hamburger muffin


4.07 am

It’s a ten minute walk to the 24 hour diner, the only place in town that is open at 4 am. Georgina wishes the diner was a three hour walk away. They don’t speak but it doesn’t matter. The cold doesn’t matter either, nor does the fact that sloshing through the snow has ruined her §300 Italian leather shoes, nor does it matter that their table is covered in coffee and grease stains. Georgina relinquishes her hand so Joël can go up to  the counter. He drops coins all over the floor but apart from that he could pass as sober. He returns to the table with a hamburger and a muffin. The muffin is for her, even though she said she didn’t want anything. She takes a bite so as not to hurt his feelings.

Joël: Are you sure you’re not tired?
Georgina: I’m fine. It’s alcohol that makes people tired. I didn’t drink anything, remember?
Joël: There’s heaps I don’t remember. How did we end up at the Karaoke bar?
Georgina: We ran away from the club after you punched Roy.
Joël: Are you shitting me? I punched Roy? Why?
Georgina: Because he was being annoying. As usual.
Joël: Woah. What else did I do that I don’t remember? Did we-
Georgina: We kissed.
Joël: Oh yeah. I do remember that.
Georgina: No you don’t. If you don’t remember hitting Roy how could you remember that?
Joël: Don’t worry. I remember.

Georgina nibbles her muffin and stares around the room, trying to make her mind blank and not think, because she knows he’s lying. Joël wipes his mouth and brushes shreds of lettuce from his lap.

Joël: So, what went wrong in your marriage?
Georgina: Ex-cuse me?
Joël: Don’t get all uppity. I want to know. Last time I saw you, at your parents’ anniversary party, you were happy, I could tell you were happy.
Georgina: It was all an act.
Joël: Bullshit. You and Patrick were all lovey- dovey. He was bringing you food and drinks all night. He looked around for you when you weren’t there. That wasn’t an act.
Georgina: How…you noticed that?
Joël: Yeah. I wasn’t in a good place at the time. I was jealous as fu- anyway. I noticed.

Georgina is silent. She remembers that night well. She remember showing Joël pictures of her children, she remembers he and Patrick being happy drunk and laughing and joking, she remembers looking at Joël admiringly and thinking how handsome he was but she doesn’t remember being consumed with lust or feeling sick with unrequited love. She loved Patrick.