“Manchester is hardly a hell hole. It’s a great opportunity for me.”
“And what the fuck would I do up there?”
What was he going to do now? This wasn’t how it was meant to be. They were supposed to have been together forever.
“You’d find a new job. You’d make new friends. You’re not even giving it a chance. You’ve made your mind up already that you’re going to hate it.”
He hated this. He hated being alone. It wasn’t the same without Harry.
“And you’ve made up your mind it’s going to be so bloody marvellous. You’re not thinking about me at all.”
“I’m thinking about us and our future together. You’re the one that’s being selfish. You know what, stay here. I’ll go to Manchester without you. You can do what the hell you like.”
“Fine with me. Fuck off there and don’t bother coming back.”
Jayce reached out to trace the lettering on the cold hard stone. The tears in his eyes prevented him from reading the epitaph. It didn’t matter; he knew exactly what it said.
He’d give anything for the chance to put things right, but it was too late now. A stormy day and an out of control lorry had seen to that.
Harry glanced over his shoulder but didn’t reply.
It didn’t matter. Jayce rushed forward and enveloped Harry in his arms. “Oh god, I can’t believe it, you’re here.”
Harry struggled to push Jayce away. “Not for much longer.”
Jayce stepped back a little. “What are you talking about?”
“Playing dumb now, are we? Or do you expect me to believe you’ve forgotten I’m leaving for Manchester today?”
Jayce leaned back against the counter. What had happened? Had he dreamt the last two months? Or had he got his graveside wish?
Harry sat down at the table and started on his cereal.
Jayce didn’t intend to waste any more time wondering what was going on. Real or not, he had had a taste of what his life would be like without Harry in it and he didn’t like it one bit.
Harry looked up from his breakfast, his eyes wide.
Jayce pulled out the chair next to Harry. “I don’t want to lose you.”
Harry opened his mouth to say something but Jayce held up his hand to stop him. “And if you’re really moving to Manchester, then I’d rather be there with you than here on my own.”
Harry didn’t exactly jump for joy. In fact he looked downright suspicious. “What brought about this sudden change of heart?”
“I guess you could say I realised what my life would be like without you.”
“Just like that?”
Jayce didn’t like the way this conversation was going. Was it too late? Maybe their harsh words couldn’t be forgotten so easily. “Unless you don’t want me any more?”
Harry smacked him on the arm. “Idiot! Of course I want you to come with me. I just don’t want you changing your mind half way up the motorway.”
The first time around Harry had left right after breakfast. He’d been dead by lunchtime. Jayce would make sure this time was different.
“I’m not going to change my mind. I’ll pack this morning and we can leave right after lunch. We can go to Shelby’s for lunch if you like.”
“Our first date,” Harry commented, as if Jayce needed the reminder.
Life was good.
“We need junction nineteen, then the M6,” Harry advised as they passed the sign.
Jayce nodded and steered them into the right lane.
The driver of the lorry wasn’t so quick in getting it right and he cut in front of them.
Harry’s hand slipped from his own as Jayce struggled to avoid the collision.
What would you give for a second chance?
The car spun out of control.
For the opportunity to put things right?
Harry’s scream echoed in his ears.
To have another day with the one you love?
He could hear the sounds of metal being crushed and glass breaking. Harry was no longer screaming. Jayce knew without looking it was too late. He reached out blindly for Harry’s hand and grasped it tightly.
What would Jayce give for the chance to do things differently?
Then everything went black.