• Vol. 01
  • Chapter 07
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This is It

White sheets and a shoulder brown as an egg.

Last night they left the curtains open so they could lie in bed and watch the moon rising through the dark heavens as the earth turned away from it, like a sleeper rolling over in bed.

Now it’s six. The birds have been up for hours. A thin mist, like smoke, creeps away through the fields and into the hedgerows.

There is a game they have been playing lately.

‘I’m in a kitchen,’ she’ll say. ‘There was a wood fire last night, and the coffee is on. I’m standing at the window cutting up limes. There’s mint in the window box and the farmer in the field next door is hay-making.’

‘Go on, go on.’

‘Okay, you’re starching and ironing cotton sheets.’

‘Me? Ironing?’

‘It’s a nice smell. Or you can be waxing an old leather saddle if you like.’

When they did touch, he included the hollow of her collarbone. His lips were there; he was popping bubble-wrap with one hand, stroking a spaniel puppy’s ears with the other.

Glee, schadenfreude, terror. She started on disappointment, but he stopped her with a look.

Two hours until breakfast. The lady who runs the B&B has promised them a fry.


This is It

The blue night is behind them, the blond sun-strewn day lies ahead. Yesterday and today and eternity.

He moves slightly and the sheets form new creases around him. He lets out a long breath.

The sun seems poised, immoveable. The moment lengthens.

This is it, she thinks. Love. Happiness. Everything that cannot last.