As Sal crams more stuff onto the roof-racks Jack scowls. ‘It’s too much.’

‘You’d know, of course.’ She throws a rope across, walks around, pulls it taut and secures it with two quick turns. She’s still in great shape.

‘You training again?’

‘Have been for weeks. Pass up that chair.’

‘It’ll never fit.’

‘It’ll fit if I make it.’ Sal hoists it onto the piled gear.

Jack opens the passenger door so he can reach to tie it down. ‘We could just be friends. No pressure.’

‘Is that your way of admitting you’re not up to commitment?’

‘I am. I can do it. But slowly. Not all at once. And I can’t be always there for you. My life doesn’t work that way.’

‘Rubbish. Besides, you’ll never develop unless you’re prepared to change.’

God she sounds like one of her self-help books. Jack puts his hand out as she walks past so it brushes her waist.

She makes a last adjustment to the load. ‘I’ll call you from Mum’s. Look after yourself.’

‘You too,’ he says. Jack looks at the old car, full of stuff and loaded high on top. ‘You’re asking too much of the old jalopy. I sure hope it makes it.’

‘It will,’ she says.

‘Yeah, you’ve said that before.’


2011—Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)