Breaking Distance

Reader Logo by Dan Powell

In her night dress, Lucy raced down the stairs to reach the phone before it beeped over to answer machine. It could only be Alec calling this late and he hated to leave messages.

“Hello babe,” she said, the brightness in her voice a little hollow.

“Hi sweetheart,” Alec slurred, “did I wake you?”

“No,” Lucy looked at the clock, “It’s only just half ten.”

“I’m on the train.”

Lucy breathed out, not quite huffing.

“I left the car at work. Had one too many.”

“No problem,” Lucy said, trudging back upstairs with the phone.

“Great. My train arrives just before eleven.”

“I’ll be waiting,” she started to say, but her husband had already hung up.

She dressed quickly, grabbed her coat and keys and headed out to the car. The rain fell heavily and she was glad she hadn’t asked Alec to walk home from the station. She flicked on the car lights and wipers and switched the heaters to demist the windscreen, tapping her fingers on the steering wheel as she waited for it to clear. The windscreen fog retreated slowly from the hot air vents and she wiped the inside of the glass with a tissue to hurry things along.

She reached the station in time to see Alec lumbering across the car park, his briefcase held over his head to deflect the pelting rain.  Lucy leaned over to pop the passenger door for him.

“Thanks for coming out,” said Alec, leaning from his seat to kiss Lucy on the cheek. “You weren’t in bed were you?”

“It doesn’t matter.”


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