After the first time, Keith would drop in a few times a week, just before closing, and they would have a coffee (if the machine was still on), or a tea, with or without a dollop of brandy, and talk.
One night, they were alone in the café, the café door was locked, and without thinking Esmé pulled up her sleeves. Keith saw the scars on her forearm and looked up and met her gaze, his brown eyes dark with some indecipherable emotion. Without a word, he gently lifted her arm and kissed the scars.
If he’d said anything she would have broken down and wept, and she would never have been able to forgive him or to be comfortable with him again. But he at once, very calmly, as if nothing had happened, began to talk about what he called ‘my latest conquest’.
“Such a dag,” he said. “Wears Target jeyns.”
“So do you!” His tact filled her with gratitude. She was ready to play any game to please.
“Yeah, but on mey they look stunnin’.” He cocked his head on one side and waited. She just smiled, glad she could.
“You’re supposed to agrey! Not jus’ stare at mey as if I’m demented.”
“Oh, precisely! You’re just simply an amazing stunner! Who cares if you’re a dag!”
“Natch.” He stood up from the table, and bowed. “Keith the stunner à votre service."
And quite suddenly, they were friends.
Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter