Sticking plaster

He took the box of sticking plasters out of his jacket pocket. It was battered like a soft pack of European cigarettes. People in the bar noticed the movement then caught sight of his sadness and looked away.

He opened the box. He could not see clearly in the dim smoky light but, after this one he now held between his fingers, there could be only one, at most two, left in the packet.

He looked around without seeming to. He had nobody’s attention. He peeled off the backing paper and lay it next to his hat. Holding open a gap between buttons, he slid his hand inside his shirt and stuck the plaster down. He brushed his shirt closed and rubbed on his chest.

If any kind woman slowly unbuttoned his shirt, she would soon see his heart was held in one piece with lace and with sticking plaster.

Published on Issue 12 01 July 2015

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