Off the wagon

The door clicked behind him, he gave it a kick. ‘Fuck it, I left my fucking keys again.’ He had his tin he walked to the end of his street. It wasn’t far. The light had gone; the children and stars were elsewhere. The streetlights winked, throwing shadows. She wasn’t there. She might be soon. He could turn back or wait. He crossed the road and up an alleyway, took a right at the end and an immediate sharp right into another. They had collected the ashbins that morning, he had heard them, but they hadn’t gone there. Meander for twenty and be back again. Skin up first. He had left his headphones on the table, yet his ears rang and the gig sweats ran hot and cold.
Beyond the minutes and hours of days tripping into nights, they were back again, sharing the same space. He looked up for the first time, above the shadows, and she was there, not wearing her ring. “You look cold,” he said. “I’m ok,” she said. “You’ve got goose bumps you must be cold!” “They’re not goose bumps.” “I’ve bought some tea and some cake. I made it yesterday. It tastes all right.” “How do you know?” “Which one, the tea or the cake?” “Do you want some or not?” “Maybe,” she said. A car slowed and broke their shadows. He left the cake but didn’t go home.


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