“You Said Everything Would Be OK.”

I wrote this story and submitted it to STS:

She walked back to the station, the replays going through her head, feeling light, transcendental, avoiding morose.

Was there much to say? The weekend had run away with itself somewhat, the laughing, the vanity and the music. She could see people getting hurt, wrapped up in their own immaculate expectations, the internal maths not being fulfilled.

HJ had stormed off alone into the night, she had seen the rage crashing into his eyes like a tidal surge, where there has previously been quiet joy.  He knew he was out of step, his feelings were not compatible with the time they were having, but he had no choice, something had turned away from him and he was obliged to react.

“You said…”, he said.

They kept tabs on him by text message, just to make sure he was safe.

She has suspected he might go that way when they hooked up, but had buried the suspicion, because it was such a good moment.  Now the weight of a responsibility for another person’s emotion was pressing down on her.  She bought some coffee, lit a cigarette and shook it loose.

The train would be here soon and she wasn’t interested spending the last few minutes in this town feeling bad for a possessive motherfucker.

She conjured up that beautiful dawn that came after. Standing with Sally as the orange and the red took hold of the city, skin prickling as they held each other in the morning light, whiskey warming their blood. The love they felt in that moment expanding into time.

The cigarette smoke swirled around the cardboard cup, patterns in front of her eyes.

She would leave now and return to the working life, this fantastical world an echo behind the routine.  She felt blessed to have been part of that it, and thought about how often she would remember.

Stubbed out the cigarette.

Caught the train.


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