Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Dinner Party (pt 1): Andrew (200)

My palms always become damp before they ring the doorbell.  I stiffen my nerve with a sharp nip of cooking brandy which burns my gut.  Mona pecks me on the cheek and compliments the smells emanating from the stove.  Three years and I still tingle at her shower-fresh touch, all almonds and honey.  She makes me guilty.  It was a long time ago; fleetingly nothing. 

Paul had been working for months on the other side of the world.  Alison and I were drunk and lonely.  Sometimes you ache for another.  It was a mistake we’d buried, but at night it resurfaces.  I dream her so vividly: warm breath on my neck, the sound of her heart pounding, salt on my lips.  Occasionally, Paul looks at me and I swear he knows.  Not what exactly, but he knows we’re avoiding something.  That we’re pretending. 

I catch her eye and am unsure if I see want or regret.  I can’t trust myself to be alone with her and so I always invite another couple to act as padding. 

Mona doesn’t know.  I’d break if I lost either of them.  The mushrooms need more salt.  Mona calls greetings.  I didn’t hear the bell.

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