Of course, I was just holding out for adventure. I had a filmic view of the world, taken from watching movies on television with my mother. I tended to leave the room before the endings—I dreaded the sudden shift from film-world to reality. So I learned to love the snatches more than the whole. To my mother’s ‘don’t you want to know the ending?’ one evening, the answer was a definite no.
I drew cigarette smoke deep into my lungs, felt it surge and lift, and watched the man make his way across the car park towards where I stood. A breeze was blowing into my face, one of those moist reassuring winds which announce spring. It was overlaying everything it touched with the tackiness of warm seas and salty beaches.
My cigarette was almost finished. I was disappointed. I wanted him to stop for a chat while I smoked. I took the last of it, right up to the filter, chemical-tasting, then dropped it to the ground and crushed it with my shoe. I put my hands into my pockets and felt the tops of my legs for reassurance.
© Barry Lee Thompson and ‘Stories, by Barry Lee Thompson’, 2013.