Thursday, 10 February 2005

The Image

I hadn't been aware of them getting on but after a while of them sitting behind me on the bus I drifted into their conversation (in a silent overhearing kind of way). They were colleagues. He was her senior but in a different team, he had a resonant deep happy voice. It was the voice of a tall man who would wear a good quality suit, perhaps have glasses(designer ones) and a decent haircut. She was a middle class young woman, tweed skirt and blouse type, successful, confident. Ever so slightly pearl-necklacy.

She was getting married in the summer - they had decided at Christmas, so far they had managed to arrange the engagement party (next friday - everyone they had ever known was invited, the whole email address list, and everyone they had ever known was coming, so it was really quite exciting) and order the ring. Probably being very naive believing that they could organise such an event in this amount of time but they had agreed if it all got too much for them that they would elope to somewhere foreign.

He had been married, just the once, in Italy where the organisation had been a real pain, for the civil ceremony they had to register with both the British consulate and the Italian authorities, trying to get them both to understand the papers was quite difficult but then they also wanted to be married in church and trying to get the Catholic church to agree. Now that was something, letters from the parish priest in England to be sure that he had never been married in church before. But it was worth it, a wonderful ceremony...

They chatted about holidays, he had been in the states over christmas, Chicago, and wasn't due another holiday at the moment although he would be in Syria for Easter for work. She hadn't got a break planned what with the wedding preparations and everything.

And then he got up and went downstairs, the creak of a leather jacket passed me and his faded jeans, and his unshaved face, ruffled hair with a bald patch at the back, large grin, "maybe I'll bump into you again," he called back at the woman as he disappeared down the stairs. Two stops later she got off, trousers, younger than I imagined, long red hair, centre parted and hanging down both sides of her face.

Wrong on every count. I don't even think they knew one another.

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