New Year’s Eve (bp coyle)

‘Let’s take our drinks onto the balcony,’ I suggest. ‘We can watch the fireworks. Only ten minutes to go.’ I had booked a hotel in the city centre for this reason.

She picks up her glass but sighs. ‘Why bother? They don’t get any better you know.’

‘The fireworks?’

‘No,’ she laughs. ‘The years. Each one gets harder than the one before.’

A huge crowd has gathered on the waterfront. The buzz of excitement is carried to us on a chilly winter breeze.

‘Fill your glass and stop being so cynical. Who knows what tomorrow brings?’

‘Indeed,’ she agrees, taking a gulp straight from the bottle. ‘but whatever it is, it’s sure to be bad. I used to love this night. Happy to be done with the old year, hoping the best for the new. Now I see that we are only fooling ourselves. Each year gets harder.’

‘Next one will be great,’ I tell her, mainly because she is killing the mood.

She shakes her head but leans over to kiss me anyway. Her lips taste bubbly and sharp.

For a moment I really believe my own words. Twenty nineteen will be good.

It really will.