the rover returns

A very quick one, but my first creative writing in a few days

“You bastard.” She set her mouth in a straight line, almost parallel to the frown that hooded her eyes.

Alistair shifted, try as he might he couldn’t give the response she wanted, no. Needed.

“You look amazing.” He knew even before he finished saying it, that it was the wrong thing to say. Of course it was. Idiot.

“Not one word, not one email, or text, or even a fucking poke on fucking Facebook. Did you think I was going to welcome you back with open arms?” As if to underline her point she crossed her arms.

A Facebook poke? Who did that nowadays? “I’m sorry, I wouldn’t have done it if it could have been helped.” It was a lie and they both knew that. His words were hollow, meaningless. Why had he even bothered to look Janey up? The fact was he hadn’t really loved her, the problem was that maybe thinking about it now, ten years ago or more she had actually loved him. Maybe they weren’t just good friends messing around.

Janey was distracted by a little boy with a rosy too red face waddling up and shouting at Alistair and then at her.

“Look, I need to go, he’s teething. Maybe look me up on Facebook, I’m there under my real name; it’s not changed. Add me on there and maybe we can go for a coffee if you’re in town for long?”

She was turning inwards before she even finished the sentence and the door the yellow weathered door started swinging shut.

Alistair raised his hand in goodbye and turned and walked back down the steps and onto the pavement where the hire car was parked. He stopped for a moment and looked up and down the street. Semi detached white walled family houses, three and four bedrooms, lots of plastic toys in gardens, lots of kids. Very Catholic. Janey was still in Coatbridge, imagine that.

His iPhone pinged once. It was Fudd. When he’d first been introduced to the squat balding, heavyset moustachioed Ulsterman Alistair had assumed Fudd was some nickname from his army days, but no; Paul Fudd was a real name. “Come over to Edinburgh as quick as you can, we’ve got someone for you to meet.”

You didn’t argue with Fudd you did what you were told, even if it was after 5pm getting dark and you were hoping to go back to you soulless grey travel lodge room and have a cold pasta salad from the Tesco Express before drinking a bottle of wine and having a wank to a ten year old episode of Grand Designs.

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