by Bob Davies
I’ve spent the whole evening talking to people in her eye line. I’ve stalked from room to room swapping introductions with strangers hoping they’re the talkative type so I can smile and nod along to their stories, while focusing mostly on Mary. I’ve caught pieces of her voice all night, but never enough to get the context. The only sound she makes that rises above the party is her squawking laugh, it’s nice to hear her laughing for once.
Now the party’s really thinned out and people seem to be shying away from the woman next to me who’s banging on about making the trains run on time. Those that are left are finding portions of carpet to call their own for the night, Mary’s already laid down. There’s a space next to her and I quietly bed down there without her noticing.
I watch the outline of her face in profile, so close. The night darkens and darkens around us and the life in the rest of the room disappears, it’s only our breathing that inhabits the silence, separate but so close. The tension that separates our bodies is so physical that I would choke on it if I weren’t in ecstasy. There is nothing left of me but the breath that kisses her cheek.
She stirs. Her outline changes as she turns to face me and my life truly begins as I see light reflect from her open eyes.
“You.” She addresses me with a fragile, croaking voice.
I see realisation blossom in her eyes and my heart cracks then bursts during the momentary pause before she speaks the words that I’ve longed to hear.
“You’re the one.”
Elation, I want to weep or pounce on her or have her cradle me in her arms.
“I’d recognise your breathing anywhere, you’re the freak who’s been giving me those phone calls! Stephen, help! It’s him, it’s fucking dirty phone call man!”
Bob Davies is an office worker by day, barman by night and writer at hungover weekends. Previously unpublished, his flash fiction can be found here.