“There must have been a moment at which she decided to go down the street and around the corner and into the café.” This is the story of a chance encounter, between a man and a woman. For some reason, I think it happened around the corner from a place where, years later, I encountered someone I had loved, and still loved, momentarily. More to the point, it is a London story, and such things do happen. I have met my brother twice by chance, under different circumstances, wandering through different parts of town. Margaret Drabble magnificently sets off old disagreements against enduring memory, passion and the rest. Oh for a scintilla, whatever that is, of her skill.
First published in Winter’s Tales 14, ed. Kevin Crossley-Holland, from Macmillan, 1968. Collected in A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman, Penguin, 2011). Available to read here