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A Little To The Left

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Doyle sits on his couch in the dark. The only light comes from the test card. The picture looks creepy in the stillness of the early hours. The world seems silent ... surely London has never been so quiet ... yet as Doyle listens, his attention focuses in on one regular, recurring sound. The deep breathing of the man next to him.

He’s put Bodie through so much in the last few days. And for what? A woman who walked out after all. She’ll never know how hard Doyle tried. All she saw was that it wouldn’t work.

Doyle knows she was right. She had to leave. They always do. There’s only one person who stays.

Bodie’s head lolls towards him. He could nudge him back, or ...

Doyle shifts a little to the left. Bodie’s forehead touches his shoulder. In his sleep he utters a small, vulnerable, comfortable sound. Doyle’s eyes prick with tears. He doesn’t know if they’re for himself, Ann, himself and Ann, or something else altogether.

He slides his left arm from under Bodie, drapes it over the back of the couch. He should stand up now. Throw a blanket over Bodie, go to bed.

Unrestrained by Doyle’s arm, Bodie slumps further into him. His shoulder and arm mould into Doyle’s side. The tip of his nose touches Doyle’s neck. He seems to relax even more deeply.

Doyle blinks. The tears that pricked his eyes travel slowly down his cheeks. His hand is on Bodie’s other shoulder: anchored, like in the car park when Bodie tried to comfort him, and he tried to reject him.

He thinks: so this is how it’s going to be?

Barriers that, only hours ago, would have seemed insurmountable, cease to matter. Doyle rests his head on top of Bodie’s, and closes his eyes.