To Sweden, Bar love Part 4

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April 2nd 2014  |  0  |  Category: Other  |  Author: Daryl  |  598 views

The sun’s first light crept in slowly like a lover. It illuminated the scene in a hazy glow. I looked around and couldn’t believe she was still there.

She was snoring gently on my chest, her head rising and falling in time with my breathing.

Her hair a tangled beautiful mess, and her warm body next to mine was the best thing I’d felt in an age.

Well, since last night, I thought wryly.

Trying not to disturb her too much, I slid her off me and got up off the bed. She slept soundly on.

I checked the fridge for the makings of a meal. Paddy, as usual, had left next to nothing except a jar of pickled herring and a half-congealed banana he’d optimistically bought 2 months ago.

A few cans of beer lined the shelves as well, but I was no longer in the humour for a liquid breakfast.

A quick wash and change later and I was softly closing the door on my way out to go to the shops. Eggs, rashers, mushrooms, milk, juice, fruit, coffee. That had the makings of a fine breakfast.

Eggs. Rashers. ‘Shrooms. Milk. Juice. Fruit. Coffee. I repeated all this again to myself every few seconds as I strolled leisurely down the road.

The sun hadn’t fully woken up yet so there was still a bit of a chill but I could deal with that.

The problem with this so-called Rose Garden I lived at, the shops were miles away. The place reminded me of the Ballymun Towers back home a little bit, now nearly all demolished because they were so ridiculously far away from any sort of amenity known to man.

It took 20 minutes just to get to the shop in time to see Ieva, the owner, just opening up. She didn’t look to be in a rush to let me in though. I decided I’d give her five extra minutes to open the doors before I became indignant. Because a breakfast needed making and a naked Russian babe was in my bed, neither of which could wait for long. Especially the latter.

No, only the latter, fuck the breakfast.

It was an agonising four minutes before she unlocked the doors.

I ploughed on in, grabbed what I came for and threw it all on the cash register table. Ieva positioned herself behind the counter, setting up the register. I’d had my hand in my pocket, actually taking my wallet out to pay her quickly, when she burst into tears.

You couldn’t make this shit up.

Like any normal human being, I let her cry for a bit. The thinking being she’d stop and uphold the polite yet slightly-disinterested air of the shop-owner/customer dynamic again. No such luck.


“Are you okay?” I asked inevitably.

It took her a full minute to stifle her sobs before she said she was fine, it was just that her husband had left her.

Yep, so much for that breakfast.


The lights ahead buzzing monotonously. We were in the back room of the shop, a little pokey place where the security cameras were monitored. And where I consoled Ieva. She’d broken down in front of me and the only chairs around the place were in this hole-in-the-wall back office.

Her eyes were all puffy by this stage, and her mascara was like a Rorschach on her face. I read in it my doom. She wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, harsh and unfeeling as that thought was. I felt guilty then, so I patted her on the back a bit, mumbled incoherent apologies for the state of men these days and what utter cunts we were.

I surreptitiously glanced at my watch: nearly 15 minutes had already gone by. Bollocks.

I was going to be here for much longer than 15 minutes unless I did something drastic, I could see. She was actually wracked with sobs, wracked. I made a quick call. I sat down in the plastic chair opposite her and took both her hands in mine.

She lifted her head and I don’t think I’d ever seen a more pathetic creature in my life. She was really hurting, and I suddenly felt a surge of sympathy. I’d been where she is now not very long ago.

“Look, he’s not worth it. He made his choice to leave and that’s going to hit him as the worst decision he’s ever made in his life someday.” I said, trying to soften the searing pain I knew must be tearing at her heart right about now.

I told her she was too smart and too much of a strong person not to be able to get through this. This too will pass, as my dad would say, no matter how hard it is.

Jesus, it felt like I was talking to myself.

She nodded, gulped and took a deep breath.

“Thank you, god I must look mess right now.” She sniffed and chuckled self-consciously. Then she hugged me. It was innocent at first but then the embrace got a bit too close. Her cheek brushed mine, then her lips.

Now, I knew she was in no fit mind right now so I wasn’t about to go postal on her. So I just slowly extracted myself from the kiss and stood up.

“Trust me, that’ll do neither of us any good.”

That started her off again, apologising profusely for embarrassing herself again.

I reassured her she hadn’t, that I understood what she was going through and that-


The coarse bellow came from the front of the shop. Thank fuck for that Paddy was here.

“Got your call bud, happened to be not too far. Been up the past 3 hours, think I’m after taking some wonky E back at your wan’s place.”

To be honest, I couldn’t have cared less, he was here a lot sooner than I thought and that was perfect for me. I didn’t think he would’ve answered but I felt bad for Ieva and didn’t want to leave her on her own. Who knew what she’d do, judging by what I myself had vaguely considered doing during my break-up.

So a possibly drugged-up Irishman with a penchant for long stories and lonely women was the best idea my frazzled brain could come up with.

Yeah, I know not my best idea in fairness.

She seemed to take to Paddy though, laughed at his inane bullshit and seemed steady enough to climb out of the chair and hop back onto the register. I got my breakfast makings, said my good byes and headed out the door.


Ieva needed distraction at a time like this, and not the kind my mate always had in mind for her whenever he went to the shops for a packet of smokes. Or maybe it was, I’m no marriage counsellor.


I did a Jessie Owens and made it back to the apartment in 5 minutes. I opened the door, plopped the food on the kitchen table and went back to the bedroom to see if Lana had woken up.

The curtains were full drawn open, exposing the room to a major amount of sunlight so I had to squint a bit.

The bed was empty. She was gone.


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