Each week, we pick a short fiction piece from our Fairlight Shorts archives to feature as our story of the week. This week, we’ve chosen a story about affairs by Ruby Gaffney.
Ruby Gaffney is 24 and from London. She studied English at Oxford and then Edinburgh. She currently works in education and writes in her free time. Ruby started writing fiction in early 2022. Since then, she has been published in Flash Fiction Magazine.
‘You, Too’ follows a young woman who, struggling with her sense of self, becomes obsessed with her ex’s girlfriend.
I can’t remember the first time I met Luke. That’s the problem with meeting someone in real life: in retrospect, it’s usually hard to pinpoint your first interaction with them, because there were too many other things going on at the same time. I can vividly recall, however, the exact feeling I had when I first saw Paige. I spread my fingers to zoom in, turning her face pixelated and obscure.
Luke had Moral Philosophy with me at 10am on a Tuesday. We had spoken a couple of times in non-specific, anonymous situations, like holding open the door for one another or responding to the other one’s point in class. I recognised him immediately in the library café as I walked around trying to find a free seat. He was sitting alone at a table, books surrounding him, opposite an empty chair.
‘Could I sit here?’ I asked. This was a perfectly reasonable question – it was crowded, and there were no other spots – but I felt my fingers shaking.
‘Sure,’ he said, clearing a space. Then: ‘You’re in Moral Philosophy, aren’t you?’
‘Yes, I am.’
‘I’m actually working on our formative right now. I’m so behind on it.’
‘Me, too,’ I said. ‘What are you writing it on?’
‘Good question – I wish I knew the answer. How about you?’
‘I’m not sure either.’ I was completely lying – I’d finished my formative a week ago.