Fiction

Central Reservation

By: Matthew Roy Davey

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You pull in and let the engine idle for a minute before you switch it off. The hand that turns the key is trembling. You are early.

You buy a coffee in a building that is the mirror of the other side. Maybe they’re doing the same. In the flow of humanity, no-one notices you are there.

Outside, cloud has rolled in and you pull your coat tighter, hands in pockets and make for the bridge.

You walk up the ramp, footsteps ringing on the metal floor. Inside the frame of frosted glass you step out across the carriageway, traffic roaring beneath your feet. The passage diminishes to the endpoint, empty and echoing. Your breath hangs in the air. No one is there.

Slow steps. You stop over the central reservation, the dividing line, no man’s land, and turn to your left, to where they were. Below, cars stream in both directions, fixed within lanes. The illusion of choice. Millions of people in millions of cars, endlessly.

You hear footsteps on the ramp, slow, growing louder until they stop at the top, turn and move towards you.

When you can smell their scent, sweet in stale air, you turn. They are there.
You smile, reach out.

Your fingertips touch across the divide.

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