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My brother’s wife and I go way back. As a matter of fact, I was the one who brought them together. I am reminded of this as I watch Maryam enter through the glass and brass door of the café, a Christmas decoration to her left, flashing Santa, making her face shift red-white, red-white. She does a little twirl, takes in the room, our eyes snatching on each other’s, sudden static, white noise in my ears. A small, gloved hand comes up to wave at me, points to the counter, smile, nod. She winks and blows me a kiss. Her blue cape moves in fluid-motion, as if of its own accord, around and her back is to me, she is leaning across the counter (I imagine the round fullness of her pink breasts under that white shirt pressing against the marble, everything is breast-height to her, she is abreast with the situation, pint-sized, brother’s wife), ordering hot chocolate with extra whipped cream from the baffled boy behind it. Of course, most people look slightly baffled at a distance. I meet my own eyes in the mirrorwall behind him. Look away.
E.G. Jönsson was born outside Malmö, Sweden in 1981. She lives in Glasgow where she is about to graduate from an MLitt in Creative Writing. This story was previously published in Let’s Pretend (Freight, 2008).