Haunted Earth

She drinks pina colada. Offers me a sip. I have a sip, then wash it down with beer. It reminds me of my nan, although I don’t know why. They’re dropping bombs on Ukraine. Blowing up hospitals. Shooting kids in the face. It’s on the covers of all the papers, but most people skip to the funny pages because it’s easier that way. Holding hands over the table, she smiles and I feel okay. The world burns, yet we can’t help but warm ourselves before a roasting fire. We’re hypocrites. It’s just how it is. If we weren’t, how would we ever sleep at night? Finishing her drink, a gust of wind blows the napkins from our table to the floor. Both laughing, another gust comes and plays with her hair. In my drunken state, I imagine it to be the work of a ghost. Perhaps some long-dead great-grandparent wishing to catch a glimpse of the one it helped put on this haunted earth. Above us, two cats prowl the glass ceiling of the restaurant. She’s worried they might be stuck, yet I think it’s the coolest thing ever. The night slips away so quickly. Drinks and cigarettes. Bus journeys down unlit roads. Shadows flickering in the gardens of anonymous houses like the light at the end of the hallway when you’re five years old and terrified of the dark. In my old age though, how can I be afraid of what the dark hides when someone as light as her walks by my side?

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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