I’m standing there waiting for you, impatient, and I’m looking at the stairs, the way you’ll come, gazing into the sun, the sun shining directly now through the big skylight at the top of those stairs, so the people coming down are in silhouette and it’s hard to make out any features and I realize that I don’t know your shape, even after all this time I couldn’t draw your outline, even though my fingers know every curve of you because a man’s body is curved too, there are no angles, even elbows and knees are rounded, never a sharpness, though once you broke a tooth and I felt that rough edge, my tongue moving with yours against it; I run my tongue round the inside of my own mouth now, recalling the sensation, shivering at it as there’s a commotion at the top of the stairs before a man emerges from the crowd, he’s stepping into space and for a moment the people on the stairs are fixed in a tableau before he tumbles and time is stretched and it’s only after I’ve watched the whole thing, the agonizing descent, only then that I realize the man is you.
Cath Barton is an English writer who lives in Wales. She won the New Welsh Writing Awards AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella 2017 and placed second in the Dorset Fiction Award, October 2017. Stories in The Lonely Crowd, Fictive Dream, Spelk, and more. Regular contributor to Wales Arts Review. Find her here or on Twitter.