He talks about her all through lunch at work, over the radio blaring eighties hits. ‘There’s a heat between us when we touch. It’s animal,’ he says. His mate turns the radio up a notch.
She’s out with a friend getting a manicure and when asked about him she shrugs, turns back to her celebrity magazine, the candid snap of a drunken starlet. ‘Have you seen the thighs on her?’
He buys a ring second hand, too big for its velvet box. When he buffs it on his sleeve and holds it to the light, it glows white hot, a supernova caught between his fingers.
She booked the restaurant – mid-price but not too shabby – and part way through dessert, he drops to one knee and her heart sinks. She’s just taken a mouthful of pavlova and before it melts on her tongue, before she has chance to speak, she sees the size of the diamond. Suddenly, his tight suit looks hipster cool, his features chiselled not gaunt. ‘Okay.’ She smiles through a mouthful of cream.
Fifteen years later, the ring is on the table between them, a chunk of gaudy ice. Funny how that stone never seems to catch the light anymore.
The title is a play on the Oasis song, Champagne Supernova.