Arm (Aaron’s) As he slipped on the side of the road in a rainstorm trying to pull a jacket from a suitcase. His arm (left) twisted backwards and under him as he went down. It snapped it two places, once above and once below the elbow. He squeezed his eyes shut and gritted his teeth in agony. He didn’t see that the car had begun to roll backwards towards him.

Concentration (Aaron’s) When his mobile phone rang just as he was racing to read the final paragraph of a Graham Greene novel.

Connection (Mobile Phone – Aaron’s and Bella’s) After she had warned him that she was on a train and they could expect to be disconnected at any moment. The last thing Aaron said was “Are you OK?” To which Bella replied, “I’ve gone into a -”

Fan Belt (Bella’s) On the way back from her parents’ house after a draining weekend of questions and uncertainties. It had taken 100 miles for the atmosphere in the car to become bearable. Bella had suggested playing eye-spy and Aaron had agreed without reluctance. The engine began to scream whilst she scanned the countryside for something beginning with T. The accelerator pedal shuddered under her feet as she pulled over onto the hard shoulder.

Finger (Bella’s) When she tried desperately to stop him leaving in the midst of an argument and reached out just a second too late. He had slammed the door and her index finger was caught in the jamb.

Heart (Aaron’s) Although he cannot now depict the exact moment or circumstance in which this happened.

Heart (Bella’s) As he looked at her from where he stood by the cooker. As he put his arms out for her; inviting her to come to him. As she realised that she was not going to move.

Key (to the front door – Aaron’s) When he slammed it hard on his way out of the house, leaving the argument punctuated with the crash. The neighbours were on the doorstep pretending not to listen. He heard Bella scream from inside.

Knife (Plastic hospital cutlery – Aaron’s) As he lay in recovery with his leg and arm in plaster. He had asked the nurse that brought him dinner whether anybody had been to visit him. “Not that I’m aware of,” was the reply. The fist on his good arm tightened around the knife she had just handed him.

Leg (Aaron’s) As he lay behind Bella’s car, soaking wet and being screamed at from the hard shoulder. He was unable to move quickly enough. He raised his leg as if to push the car the car away, but it continued to roll. His femur snapped and pushed shards of bone into his pelvis.

Lens (of binoculars – Aaron’s) As he packed a rucksack too quickly in anticipation of a lovely evening.

New Year’s Resolution (Bella’s) When she snuck out of the house as Aaron dozed on the sofa, and lit her first cigarette in 11 months. She smoked deeply and calmly whilst talking herself quietly through a decision she had never expected to make.

Pelvis (Aaron’s) See Leg, Arm, Zip.

Picture Frame (Bella’s) Purely by accident as Aaron threw a tennis ball around the living room.

Silence (Aaron and Bella’s) At regular intervals, and often followed by a longer and more brooding lack of conversation. Examples include, but are not limited to:
“After everything I’ve done for you? You treat me this way?”
“I’m leaving.”
“Are you asleep?”
“How could I be?”
“Don’t touch me.”
“What you have done for me? What the fuck have you ever done for me?”

Sky (Aaron’s then Bella’s and then passed between them) During the period in which they had decided to fight for each other. They had taken the car into the Peak District to spend the night together beneath the stars. Aaron, with his arm around Bella, had pulled a set of binoculars from his rucksack. “Did I buy you those?” she asked, and he replied, “Yes, you did, for our first Valentine’s Day together.” Bella remembered how Aaron had once been passionate about space and the way the sky looked at night. Aaron laid back and looked up through the binoculars, trying to pinpoint Ursa Minor. That’s when he noticed the dark black line that drew a rift through the otherwise uninterrupted view of the heavens.

Trust (Aaron’s in Bella) As he snatched his mobile phone away from her.

Trust (Bella’s in Aaron) As she held his phone out in a shaky hand and said, “Who is Christine?”

Zip (on a suitcase – Aaron’s) When they stood together on the hard shoulder of the M40 awaiting the emergency services. The weather had been calm and clear up until the moment the fan belt snapped. Then, as if Aaron could be blamed for the storm clouds, Bella had started to shout about breakages A through Z that had occurred up until that point. Her hair clung to her face and rainwater spat from her lips. She shook violently, and Aaron moved quickly to the boot of the car. He opened it and fumbled with the suitcase, knowing that the raincoat was packed in the front left hand pocket. As she swore and cursed from the hard shoulder, he pulled backwards as hard as he could.