I hear the rain. The engine of the car ticking over. The metronome sweeps of the windscreen wipers. Back and forth. Back and forth. Hypnotic. Nearly.
The inside glass of the windows has begun to steam up - we are stopped on the opposite side of the road to her flat.
"Just take me home," she had said.
"It's over," she had said.
"It's run its course," she had said.
"Just a bit of fun," she had said.
"I-I thought I might have meant something to you," I had stuttered out.
I recall rainy Sunday afternoons as a little boy. Playing by myself. Alone but not lonely. Funny what pops into your mind on occasions such as these.
I turn my head to her. Her Slavic blue eyes are cold. Her face expressionless. Unreadable. As ever.
"You know that I love-"
"Don't. Just don't." She places her index finger across my lips.
I want to keep her just that little longer. Need to savour her presence, her essence. Draw it out.
"Look, it's been good. You're a nice fella. I liked you," she says. "But's it's time to move on. Sorry."
She opens the passenger door. A little gust of chill damp air swirls momentarily around the car.
"Bye then," I say.
She says nothing and swings her body, her slim, tanned, and lithe body, a body I once thought I owned, out of my car. Out of my life. Out of my future.
She closes the door and walks in front of the car. I watch her and she knows I am watching her. But she doesn't turn round.
She goes to the front door of her flat and paused under the porch she fishes her key out of her handbag.
I watch the sheets of rain illuminated by the orange-yellow glow of the sodium streetlamp continue to pour down on the road and stream away with the camber. I suddenly feel like I'm in a B-movie black and white film and that I'm Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum. But maybe all of life is a B-movie black and white film.
She slots the key into her lock, pushes the door open and disappears into the gloom of her hall.
She is gone now, and she never looked back. Not even a sneaky glance.
I depress the clutch, shove the car into first gear, flick on the offside indicator and pull away...