Sally yawned and stretched. Glancing at the clock she realised that she had ten minutes before the alarm. Snuggling back down, she closed her eyes and allowed the memories to wash over her.
The nightclub had been packed and she and Julie hadn’t been able to talk over the music. Shrugging it off, they danced until their feet hurt. Julie inclined her head towards the bar and Sally nodded.
The barman followed Julie’s pointing finger and reaching out, touched the vodka bottle. At Julie’s nod, he quickly poured shots into two glasses and placed them on the bar. Grabbing the lemonade bottle, Sally splashed a little into each glass while Julie handed over the money.
As the girls turned from the bar with their drinks and made their way to the seating area, neither of them noticed the man leaning against the bar watching them.
The girls had almost finished drinking when two fresh drinks appeared in front of them.
‘Harry! I didn’t think you were coming tonight!’ Sally shouted over the music.
‘I wasn’t, but then I thought, why not? The boss is away tomorrow so I can get away with a bit of a hangover!’
The girls laughed and picked up their drinks.
Conversation being almost impossible, they drank up quickly and hit the dance floor again. They had been friends since school and met up most weekends. Sally and Julie shared a flat and Harry sometimes crashed on their couch.
The night ended and the girls got their coats while Harry waited by the door. He smiled as he saw them coming towards him but he didn’t notice the man standing just outside watching them.
‘Who wants fries?’
‘Harry! You’re always thinking about food!’
‘I’m a growing lad!’
After a brief trip to the burger bar, they made their way back to the flat.
‘I thought you didn’t want fries!’
Julie snatched her hand away as Harry slapped at it.
‘Ah, go on! You’ll only stink out the flat anyway!’
Harry laughed as he held out the fries to her. ‘What about you, Sally?’
She smiled and shook her head. ‘No, thanks.’
‘She wants more than fries off you, Harry!’ Julie teased.
Sally blushed and turned her face away quickly.
‘Leave her alone, Julie! Come here, Sally.’ Harry held out his arm and Sally laughed and allowed him to drape it over her shoulders for the rest of the walk home.
‘Anyone want tea?’
‘It’s two in the morning! We’ll be up all night, Julie and we have work tomorrow or have you forgotten?’ Sally reminded her.
‘That’s why I prefer going out on a Saturday night. I said we should go last night!’
‘You said a lot of things last night but Joey managed to quieten you when he came around.’
Julie laughed. ‘Well. I’ll leave you two at it then. Goodnight.’
Sally was about to make her own excuses when Harry stopped her.
‘Sit beside me for a minute, Sal. I want to talk to you.’
As she sat next to him the old memories resurfaced. ‘I think I should go to bed too, Harry. It’s late.’
‘I won’t keep you long, I promise. I’ve been thinking. It’s a year since Rob died and I have been patient but I think it’s time to start moving on now, don’t you?’
Sally hung her head, allowing her hair to fall over her face. ‘It still seems like yesterday.’
‘I know but the last time we talked you said you would think about it.’ Harry slipped his arm around her shoulders and drew her close. He held her loosely ready to let her go if she tried to pull away.
With a sigh, Sally allowed him to hold her. She had to admit it did feel nice to be held. She stiffened as his lips touched her cheek.
‘Don’t worry, there’s no rush. I just need to know that I have a chance with you.’
Harry’s breath felt warm as he spoke against her hair.
Sally sighed again. ‘I like being with you but I’m not sure that I feel that way about you.’
As his lips gently touched hers, she thought that perhaps she did feel that way about him, after all.
Reluctantly, he sat back. ‘Off to bed now or we’ll both be late in the morning!’
Sally smiled and with a quick, backward glance, went into her bedroom. As she closed her curtains she thought that Harry was right. It was time to let go. She had mourned long enough.
She didn’t notice the man across the street staring at her over his shoulder as he walked away.