Once we’re settled into the twin tartan armchairs that engulf Kitty’s bedroom, I fill her in on all that has happened on and since that day. I can’t stop even if I want to: the beans spill out of me like a spliced tin, the mystical pulses of fairy tales. Had it been any other I confessed to, I doubt my words would be believed; in this case, it would probably be more trialling to label my descriptions as oneiric. I am not one prone to flights of fancy.
Before we discuss this fantastical material, we agree that it is wise to first plan an evening of normality. “Like old times” she says. Kitty needs time to digest and I need an hour to forget. Besides, her parents are out for the evening, as is her sister; these days need to be taken advantage of.
Within minutes we are slumped in front of the TV downstairs with a pint of mint ice-cream, lovingly taking the mickey out of trashy teen dramas.
Out of the blue, as the ditzy female lead finally realises that her boyfriend is a cheat, a recollection from the hazy depths of my mind swims to the forefront, gripping the edges of my thought pool with stubborn fingers. “Hey, Kitty,” I begin tentatively, causing her to turn to me with an open mien, “you know when we – we almost made up – why did you avoid me afterwards? I know I must’ve burned you but – why not talk to me about it?”
Her expression shifts to one of faint horror. The event has clearly made its home in the hell of her long-term memory. “I – I don’t know. I was just – terrified – illogically so. In my mind, you’d aimed a blowtorch at my skin and burned holes in it. I couldn’t stay touching you without screaming, it felt like. It freaked me out so much that fear clouded my memory of you every time I thought about apologising. But the further away I stayed, the more rational I became.”
“Uh.” Is all I can say. “I wish I could explain but I can’t. I don’t understand what’s up with me. It was probably because of me.” I lament.
Kitty smiles sadly and speaks consolingly. “Well, we may as well forget about it for now then; no use digging at concrete with a spade.”
I almost snort at that awful metaphor.