That’s How I Got to Manchester

‘Where are you staying tonight?’ he says.

‘I don’t know, probably a hotel or something.’

‘You got the money for a hotel?’

‘I guess.’

‘Why don’t you stay at mine?’

‘On the sofa?’

‘Yeah, on the sofa or something like that.’

‘Ok, yeah… that sounds fine.’

‘I’ve got to go back to work now,’ he says. ‘But I’ll come meet you back here when I finish, it’ll be about twelve. You’ll be alright on your own? If you get bored, head down the road to the Cornerhouse and ask for Mitch, he’s a friend of mine. He’ll keep you company for a bit if you like. My name’s Harry by the way.’

‘Thanks Harry,’

He gets up and leaves, but not before looking back and smiling at me. He must think I’m a complete idiot, coming all this way for a guy who steals money and gets fired. Getting changed in a train station toilet. Zipping up the dress in amongst puddles, splashing through them, muddy water riding up the sides of my tights. Fuck. I head to the bar and order a glass of wine. That’s when I notice him.

He’s sat on a table, and I know him. He looks so damn self-assured and like a complete dick but I’m pretty sure I know him, from somewhere. He comes over and gives me a fake name so I give him one back and I take the one chance I have and ask him if we can go to his.

I think about Harry coming back to the bar to find me gone, I think about what he might worry about, did I get mugged? Kidnapped? Killed? He’ll probably give up and work out what really happened. I think about Steve. I can hear the grunts and moans somewhere in the distance and I think about Mitch and the Cornerhouse, whatever that is. I think about the puddles in the toilets. I think about the wet patch on my heels and I think about the note in my coat pocket. More grunts. A groan. I think about Steve. I wonder where he is now. A long drawn-out breath, gasping for air, like he’s been holding it in for ages. He relaxes and kisses my shoulder.

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3 Responses to “That’s How I Got to Manchester”

  1. May 13, 2009 at 11:41 am, Shirley Friedman said:

    Read your story. Did I like it? BIG CAPITAL LETTERS. No, just kidding. I really enjoyed it.

  2. May 20, 2009 at 1:26 pm, Chris B said:

    very nice Dan, i really like your writing style- great flow!

  3. September 17, 2010 at 10:48 am, CB said:

    So did she know him? Who IS he?


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