Twelve Years On / Vanessa Couchman

I remember…

The Covent Garden restaurant was my suggestion: bentwood chairs, faux-bistro mirrors, not too pricey, not too cheap.

Your tailored suit, wafer-thin watch peeking from white cuff, jeans and T-shirts discarded somewhere down the years.

Wiping my damp hands down my charity shop skirt.

The waiters standing around with folded arms while we toyed with the food and sought past certainties in each other’s faces.

Your hotel room: deep carpets, neutral furnishings, cool sheets.

More flesh around your waist.

You didn’t kiss me, not once.

I wondered afterwards if it was love we made.

I weaved among the rush-hour crowds towards the Tube, while your taxi stuttered along Piccadilly.

You turned once to look at me. Was that dismissal I read in your eyes?  

The cab pulled away. You didn’t wave.

I knew then I wouldn’t hear from you again. Your curiosity was satisfied. My hope wasn’t.

I don’t suppose you even remember.

Vanessa Couchman lives in Southwest France, writes novels and short stories and is an inveterate history nut. She is published/forthcoming in 5MinuteFiction, FiveMinuteLit, FlashBack Fiction, FlashFlood Journal, Friday Flash Fiction, Reflex, Sundial Magazine, among others, and in numerous anthologies. She has been placed and listed in writing competitions, including Cambridge Fiction Award, Cranked Anvil, Flash 500, Reflex, Strands and Writing Magazine.

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