creative non-fiction Escape

DEAR HARRY KANE | Emily Tucker writes a letter to the subject of her daydreams.

Creative non-fiction

by Emily Tucker

Dear Harry Kane,

Harry, I owe you my thanks.

In the past twelve months you have been my saviour. You have scooped me from the arms of boredom in every imaginable location. You have whisked me away from delayed trains, coffee queues, even phonecalls to my grandmother a few times. How can I possibly repay you for the magnificent escapes we have staged together, running hand in hand along spotless beaches and skipping through meadows of daisies? In twelve short months, we have travelled so far together.

It was shortly after those heart-stopping penalties in England V Columbia that I was trapped in a painfully dull meeting and you first stepped forth into my mind, sweaty and dishevelled from your celebratory dives across the pitch. Only the night before I’d thrown my plastic pint glass across a pub and screamed when you pipped that ball into the net like it was nothing. Me! Throw a glass! Harry, I’m not even into football. Or at least I didn’t realise I was, until you popped into my head the next day.

You aren’t the first man to march through the mists of boredom to save me. For many years, Leonardo DiCaprio, dressed as Jack Dawson from Titanic, would tap dance through quiet moments to come to my rescue. But he just doesn’t cut the mustard anymore. Ever since the day I flicked through Heat magazine to find that real life Leo is dating a 19-year-old supermodel who weighs the same as I did at birth, Leo tap-danced away from my brain and you, a man not afraid of the joys of a sturdy woman, strode forwards instead.  

I’ve let you slip into my working day, as if in preparation for our moments of escape. I set a picture of you scoring a goal as my wallpaper. I drink from a Spurs coffee cup. I follow you on twitter. I confiscated three Match Attax cards during phonics the other day, and kept the one with your face on at the top of the pile on my desk all day. I know I can rely on you Harry, you’re always there when I need you the most.

And today, whilst sitting through an important, but dry powerpoint in a dark hall, I really do need you. I start to drift away,  safe in the knowledge that you’re on your way to take me away, Harry. I ready myself for your arrival by selecting my personal favourite of our running-away adventures.

It goes like this.  

“You aren’t the first man to march through the mists of boredom to save me.”

I sit, lonely and bored at my desk at the end of a long day. I sigh despondently into my tenth cup of Nescafe, looking sad but wholesome and stunning in a vintage wrap dress (way too nice for work in real life). Suddenly a tap at the window, and I look up. There you are, in your Tottenham kit, holding the golden boot trophy you won last year. I sit up, stunned and you rattle car keys at me and smile knowingly. I leap to my feet and rush to the door, where you grasp my hand and we run down the school path to your waiting vintage sports car (sometimes an Aston Martin, sometimes a Porsche). Crowds of management and colleagues stand applauding our exit, some wipe away happy tears. We leap into the car and tear away, the sun suddenly bright and huge sunglasses over both of our faces. Now you’re wearing the nice three-piece suit you got your MBE in. We’re revving down a road in rural Tuscany, I think. I’m holding a peach Bellini. My hair is perfect.

I turn to you breathily and sigh, ‘But Harry, how did you find me?’

‘Isn’t it obvious? Our birthdays, they’re so close together,’ you say with a smile.

I laugh gracefully, I knew it all along, people with birthdays so close together HAD to be soulmates! I’ve thought it ever since I discovered on a Top Trumps card that we were born in the same week in 1993. There’s no denying destiny that strong.

Now we recline on sundrenched loungers on our Italian piazza whilst I feed you spaghetti. I’m wearing a black swimsuit and dripping in chunky gold jewellery, you in your England kit, covered in grass stains from the Columbia match.

‘Your spaghetti is to die for,’ you murmur in between mouthfuls.

‘Anything for you, Harry, you’re such an amazing captain to the England squad, you’ve got  the best strike rate in Premier League history, and you’re still only 25, just like me,’ I simper, transfixed by the little floppy bit of fringe that hangs over your forehead.  

‘And you tan so well,’ you say, the sun catching the gold in your goatee.

I giggle and look down at my skin, which has managed to turn the deep ochre that I can only usually achieve after paying extra for my beautician to go above the recommended amount of spray tan.

‘So natural, so healthy, so glowy, not at all orange.’ You gush in awe at my magnificent bronzed shoulders. You’re right, they aren’t at all orange.

The piazza melts away and I’m surprised but delighted to find myself on a stage like the one from Dirty Dancing, but in the middle of the brand new Spurs stadium. I am resplendent in a light pink Alexander McQueen couture gown as you run towards me in your home kit, you’ve just scored a hat-trick, winning Tottenham the league and the crowd are going wild. You truly are a player that can do no wrong. A classic midfielder with unparalleled striking confidence. You stop just before the stage and nod at me solemnly. That’s when I realise that ‘(I’ve had) The Time of My Life’ is playing. I know exactly what to do. I’ve waited all my life for this moment. I sprint towards you as the music swells and make my leap, skirts billowing as I float through the air, lifted effortlessly by your strong arms. The crowd explodes with flashbulbs, surely this stunning display of affection from Harry Kane and his astonishingly beautiful new soul mate will make every front page.

‘Swayze never made the lift look that good!’ A commentator yells over the tannoy in approval.

You gently let me down and whisper into my ear. ‘Nobody puts Emily in the corner.’ You take me by the hand, getting down on one knee and reaching into your pocket when…

…the powerpoint ends to a spattering of applause. I snap back to the hall where colleagues have already crowded around tea urns and a rapidly disappearing Victoria sponge. I shake my head, worried that someone might have seen where we went. I blink myself awake a few times, readjusting to the strip lighting of the hall, the faint sound of hoovering from neighboring classrooms.

I wander over to the tea urn, popping a peppermint tea bag into my keep cup. I fill it all the way to the top and smile at the Tottenham Hotspurs crest that glows proudly when hot water is in the cup.

Nearby some colleagues start complaining.

‘Have you seen the delays on the Victoria line today?’

‘And Piccadilly’s backed up.’

‘Can’t believe we’ve got three more of these meetings this term.’

I can’t help but grin. It won’t be long before I’m feeding you spaghetti on our piazza again.

Until then, stick to your club-recommended diet plan for me, baby.

All my love,

Emily

PS. hope your ankle feels better soon.


Emily Tucker |@happyemily93| tophun.co.uk

Emily is a teacher, writer and Spurs fan based in North London. She is trying very hard to become the next Jacqueline Wilson.  

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