the_introvert_reader Rebecca Louise

Mike doesn't believe in love at first sight. Or that new year's resolutions help anyone. That's until he meets Katie. There's just one problem. In 24 hours she will be miles away celebrating the new year in another country to start her new life. Depsite how crazy it seems, can Mike change his beliefs in one night and convince Katie to stay?

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# #romance #life #love #24hourstomidnight #oneshot #chance #shortstory #newyear #competition #short
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24 Hours to Midnight

30th December

I’d never really believed in love at first sight. That was until I met her. After that I was thrust into the race of my life. A race for my future, that I never saw coming.


I was still at the bar. not drowning my sorrows exactly, but New Year was around the corner; 24 hours away, and I didn’t feel much like celebrating. People are always full of crap about resolutions and goals for the new year. I had never brought into akl that shit. I mean, why make a promise you’ll never keep?

I ordered another drink when the stall beside me made a loud screech on the wooden floor, breaking through mystate of self pity. I had to turn intending to say something in nnoyance, but I froze at the sight of th womn before me.

“What?” She snapped.

“N-nothing.” I turned back to my drink, but couldn’t resist a second look. “You’re very beautiful.”

She tried to stay composed as she offered her thanks. “But don’t get any ideas, I’m leaving town tomorrow. For good.”

Her words broke our conversation. I felt like I’d been shot in the heart. How could that be when we’d only just met? I didn’t know the girl and I already wanted to tell her not to go. I definitely needed to be cut off.


We were finally kicked out the bar for closing. Katie, I had learned her name to be, and I stepped out into the cold air. In the hour previous I found out she was leaving for a new job and to get away from her ex, the latter a closely guarded secret for some reason. I don’t know why, but in the moment, I couldn’t bear to leave her.

“I live around the corner. You’re free to crash there. If you want.” I added quickly not wanting her to think I was after anything in particular.

She seemed to think about it for a while. “It would be easier than waiting for a taxi, I suppose.” She smiled at me, briefly knocking the wind from me. “Lead the way.”

I needed a minute to compose myself and when I did, I offered her my arm.

“Such a gentlemen.” She looped her arm through mine as we headed off. “Maybe I should reconsider leaving.” It was meant as a joke, I knew that, but those words would stick with me for the next fourteen hours until I finally decided to do something about it.


We’d only known each other for two hours and already I felt like I’d known her my entire life. We loved the same music, movies, shows. You name it, we loved it (or hated it). It was amazing how easily we could talk to each other. The only thing we did disagree on was New Year. She believed it to be a good thing, being able to start a fresh slate and a new life. That’s why she was leaving tonight. She wanted to be gone before midnight so her new year would start in a new place. When she put it like that, I could see why people made resolutions in the first place. But I wasn’t ready to let her go. I had to make the night count.


Katie was flaking and I was soon going to lose her to the world of sleep. I only had the one night with her; I wasnt going to let that happen to either or both of us.

“Let’s play a game.”

She narrowed her eyes. “What kind of game?”

I couldn’t blame her for being cautious. “A truth game.” It sounded lame, but I wanted to know everything about her, even the juicy stuff. “The adult version.”

She raised an eyebrow. “You have my attention.”

I couldn’t stop the smile on my face. “Okay.” I disappeared for a few seconds and came back with pens, paper and a bowl. “Write down any questions you want to ask and place them in the bowl. Then we take turns to pick one and answer the question.”

Her smile matched mine as she took some paper and a pen.


The bowl now laid abandoned on the floor, having been knocked over when Katie pushed me back against the sofa and swung her leg around to straddle me. We had laughed briefly, but it didn’t deter us from the fact our little game had turned us both on drastically. The truth prior had somehow turned into a conversation about fantasies, sexual ones, and we were now firmly in the running of trying them out. Well, some of them. Our lips attacked each other, as our hands fought to rid each other of the clothes we no longer needed. Desperation was showing itself and I was there for it. In that moment, she was all I wanted. However she wanted it and needed it, I was ready to give everything to her.


December 31st


The winter sun through the window, woke me. I barely remembered going to bed, but in my alcohol infused state must have forgotten to close the curtains. Or maybe the aroused state blinded my thinking for the rest of the night. Well, morning.

I rolled my head to the side, to minimise the light penetrating my vision, but also to get a glimpse of Katie fast asleep beside me. I don’t even remember what point we finally stopped to rest. I knew soon she would leave and that would be that for us. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and tiptoed out the room, needing some time to myself.


Katie emerged in the lounge doorway back in last night’s clothes, like a deer caught in headlights. I hoped she wasn’t going to ask what happened last night. That would have sent me over the edge.

“Morning.” I acted more cheerful than I felt. The paracetamol hadn't yet kick in to dull the ache behindmy eyes.

“Hey.” She took a step forward. “Last night was fun.” She moved closer, like she didn’t want to continue, but knew she had to. “But, I should go. Things to do, places to go…”

“Right.” I nodded. " Of course."

“But next time I’m here, we should…” She left the sentence hanging. We both knew that wouldn’t happen.

