The Way We Lied

He soon came to feel that he knew every twig and leaf on that walk to the house in the woods. Sometimes he would come across her walking the dog, other times he would arrive to find her making coffee with a second mug set out as if she had already sensed that he was on his way to her. And sometimes he would think he could feel her presence as he trod the crisp leaves alone, almost as if she was walking before him, beckoning him towards her. He found he was drawn to the house, to her challenging eyes and her mockery of him, or at least of his conventional assumptions.
“What do you mean, you don’t know what you can do about the transport problem,” she’d said when he had told her about a village petition to improve the local bus service. “For a start you should try it for yourself. Then you’d have a better understanding of the situation.”
They were sitting at the kitchen table, crumbs and newspapers scattered before them. She leant forward and pointed her finger at him. “You haven’t the first idea of what it’s like to stand waiting for ages in the cold and rain for a bus, have you?”
He stared down at his mug of coffee and stirred it slowly, then managed to say, “I have seen people waiting when I leave for the station.”
“Oh, poor you, in your nice big warm car.” She slammed the table and crumbs jumped. “Do you realise, that the morning bus goes all round the houses because it’s the only route that’s running and it takes forever, and these poor people arrive late and stressed for work or college. No wonder they’re all taking to their cars and adding to traffic congestion. When was the last time you travelled by bus David? Or have you ever even been on one?”

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