I don my overcoat and go outside in the fog, leaving the warmth of the pub behind. My high heels tock-tock on the pavement and the typical smell of moisture mixed with city envelopes me, not entirely pleasant but familiar. Soothing. The trees along the street have already begun to scatter their dead leaves around, large and crunchy. A tram, perhaps the last for the day, goes by clattering in its tracks, the mist blurring its lights. It’s one of those small, old models, painted of a cream color at the top and orange at the bottom, with wooden seats. Uncomfortable but genuine.
I phone for a taxi.
“… in three minutes,” says the recorded voice. I don’t catch the taxi code.
On the other side of the street, a couple walks hand-in-hand. They look like fresh lovers as they talk and laugh and kiss each other.
I feel a knot in my throat and my eyes go wet. It was rare that me and Lukas held each other’s hand. I kept asking myself if he was ashamed of me or if he thought that a little sign of love could undermine his tough façade. “It’s not like tattoos fight with a walk hand-in-hand. Or with a caress,” I told him once. But then I figured the flaws that I had always overlooked, that love had kept hidden from me with a white blanket, had become too big. They consumed everything until there was just a cold void.
The fog muffles laughs coming from not too far away, in front of another bar.
I feel a tear run down my right cheek. I take a few open-mouthed breaths, a surefire way to stop crying, and I wipe my eyes with my fingers, trying not to mess with my make-up.
The taxi stops in front of me and I hop on without checking whether it is mine. I give the driver my address and we disappear into the mist, racing home, where I’ll be alone.
This short story also appeared on Medium.