His arm is round the woman’s shoulders now and they’re both laughing. He puts his glass down and lifts his arm to point, waving his hand round in a way that makes her laugh even harder. He reaches back for his glass, shouts and lurches to his feet.
Barry ducks down below the sink and stays there on his hands and knees. Through the opaque windows in the door he can see a big shape, the arm up against the door frame, the head looming closer as the cop tries to look through the frosted glass.
The door opens into a lamplit room with a deep sofa opposite a rose-coloured velvet chair. The central heating thunks on as they step in from the cold, Barry running his hand over his forehead where the fair hair peaks sharply. From her the sweet smell of port, from him the sweat of beer, hanging in the thick air.
Friday night. Barry sits at the bar of the Bonny Arbroath. He’s working his way steadily through beer after beer, turning from time to time to look at the TV blaring away high in the corner, staring in front of him tapping his glass on the counter, half-listening to the barmaid talking to an elderly man on his left. When the other man gets up to leave, he and the barmaid are alone.
Saturday morning. Barry has woken up on the floor of his flat. The door is swinging open behind him and a piece of newspaper is caught in the angle between arm and chest. It whips up and plasters itself across his face as he sits up.