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Even among the gaudy Christmas lights, strung up along the street like Fascists on lamp-posts, he sees it. It’s a flash of blue in the corner of his eye, glancing through the rain-pocked window of his speeding cab. He’s opened his eyes momentarily in mid-kiss, to find and ease the blonde’s bra-strap down over her golden shoulder. He breaks the kiss and nuzzles her warm neck with his lips, staring out. High in the top-floor window of the house he used to know, a blue neon sign reads SORRY.
He rings the familiar doorbell the next night, nervous, sick with destiny and daring, the blonde fobbed off: I’ll call. Just as he’s about to turn away, the door opens. She’s there, black hair tumbled, eyes tired. The old dress she wears to work in. Her dark stare, her warm smell. She looks at him. Rain spots his jacket; late-night traffic yowls.
“I knew you’d see it,” she says, “sooner or later.”
His voice is dry and small in his mouth, as if he’s unused to talking.
She shrugs, half-smiles. “I had faith.”
And he can believe that. She always did have faith: in fate, in life, in people, in him. Especially in him.
“I’m sorry too,” he says. He doesn’t know he means it until the words are out. She looks different; as though she’s lost something and found something else she’d forgotten she was looking for. She puts a hand out and touches his face. He feels a vertiginous hollowness in his chest as he thinks she is going to kiss him. Her fingers are cold.
“Good,” she says, and finds the other half of her smile. And she closes the door on him gently, as though not to wake someone inside.
He stands there for a minute, wondering about cabs and if any bars will be open nearby. When he looks up at her window again from the street, the sign is gone.
C. T. Kingston is an actress and fledgling writer. She has appeared in a lot of productions on the London fringe and on various fiction websites, and is currently writing a play. She lives in North London.