Gabby Is Missing: Part One

This is the first part of a fiction serial, in 754 words.

Benedict.

I met her at university. Most of us were nervous. Eighteen year-old first-year students, living in halls, in a new town that felt strange. Few of us had lived away from home before, cooked meals, washed and ironed clothes, or any of those things that suddenly become such a big deal when there is nobody around to do them for you.

But not Gabby.

Gabrielle was one of those people who just stood out. It wasn’t just because of her looks, or her unusually short hair. It was her vitality, the way she exuded confidence, and her desire to befriend anyone.

Even a nerd like me.

Those of us studying History tended to gravitate together. After lectures, we would end up in the Student Union bar, each paying for our own drinks, making every one of them last as long as possible. And we would watch Gabby doing the room. Chatting in their own language to the Chinese students, comparing good places to eat in Tokyo with the Japanese ones, and laughing about Christmas on the beach with two girls who had lived in Australia.

To say she was well-travelled was an understatement.

Her father had been in a job of some kind that meant Gabby had grown up everywhere but England. Yet to my knowledge, nobody ever asked her what her father did for a living. Her parents were still abroad somewhere, but they wanted her to complete her education in England, so the story went. Her older brother had died in an accident of some kind on the island of Bali, so somebody else told me.

It soon became clear that everyone who thought they knew Gabby didn’t actually know her at all. And it was also very clear that I was besotted with her. Madly in love with her in fact. I wasn’t alone, as at least a dozen others appeared to be crazy about her, both women and men.

She called me Ben, and remembered my name straight off. No mean feat, when you were introduced to at least sixty people in the first few days. Her level of attraction was so strong, she was asked out on a date by the end of the second day. Then at least ten more times by the end of the first week. Not by me of course, I was out of her league, and knew it. But she didn’t say yes to any of them.

There were a few others like Gabby in that year. Obviously well-off, more worldly than most of us. Like her, they talked about where they had been, and cruised through the routines that were unfamiliar and confusing to the rest of us. But nobody seemed to like the others. They would say they were boastful, flash, entitled, even boring.

As for Gabby, I never heard a bad word said against her. Not even a bitchy remark from any other woman about her crew-cut hair. As long as I live, I doubt I will ever meet anyone else like her. I certainly haven’t so far.

Academic excellence came along with every other talent Gabby possessed. By the end of the first term, we all knew she was at the top in History, seeming to know as much as the lecturers and tutors. But she had a generous nature too, helping out anyone who was struggling; organising trips to places of historical interest at weekends, welcoming anyone who wanted to come along.

Naturally, I went on all of them.

Looking back now, the things we saw were a blur. I went to be near Gabby, just happy to be around her, even in the company of a dozen others. For a young woman who had never lived full-time in England, she knew more about the country than those of us who had never left.

When I went home at the end of year break, looking forward to being a second year student and maybe sharing a flat when we returned, I missed Gabby. I would have given up my holiday time to still be back at uni, just to be around her.

That first day back, she walked up to me, her thick lips opening in a smile. “Hey, Ben. I have found a nice house to rent. Mikki is keen to share, and I thought you would be perfect for the third bedroom. Interested?”

My throat went dry, and I had to nod my agreement instead of speaking. I felt like an idiot.

A very happy idiot.

59 thoughts on “Gabby Is Missing: Part One

  1. Sadly enough, a young woman named Gabby was recently missing from here before her body was found in the desert and her boy friend was eventually found in the swamp where he went to hide. The whole country seemed to be caught up with the story

    Liked by 1 person

  2. (1) By the end of this serial, Benedict will be elected pope by the College of Cardinals. And then he’ll be as well traveled as Gabrielle, who’s been almost everywhere as Xena’s sidekick.
    (2) “Those of us studying Planetary Science tended to gravitate together.”
    (3) It’s way too obvious a point, so I’m not going to mention that Gabby likes to gab. (Maybe she’ll end up going to Gab Rehab?)
    (4) In time, Gabby will end up calling Benedict “Big Ben.”
    (5) Gabby’s crew cut: The whole crew asked her out, but Gabby cut most of them from her dating list.
    (6) Gabby’s level of attraction is due to the genes passed down from her father, Magneto.
    (7) Gabby is thinking about getting a group of musicians together to cut an album to be called Gabby Road. “Let’s come together and produce something!” I just hope the group looks both ways before crossing the road. I’d hate to see any tread marks on their Tommy Nutter outfits.
    (8) Ben, Mikki, and Gabby will form a record company, and, using the first letter of their name, will call it BMG.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Benedict didn’t ask her to call him Ben. Gabby likes to give everyone a shortened name. Probably how she manages to remember so many people, so quickly. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  3. Gabrielle is a very intriguing character. No wonder Ben (Don’t Call me Danny) has a crush on her. Hmm, I wonder if the brother passing away on Bali was a throwaway line, or you’re setting the table. Why do I think that both Ben and Mikki will fall in love with Gabby? Good start, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I usually have two or three ideas for serials running together, GP.
      I have thought about publishing some of the longer ones as stand-alone novellas, and even discussed it with someone who does all the technical work for you at a reasonable price. But all that will have to wait until there is spare money not being spent on the house or car.
      Publishing them free for anyone to read is a nice thing for me to do anyway, and I enjoy the discipline of having to come up with the next episode every day.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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