Just something I scribbled down just now.
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I saw the young one first. He was stood on the other side of the road and I barely saw him as I crossed behind a parked blue van. I was listening to something that put a bounce in my step. I saw him again, I think, walking past the coffee shop window as I gazed out into the spring afternoon. He turned his head just enough that I caught the side of his face. It couldn’t have been any other face, but I didn’t believe it could be him. I assumed I was seeing things or going crazy: more plausible than what it therefore must have been.
It was when I saw the dashing one that I started to wonder what was up. He was leaning against a pillar in the supermarket and smiled that smile at me. There was only one person who ever had such a smile and I was so sure that he was there that I started to wonder what the fuck was going on. I still assumed I was in the wrong somehow.
When I saw the dark one, I knew what was going on. I could believe I’d imagined one dead man, and could just about believe I’d conjured two up in my fevered brain, but not three. Not those three.
“What do you want?” I snapped at the young one when I saw him across a crowded room. He smirked, a familiar curve of lip that I’d become accustomed to over the years. There was no cruelty there, nor mockery and that terrified me. He said nothing though, and I determined to ignore him if he was going to ignore me.
“What do you want?” I repeated when I saw the dashing one again. It was late and I was on my own walking down the street, still listening to music. He fell into step with me quite easily – much longer legs than mine – and we moved along in companionable silence, though he didn’t answer my question. Though I was glad to be with the hero of a hundred legends, he set me on edge. He was too unpredictable – you could only ever count on him to let you down – and I didn’t know why he was there.
“What do you want?” I sounded tired and I knew it. They’d been keeping me awake. Once I knew they were there, my three boys, I was consumed with the how and why of it and hadn’t slept. The dark one was so much taller than me on his long, thin legs and slung his arm around my shoulders like I was a warm shelf.
“What do you think?” His voice was exactly as I knew it would be: deep, warm, throaty and lacking the letter ‘h’.
“Don’t answer with a question, boyo.” The dark one laughed and shook his head. He did not answer the question.
I saw the young one for a third time. He was close enough to touch at last but dodged when I reached out.
“For the fourth naffing time, what do you want?” I sounded angrier than I was, because as frustrated and curious as I was, I was just glad that he was there.
“You’re not an idiot. You know what I want.”
“Yes…” I admitted it for the first time, “…but until you tell me which side you’re on, I’m not going anywhere.”
He cracked a smile.
“Which do you think?”
“Could go either way.”
“Which do you think?”
“Well…” I paused for drama only: I had known the answer to the question for years. “If you’re not there, it won’t be heaven.”
His smile broadened and he took my hand.
“Time to go.”
“You came for me after all. I wondered if you would.”
“Just a dream you once had. You have nothing to fear.”
“Yes, I know. I’ve always known.”