The Night Before


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‘Twas the night before Christmas. Okay, Okay it wasn’t, it was actually the day before, so the eve of Christmas eve, if you will. But I bet you don’t even care about that do you? No, you just want to hear a story.

Okay, fine. So, I was standing at the street corner, smoking and freezing to death. When she stepped out of a shop doorway. She was a Betty Boop type; perfect hourglass figure, short black hair, large eyes framed by long lashes. She was wearing a long fur lined white coat and red high heels. A proper doll.

She walked towards me, stopped and took me in. I knew what I must look like to her; a shadow wearing a long brown coat and black beat up fedora hat. I stubbed out my cigarette on the wall.

‘Is it done?’ her voice whispered.

I give a single nod and from my pocket drew out a man’s heavy gold wrist watch. I hand it to her. She looks at it in the streetlight then kisses me…

What?

Okay, okay. That didn’t happen.

She walked right passed me, not even seeing me in her hurry. I watch her checking the road, then crossing it. The tapping of her heels muffled by the snow. Car headlights flash on the road, but she’s over and gone by the time the car drove passes.

I sigh and reach in my pocket for my whisky flask. The snow starts to fall again. big, fluffy balls that stick on top of the slush that’s been made during the day. I lean against the wall and sip from the flask, feeling the burn in my mouth. My mind moves back through time to that moment of her in the doorway again.

She steps out on to the street and starts walking. As soon as she reaches the alleyway, I jump out before her. Startled she cries out, a hand rising and pressing against her chest. Then she sees me and starts laughing.

‘You scared me! What were you doing back there?’ she asks.

‘Waiting for you,’ I says huskily.

She laughs more. I take her hand and we walk to the edge of the road. It starts snowing as we begin to cross.

‘It’s such a pretty night. I can’t believe it’s Christmas eve tomorrow,’ she says.

‘You’re more pretty then any snowy night,’ I cut in.

She giggles and we walk back to her place…

And now we both know that didn’t happen. But you really wanted to believe it that time didn’t you? A couple so in love walking through the snow at night in New York. The shop fronts and houses all light up with Christmas lights. A man dressed up as Father Christmas ringing his bell and collecting money for charity. See how I paint the picture so perfectly?

But none of it every happen. It was in a movie I once watched I think, but can hardly remember. I’m not stood in that downtown New York alleyway, dressed as a detective and waiting to walk my girlfriend home. Nor am I a hired killer, having just murdered a woman’s husband and now trying to make her fall in love with me. I’m just a nobody in a place far from America, dreaming of what could have been.

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