Saturday, 7 January 2017


A short story of 657 words

She held them with two fingers, rabbiting her way through the green beans.  He didn't eat at all.  She'd read a theory, that if two strangers, two humans stare into each other eyes for at least four minutes they can not help but love each other.  The first time they spoke, a rushed exchange in a corridor when he held her up with a hand, a quick word. ‘You wont like me when you hear about me’.  He was right.  She would love him untill the day he died. 

Hotel rooms, airports, cars, meeting halls, movement, lights, distances halved and encounters timed to start and end precisely.  They kept it up for four years and then he walked in off the street to where she worked and found her and told her what she already knew – he wasn’t just tired, he wasn’t just fading a little.  He was seriously sick.  She had never thought about what he did before or away from her.  But of course he was married and he had children and they wanted him now more than ever.  And then she saw them, she slid out as they arrived and face to face she caught the pain in her body and the two girls who clung to each of her arms. 

Get through this and come and find me. Make it clean for us. We will go on.

And she found a house tucked away in a dark forest and made a home, with two comfortable chairs on the verandah and vast rooms they could make a world inside and they would stay together and didn’t need anyone else.

And on the morning of a perfect day she woke and stretched and knocked a glass from the bed post onto the floor.  It fell heavily and shattered, like a ball of fire with a long tail of shards that spread across the floor and caught the morning light from the sunshine streaming through the open verandah door.  And Lillian felt her life was good and she was happy.  And music came on the radio and she liked that song and it made her dance.  So she downloaded that song and put it on repeat, just like when she was a teenager and listened to it over and over for hours and danced on her feet and in her seat and with her arms and her legs.  And she thought of him and saw him in the inbetween world where they lived and they laughed and smiled and he watched her, happy she was happy.  And then the sun went down and she felt at peace and happy.  And went to bed and slept and thought of him.  And then the next day, in the miorning hours, she got an email from a friend, a long distant friend who liked to stay in touch.  And her friend wrote, ‘I just heard and I know he was your friend.  And I am so sorry to hear that he died’.

And the news said that on his last day he had slipped into a coma, drifting in and out, and then he left them in peace. Clean.

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