There was grass in their hair. He had seen it about five minutes ago, as his partner had climbed up the bank of the river, shoes slipping on the dew left over from the early morning. So perhaps the time of day was at fault. Surely if it hadn’t still been midday the grass would not still have been so wet, and they would not have tripped in it, rolling down the bank and arriving at the bottom with significantly less dignity than they had had at the top. And then there would have been no grass in their hair.

He wanted to reach out and remove it as soon as he noticed it. It was bright green, fresh, like most of the springtime greenery, and it looked comically perfect against the light brown curls. The contrast was so humorous that it may have been the good thing to do to expend the minimal energy needed to grasp it and return it to the ground from whence it came. Otherwise, it was sure to be noticed, and the others would point it out, mention it in passing maybe, in hushed tones or in codes only obvious to those who were not the subject of the joke. 

But the world continued on, and so did he, picking up the pace and heading off again towards their target, knowing his partner would be right behind him. A tumble down a hill had not been part of the plan admittedly, but it wasn’t anything they couldn’t recover from quickly. So the pair of them steamed on ahead, this time on significantly drier and more solid ground, and the grass would have to wait. 

Once their target had been reached and the arrest made, he forgot for a while about such trivial matters, and instead he headed off to help, picking up spent shell casings and helping right the bin that had been a sad victim of their chase. But whilst setting the poor casualty in its old spot, he was reminded by the grass in which the bin had been sitting and in which it had left a nicely bin-shaped dent. So he turned around to cater to another grass related job, but he found his partner was nowhere to be seen. The grass would have to wait, yet again, and this time he thought it was possibly the bin’s fault.

He managed to locate the other man very quickly, it wasn’t like he would have gone far. In fact he had gone to an ambulance, or maybe judging by his manner, he had been taken to an ambulance would be a better way of putting it. Perhaps that was the end of his grassy quest. Surely the paramedic would brush the grass away and that would be that. They probably wouldn’t think twice about it, maybe they would remove it subconsciously, just another part of the job. But they didn’t seem to do that. It wasn’t that it was not noticeable, so he presumed it was simply not the most efficient use of their time at this moment. Which was probably a fair argument, they were a paramedic after all, and the scene was a mess.

So he approached his partner, feeling slightly concerned that he may have been concentrating on that damned blade of grass a little too much and that it had distracted him from noticing how injured his partner actually was. But that was proved untrue by his partner’s glower and remarks on the pointlessness of being brought to the ambulance in the first place. He had told them beforehand that he was uninjured, they had not listened, and now he wanted them all to know that he had told them so. And he was inclined to agree. It was quite possibly the paramedic’s fault that the grass was still there, he wasn’t going to remove it now and risk his partner’s temper.

They retreated to the car together, each walking to their own side, slipped in simultaneously, and pulled the doors shut behind them. The perfect opportunity, nothing hindering the resumption of the grass mission. The target was sat directly next to him, his hands were idly in his lap, the window next to him just waiting to be opened to dispose of that one solitary blade of grass that had inexplicably been the subject of most of his thoughts this last half hour. But then his partner turned, he looked at him, and he smiled. It was one of those ‘glad you’re still alive’ smiles. Well now that wouldn’t do. There was no chance he was going to reach out his hand towards his face whilst smiling, whilst making eye contact indeed, that would be just a little too uncomfortable for his liking. This time he blamed those pesky emotions, and those pesky colleagues whose view they were just a little too much in.

Before he knew it, they were parked up on the side of the road opposite his flat and this was it. This was his last chance to tell him before he left the car and made his way happily indoors. But was it too late? Now that he had sat in this car next to him for half an hour, now that he had spent the whole of clean up still not mentioning it. Why hadn’t he just dealt with it immediately he noticed it, it wasn’t like it would have taken long. It had occurred to him that maybe he was making slightly too big a deal out of this. Surely the other party would never think about it half as much as he had all afternoon. He should just do it now. It would take two seconds and he might not even notice.

And then his partner had leant across him, and he had opened the door for him to get out, making some joke in the process about how he wasn’t being employed as his chauffeur. He could just do it now, goodness why was this such a big deal, why had he spent his afternoon thinking about grass. Just reach over, brush the grass away, and go home. But then his partner was pushing him, making a joke this time about how he was going to have to charge him rent soon. And it was too late, he was standing on the pavement, the door was shutting and the car engine was on. Evidently it was the car to blame, sticking them in too close proximity, getting them home too quickly before the emotions were forgotten about.

Take a deep breath, stop thinking about a blade of grass, knock on the window. So he did, the window rolled down and he grinned his most apologetic grin.

“You’ve got grass in your hair”

June 06, 2021 17:45

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