Visions of the Woman, Part 1

A Pink Dormouse Production

I looked at her over the table as her brown eyes gazed at some deep inner part of me. She blinked, ran her fingers through her hair and downed the remainder of her bourbon.

"I need to move on," she said softly.

I wasn’t sure what to say: we’d been friends for so long and I didn’t want to lose her. Then I felt guilty at wanting to keep her for myself when she could have so much waiting for her in her new home. I wanted her to have the quality of love I was experiencing in my current emotional entanglement- and for it to continue longer than the average we’d calculated of eight months.

"I’ll always be here for you, you know, if it doesn’t work out or anything."

"I know." She leaned over the table towards me, her dark hair falling forwards over her face. "You come and see me when I’m settled and give me an update on the gossip." She clasped my hand. "Another drink?"

As she walked to the bar, I watched the slight wiggle of her oh-so-cute arse. The walk had been cultivated, I suspected, while she was at school to draw attention when people compared her with her younger, and ultimately cuter, sister. From what I’d seen, however, her sister might have the looks but there was no doubt who had more personality. She took longer to buy the drinks than I would because of her total inability to speak to anyone without flirting- being friendly she called it. She certainly seemed in better spirits than I remembered her recently; flicking her hair as she switched her attention between the man serving our drinks and the young girl sitting at the corner of the bar. I could picture the exact way her eyes must be sparkling as she led the pair of them in one of her complex mind games.

She was coming back now with two Jack and cokes- my last chance to dissuade her, at least temporarily. Instead I stood up and went to put another pound in the jukebox. I returned to my seat as Cher appeared on the video screen wearing black underwear and a leather jacket and ‘If I could turn back time’ echoed from the speakers.

"Look, chuck," I rested my hand reassuringly on hers, "are you sure about going halfway across the world for someone you hardly know- a man for God’s sake?"

"But Martin loves me."

"He’s Canadian- they’re all like that- soft accent and sweet lost-puppy expression. You’ll just get your heart broken again and I don’t know if I can fix it over the phone."

She smiled, "I thought being in love had cured your cynical side."

I thought about that: she’d taught me to be a cynic with her frequently hopeless lust-affairs and snakebite-induced tails of other people’s infidelities. Then there was my one long-term relationship which had ended because my partner couldn’t accept me being just good friends with the other half of our mutual-admiration pairing. All in all we made a good team: I envied her extra six inches of height; she wanted her hair to grow to the length mine would if I let it.

"Me cynical. Wasn’t it you who was never going to trust anyone with baby-blue eyes? And since when have you ever been seen with the same male person more than twice?"

"There was Henry."

I had to smile at that piece of reasoning.

"Get real, Suzanne, we all know what that was about: he needed a woman on his arm and you needed a meal ticket. It was blatantly obvious by the way you dropped him when your first pay cheque arrived."

"This is different: I’ve finally found someone I want to spend my life with and who actually feels the same about me. I need to take this chance."

"OK, pet, you’re determined to make a go of this whatever I say. Just buy yourself a return ticket and don’t be afraid to ask me if you ever need a place to crash."

"Would I ever? Look, I’ve got to go now- I need to confirm my flight this afternoon. Write to me, won’t you?"

She kissed me quickly on the cheek and darted out; leaving me to watch the end of ‘How Come it Never Rains’ by the Dogs D’Amour.



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