I spent that winter building retaining walls for Alex, that’s when I started seeing Clementine again. We ran into each other outside a cafe and remembered our immediate attraction was more important than the problems it would bring. Mornings I’d lay concrete slabs, evenings I’d lay with her, sharing the gaps in our lives as if knowing there was no threat of connection. ‘I love how rough your hands are now,’ she’d say, and I’d force them on her until she was satisfied. As the year warmed up, the work ran out, my calluses softened, and Clem faded away.

Advertisements