High noon

Ciutadella, Menorca, Spain, 2014

Ciutadella, Menorca, Spain, 2014


Helena teased out a toothpick with her long fingernails and began to pick out pieces of peanut from between her teeth.

Every so often the sharp point would jab a piece of her gum and she tasted blood with the tip of her tongue.

“I wish you wouldn’t do that,” said her husband.

Helena continued to gaze out through the crowd of people milling about in the plaza.

“We were lucky,” she said. “To get a table. Look how busy it is now.”

Rob sighed and looked away tapping his fingers on the side of his beer glass. Froth slipped down the inside as he swallowed the last mouthful.

“I think I’ll have another,” he said, searching the tables for the man who was waiting their table.

“Do you fancy her?” Helena dropped the toothpick onto a saucer watching Rob for an answer.

“Where is he? He was here a minute ago,” he said.

Helena smiled at a young girl who had bent down to talk to a skinny stray cat that had wandered out from a doorway.

“Doesn’t anyone look after these animals?” she said.

“No, I don’t,” said Rob. “Ah. Here he is. One beer, please. Cerveza por favor.”

“I’ll have one too,” said Helena. “Dos cerveza,” she said.

The man nodded and disappeared inside the hotel building.

“You hate beer,” said Rob.

“Not today I don’t. People can change you know.”

Rob sat silent, picking up a bar mat and rolling it backwards and forwards in small circles on the table.

“I don’t think you have,” he said.

The man appeared and placed two bottles of beer and two fresh cold glasses on the table.

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