“It just gets you,” Spotify promises. She loves the Daily Mix. It’s an intimate way to keep connected to Him, lashings of Their coupledom favourites. Never Tear Us Apart/INXS.
She’s been away for months now in Geneva, helping to nail down the details. Someone, somewhere, wrote it would bring world peace a step closer. She was dubious but who knows, maybe beauty pageant contestants could scratch that one off their list one day. Give Peace A Chance/John Lennon
He’s so attentive, even when she’s on the other side of the world. Always a morning greeting on Messenger, carefully timed as a wakeup call. I Say A Little Prayer For You/Aretha Franklin
She reads His messages while in the bathtub. The faucet is placed just so, the warm, gentle stream watering the garden exquisitely. Oh, oh, oh… at least one of Antonio Lupi’s designers must be a woman! I Touch Myself/Divinyls.
She taps her I-Pad pen nervously on the desk, at the back of the windowless room, the Aramis no match for the testosterone. They’re now talking about last minute amendments, years of work, her work, hanging by a thread. Suit threads. With A Little Help From My Friends/Joe Cocker
On Skype, their conversation pours out ceaselessly like bubbly into a crystal flute, His words popping and tickling and making her giggle. Glass of Champagne/ Sailor
Just lately though, there are pauses, almost as if His mind’s elsewhere, watching a glacier collapse. Or the champagne’s a bit flat. Always On My Mind/Elvis Presley
And He even begins missing the occasional hook up, silly billy! He sounds so flustered about His forgetfulness when she finally tracks Him down. Adorable!! Telephone Line/ELO
She drinks glasses of cheap vodka that night, alone in her room. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight/Linda Ronstadt
The Americans don’t want that clause about signing up to the international ban on landmines because China, Russia. Masters of War/Eddie Vedde
Hmmm…maybe the deal could live with that, after all politics is the art of the compromise, isn’t it? We Can Work It Out/The Beatles
She thinks about dismembered third world children, compassion, Diana. Stairway To Heaven/Led Zeppelin
She double-checks. Yep, she’s playing the Daily Mix from Their shared account. Hmmm, his tastes are changing something new but she likes it, kinda catchy. Olivia Rodrigo/Good 4 U
Dinner, she’s seated next to the US delegation. They’re all wearing Brooks Brothers, like a uniform but this one’s talking like smarty pants. He offers a nightcap in his room. Leave The Door Open/ Silk Sonic
What would you give for the cause? Or take for the cause? Would He understand? Therefore I Am/Billy Eilish
In the morning, she looks in the bathroom mirror. She sees a new line, very fine but a new line nonetheless. A battle scar. She treasures it. Young and Beautiful/Lana Del Ray
She gets out her phone and plays back her recording of Brooks Brothers propositioning her, just because she can. He’s gonna be doing all the compromising. Titanium/David Guetta Feat. Sia
The Americans accept the landmine clause, against the odds, the deal is done. Pictures of the delegations in the news feeds, smiling, embracing, congratulating, you would swear they were sincere. Cry About It Later/Katie Perry
She sees herself in one of the images, an accidental extra, partially obscured by Brooks Brothers but the angle makes it look like he’s got two heads. Well, three if you’re being pedantic. Made for Silence/Miiesha
Messenger! A dozen notifications nearly all from Him. She’s been busy, sorry. OMG has she become Him/him? She sniffs desperately at her perfume. Things A Man Ought To Know/Lainey Wilson
She’s beside herself at the thought of Their airport reunion, hugging Him, running her hand down His hard spine, inhaling, she’s had the absence, now she wants the fonder. Heal Me/Lady Gaga
A young woman is holding up a hastily scrawled sign with her name on it, misspelled. In her exhaustion, she’s forgotten to take her phone off flight mode.
Held up at work. My PA will pick you up at the airport. Boss Bitch/Doja Cat
The playlist, illuminating, in the young woman’s car: Rodrigo. Silk Sonic. Lana Del Ray. Miiesha. Lainey Wilson. Katy Perry. Lady Gaga. Doja Cat. Yes, she answers, her favourites we…I play them all the time. Next Girl/Carley Pearce
She casts a surreptitious look at the clean flanks of her companion. Appreciative, no longer the envious, anxious comparison, where the arse is always greener on the other side. She wonders if she’d like to try the better half? I Kissed A Girl/Katy Perry
She no longer cares where She steps. The landmines are all gone. Walking On Sunshine/Katrina And The Waves.