The apology

Every day for a year he sent her a tea towel. They fell on to her doormat, sometimes damp or torn by dogs, but always wrapped in scarlet paper, with a ribbon.

He hadn’t meant to break her dishwasher, when she’d invited him in after he was mugged outside the betting shop. Tired and linguistically confused, he’d filled it with baking beads. It had made a growling sound, then no sound at all. He’d stayed four days, then flown back to Italy.

On the three hundred and sixty fifth day, the tea towel was plain hessian and read: Marry me?

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