Posted June 23, 2012
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Drawn by pulsing music and darting lights, Meg enters the nightclub. Scanning the patrons for a possible ‘decent male’, she weaves her way through the mass of gyrating bodies, to the bar.
Her regular scotch and coke fails to even touch the sides, so Meg orders a double and throws it down. Full of Dutch courage, she moves out onto the dance floor. She follows a pattern that has become habit over the past few months.
A potential partner smiles at her. In response Meg smiles and a warmth flares, from the scotch or the male she cares not which. A compulsory number of dances must follow, as dictated by the unwritten ‘Dating Game Handbook’. A few more drinks, pleasantries and necessities are exchanged, then Meg and her male leave.
Meg’s two-door sports car impresses, she feels a hollow sense of pride; something in her life is worth a second glance. Small talk fills the void during the car ride home. As expected, coffee is offered, accepted and quickly dispensed with. They move to the bedroom.
Even in the feeble moonlight, Meg knows her body is a pleasing sight. Released from its designer label constraints, her muscular body reflects the many surfing hours that have carved her shape. The belly button ring excites the male; confidently he pulls her onto the bed. Afterwards, he plays gently with her long bleached blond hair. Wrapped in his arms, Meg fades off to sleep.
Morning brings the uncomfortable awkwardness of the ‘Oh my goodness, what have I done?’ syndrome. Excuses are made, the male leaves, promises of phone calls falling on disbelieving ears. It is a promise heard so many times before, a hollow, empty promise.
A teeshirt covering her nakedness, Meg drifts out onto the veranda. Coffee clenched in a shaky fist, she slumps on the steps, head bowed. Her only true friend greets her, wet tongue licking her face, wagging tail causing grief to the dying potplants nearby.
Shifting her coffee, Meg hugs Sabre, tears falling onto his golden fur. Pleading with the dog, begging for a reason as to why, at thirty-three, she is still all alone, she expects no answer and indeed none is forthcoming. Meg knows she is not unattractive; her surfing has tanned her body and shaped her physique. Her job pays well and a midwife is an acceptable position to hold. Thinking back to her last boyfriend, Meg analyses again what went wrong.
Her hours of work chased him off, three years ago. He could not accept the draining night duty and the insomnia that haunted her sleeping hours. She remembered how he left on a morning such as this, with the same, empty promise of a phone call.
Once again Sabre had been left to pick up the pieces and clean up the mess. Meg knew that many people saw Sabre as a child replacement, and maybe he was, but he had never hurt her. Ever.
Suddenly he deserts her, racing to the fence to challenge a young family walking past. Meg bites her lips to stop from weeping, feeling in her heart that she will never push a pram or have a child throw its sticky arms around her neck and cover her in sloppy kisses.
No man will make her a wife or a mother. She will wear no wedding ring from a husband, nor a vegemite kiss from a baby.
Twisting her small gold ring around her finger, Meg desperately wants her Mum. To be rocked like a baby, to feel gentle hands stroking her hair, whispering words of comfort; Meg wants her mother’s uncompromising love.
Sabre returns, his doggy duty done. Subtlety not his strong point, he drops his feed dish at Meg’s feet.
‘Hungry hey? Come on then.’
Climbing to her feet, coffee cup in one hand, feed dish in the other, Meg hears the phone begin to ring. Her heart races, her cheeks pink with excitement. Maybe it is him after all, just maybe.
And she hurries on indoors.
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