Andrew McCallum Crawford



Edinburgh Arrivals
Her flight touched down at eight fifteen. Deceit. It had got her this far, and it had got her here on time. Deceit was an ally, it could be depended on. She loved her family, she loved them all, but she needed this, she needed to be here. She found a toilet and changed into a pair of jeans. For now, the pretence was over. She wasn’t here on business. She was here to spend the day with someone she once knew. He had been a boy back then; she had been a slip of a girl. They had gone off on different tangents, but everything was about to converge, here, now, after half a lifetime. She checked her face in the mirror. It was too early for makeup. In any case, she had been told she didn’t need any, that she was beautiful.

She followed the signs for Arrivals. A man was there, waiting. She looked around, but he was the only one. He mouthed her name, this man with grey hair and fashionably ripped jeans, this old man dressed in the clothes of someone much younger – a man trying to be something he wasn’t.

He had promised her the boy; she was confronted by a stranger.

His arms closed round her and she thought of her children. He kissed her and she thought of her husband. Most of all she thought of herself, of choices and lies, and how she had so willingly been drawn into this huge mistake.



Andrew McCallum Crawford‘s short stories have been published in many places, including Interlitq, Gutter, Spilling Ink Review and New Linear Perspectives. His collection, The Next Stop Is Croy and other stories, was released last year in eBook format. It is available here

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