I’d stepped forward into his embrace, my own hands grasping his shoulder blades as I pulled tighter, wanting this moment to last forever. This was everything. So very almost everything.
Yes, you said those things, you did those things… but maybe you don’t think anything of them. Maybe they weren’t significant to you like they were to me. Like they are to me. Maybe I’ve made up a meaning that was never there.
“You forget,” he taunted, dangling the remote from his fingertips. “I’ve seen the way she looks at you.” He raised an eyebrow. “And the way you look at her.”
That stopped him.
A smirk grew across Daniel’s unshaven face. “You thought I was bluffing?”
Mark dragged his eyes away from Daniel’s bloodshot ones, to the screens spread across the desk.
“It’s only June? We’ve got months.”
“Yes, we have. You’ll have calmed down by December.”
“I’m not sure.”
“No, me neither. I was lying. Look. It’ll be fine.”
I was glad he was with me. The crushing blackness of the sky had filled my lungs and choked me the last time I tried leaving the house alone at night. It was a little easier to cope with, walking with Will.
“Jenni…” she trails off. It’s a few moments before she tries again. “I’m sorry.” A tear glides down her cheek, leaving a glistening scar across her sad face.
The shadowy figure leaned casually against the wall – the outline was taller than me, wider. It was a cocky stance, practised. My eyes slowly came into focus. Hands in trouser pockets, an undone bow tie hanging lazily around his neck.
He turned back round, grinning, and picked up his beer. “Tell me,” he smirked, bringing the bottle to his lips.
“You’re not going to like either answer.”
“Sure I will.”
“Which answer do you want?”
“The honest one.”
He had me. “I … I don’t know which one that is.”
He was checking the time and place of his date. Again. To Jacqueline’s annoyance he’d started trying to meet someone about eighteen months ago. It wasn’t the dating that Jacqueline minded – who was she to stop him? It was just that his dates never went very well, and he would make her listen to the same detailed account she’d heard the week before of another failed evening that resulted in him coming home alone; it wasn’t like she could go anywhere or ask him to be quiet. She just had to listen.
More coming soon…