Day 165 – Left for Dead

Not bad for less than an hour!

Word count: 1168

How long do you wait? How long will you allow patience to grind you down and squeeze your life-force? Do you sit back and allow it all to happen? Do you fight it, do you let it win? Do you sink into a warm, comforting ocean of denial and swim and swim until you find your feet touching the shore? And when it finally comes, do you remember how the song goes and what tune the melody is? Do you find yourself awkwardly wishing that you were back in that lonely dark, yet familiar place where nothing presumed and everything is safe?

Greg tapped the edge of his wine glass. He was drinking red, a little heavier from his norm, but he needed all the strength he could muster right now. The bar he was in was fairly bustling for a Tuesday evening. Couples scattered the place like breadcrumbs in a bakery; there was laughter and the clashing and chinking of glasses and bottles. There was a soft ambience about the place, something sleepy-chic about it. It was the sort of establishment that it would be cool to be found on your own at.
But so far Greg had been on his own, and he was most certainly not enjoying it. A slight sweat was forming around his neck as he grew hotter and more nervous. It had literally been years since these kinds of scenarios had crossed his mind. He had struggled to remember the last time he had experienced a date. Being in his late forties with two children, what could he say? Was there anything to say at this age? Was it not all just about the price of petrol and a quick complain about politics before bed? All he could think about was what the weather girl had said earlier that afternoon. Sunny with a chance of showers: could he really open up the conversation with air pressures and wind directions?
Greg was so thankful she was late. It gave him more time to think. Despite arriving half an hour early, his constant worry about being found in a bar alone as well as being surrounded by all the happy, confident couples, meant all strategy – as he liked to call it in the day – had completely been neglected. It was not just the giggling dates that were causing him unease, however. Something else was disturbing him that had been brewing for a while and, indeed, had been preventing this very evening from happening.
When do you decide that the time is right? Greg was at a loss for years. The thought had not even occurred to him for a long while, but when it did, it grew like an avalanche. What started off as a tiny spec of snow, was now tumbling into a rush of thoughts, fears, worries, guilt and dreams. Would he compare? That was Greg’s main concern. Would he compare them both? Would he wish one was the other, would he begin to see Hannah in others? Would the way her hair fell across her face remind him of her; would they like the same perfume, the same dress sense? Would they look identical, have the same laugh or sense of humour? How would he feel if they had the same name – or worse still, Hannah’s name always on the tip of his tongue when it should not?
Was he even allowed to be happy again after what had happened? Could Hannah see him right now, was she watching and judging him? Greg felt uneasy and sick. He drank more of the wine for courage. Maybe his date would arrive soon and it would be fine; after all it had been five years since Hannah… was it not time?
Greg’s thoughts strayed to his two boys. The older one half knew where his father was tonight. Colin, the little one, was too wrapped up in his toy tractors to care.
Five years was a long time, his friends would keep on saying. Every week he would be told to get out more; to meet new people and to find someone. At Christmas time his mum would give him a pitying eye, wishing him to move on but at the same time understanding why. She was looking after his boys tonight.
Greg downed the last of his wine just as the waiter buzzed by to attempt to ply him with another. Greg nodded and as the waiter buzzed back to the bar, a woman in a dark purple dress came through the entrance. He instantly recognized her and smiled. She looked very pretty tonight.
“I’m so sorry I’m late,” she breathed heavily as she sat down on the opposite side of the table.
It hit him as a pavement would if he had jumped from the tallest skyscraper. He tried to deny it happened, but there was no avoiding it the second time she had done it. It was the simplest of things, perhaps it was too habitual for her to notice that she had done it herself. It was so insignificant to the grand scheme of life, the universe and everything, but it meant more than life itself to him. It was a flashback to a time he yearned to be in, but instead of his darling wife flicking her hair behind her ears in that oh-so delicate fashion, it was this stranger, an imposter?
“What are we ordering then, cocktails?” she was smiling as if it were her birthday.
Greg’s eyes were magnetized to them all; every where he looked, was Hannah. He eyed up her shoes and wondered if Hannah would have chosen the same; would she had liked the same, would she had fitted – were they the same size? The dress itself, Hannah would have loved; the cute little mannerisms that he had picked up already in the twenty five seconds she had sat down for concerned him.
“God, I’m so thirsty!” she poured over the cocktail menu and Greg could just knew what she was going to order.
“Ooo, that one sounds good, I love anything with gin in it…”
Greg scraped his chair back, “No, no…” he shook his head.
“What’s the matter? Where are you going?” asked his alarmed date as he grabbed the jacket from the back of his seat.
“I’m, I’m sorry… I just…”
The waiter came over with the red wine, “Give it to the girl….”
“Where are you going? What’s wrong?”
“I’m really sorry, I’m sure you’re a lovely, lovely girl… I really do wish you the best of luck… but….I can’t… I can’t… I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t ready….”
Greg rushed out of the bar to avoid a scene and hailed a taxi as quickly as he could. It was raining outside. A gorgeous reflection shone from the tarmac. He needed to be one place and one place only; at home with his boys. He needed to gaze into a pair of eyes so familiar, they might just be hers….

~ by S.G. Mark on March 20, 2012.

2 Responses to “Day 165 – Left for Dead”

  1. Really enjoying you blog, creative and disciplined!!!
    I will be featuring it as blog of the week on my Facebook/Twitter on 30th March – hope that’s ok!
    Keep up the good work,


    • thank you! that would be most helpful!

      May I ask how you found my site? I’m getting lots of googling the last few weeks, and I’m not sure why! 🙂 x

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