oh well, that's because he's still a baby and he can't stay up late.”

“Is that so?”

“Mmhm,” She nodded.

“Then, next time, you'll have to introduce me to him!”



“Pinky promise,” Libby stuck out her pinky finger.

“Pinky promise,” I hooked my pinky through her's.

“Lizzie, I want you to meet Stacey,” Ryan said.

“I'll talk to you later, okay?”

Libby nodded.

I got up and followed Ryan to the kitchen, “She's a sweet kid,” I said referring to Libby. “She's shy but she'll get over it.”


“Remember, I was pretty shy as a kid and I turned out all right.”

“With my proper guidance,” Ryan teased as we entered the kitchen. “This is Stacey. Stacey this is Alyssa. Alyssa this is Stacey.”

“Hi! Ryan has told me so much about you that I feel like I know you already,” Stacey gushed.

“I wish I could have been there for the wedding. It looked beautiful.”

“As long as you invite me to your's, we're even.”


Dinner was great. Stacey made the Welsh dishes that I had as a child. The mint jelly on the lamb brought me back to when I would help Granny make dinner, even though I was barely taller than the counter. The potato cakes reminded me of when Uncle Ryan and I would sneak food from the kitchen to our rooms and he would tell me horror stories of the 'water leaper' living in the nearby lake that eats little girls. The treacle toffee, well, I could barely eat. As a punishment, my mother made me eat all the treacle toffee Granny had made, after I had been wining that there wouldn't be enough for me. I never had much of an appetite for it now.

“Tell me about your fiance,” Stacey asked as Ryan, Stacey and I sat at the dinner table for a little wine.

“Stephen's great. He's a businessman and he's going to join me here in Manchester to head the Manchester branch of the company.”

“How long have you two been engaged?” Ryan asked.

“It's been a little less than a year, 10 months.”

“Are you having the wedding here or back home in the US?” Stacey inquired.

“I don't know,” I never gave it much thought. I hadn't really been planning the wedding, “I never thought about that.”

“You haven't thought about that?” Stacey was dumbstruck, “You've been engaged for almost a year and you haven't thought about that?”

“We've both been so busy that we haven't been able to sit down and actually plan the wedding since getting engaged,” I explained, “Stephen and I want to start a new life here in Manchester. I think we might have the wedding here,” I added slowly, suddenly aware of the finality of my statement.

“Daddy,” Libby was standing there in her pajamas, “I can't sleep,” Her innocence made me nostalgic.

“I'll read you a story and tuck you in,” Ryan stood up and took Libby's hand in his and walked her to her room.

“You're not saying something,” Stacey said, “Now spill.”


“About Stephen. What aren't you saying?”

“I don't know what you mean. I love Stephen and he loves me. I know we haven't been planning the wedding but we want to get married and spend the rest of our lives together,” I defended.

“Sorry,” Stacey apologized, “I didn't mean to pry or offend you. It just seemed like when you were talking about Stephen, your heart wasn't in it.”

“It's just. We're going through a hard time right now with me being away for a while and he's trying to climb the corporate ladder. It's just a tough time.”

“I just want to say that cold feet is normal. I had cold feet when it came to marrying Ryan but look at us. I've never been happier.”

I nodded weakly. “I can only hope that Stephen and I are half as happy as you and Ryan are.”

“Thank you,” She smiled, “I didn't believe in soul mates and fate before Ryan. I was just girl watching him on the telly and next thing you know I'm eating dinner with him. I was just an interior designer. I never thought I'd be here, you know? I guess someone up there really likes me.”

Fate. Soulmates. True love. Words that were thrown around casually by the media and Stacey, even. It was easy for Stacey to say that about Ryan. They truly were perfect together. Could I describe Stephen in that way? Could Stephen be my soulmate, my true love? Is the fact that I'm questioning it proving that he's not?
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Here's the next chapter! I hope you guys liked it! I have to be honest that I don't really know where to take this story so I'm willing to take any suggestions. Sorry about it being a day late since yesterday was the Women's World Cup and Soccer Sunday so I didn't have time to get onto my laptop. Please comment! It really makes my day, when I see that I have comments!