By Colm O’Shea.

So, ok, wait, not late, early yet. Ok, have my coffee, checked, checked they have the one she likes. Girl behind the counter all ready to make me a cup, no, no I said, just checking. Funny look she gives me after that. So I have my coffee, get hers as soon as she gets here. Get up and get hers as soon as she gets in the door, easy, easy way, let her have the seat she wants while I’m up ordering the coffee, nice, good idea, I’ll get up, get her coffee, she’ll see my jacket on the other seat and sit here, the seat she likes, the seat she wants. Know she’ll like that, see, checked already, just keep an eye, just in case. See they have a couple of those pastries left, the ones she likes; keep an eye just in case. Might, might, think about it, play it by ear, might just buy her one when she gets in, see how she’s feeling, play it by ear. Distracted, she’s distracted, was anyway. Last night, coming in from the bathroom, distracted, a little surprised, no, distracted I’d say, yes distracted. The way she shut the laptop down, quickly, slammed the cover, the screen, the other part, down, slammed it down, didn’t want me to see. Distracted, she’s distracted. Left for work early, out the door and gone before I got up, nothing, not a word. Text message after lunch, meet here at five, look, check, no, not yet, early yet, nothing yet, early. Said to meet her here, nothing else, no reason, no message, nothing. Didn’t text back, not even an ok, nothing, know she doesn’t like messages at work, never has, so I just get here for five, that’s all, just distracted. No, not yet, early, still early. Coffee, just drink, wait, drink and wait.

Here, message, yes, here, hang on, ringing? No, message, hang on, hang on, get the bloody thing out, for fuck’s sake, alright, here, have the bastard. Ok. Nothing, nothing, no message, no call, nothing. Had the feeling, had that sensation in my leg, the vibration of the phone, felt it, definitely felt it. Nothing. Check, time, check, no, not late, still early, still time, just wait. Keep the phone out, leave it on the table. Quick look around, no, no one likely to take it. Keep the phone out on the table, just in case, just in case she calls, just in case she texts, just in case.


[This is a short extract, the full article is available to read in Issue Two]



Colm O’Shea lives in Dublin where he works as a civil engineer. He was one of the winners of the inaugural Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair Competition in 2012 and was shortlisted for the Hennessy Literary Award in 2014. He has previously been published in The Bohemyth.