The Way We Lied

He cleared his throat, then said, ” I used to take the bus when I was at Oxford.”
Mary shrieked with laughter. “Oh my God, was that the last time? You are an absolute fool!”
“I suppose I could try the bus again one day, if I could find the time,” he muttered rather half-heartedly. “But I don’t think that would actually make the bus company lay on extra services.”
“Oh come on, it might not make an immediate difference, sure, but it would draw attention to the problem. And it would show people that you were genuinely sympathetic and that their MP was really trying to understand their predicament. And,” she emphasised with a firm nod of her head, “you might even find that it helped you to come up with a fresh approach.”
He knew she was right, of course, but the thought of waiting for a bus and being recognised did not appeal to him, so he tried to change the subject. “Well it’s a good suggestion Mary, I’ll think about it. You’re absolutely right to say it helps to be seen. I mean, that’s why I do my bit at things like the annual village spring clean. I quite enjoy being involved, getting out there with a litter pick and a plastic sack, alongside some of the village school children and the parish council.”
She laughed loudly at this. “Oh David, David, that’s stage managed for God’s sake. They make sure there are some old fag packets in the gutter just for you to collect! Don’t you see that? It’s not a real experience. You aren’t really getting your hands dirty, are you?”
“I’m not sure I know what you mean. I pick up the rubbish myself after all. And I also presented prizes at the town Pancake Race this year. I do try to get out there and meet local people, you know.”
Mary spluttered with laughter. “Come on David, you’ve got to be more daring. Break out of your box and learn to think differently. Get out of your comfort zone, as they say.”
She leant back in her chair and looked at him with her intense blue eyes. “You’d like to be challenged, wouldn’t you? Maybe you need a massive shock to jolt you into a different way of thinking.”
He felt his heart flutter, but he nodded slowly, unable to take his eyes away from hers.
“Would you like me to challenge you then?”
He managed to mumble his consent and then she leant forward so he could see the swell of her breasts beneath her shirt. She touched his hand gently with one finger, stroking his skin, and spoke softly. “One month from now, when the moon is full, walk to the woods, just as you did today. And I promise you will see things differently.”
David cleared his throat and continued to stare at his hand where she had traced her fingertip. “Yes, right, the woods, at night. I’d have to make some sort of excuse, I suppose.”
“I’m sure you could think of something plausible, a man of your talents.”
He coughed again, “Well, I think I could probably do it. I’ll have to check the diary of course, to be sure I’ll be free then.”
She scoffed. “Bloody diary! I’m offering to open your eyes David. An experience you’ll never forget darling. Sod the fucking diary, just do it.”
“Yes, alright then. What time should I be there?”
She laughed again. “When the moon is fully risen, my pet. When the moon is full.”

to be continued January 11


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