Anyway, here's another piece from what I've decided to call "A Stolen Summer". Evan has just returned from Afghanistan and is phoning his girlfriend, Katy. I think the conversation pretty much sums up the state of their relationship.
I couldn’t be arsed to break up with Katy, not at the moment. It was too much effort. It seemed easier just to let things bump along for a little while longer. I punched in her number and waited, staring at the photograph of the two of us on the shelf.
She was smiling in the picture. It had been taken while we were on holiday in Paris. It was a cold day, I had my arm around her waist. Her pale blonde hair blew in fine wisps across her face. It was a long time ago, back when we couldn’t keep our hands off each other.
“You’re back.” There was a false brightness to her voice.
“Yup.” I wondered whether I should ask her to dinner or something. Instead, I waited.
“So.” A gusty little sigh. “Are you doing anything tonight?” She only asked the question because it was expected of her. It was the same every bloody time.
“I didn’t have anything planned. Fancy going out for a meal?” Translation: Fancy having something to eat and going back to your place for a shag? It had been a while. My penis twitched a little. I didn’t really want Katy, but it clearly did. I was too tired to argue.
“Yea, okay. Where?”
I glanced up at the ceiling and went through my list of venues. “How about Le Petit Filet?” It was only a few streets away from hers. We could meet there, eat, back to her place, shag. Pretend we still liked each other. The usual.
“That’s fine. Eight o’clock?”
“I’ll see you there.”
“Brilliant. You can tell me all about your trip.” She made it sound like I was going to tell her about a holiday. I doubted she really wanted to hear the nitty gritty. Katy’s idea of current events revolved around the gossip columns in the papers. I wondered how we’d limped along for three years.
“If you like.” I was already thinking beyond the phone call. I was thinking about lunch and the bottle of beer in the fridge. “I’ll see you at eight.” I tried to smile.
“Bye.” The line went dead. I put the phone down and headed for the kitchen.