30

Fourteen Days

 

Ten Minutes

The first few days after she leaves are easier but by ten days it has become painful. Her memories of him like summer in February. 

 

Eight minutes

She walks along the train corridor to find a toilet.  She reapplies her makeup and tests what she looks like when she smiles.  She combs her hair and sprays on some perfume.  Her stomach churns.

 

Six minutes

She likes to see him first and watch him seeing her. His face lighting up, running towards her, his old duffel coat flapping, his arms out wide.

 

Four minutes

Last time when she left he kissed her through the open window of the train door. The ticket collector shook his head and looked away to hide his smile.

 

Two minutes

She packs away her magazines and books, lifts down her case and moves towards the door. Her hands are shaking.

 

0 minutes

She breathes in his smell of cigarettes and fabric conditioner.

 

 

Margaret Callaghan

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