Fragment #3 Close Proximity

The train arrives at that stop. The one where you used to live. With him. Evenings spent spreadeagled underneath him on the blue sofa, the rumble of the Underground passing below. Something felt rather than heard – a vibration in your skin.

Social media clicks find him at stations, in fields, eating and drinking things, the new girl clamped under his armpit like a hot water bottle. Frizzy hair and sparkle-eyed. A dating profile in reverse.

Green-spot tie gets on. That ruffle-begging hair you get on some heads – all dark and thick so you can lose your fingers in it. Slim blue suit with a long black coat – ever so shiny – a puffed up pigeon. His best winter coat, he must get it out for days like this.

You could talk to him. Send words over the space between you. Ask what sandwiches he likes, if he’s the kind of person who screws the lid on the jam extra tight before putting it back in the cupboard.

Polished shoes, but headphones in, and now he’s noticed you’ve been staring, catches you at it, or flicks his eyes to the floor, quick, anything to get away from your snivelling gaze.

There’s that spot, one of those ones that burrow under the skin, just above your lip, hair’s all scraggy under pom-pom hat and those flippy gloves all ragged with one thumb poking out. Who’d want you like that?

The next stop comes, door slides and he’s gone anyway, nothing to sink your fingers into tonight.

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I'm a writer, teacher and drummer based in London. Short fiction and reviews are my main staples, along with some dabbling in novel writing.

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