Cold Night

I held on tightly to his sleeves, so tightly that I could hear the rainproof material crackle, so tightly that I knew that when I let go, as I eventually had to, my knuckles and joints would ache.

I shouldn’t have said it. But I had to. I would have regretted it so much more if I hadn’t.

“I meant what I said. If you change your mind, I’ll still be here.”
I’d become one of those women I hated, begging her man to stay with her. But I had to.

Our roles had reversed, it was his turn to be silent. We stood like that, my head against his chest, freezing for a minute or two more before one or other of us thought that another circuit of the park might bring some of the warmth back to our limbs.

I looked at him. The thoughts that had made him so distant for the past two days had subsided, and he was himself again. The man I had fallen for.

“You’re back,” I said. “You were different for the last few days. Distracted. But your back now. Its nice to see you again.”
He smiled.
I meant what I said. I’ll still be here.

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