We drove, down to the place where a ghost-forest slumbers as fossils on a silent beach.
To the tiny house: two-up, two down, only one way in. There may have been a piano. There was definitely a small, hard narrow sofa and the kind of paintings popular in care homes.
Playing ‘house’, we nested, in bed by eight with the portable TV - ignited into life from its hiding place beneath the stairs - balanced on a rickety, ring-marked side table, the varnish long worn through.
Watching Saturday night game shows, but not really watching.
Acutely aware of the space between us, your arm touching mine, tiny hairs meeting nervously before began the careful rituals of first interaction.
And. I never did ask you, how or why.
All sense of purpose faded with the dusk as the scythe of May’s cloudless moon unveiled herself to keep watch. Our chemicals clouded and mixed together.
Those mornings were fresher than any since, feet dappled in dew to collect the milk, with a sky so clear my heart aches to think of it now. A sense of something breaking and spilling warmth.
Flatness surrounded us on all sides in an absence of remarkable geography. A view of forever, greenly laid and pocketed over gentle Sussex’s motherly folds.
I don’t recall us faltering upon the path, laid clear and ever-lasting.
It was to be for all time and, for nine-and-a-half months, it was.
Secrets abounded; what became of those diamond rings we shall never know. Great and glassy, boiled sweets of riches that vanished years later under a dark and terrible history.
Back then, they rested. Hatchlings of a future wealth that eventually eluded us.
I regretted every second of our hiding in that place. Each little step of second a tiny slice of time disappeared of holding you, of holding onto you.
Whenever I hear an old bedstead creak, I remember.
When hung in that moment between sweet spring and the blast furnace of summer, I….
And when the curved bone of May’s dying moon slices the speck of heaven high above me, I sleep with the curtains wide open to her voyeuristic gaze.