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Valverde Maclean

Life and love can take us to unexpected places.

 .............All the time he was looking around the room for something.  At last he found a pencil and an old shopping list in the kitchen and he scribbled a note.

Someone’s been here.  Pretend you don’t know.  Talk normally but don’t say anything important.

I stood, not knowing what to say or what to do.  He quickly checked the main rooms in the house and came back, turned on the television then started talking about the football match on the screen.

He scribbled another note.

Someone has been here while we were out.  I think the books on the side-table have been moved.  I left them at angles and now they are straight.

Then he spoke.  “Could you make me a cup of coffee please?”

“Filter or expresso?” I humoured him.

“Expresso would be great.”

Again I went silent and made two coffees.  At least this time the television provided a background of noise.  Peter continued his search, more thoroughly this time, throughout the whole house, room by room.  He came back and continued to talk about the football as he wrote a longer note.

My suitcase has also been searched.  Everything is where it was but not in quite the same way—just a little different.  The house has been searched thoroughly.  I expect it was our friends across the road or someone they know.  Just act as if we don’t know but don’t say anything about Mayne in case we are bugged.

I wrote back.  Who is being paranoid now!

Our conversation took a strange double pattern.  We spoke of trivial things, comments about the football match, and scribbled meaningful notes to each other.