Any resemblance to a certain song is strictly coincidental. Really. Okay so it's not. An original short story based on Pulp's Disco 2000, by me. The story is by me, that is. Not Disco 2000, which is by Pulp. Right.
"D'you think she'll recognoize me?"
Jarvis leaned over his plate of eggs, letting his fork and knife fall with a clatter into the pierced and bleeding golden yolks. His eyes flashed blue, excited, like a schoolboy on the first day of summer break. He was twenty-eight.
"Whot?" His companion, Martin, stared dumbly across the table, his dull brown eyes moving with surprising swiftness over his plate of pancakes, Jarvis' eggs, and finally into Jarvis' eyes. "Yew goin' t'eat those, mate?" He was twenty-nine and still lived with his parents.
"D'you think I'll recognoize her?"
Martin carefully positioned his fork, and his thick arm lashed out like an overstuffed cobra, drawing Jarvis' eggs onto his own plate. Finally, as an afterthought, he asked: "Who?"
The stout, unshaven figure of Martin took meticulous care in applying maple syrup to a bite-sized portion of egg, which he then applied to a similarly sized chunk of pancake. He chewed it slowly, his eyes narrow slits as he leaned back and enjoyed the taste.
Jarvis dropped his head, staring at the grease on his empty plate, and voiced a long, wistful sigh. "This is insane, isn't it? Completely bleeding daft, it has to be, I know it is. Where did my eggs go?"
"Not 'ere," Martin replied jovially. "Keep lookin'
Jarvis didn't. "Martin, I'm going to see her today."
Martin chewed thoughtfully, and when he was done chewing, screwed his face up into what he felt was a suitably thoughtful expression. "Deborah who?"
"Connory!" Jarvis was exasperated, slumping back into his seat and letting his hands fall limply to the table. "She was only the most beautiful girl in the school, Martin. Deborah Connory?"
"Oh," Martin said. He took a bite and chewed it,
swallowing slowly. "I remember 'er."
"Of course you do! She was my bloody neighbor for
eighteen years and change, the one you used to stare at through binoculars when you slept over."
"Well, you did it too."
"That's right." Jarvis let out a small laugh. "Martin, look at me. What am I going to do?" He looked down at his wristwatch, the band held together with staples. "She's due in half an hour, less than half an hour!"
"Fiften minutes, maybe twenty."
"Yew rilly think she'll be comin' after all these years, mate?" Martin paused for effect. "She's prob'ly forgot."
"She wouldn't forget."
"It's New Year's Day. All them computers is supposed to come down t'day, yew know. She's prob'ly 'ome like any bloody sane person is."
"That was last noight."
Jarvis waved his hands in the air. "The thing with the computers. It didn't happen."
"She'll be there, just like we said. Two o'clock, at the fountain down the road."
"Kids used t'go skinny dippin' in that fountain," Martin informed him. "Sometoimes."
"Still do." He paused, sighed. "She'll be there,
"'Course she will, mate. O'course."
Jarvis looked at his watch again. "I'd better get going, then."
"Aye, yew betta." He gestured expansively across the table. "Yew goin' t'pay fer all this?"
"Not bloody likely. You ate it all yourself."
Martin made a face to Jarvis' back, but the taller man never noticed; he was too wrapped up in his own thoughts. Deborah! After all these years! They used to walk home from school together every day. It hadn't meant anything, though. Not to her. They had been friends since they were born, one hour apart, one room apart, lived one house apart. Their mothers always said that they would marry each other and never split up. Deborah had made other plans.
The fountain was just as he remembered it; he passed it every day as he rode his bike to work. Jarvis had never left the small town he had been born in. Deborah had. One brief, fleeting summer after graduation, she had gone to the University. There had been that one kiss, yes, on the day she left, but they remained friends-- only friends-- after she moved away. They kept in touch in letters, and an occasional phone call... then nothing. Eight years passed in a blur.
Jarvis sat on the lip of the fountain, enjoying the feel of the cold stone against his back. An occasional splash of water cooled him and never distracted him from his thoughts. Some ten minutes after he sat down his watch beeped, notifying him that two o'clock had come and gone. He had only to wait a few more minutes, then, and there she would be. He had only to wait.