Charade

for amy

I’ve been sitting at my window for 6 hours now, reading this book. It’s not particularly gripping, but it’ll do, for now. At least, when I’m reading, I’m not thinking about it. It’s starting to get dark now and I can feel my eyes straining in the gloom. 

Across the road, lights are starting to come on, as the houses opposite give in and the windows spring to life. Mrs. Williams’ Christmas lights flicker on again – a welcome distraction now. Henry’s parents house is illuminated by the security light outside. Just across, I see Logan’s bedroom light flick on, as he settles down with his PS4 for the evening. And straight over the road, he’s there.

Before all this kicked off, we’d been out twice. Once was just for drinks down the pub, the other was dinner and a show. It feels like a lifetime ago now. But I knew then that there was something there. I’ve been in love before, obviously. But this isn’t the same feeling – there was something deeper. 

As he rinses his plate over the sink, I can’t help but watch. There’s something that draws me to him. Even this most mundane task is fascinating. He places it on the side and moves away from the window, turning the light off as he goes. We’re in a weird limbo, at the moment. Waiting until the day we can be free to pick up where we left off. 

Over on my desk, my phone pings. I know who it is before I even turn on the screen. 

Come to the window

Not waiting a moment, I duck under the beams of my attic room and climb back on my window seat. He’s back at the kitchen window, phone in hand. I wave tentatively. His beaming smile lights up his whole face as he waves back. 

Ready?

He puts his phone down on the side. Holding his hands together, he pulls his palms apart. 

Book.

Three words.

First word.

The. 

Second word.

Across the road, he raises his arms high, gesturing wildly.

Big? Round? Huge? Massive?

He sticks his thumbs up. 

Good?

Shaking his head he disappears, before holding up his cheese grater and miming. 

Great.

Third word.

First syllable.

Sounds like.

Hat?

Second syllable. 

Sounds like…

Me?

Hatme?

Gatsby. 

The Great Gatsby!

Yes!

Across the street, I see him waving his hands in celebration. I hold up my book – a battered old copy of The Great Gatsby; I must have read it a thousand times, but I still love it. 

It’s my absolute favourite!

We might be apart at the moment, but one thing this whole ordeal has shown is that nothing can beat love, friendship, compassion, fun. Nothing. And when it’s over, love will bloom the brightest.

A short story a day, throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic. By me, for you.

#wordsnotwars #fictionforfriends #proseforpals

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