They sit outside the kebab take-out propped up on one side of a street bench avoiding the wet patch. Although later in the evening the traffic is still heavy on this major route, into and out of the city centre. They laugh;
‘You have it.’
‘No you have it.’
Giggling, they have picked up opposite ends of the same length of strip cut meat. He lets her take it, she smiles as she gets mayonnaise on her nose. Going back into the shop he requests a napkin, on his return, he swoops the mayo from her face then lets her have the napkin. They smile and laugh some more, then he kisses her on the forehead. They stop, look into each other, then a long, mutual embrace follows. As their lips pull away from each other there are cheers from behind them. Quietly, as the queue had dispersed the counter staff had slipped outside to watch the couples shenanigans. Sharpeners and serving tools on hand they banged them together as they celebrated with a song from their home country.
On the other side of the street, there was a group of youngsters dressed up for a night in and out of the bars of Mathew Street. They joined in with the cheering and waved their hands up int he air.
Empty kebab wrapper in hand they look at each other, enthused but equally embarrassed. They both had grown up kids the same age as the group opposite.
He jumps up and grabs her by the hand, as they leave they take a bow and thank their audiences on both sides of the street.
Meet up as arranged much earlier in the night, they had known each other for several years but that was simply on the basis of a once a month work phone call or brief meeting. Both had separated from their previous partners and equally felt ready to give a night out with someone else a chance. There arranged meeting had been a Gino D’Acampo’s new restaurant. However, it was still relatively new and tonight it had been rammed, with an extended queue stretching along Dale Street. They had waited over twenty minutes to be seated, three-quarter of an hour from drinks then after another three-quarter of an hour the food order still hadn’t been taken. It was her suggestion:
‘Let’s share a kebab.’
They were starving, both wanted food and fast.
The last time either of them had shared a kebab they had been the same age as their kids were now. Hand in hand they enter a quiet bar on the edge of Mathew Street. After ordering drinks they look at into each other gazes, they have so much in common and so much to talk about.
Let’s Share a kebab is a short fiction works from Alison Little, card depicted in image is available from Arts Hub on Lark Lane, Liverpool.