• Max Turner

Two For Sorrow (2021)

Summary: Two different versions of reality.

Tags: Traffic accident, death.

 

One

In desperate hope, I looked for him in the rear-view mirror but saw only the two magpies watching us and so turned back to my phone.


“One for sorrow, two for joy. That’s what your nan always used to say, Matt.” Mum spoke absent mindedly behind the wheel as she nodded at the two magpies pecking around on the grass verge. “You’re meant to salute them, or else you get bad luck.” She turned the car onto our street.


“Uhuh,” I nodded, glancing up from my phone to look at the magpies again.


And there he was. The most beautiful man I’d ever seen, crossing the street with his large satchel of letters and parcels.


“Is that the new postie?” I asked, immediately less sad about having to move in with my parents whilst I looked for a new place. I’d left the old one the moment I discovered John had himself a new boy toy. I just wish the gutless wonder had told me rather than have me find out by walking in on them in our bed when I finished work early one day. Local eye candy was a small balm at least.


“Oh Matty,” I could practically hear my mum rolling her eyes as she clocked my tone. “Maybe too soon?”


“Maybe,” I replied, watching the gorgeous man as mum pulled her car up out front of the house.


Maybe that first day. And the next. And then a month.


Maybe not the month after when our passing conversations turned to flirting.


Maybe not two years later when we moved in together.


Maybe it wasn’t too soon three years later when we got married in front of our families and friends.


Maybe not as we left the registry office and my mum nodded at the two magpies on the grass verge opposite the venue.


“Two for joy,” she smiled.


Two

“One for sorrow, two for joy. That’s what your nan always used to say, Matt.” Mum spoke absent mindedly behind the wheel as she nodded at the two magpies pecking around on the grass verge. “You’re meant to salute them, or else you get bad luck.” Mum lifted her hand to salute the two magpies that were pecking around on the grass verge as she turned the car onto our street.


“Uhuh,” I nodded, glancing up from my phone to see the magpies.


And there he was. The most beautiful man I’d ever seen, crossing the street with his large satchel of letters and parcels.


“Mum!” I cried out as I realised she hadn’t seen him.

“What?” She replied, panicked as she put both hands back on the wheel, she’d veered across the road whilst looking at the magpies. She let out a shrill cry as she tried to correct her course, over correcting and swerving as she hit the brakes.


We weren’t even going that fast. Hardly any speed at all, but that didn’t seem to matter. She tried to correct it again, then swerved into the kerb.


It all happened so quickly, and then finally the car came to a stop with a thud.

We both tried to catch our breath, shaking.

Mum sobbed as she asked frantically, “where is he? Where did he go? Maybe he got out of the way. Maybe...”


The man was nowhere to be seen.

Mum screamed at the realisation.


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