A love song

In the afternoon, we lie together in bed. My son is full of cold, but he won’t sleep. His eyes are red, but he won’t let them close. ‘No,’ he says when I ask him again. So I sing to him. A song I have sung to soothe him since he was a baby. ‘All…

Opposites attract

Two women sit beside each other in the Hackney Picture House bar. It’s Friday night and they’re on a first date. They were set-up by a friend who knows little about how best to match people, as they appear to come from different worlds. There’s Kate, whose clothes and mannerisms resemble that of a man…

The lost child

On the Southbank, in among the Carousel with its galloping horses and lurid colours, a woman runs up and down the concrete, calling for her child. I stop and watch as she searches the stairs, the benches, the crowds and faces, examining the same places, but seeing nothing but absence. ‘Louisa,’ she shouts. ‘Louisa.’ But…

Empty words

Two men sit on stools at Pret A Manger, drinking coffee. Both are dressed in suits. One is a boss, the other an employee. They have dark hair, short-back-and-sides, and shiny pointy shoes. The boss man is American, and talks a lot, while his colleague says little. ‘You’ve been in this job for 18 months,’ Boss…

The ghost of Mary-Anne

Ruth has laid an assortment of clothes across the chairs and sofas in the living room, silks and velvets in pinks and peaches, browns and blues, vintage dresses she has picked up from various markets, which are pulled out for parties or games. The children jump at them, picking up various items, which they hold…