X Smiles


When she puts on her coat, she pops the buttons into place before tying back her hair. It’s windy out there, and the days are still so cold. When she steps into the garden, light bounces off the windscreen of her car, dazzling her with startling, biblical imagery. It feels like she’s having a revelation, and when she looks up at the sky, she can see so many shapes known only to her. For a moment it’s as if she’s hallucinating, and then slowly she comes down and steadies herself. Next door’s cat jumps out of a bush. It looks at her, sticks out its tongue then darts off like a mischievous child. Across the road, a young boy waiting at a bus stop with his mother holds a red balloon in his hands. With both hands clamped down upon its shiny surface, the piece of string tied to its bottom dangles in the wind, and the cat suddenly reappears and snatches for it. The boy lifts the balloon, and the string rises. Standing on its hind legs, the cat sticks out its tongue again and frantically tries grabbing the string until it gives up and runs off whipping its tail from side to side. Blinking her eyes against the cold, X smiles while shoving her hands into her pockets. But then her nose begins to drip, so she takes them out and stems the flow with some tissue paper until she’s good to go. She should’ve worn a scarf, but once she gets moving the cold loses its bite. A cup of coffee will sort her out for sure. Nodding to herself, she sets off dreaming of the smell of her favourite coffee shop that sits on the corner of the block a ten-minute walk away. When she gets there, she’ll be flustered and out of breath, and she’ll complain to herself about how stupid it is to walk into town when she could’ve taken the car, but once she gets that hot cup of coffee in her hands, that frown will make way for a smile, and for the time being at least, life will taste a little better.

A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon.co.uk

A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon.com

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