A girl cycled past. In a daydream she waved and Martin shuffled on regardless with something about not falling in love if you wanted to die in peace flickering in his ears. Skip. Return. Replay. If there is music that can haunt and hurt, he remembered Julie saying, it is only because you want it to. There was something in that, wasn’t there?
Skip. Return. Replay.
Eyes still closed, there were ducks on the water, geese and goslings on the garden path. Summer shuffled off in a huff and Julie, resting her hands gently on his shoulders, whispered almost inaudibly in his ear.
“Did you ever believe in anniversaries?” she asked.
“Hell, no.” he replied, eyes still resolutely closed.
“Don’t you ever count the years then?”
“Never. The years count themselves, like drum sticks clicking on a count-in that just goes on forever. The music never starts. The rest of the group stand immobile, waiting for the crack on the snare that never comes.”
That was when he opened his eyes, adding “it’s better that way by far”.