“Absolutely.” I wanted to move forward, but couldn’t bring myself to embrace her in any way. “Do you need a lift home?”

“That’s okay. A friend is picking me up.” A trill came from inside her bag. “And that would be her now.” She walked past me to the door. She paused as she opened it, as if she wanted to say something else.

My heart sped up in anticipation.

She shook her head as if changing her mind. “Happy new year, Mike.”

The words were a punch to my stomach as she left. I knew then last night meant more to me than it did to her.


I was still staring at the door after she left, wishing she would come back. Her words still reeled in my head and I couldn’t bring myself to face the reality. Whatever we had was over. It was gone and fhere was nothing i could do about it.


I’d finally stepped out of my flat. Staying in there was doing me no favours. I went to the café across the road from the bar and grabbed a coffee.

“Mike, over here.”

I looked up as I was putting my card away to see a few of the guys from work. I didn’t feel like talking but maybe I needed it right now. Maybe this was a much needed distraction. As long as I didn’t have to talk about Katie, I’d be fine.


It didn’t go to plan. As soon as I sat down, they knew. I knew they knew. Something in me caved, and it all came out. Well nearly. I skimmed over one part – they didn’t need to knoweverything.

“You need to find her.”Craig said.

“Tell her how you feel.” Toby added.

I scoffed. “I barely know her. Anyway I can’t ask her to change her life plans for me.”

“Love works in mysterious ways.” Charlie mused.

Love? This wasn’t love, was it?


Another hour after hearing them discuss what I should do as if I wasn’t there, I called our little meeting to a close. I needed time to think. Especially after Charlie said he thought he might know who she was. A friend of his sister’s, had a sister who leaving town and going by the description I gave, it could quite possibly be Katie.

“If you want me to ask, let me know.” Charlie said as I stood to leave.

“Will do.” I headed off in need of a walk to clear my head.


Katie.Her name reverberated in my head as I wandered through the park. Her smiling face was imprinted in my mind. I could still feel her skin on mine. But I still couldn’t bring myself to admit the truth.


I was sat on a bench, watching the sun begin to set, when he spoke.

“Whoever she is, go get her.”

I looked to the older man, sat beside me.

"How did - "

“I know that look." He spoke over me. "You’ll never know if you don’t try. And then you’ll regret it forever. Do you really want to look back on this moment and wonder, what if?”

I heard the man chuckle as I leapt up and ran home.


“Call you sister!"I practically shouted at Charlie down the phone as I got to my front door, knowing I had wasted too much time already. I had to reach her before she went to the airport. Whatever happened, I had to try.


I was out once again, this time to meet Charlie and his sister, hoping Katie would be there too. When I got the café, she was no where to be seen and despite the lack of time, Charlie made me retell last night’s events again. I didn’t have time for this, but his sister was the closest link to Katie I had.


I was banging on the door of Charlie’s sister’s friend, Penelope.

“You must be Mi-.”

“I’m in a bit of a rush, where is she?” Ihad to cut over her. I didn't have time for chit chat.

“She’s already gone to the airport.”

My world shattered then.

I was too late.


“We can still make it.” Penelope assured me as we ran through the airport trying not to knock people over on the way. “Her flight doesn’t leave for another fifteen minutes.”

I loved her optimism, but couldn’t emulate it.

As we reached the gate, I saw her. “Katie!”

My heart stopped when she looked at me. A nudge from Penelope gave me the strength to move. I pulled Katie to the side, not letting her speak.

“I know this is crazy; we’ve only just met, but I’ve never felt a connection like this before. Please don’t go.” I squeeze her hand, praying she’ll stay, but her words shatter my world even more.

“Happy new year, Mike.” She wrestles free from me and boards anyway, disappearing as they shut the gate behind her.


I entered my flat, the silence deafening, I had tried and failed. Still, I could move on now with no lingering what ifs.


I woke to the buzzing of my intercom. I had no recollection of falling asleep. The buzzing kept going, annoying the fuck of me.

“What?” I snapped, just to get whoever it was to shut the hell up.


I knew that voice. Without a word I pressed the unlock button.

Silence had surrounded us for the last twenty minutes since she walked through the door. I wanted to embrace her, but wasn’t sure she was really there.

“You left.”

“I came back.”



She said nothing else. The silence drove me crazy.

“Sit with me.” She patted the seat next to her as she sat.

I glanced at the clock.11:50pm.Almost the new year. I sat. Silence again. Like she was waiting for something. The minutes ticked by. The silence unbearable.

She moved closer and I couldn’t help but glance at the clock again.11:59pm.

Her eyes followed suit and we watched it hit midnight together.


“Happy new year, Mike.” She whispered before her lips met mine and I knew this was finally going to be the start of something new.

And most definitely happy.
Dec. 29, 2023, 2:49 a.m. 0 Report Embed Follow story
The End

Meet the author

Rebecca Louise Slytherin 🐍 Introvert 🙈 Reader 📖 Writer 🖋 Dreamer 💭 2024 Reads: 20/52

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