The wind whistling through the bus stop was cold and she couldn’t stop shaking. He offered her his scarf but she said no, thank you – it was her feet that were cold. That was a lie. The whole thing was a lie.
She wished she had the money for a taxi.
‘I had a lovely night,’ he lied.
Together they stared off down the puddle-spotted length of the A13, waiting for any sign at all of a bus. A truck appeared upon the urban horizon, raising their hopes like a late night cupcake. It drove closer, betraying its true truck-like nature and the metaphorical oven door was opened, letting all the heat out, and leaving them with something more like a pancake in a cupcake case.
As the truck of disappointment rattled past she wondered what the hell she was doing here.
A fast food burger was not a meal.
Three pints in a student pub was not a date.
And the man she was taking home was gay.
He smiled at her. The way she might smile at a child who is hoping for icecream, when she knows she has no icecream in the house. And all of the shops are closed.
‘I have something for you,’ he said, touching her cold wrist with his warm fingers.
Her cupcake rose.
He produced a burger, wrapped in greaseproof paper.
‘It was two for one. I thought we could share it.’
The oven door banged loudly as it slammed shut.