The Longest Day

She’s made effusive goodbyes, in keeping with the amount of alcohol she’s had. 

She’d assured them that walking home was fine. Fresh air will do me good she said, lighting up a fag and waving one more time before walking off. 

It’s fine. It’s only 10.45. A remnant of daylight still taints the sky. Today is the longest day. 

She walks quickly, trying to control the slight swaying of her body by planting her feet heavily on the ground. 

Fun night. She didn’t drink that much really. 3 bottles of beer, 2 large glasses of wine. Yeah that’s fine. Completely fine. 

It takes much more for her to vomit those days. Or even to be hungover. Alcohol is part of her lifestyle and she’s good at it. 

There’s a couple of guys walking up the road a little ahead of her. Maybe she should have gotten a ride home. They might harass her. Or rape her. Or kill her. 

She slows down, trying to increase the distance between them. She looks at her phone and sends text she’ll forget she’s sent. She scrolls through her pictures, looking at the ones from summer 2018, back when her and Ray were engaged. 

The guys voices boom into the quiet night, bringing her back to the present. There’s no-one else around, no traffic. One of them lets out great barks of laughter. 

They might be nice actually, they might start a conversation, maybe befriend her, maybe make a date to take her out to the pub next week. Yes next week is good. It’ll give her time to detox. Or maybe on Sunday, that’s two days off the sauce, that’s plenty. 

She walks a bit faster, using the double yellow line as a guide. 

The guys make a right aiming for the underpass to the station. Suddenly they’re out of sight and their chatter disappears into the night. 

And she’s alone again. 

B F Jones is French and lives in the UK. She has stories published in various UK and US literary magazines:Ellipsis,The Cabinet of Heed, Rejection Letters, Spelk, Idle Ink and Storgy amongst others. Her debut collection, The Fabric of Tombstones, was released in April 2020.

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