Thursday, June 4, 2009

Beth, or The Missing Girl. Part 1.

I want to tell a story: an entertainment or a diversion; something to delight you or make you think.

But all I have on my mind is Beth.

Some months ago my mother forwarded me a letter from Beth. The letter was quite general. She was now living in London, in Hackney. There was a telephone number too.

I called it immediately.

"Hello, it's me, Clancy."

"Clancy! I wondered if you would get my letter."

"Yes, I got it today. How are you? Long time."

"Yes," said Beth.

"You're in London now?" I asked

"Yes, I moved some time ago."

-What are you up to?

"Nothing much. This and that."

"Okay," I said. Something about her reply made me feel guilty; something in the tone of voice, as if I had betrayed her by not making more effort to keep in touch. That sense of guilt impelled me.

"Do you want to meet for a drink?"

"Ok," she said. I didn't recognise the tome from the person I knew. There was something listless about it.

"Why don't you meet me after work?" I said. "What about tomorrow, or today if you're free."

"Tomorrow," she said.

"Ok, I said. "There was a lag in the conversation.

"Meet me after work. 112 Farringdon Road."

"What time?"

" I finish at six. Come then."

"Okay," she said. She put down the receiver, It feltoddly final about that. I didn't get it.

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