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Dangerous Loving (standard:drama, 1495 words)
Author: CyranoAdded: Dec 30 2008Views/Reads: 1678/867Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Tom Schofield won't be home as promised. Katherine, his wife, gets the news in the middle of the night. She's one month from giving birth to their first child.
 



The shrill noise shatters her sleep. She gropes in the dark, knocking
the cell phone to the floor. Cursing under her breath, sprawling out of 
the warmth she blindly feels for it and pushes herself back onto the 
bed, sweeping her hair behind her head. 

“Hello.” 

The voice down the phone is somewhat gargled... 

“...Yes, yes, I can barely hear you, hi honey.” 

Lying in the darkness Katherine listens to the sombre, distant voice in
her ear. 

“What does that mean...” She replies, resting an arm across the bump of
her stomach. 

There's an uncomfortable silence... 

“Is that it, Tom? You swore you wouldn't be away more than two weeks,
you've been gone three.” 

Tears well, stream down her face. In her stomach the faintest sensation
of movement. 

“I can't bring myself to say it's okay. Just know that I love you, and
have to accept who you are. Be careful. Keep in touch somehow.” 

She drops the phone on the bed, resting both hands on her stomach. It's
2. A.M. She slips beneath the covers. Sobbing. 

* 

Tom Schofield boards the hydrofoil, having passed through the congested
immigration barriers, and sits back in the air-conditioned cabin as the 
craft skims across the hazy South China Sea. It isn't long before the 
islands of the British Colony are looming on the horizon, skyscraper's 
rising through the pollution along the man made shores of Hong Kong and 
Kowloon. His skin feels oily, his hair, and the midnight heat is a 
blanket hotter than hell. He disembarks, passing through yet more 
immigration terminals, and joins the sweating crowd along the walkway 
above Connaught Road. All the time he's remembering his promise to 
Katherine, thinking about her glorious nakedness, the satin touch of 
her skin, imagining her here amidst the clamouring and jostling and the 
spicy smells of China. 

* 

Katherine slaps her hand down on the button of the alarm clock,
instinctively caressing her stomach. It's an elbow this morning, not a 
knee. After eight months she knows the difference. The urge to pee 
overtakes sentiment and throwing the covers aside she briefly looks at 
her swollen eyes in the mirror, feeling the child deep down preparing 
itself. 

* 

In Hong Kong cars, buses and taxi's pour out pollution. The night is
sick with heat. The teeming masses saunter up and down the narrow 
streets, the ladder passages and alleyways, selling, driving, and 
partying. It's chaos and confusion. Smells sift from doorways and 
windows like memories. The maddeningly awful heat has beat down all day 
on the towering business blocks, resettlement blocks and the squatter's 
shacks, on the sweeping swathes of elevated highways and byways, 
underpasses and flyovers, on buildings yet being built on mountains 
bared for more industry. The heat has seeped into everywhere, into the 
narrow back streets, the ladder streets, and smothers the jostling on 
sidewalks. Tom Schofield moves with the night crowd in a clamorous, 
anachronistic, capitalist surge of people on an island no longer 
governed by the British. Hong Kong is a strange, unusual, and dramatic 
place. On his mind one question: Shall I call their bluff?  He wants to 
leave this crazy place and start life over. He looks at his watch, 
after midnight. 

* 


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