Sunday 25 June 2023

'Nobody Dies at the End' by Martha Lane

 Not much is going to happen in this story. But it will always be my favourite.

It will start predictably. Comfortingly boring. At the beginning. With the sun rising, and sleepy eyes shaking off heavy dressing gowns. Between smooth uncreased cheeks, a haze of morning breath, a perfume sweeter than roses.

Breakfast will be savoured at an uncluttered table, not over the kitchen sink. And cutlery won’t be plucked from a dishwasher somebody promised to empty days earlier.

Teeth will be brushed without claggy white smudges across fresh-ironed shirts. No one will mention the toilet seat, or any lingering smells. No one will tease. Everyone will be happy.

Lunch will be packed into matching brown paper bags, aesthetically rolled at the top. Not chucked into the bottom of rucksacks. And the food? All fresh, all delicious. Nothing past-its-best, pilfered from the back of a cupboard.

At the doorway we will hold each other tight, no one in such a rush as leave anything unsaid. No one will assume.

I love you.

Can’t wait to see you later.


We will kiss. A leg bending at the knee, a foot playfully flicked towards the sky. You will drive away – me, waving on the doorstep. I won’t turn my back before you’ve rounded the corner and tut at the crumbs decorating the kitchen counter.

I won’t use our Christmas tea towel that we never took out of regular circulation to wipe them away. I certainly won’t use it to mop up soap scuzz from around the base of the tap while cursing that you hadn’t done it. I will sit serenely, flatteringly lit by sunlight, and sip on a cup of tea that is the perfect temperature.

And of course, we will see each other again.

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