Friday November 5, 2010 - 23:50

We're leaving together, but still it's farewell

The clock struck twelve, silently of course though, digital clock. A man sat, hunched at a desk, apparently staring intently at a woman on a computer screen in front of him. His left hand rested gently, fingers perched on the left-most extremity of keys, pinky on Ctrl, while his right hand moved quickly back and forth. just far enough out of the glow of the screen to be visible only as a shadow. A slight plasticky click could be heard every now and then as the man changed tools, and the image on his screen transformed into a large room in which people were seated around a fancy dinner. So engrossed was he in the editing he was doing, he heard not the padded footsteps approaching him from behind. A gloved hand covered his mouth, and the man jumped. His headphones tumbled to the floor.

"Shh. It's me." Whut? Who is "me" supposed to be? He craned his neck to see who the whispering speaker was, struggling to free himself from their grasp. The back of his shoulders met with a substance the texture of which was indescribably but immediately recognisable as a female bosom. The hand was removed, and he turned to stare into the face of the woman who had said to him not twenty-four hours earlier, "Just think: in eight hours the most stunningly beautiful person will be waiting at your door for you. Then remember it's only me, get all depressed and jump off a bridge."

"Troll." He shook his head and tried to stifle a laugh. She was serious.

Steal away, steal me away

The man snatched up a bag that sat behind him, already packed with everything it normally contained, everything he would need for a day in the field. The pair stepped quietly outside through the back door, ensuring they did not disturb the soundly sleeping other members of the house. As they entered the world of just-moonlit treed landscape outside, he saw her face clearly for the first time since she had arrived, and his heart missed a beat.

And we'll all be lonely tonight and lonely tomorrow

He backs a white Toyota out of his driveway, and pushes a tape into the deck's slot with the back of his finger. The windows roll down, man and woman throw a momentary glance at each other and smile before he returns his eyes to the road. Both break into song as Del Amitri begins to sing. Her father went to school with the singer. Tiny spots of rain coat the windscreen, and the mist makes her hair sparkle like an ice rink. The car glided to stop at an intersection, an intersection unnecessarily stopping them when there was no other traffic on the road in the almost total darkness outside.

His mind went back to a time in a not dissimilar vehicle he had sung unashamedly with its driver to a Nickelback album, and he watched the wind fill his passenger's hair out the corner of his eye as he lifted his foot off the brake pedal.

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