Shame, shame I know your name
John was unusually shaped, thin and pale as sliced cheese. His body curved up on itself like a Quaver crisp. A pale thin Quaver. He was however undoubtedly, a brilliant celllosit. We had somehow stayed close since school, despite having nothing in common and taking very different paths. I guess he was always there. Consistent and silently near. We would meet for a drink every few months. I would tell him everything about my latest adventures, girls, work, nights out. He would talk about composition and nights in with Brahms and Britten.
Occasionally we would go to a show, classical or of I could twist his arm, a real life band. I would get wasted and he would gently sway at the back of the room nursing a bottle all night. His fingers working their way down the glass, through an invisible harmony. Harmless and happy. Of course I never introduced him to my friends until the wedding of Harry and Ariana or ‘Arry and Arry’. Harry another school friend we had in common.
Venice, exuberant I know, but she was Venetian so I guess why wouldn’t you. After I’d checked in I met John in the pub. He seemed quiet so I filled him on last weekend and a rather forward young lady called Jen. He always seemed to get a bit flushed when I told him about my conquests. Jealous I imagined.
The wedding ceremony was posh. John played of course. Free talent. Arry and Arry did the deed. And dinner was served. They’d done that thing where you mix up the table places. So John was opposite me and I then a few locals and not much else until. She walked up in a slick silk green dress and piercing green eyes that lit up like a light bulb. She slipped into the seat next to me. Megan, she introduced herself with a smile. Jackpot I thought. I knew this was the prime time to make a move. So I told her about my work, the pressures of middle management, the football team (centre forward, 22 goals last season) how good she looked, had she ever been with a footballer?
“Tony” a gentle flutter of a voice floated across the table. I ignored it as I could see she was interested. She was certainly drinking her wine quickly. A good sign I thought.
“Tony” the flutter came. It took me a second to remember that John was there an. He looked uncomfortable, he was beginning to get that flush again.
“Not now John, im a bit busy.” I turned back to Megan. Who was about to stand up. I gave her a little tug on the arm to remind her I wasn’t going anywhere. “Another drink Megs?” She sat back down with a thud, smiled again and nodded passionately.
I could see John wriggling. He couldn’t dream of the things I’d to to Megan.
“So what do you think, maybe we could have a little dance?”
“Um” she said
“Look let’s ditch these lot and go for a walk. I’ve got a massive widescreen in my room.”
I could see John physically shrinking, as if a quaver had been microwaved. I smirked at him and turned back to Megan. She put a delicate hand on my arm.
“Tony. I’m Megan Williams.”
“As in Mrs Williams…”
“As in Mrs John Williams.”
John’s head was in his hand. His face a crisp red burning through his fingers.”
John wasn’t jealous. He probably never had been. Why would he be. An exceptionally talented and successful musician, with a beautiful wife. I realised I knew nothing else about him. All those times I thought he was jealous, he was embarrassed about his crass, drunkard school friend. He peered through his hands.
“Sorry Tony, I tried to warn you”