Thursday, 21 January 2016
Bernie stood at the very edge of the water, where the waves barely brushed the tips of her Oxfords before drawing back, staring at the white horses at the edge of the bay.
Mel crossed the wrack line and approached, her sensible flat shoes making little impression in the damp sand. Reaching Bernie, she stood in silence for a moment, hoping she didn't have to speak first. She was afraid the tears would start and never stop. After another minute she realised her hope was doomed to be dashed. “I'm sorry,” she said, finally.
Bernie looked at her then, her gray-green eyes turning the emerald hue of the channel. “You've nothing to be sorry for.”
“What will you do now?”
“Anything I like. Travel, maybe. Nothing to keep me here now, is there?”
“I'm still here.”
“Only until July, then you're gone as well.”
“You could come to Manchester.”
“What is there for me there? I'm a country girl, remember?”
“You never know what you'll find. It's a new age. The dawn of Aquarius.”
“Whatever happened to free love?”
“It was never free. Someone always had to pay for it, in the end.”
“Come to Manchester, just for a few weeks. You can stay at my mom and dad's.”
“And do what?”
“It's 1973. Who knows what the future holds?” Mel smiled. “Besides, there's this blues singer I want to introduce you to, in Canal Street.”