One Night Stand


Four walls of stone, a selection of exposed bulbs, some dimpled copper fittings, a black marble bar, and an ample glass well stocked; all as alive as she, her eyes meeting their own reflection in one gilded mirror. They belong to her, as does this night, and what she is about to do.

Between the silhouettes of bended heads conversing lies a secret. When it emerges, will she know? How will it happen? Will he smile?

A recollection, unbidden, unsettles, but focus is restored with a careful sip.

His presence is sudden. Her body turns, and slides from oxen leather, one heel hitting flagstone, then the next.

Eyes meet; he’s taller than expected.
Is this him?
Is this her?

She inhales.
A hand extends upwards to rest on his shoulder.
He takes her waist.
They say nothing.

He’s leaning down.
Will she?
It’s not certain.
Can she?
She closes her eyes.


The world falls away, and the individual lights, reflections and sounds that envelop them become indistinct from one another, for him at least; it was one swift insertion and retraction for her, nothing more.

What did he expect?

With one wipe clean of the blade, she scales the single flight to the street above and leaves him to eternity.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes
Facebook: @EmmaHynesWrites
Instagram: emmalouhynes