trout [ 8 ] September 2000
Simon Sweetman


Deceiving April
Simon Sweetman

'Leaving April was the hardest thing for me', of that Michael Bates was sure. He addressed a small, square table -- elbowroom only, him and three other blokes.

'Yeah, bad month that one', began Doug Sanders. 'Fuckin' Easter and shit!' Sanders was the type of man that talked as though he almost knew himself, in the back of his mind, that he should always keep his mouth shut.

'Come on dummy', snapped Bill Adams. Which is it -- a trick, or a joke -- that you're that stupid?'

'He's talking about his woman', hissed Frank. No one knew Frank' last name. Michael, Doug and Bill were all friends from school. Frank was a mate, but they'd all met at the club one night. Frank worked down the mill with Doug. Bill and Michael worked in construction; Michael a builder, Bill a glazier.

The four drinking buddies stood silent for a while, Michael Bates lifted one elbow from the table and wiped away the residue of spilt beer. He raised his 8oz glass and knocked it back, re-fuelling from one of the two table-shared jugs.

Mike Bates had left April in June, it was now September. The four men all knew why, but because it seemed, to Mike, unresolved, he would occasionally bring up how hard it was all over again. Sort've a rhetorical statement -- and usually introduced on the 3rd or 4th round.

Frank returned with two fresh jugs. 'Yeah, was a tough blow alright. You ever catch the bastard who was banging her', figuring it best to just talk about it.

'Nah. The bitch told me it was someone I knew -- like a mate, you know, but that was just to stir me up I reckon. Fuckin' lived with her for eight years. Ever since fuckin' school'.

'Yeah, tough blow alright', Bill Adams.

'Yeah', Doug Sanders' dull echo.


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© 2000 Trout &
Simon Sweetman

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