There’s enough of a crowd that you have to shout. Ned turns from the bar and hands Lachie a beer. ‘You’re taking it too hard.’

‘Easy for you to say.’

‘It just about took a crowbar to get you out tonight. I wouldn’t call it easy.’

‘You don’t understand. She hurt me.’

‘Sure, you were good together. Maybe she wasn’t perfect. How many months?’

‘Fourteen.’

‘It finished. Sometimes it does.’ Ned takes a swig. ‘Mostly it does, actually. You’re after the Holy Grail, mate. You’re asking too much.’

‘I don’t ——’

‘Did she say it was forever?’

‘She said she loved me.’ From the band room next door the first chords ring out. The little side bar begins to empty.

‘Maybe she still does.’

‘She says she wants to be friends.’

‘And you?’

‘I want her back.’

‘You gotta let it go. C’mon. Let’s check out the band.’

As Lachie rounds the corner the music hits him hard like water under a high board. It’s something he can cover himself in. He wraps it around himself. Feels its life-giving pulse through every bone, the lyrics crushed and crammed between distorted guitars.

Yeah, thinks Lachie. Bloody, yeah. He punches the air. The Holy Grail. The quest. Elly beside him. He doesn’t need that shit. Not here. Not now.

 

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

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