The following is a continuation of the piece written for the March Tape. You can read that here.
Later on that evening, I remember reading through that stream of texts you had sent me a week earlier, after you’d arrived back home from your parents. You would tell me everything you wanted, just like that.
‘I’m with you. Now and forever’ you’d typed. ‘But why the fuck are you not here with me now?’ As I stumbled back from the loo, I sat down to order another round. My hands grazed the top of my empty pint glass, as I took my phone back from Jed. As it went from his hands to mine, it lit up.
‘I needed to see you…’ you wrote.
Jed let go – ’She’s come back mate’.
I read through the earlier messages, the one’s Jed saw before I did. You’d arrived back unannounced.
’22 thanks’. I lifted my arse off the stool to reach for my wallet. As I look despondently at the bartender, handing him a twenty and a couple of gold coins, I muttered out the right side of my mouth ‘last round, yeah?’
Jed wrapped his big left arm around my back as I wriggled away.
‘Are you going to come back home?’
‘I neeeeeed you’
I turned back around to Jed to ask when he was flying back to Tassie. We spoke over that last round, mostly about him, my gigs, and the dinner and the fight he had the night before at his folks. We spoke about everything but you. Jed had hinted at moving the conversation that way, but each time he would, I’d quickly ask him why I had to witness that fight he had at his parents place. I would suggest that his brother was right and that his mum and dad should stop dropping everything for him, just so he can come back up to Melbourne every month.
I felt good. As if I was ready to take on any task thrown my way. We left The Bend out in to the cold of the July air. Fuck it was cold, we would laugh. I pulled my beanie out of my other back pocket and pulled it down over my ears. Jed hugged me, wrapping his massive frame around what felt like nothing. ‘Tomorrow night – one more beer before I head back’. I just walked, drained.
‘Have you left me?’
I turned around, Jed had left. As I looked up again from my phone, I was knocked – lightly hip-and-shouldered by an older woman running, scampering back towards the tram stop. I looked back down again.
‘Have you left me?’
I look up again as I hear an older man on the other side of the street yelling, just fucking yelling. I couldn’t make out exactly what he was saying, apart from being peppered with ‘fucking cunt’ and ‘you’ll pay’.
I went to walk back into the Bend, but as I walked in, I was hip-and-shouldered once more.