Should they go up to the bedroom, he asked. He let her walk in front of him again and on the stairs she noticed paintings on the wall. She tried to look at them, a blur of greens and blues and undefined lines. She thought about the middle-aged man’s life outside of this moment in time, how she didn’t want to know any of it. The bedroom had a single bed, a dresser, a window that looked out onto a garden and some shelves. She had placed her beer on the dresser and turned, realising that the middle-aged man was closer than she had expected. At this distance, she could clearly see the skin between his eyelids and eyebrows drooped down like his developing jowls, making his eyes look half-shut.
By Giles Ruffer.