Wednesday 15 February 2017

The Fool

Richard Hough

a cocktail 

A beautiful girl sits at an angle of forty five degrees from me. With clear, blue eyes and blonde hair cascading over her shoulders and stretching down her back, she is exactly the sort of woman I would have lusted over when I was her age – about thirty years ago. In fact there are similarities between her and my wife.

I stare as she chats confidently with the brunette friend sitting opposite her. I suddenly realize I’ve been gazing too long and I see that she has caught me. I am slow to turn away but I notice her own gaze has lingered too long or is that the wild imagination of a man entering (or indeed in the heart of) a mid-life crisis.

I’m sure I must redden slightly as I turn away desperately trying to pretend I was simply looking around the coffee shop and she just happened to be there.

Then the dance begins. In my vain attempts not to look at her I stare at improbable things – the backs of chairs, counting the screws which hold them together; the bark of the tree a few feet from the front door; the signs on the walls which I have read a thousand times before. It’s hopeless. I cannot resist the lure of this nemesis whose blue eyes are for swimming in. I chance another look, then another and a third. Each time, she is looking at me and on the final occasion, she smiles at me or perhaps it’s at something her companion has said. My heart is pounding, my head throbbing. I have to know. Am I a mad, old fool or is my life about to change forever? I surreptitiously slip off my wedding ring, storing it carefully in my pocket and haul myself from the chair which sighs with relief.

About the author 

Richard Hough has been writing since he had a joke published in his favourite boyhood comic, Sparky. He has self published one novel and is currrently working on a second in the spare time which eludes him almost completely. He has a wife, two sons and two cats choose to live with them for the time being.

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