- Vol. 05
- Chapter 10
Jeremy thought he glimpsed a fifties taxi, runner-board and all, disappearing beyond Saint Anne’s. Curious and depressed, he trudged newly-fallen snow to investigate. Rounding the chapel wall he scanned the short avenue. It was devoid of traffic. No tracks spoiled the pristine white blanket covering the weary asphalt and paving. Less a shroud than a cocoon shielding the spent surfaces while they bubbled into new life, the snow seemed to defy the eerie silence. Jeremy felt a passing urge to lay himself down and be reborn without the baggage. He blinked tears away, blushing in anticipation of onlookers. But there were no eyes to observe – only the grimy windows of the breakfast bar at the corner. A blonde sat at the window – her sensuous primrose top all but see-through under dull fluorescents. She turned and smiled as he traversed the road and pushed blindly through the saffron-framed door, drawn by a frightening sexual magnetism. Her smile brightened. A cold hand gripped his heart and he almost collapsed. It was only when a yellow cab pulled up outside the window that his peril dawned on him. His hands clawed in tortured supplication in her direction before he crashed back through the door and retreated across the street, giving the taxi a wide berth. From the safety of the chapel wall, cold against his cheek, he swivelled an eye in the direction of the squandered romance. She was blushing furiously and staring dead ahead. “Bloody xanthophobia,” he moaned into the grouting, before retreating into the shadows of an overhanging laurel, using that cover to escape his failure and drag his feet back to his flat – a box which the lack of love disqualified as a home.