The last day at school

"WE could play tennis in the summer sometime"

"yeah, maybe"

But his eyes were with the other boys. I shook his hand hastily and felt the tendons jar, his wincing.

'my best friend'

On the way home a cat got caught in some fairy lights and I went to douse the embers in its bushy tail, but my stale water bottle had run dry. The speccy owner emerged by my shoulder, grey curls, a flat neighbour-- "go home now" she said.

I was shaking a bit then, still unsure about that handshake, about what was going to happen next. SO I walked down by the lake, the nature reserve. Stood there, everything took slightly in the breeze as a coot trilled from out the rushes. Through the willows carried the sound of the other boys, their party in the woods.

The path home was well marked in the gloaming, set apart from the trees by trampled grass.

At home that evening a glass of wine --to celebrate the last day at school. I cling to it, but I can't hold myself at the table.

"you're miles away...are you going to eat those chips?"

And the glass shatters in my hand. What was going to happen next?

"Nothing", I thought, "is going to happen next."

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