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.She was in distress.'I gritted my teeth and shivered; closed the window.So did I, I was going to tell him, when I got the chance.Hey, so did I.'She was hurrying along with her hand up, as if warding something off.I thought she was a nutter, but she was cleanly dressed.'I snorted at this and nodded, aghast at the way Seamus' head worked and about as surprised as a man who has had his surprise gland removed.'It wasn't raining, but she was clutching her coat closed and she had her hand up in the air, you know how people do when it's pissing down.So I stopped.She came straight over to the car and got in.Said her name was Dawn and could I take her home.When I asked her what was wrong, she said she was having a nightmare.''But she was awake?''Yeah,' Seamus glanced at me, to see how I was taking it.I must have been wearing a pretty unusual expression because he came back for a second look.'What do you think of that?' he said.Was she sleepwalking?''No.She was aware of who she was and where she was and what she was doing.She couldn't stop herself.''Was she daydreaming?' I suggested and then thought about it.'Like, um, daynightmare… dreaming?''I don't know.Thing about daydreaming is that you don't know you're doing it until some maths teacher hurls a board rubber at you.''You're right there,' I said.'Maybe she was rehearsing.Maybe she's an actress and she was getting into her part.''I don't think so,' said Seamus, hardening his face a little.Well, what was she dreaming about?' And I thought about it a little more.'Seamus, lad.She was taking the piss.Must have been.'Seamus shook his head.'I don't think so.She looked pretty flustered.And she was grateful to get in the car.She calmed down instantly.''Her nightmare? Did she tell you?''Yeah.She said her roof was falling in.''What roof?'Seamus smiled grimly, his lips pressed together.He looked at me again.'Her head,' he said, searching my face for signs of understanding.I knew then that he'd fallen for her story.'Her head? Is this woman still at large?''No, she's back at my place.''Bloody hell, Seamus.So what's the story? She suffers from migraines or something?'He shrugged, staring at the blasted rubble around us.We sat listening to the engine cool down.'I don't know what she's suffering from.I haven't had a chance to talk to her properly yet.I just gave her the key and told her to make herself at home.She didn't look happy about being left alone, but she was a damn sight happier than when I found her.'I opened the door and waited till he'd got out before turning to look at him over the roof.I slammed the door shut and told him about Eve.He seemed shocked and he seemed unhappy too, as though I'd trumped him in some way.'She as weird as mine?' he asked.I liked that possessive-ness.'She was sitting in a knackered car eating an apple.Pretty fucking nuts if you ask me.'It was a little milder now we'd left the coast behind us.We walked back along Parliament Street to the Indian restaurant, Seamus silent with whatever was uncoiling in his thoughts.I left him to it and watched the bloated river surge by narrow houses on the opposite bank that seemed lifeless and shrunken.'I would like to talk to you, a little later.About something that happened to me in the summer.Hello Helen!' He waved and strode ahead of me, leaving me to gawp like a fish.Helen was a dim shape against the wall; I suddenly noticed how fragile she appeared, although it could have merely been a trick of the light, and the heavy clothes she wore.Her cheeks were daubed with shade; she looked like a figure from a painting by Munch.She kissed Seamus lightly on the mouth, the glitter of her eyes never straying from my own.When I was close enough to feel the heat of her breath, she said: 'I met someone today.'THREELECHUGUILLAIt was a good meal.I was surprised and pleased to find a curry house so far north which served a decent Balti; a dish I usually had to wait for until I visited friends in Birmingham.We shared a bottle of red wine which Helen had brought with her (the restaurant was unlicensed) and, despite my alarm at her earlier words, the evening was thankfully free of anything enigmatic or threatening, as though we'd reached some unspoken agreement for a moratorium on the stuff we'd discussed in the pub.There'd been a subtle change in the way we tip-toed around each other; maybe Helen and Seamus had arranged this deliberately that afternoon, that their persuasions would be made separately in an attempt to eke something out of me that might not be so forthcoming otherwise.I was eager to find out what Seamus wanted to tell me but loath to share my own intrigues with Helen.If this was unfair, then I didn't feel too bad about it: I didn't like the way that they seemed to be cosy-ing up together and leaving me out in the cold, flying auto [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]