Catherine: Don't move around so, the bed creaks and you'll wake up those down below.

Sandy: I can't help it, I'm uncomfortable and I can't get to sleep.

Catherine: You used to be a good sleeper. You used to be a very good sleeper, when Dan was around. When Dan was still around, there was laughter and playfulness. You remember him, of course.

Sandy: Of course.

Catherine: How could you forget him. The dark brown curls falling to his shoulders.

Sandy: I remember best his eyes, those deep brown eyes that held on to your own as long as ever you could manage.

Catherine: And a voice of soft pastel colours, never saying too much, never too little, a purring sort of voice that soothed you.

Sandy: Until he made you laugh. With his simple imitations, his furtive chuckle, his childish puns. Can't you see him now, standing there with a cushion inside his shirt pretending to be pregnant, or a napkin over his arm taking off the waiter, or that man in the newspaper shop, you must remember him, with the sideways head. Dan kept twitching his head to the side all day long. Poor man. But how you laughed. And the manageress at that hotel, the one who kept her head held so high, Dan kept riding up onto his toes to raise his chin in mimicry. And you . . .

Catherine: No I mustn't do this. You must get to sleep or you'll be so tired tomorrow. It's a big day, a very big day. The most important . . .

Sandy: . . . of your life. I know. But when you think of Dan, don't you see that mouth of his widen out into a grin as wide as his face, and his chuckle just make you laugh, however silly the joke. Even the first time you met him, at Joe's party, he enchanted you. You came home and could talk about nothing else. Dan did this and Dan did that, and Dan danced like a professional and Dan kissed like a . . . like a lover should kiss.

Catherine: This is getting nowhere. Think about tomorrow and the day after that and the future. Henry. You must think about Henry.


Full story - 8 pages


Paul K. Lyons

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