Darby Brennan



A sequel to Gift Horse, No Favourites and Couldn't Stay.

Bodie it outside Doyle's flat, trying to decide what to say to him.

An established relationship story.

Written: August 2007. Word count: 400.



Always reckoned I'd die alone. No wife, no kids, no one special. No one to really miss me.


Probably die young too. Given the life I led, that was always on the cards. Came close a few times, but somehow I always survived. Me mam used to say that everyone had ‘their time', determined by fate or destiny or whatever. And nothing could change it. Dunno about that, reckon mostly it was good old-fashioned luck, at least early on. Later, reckon Ray had a lot to do with keeping me alive.


Ah, Ray. The reason I'm here. Standing outside his door; least I think it's his. It's the address the Cow gave me when he told me to ‘go and find Doyle'. Still can't believe the Old Man did that. I mean he never approved of Ray and me, not really. Didn't try to stop us though, just gave us one of his ‘looks'.


Dunno why I'm thinking of Cowley now. Well, I do, it's easier than thinking of what'll happen when I ring the bell. ‘Cause, let's face it, Cowley isn't going to have go it wrong, is he? Ray'll be living here.


What do I say when he opens the door?


"Hi, mate, how are you? Fancy a pint?" You know act as if six months haven't passed since I last saw him.


Or how about "Hello, Ray. Look, I know I never told you before, but I, well, you know, care about you." Ah, sod it. Why's it so hard? Why can't I just tell him how I feel? Told enough birds it over the years. That's just it, ain't it? Told enough birds and never meant it. Now I do mean it, and I don't know how to say it.


But what if I say it and he just laughs at me?


What if it was all just a game to him?


What if he didn't care, doesn't care?


After all, he left, didn't he? He could have stayed. Talked to me. I mean, that's Ray, isn't it? Always likes to talk, worry and – except he doesn't; not when it really matters. Not when something's really troubling him.


No, he couldn't stay. Can see that now. Always could. Just didn't want to admit it. Lot of things I didn't want to admit. Didn't want to say.


Time I changed that.


"Ray, I love you." I'll start there.



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