He was a vague notion I think, then was gone. I must have imagined him. Bass continued to thump the floor which had become tacky under foot, clinking full glasses clutched by hands pushing through crowds, the early hours of the next day had arrived along with the detris of revellers who started hours before.
The smell of him was divine – I search towards the door one more time.
My arm is tugged and my old friend does that thing with her head which silently means ‘hey, this way!’. I follow her and leave his memory by the bar, the place I’d been sure he had brushed past and caught my eye and made everything else disappear.
It was louder still by the speakers and placing our drinks on the top where their surfaces wriggled in time within the confines of the glasses, I soon focused on the moves at which we were so practised.
Some time later, fresh air was in short supply so I took a walk through the garden where people could talk and be heard, groups huddled in the smoking area enjoying mixing with like-minds and sharing the air and ignoring gross pictures on their cigarette boxes. A united force.
I paused by a bench, slightly damp from the showers earlier that evening. I sat. The relief from my feet was immediate and I ran my hands down my shins and over my insteps, my hands cooling the heat radiating from my sore feet.
I stayed there a while, my head between my knees, my hands on my feet. I noticed ants emerging from the cracks in the concrete slabs. Busy and focused – they ignored all obstacles, choosing to go round or climb over but rarely pausing. I moved a heel into the path of one and sure enough it altered tack slightly and continued its journey.
When I looked up, there were legs in front of me, hairy calves and neat knees below smart blue shorts with turn ups and a brown leather belt. It was there for aesthetics as no big belly hung over the top of it, only a white linen shirt tucked in. A lean man… omg.. could it be? Had he been wearing a white shirt?
I stood up and came face to face with the open neck where the tendons straddled that soft bit I couldn’t stop looking at earlier, tickled with a few dark hairs. Those tendons strong and leading down to below where the linen started and his skin disappeared from view. He held out a hand after I stood and lost a heel to the crack briefly and his hand was warm.
‘You came back!’
He smiled and I moved a little closer. It was him – that woody lemony aftershave hit my senses and did not stop in my nostrils. His hand seeped round to my lower back and my whole body yearned to be closer…