- Vol. 04
- Chapter 01
FivesThey say everything happens in threes. It does, in fairy tales and legends and Bible stories. But with us it wasn’t three, or even four. It was five. Is there a way of making that sexy? Third time’s a charm, lucky; four is a nice neat number, a square. It could have taken us six days, like the creation of the world, seven like wonders, nine like lives, ten like commandments or plagues. But no. Five. That was us.
I could start at the beginning, that would be nice and conventional. I won’t. I’ll start with Five. I am walking by the canal. You are beside me. I could have said we, but we are still in the process of fusing. What can I say about the canal? It is very blue, for autumn-nearly-winter. There are no herons that I can see. Good. I feel I’m supposed to like them. They are the classy birds, the white knights. Stuff that. I will never be like them. Let them laugh from wherever they are hiding. You hold my hand. We are nearly there.
One number and a month earlier. We are back in the glove shop. Only my weird town could have such a thing. I mean, I’m sure in France or Germany, in some small postcard-y village they have dozens, the gloves made by artisans and costing a fortune and shining like jewels. These don’t. They’re okay. I try a red pair. You ask for green. You are like a pine tree. Needle-y and soft. You smell tangy and sweet. I change to purple. Blue, you say. Okay, blue. The painting admires me. I try not to meet his eye. Your eyes are hazel. I’ll stick with them.
It is summer. We are strolling around Manchester. You thought this would be a good idea. I was doubtful but let you have your way. It’s so… open here, like a big spotlight is on us. We drift along Oxford Road eating Chinese cakes and the sky is pulsing, a heavy aquamarine. There are no clouds. A globe sits on my shoulders, pushing down on my hair. You don’t talk much. You seem happy.
April is the best month is this excuse for a town. I am showing you my home, the arms that rocked me. It is actually impressive in April, with Easter stuff crowding shop windows, all chocolates and ribbons and bunnies. I joke about buying you a bunny. They are pink and purple. You ask for a blue duck, in all seriousness. We walk back to mine with arms full of fluff.
March, we are in the glove shop. The first time. You are trying greyish glove. You look elegant, but also like a ghost. You look good. I ask your name. You turn and cast your eyes over me, head to foot. I hold my breath. I hope I am good enough. Never-quite-blond hair. Scruffy torn top. Gloves. I can never remember quite what colour they were.