One Reply to “Narrative Nudge ~ February 6, 2018”

  1. He was weird, you know. A little goofy and his hair cut crooked and his teeth too many for his mouth. And his world was weird, too, all out of his head and misshaped. I went on a date with him once, cos he kept asking and one day I thought why not. All we did is walk, being careful not to step on the cracks in the pavement – he said it was unlucky.

    ‘Step on a crack and you break your back.’

    It was something we’d said as kids, only he went onto explain that his gran had broken her back and all because she did not heed the rhyme.

    I laughed thinking it was a game or something cute and played out for only me. I think I smiled and I took his hand, or he took mine.

    He walked me to this place that was a little out of the way, a place that serves tea and cake and scones. He ordered a saucer of milk and whatever I wanted. The milk was for his cat, he said, at which I shrugged and didn’t think much about.

    He set the saucer on the floor at his feet and I looked under the table expecting to see his cat. There was nothing there.

    ‘She’s shy,’ he explained. ‘If we just pretend like we aren’t looking for her, then she’ll come. You’ll see.’

    I thought maybe he was a regular in the tea-house and maybe that’s what it was. And I thought there was a cat there somewhere and he fed milk to her every day and if you were quieter than mice then maybe she’d appear.

    I asked him what was the name of the cat and he put one finger to his lips and said ‘sh’ and he looked cross as sticks at me speaking in a normal voice and I felt a little uncomfortable then.

    I quietly drank my tea and I pantomimed an offer of a bit of my cake – it had walnuts in it. He said, his voice shrunk to a whisper, that he was allergic – well, not allergic exactly, it was just he was careful. They can make your tongue swell up to the size of a cantaloupe, he said, or itch like you got measles only in your mouth. ‘Walnuts,’ he said.

    I laughed and he said it was the truth and I could look it up if I didn’t believe him.

    I said I thought some cats were lactose intolerant, most cats in fact.

    Then he was suddenly stroking the air, and making small kissing noises with his lips. And he lifted the saucer of milk to the table, like there was a cat there next to my walnut cake, only there wasn’t. I looked over my shoulder, in case any one else was watching, but we were alone in the teahouse.

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