WISH YOU WERE HERE • by Gavin Broom

Mum & Dad,

Greetings from Tenerife!

I haven’t got used to calling you Mum & Dad yet. Mark says writing the honeymoon postcards will help our marital status sink in. So while he’s splashing about in the pool, I’m under a parasol with a pina colada to keep me company. Weather is blistering during the day and freezing at night. I think I’m more sensitive to these things because it doesn’t seem to bother Mark at all and he’s in that pool til all hours.

I know you had reservations about the quality of the hotel from the brochure, but it’s super and just as I remember from when I came here as a kid. Some things never change.

Before I run out of room, I’d like to personally say thanks a million for all your advice and support in planning the wedding. It wouldn’t have been the same without all your involvement.


Emma & Mark xx


Wassup ladies!

Greetings from Tenerife!

How’s work? Ha-ha! Honeymoon is fantastic! It’s only been a few days but I’ve already grown accustomed to this lifestyle and I think it would be a cold day in the Canaries before I start longing to key mortgage applications. Am I missing much gossip? Should my ears be burning? Don’t answer that!

Mark’s splashing about in the pool like a big kid. I prefer being dry so I’m under a parasol, writing a million postcards. I’m limiting myself to one double vodka tonic per card although I had to make it a triple when I was writing to my new out-laws!

Thanks to those of you who came to the reception, special thanks for your gifts and super special thanks for only posting the non-crazy photos on Facebook!

Luv ya,

Ems xx


Hi Jenny,

You wouldn’t recognise this place. Everything’s changed since we came here with Mum & Dad. It’s hard to put my finger on specifics. It just feels like it died and no one came to the funeral.

Sorry you didn’t make it to the wedding. I kept hoping you were going to show up, right until the I do’s. I’m not deliberately taking you on a guilt trip but you’re my sister and the day felt less special without you. We had to get some of Mark’s relatives to sit on my side to make it look more balanced. Uncle Ray was a star. He’ll no doubt fill you in on the uninvited guest and the unexpected entertainment.

I guess you really did see what you thought you saw and I owe you an apology. And at least you kept your objection private. Still, he picked me (I know, I know) but my eyes are wide open now. I’ve learned a lot since we last spoke and despite what I said, the door never truly closes. Not with you.

Emma xx

PS Excuse the tiny writing but I was scared you wouldn’t open a regular letter.


Hi Suze,

Continued greetings from Tenerife!

I’ve already written a card for the office, but I just wanted to thank you separately for “taking care” of Kerry and to tell you not to worry. It’ll all work out one way or the other. Oh, and thanks for passing on Alex’s address. I’ve not seen him in years. Was good to hear he’s doing well.

See you soon,

Emma xx


Uncle Ray,

Greetings from Tenerife!

Just a quick note to thank you for giving me away. I know I never got a chance to do it on the day because things got a bit messy as I’m sure you remember. Let’s just say, I don’t blame you for shooting off early.

As you left, you told me that these sorts of things always happen at weddings and funerals and that’s helped me keep things in perspective while the dust settled. You also told me that Mum wouldn’t be interested in mistakes, she’d just want me to be happy. I will be.

From one survivor to another,

Emma xx


Hi Kerry,

Greetings from Tenerife!

Sorry we didn’t get round to seeing if you were okay before we flew out. I’m sure you can understand that everything was a bit of a blur what with it being my wedding day and all.

It’s amazing out here and Mark and I are really enjoying married life. Really, really enjoying it. Do you remember a few months ago, the last time the three of us were all together, just after you and Alex broke up, and you mentioned that you might get away from it all and come out here to do some repping in the summer? Well, I think you should totally do that.

FYI, there are hundreds of stray dogs here. They’re all skanky and matted and they tend to be quite noisy, especially when they’re rutting in the street. I wish they would learn to keep their mouths and their legs shut. Before I really lose my temper.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ll fit right in.

All the best etc,

Mark & Emma



In a box up in the attic, there’s an old Victorian tin that used to belong to my mother. That’s where I keep my memories. There’s cinema ticket stubs, a cork from a bottle of Moet, a napkin from a seafood restaurant on the west coast, foreign coins, a Christmas cracker brooch. It spans fifteen years of my life. If anyone saw it, it’s all anonymous rubbish. None of it will mean a thing to anyone but me. In amongst it all, there’s a piece of green plastic and only I know that I stole it from a sprig of mistletoe that was hanging in your living room. So if you miss it, now you know where it went and if you want it, you know where you need to go to get it back.



Dear Mum,

Wish you were here.

Emma x

Originally from Central Scotland, Gavin Broom now lives and writes in Michigan, USA. He’s been published over sixty times both online and in print and in a very focused world tour, has read at Dire Literary Series in Boston, MA and Last Monday at Rio in Glasgow, Scotland and MSU Creative Writing Open Mic, East Lansing, MI. He edits fiction for The Waterhouse Review.

This story is sponsored by
Jenny Schwartz — Australian contemporary romance author in love with steampunk.

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