“I wake in a dark flat to the soft roar of the world”
She felt warm under the sheet that was pulled up high over her head. Her breathing gave away that she was alive to the watcher.
He was sitting at the end of the bed, bow-tie draped around his neck, the once white collared shirt dirty with sweat. He smiled and looked with affection at the partner that he had met only hours before.
Standing up, he placed his jacket carefully on the back of the chair and slipped off his shoes and moved to the side of the bed, lay down and curled his body into hers.
Drifting into a delicious sleep as dawn started to break over the city, his mouth relaxed and he started to dream and remember last night with jumbled thoughts moving in and out of focus in his slumber.
“Everything is going to be alright”
Sitting on the stairs by the dance floor, she watched through the Christmas decorations that were woven around the banisters. Her eyes were red with tears and she had never felt so alone, she gestured me over.
I crouched below her so that our faces were so close and I could almost smell her despair. Taking a small yellow plastic packet from her bag I knew she wanted to tell me about a selection of her photographs.
‘He was so classy,’ she whispered ‘and I still talk to him every day and pray to him at night.’
The pictures, rather grubbly and thumbed showed a well dressed, older man in a blazer and cravat. He was on a yacht, in a pub, but always on his own, standing confident, leaning against rails, looking strong.
As a Thai bride she had endured comments that come with that, but was always happy to smile and dance with anyone; but she always came on her own.
‘He was my first boyfriend, and my first and now only husband,’ she stammered. Her eyes were now wide and hopeful of confirmation from me.
A few weeks ago she had told me that her ‘hubby’ had died and that his children wanted to know about a will. Then picking up her bag and clutching it tight as though it was her ‘hubby’ she crept through us, stopping occasionally to receive hugs and wipe her tears on padded shoulders. She kissed everyone and her shaking hands slipped over hot arms.
I think I saw her leave, wearing a thin dress that would inspire comments; she looked broken and we won’t see her for some time, will she remember Winchester, when sitting as a grieving widow on the Khao San Road in Bangkok? But she came back and danced many times after that. The fire had gone out of her, she had died too with him.