Cocktails

By Edwin O’Dwyer

Maybe I shouldn’t have been as shocked as I was when he sat me down one day to tell me he’s been having an affair.

“Here’s the thing, it’s with another man,” he said, and when he did I was able to hear how effeminate his voice had become, and I wondered why I hadn’t noticed it before.

  I reacted vehemently, not really thinking, just saying the first thing that came into my head. “What’s he got that I haven’t?” I snarled at him. It was a silly question, of course.

“Do you really need me to answer that?” he grinned, and I felt my anger dissipating then quite suddenly. I couldn’t stay mad at him. He just seemed so inoffensive, sitting there and smiling at me in his little pink, perfectly-ironed shirt, his eyes beautifully accentuated by their expertly applied make-up.

  “No, I suppose I don’t,” I said, finding it impossible to keep the smirk from my face. “Come on then, let’s go have some cocktails. You can tell me all the gory details.”

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Edward O’Dwyer is an award-winning poet and short fiction writer from Limerick, Ireland. His most recent book is Cheat Sheets (Truth Serum Press, 2018), a collection of 108 very short stories, dark comedies on the theme of infidelity. Previous books include the poetry collections, The Rain on Cruise’s Street (Salmon Poetry, 2014), which was Highly Commended in the Forward Prizes, and Bad News, Good News, Bad News (Salmon Poetry, 2017). He is currently working on a sequel to Cheat Sheets, and a new poetry collection, Exquisite Prisons, which is due for publication in 2020.

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