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A Quiet Meal For Three?

Alan McCabe, Belfast
November 2006

Recently, a friend of mine "Karen" introduced me to one of her work colleagues "Debbie". We became friends very quickly, and within a few weeks Debbie invited both Karen and myself to her home to have a quiet evening, and a take away meal from the local Chinese Restaurant.

As the evening progressed, we talked of trivial things, and were generally having a good time. Debbie showed us photographs from an album, explaining their origins. Upon reaching the end of the album a loose photograph fell from the book onto the table where we sat. I picked it up and saw that it was a shot of Debbie and a young man smiling, arms around each other. Asking who he was Debbie became withdrawn and lowered her head. After a short pause she recounted that he had been her boyfriend. Two years previously they had been at an nightclub, and while dancing he had suddenly fallen to the floor. He was rushed to hospital and was pronounced dead. The autopsy revealing that the seemingly healthy young man had died of a massive coronary. As I heard her say the words "I miss him very much", the door of the room in which we sat began to bang very loudly. Alarmed and a little shaken I looked towards the door, and we all witnessed it abruptly open wide. The hallway was empty, and the house was unoccupied, except for the three of us who were all at the kitchen table. We could find no reasonable explanation for the occurrence. I felt a little disturbed after the incident, and to be honest, couldn't wait for the evening to end.
I remain friends with Debbie, but have declined a return visit to her home, favouring a more "neutral" meeting place.

Alan McCabe, Belfast
00:00 / 01:04
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