NOTHING EVER CHANGES
“Yeah,” he said. “So I’ve heard tell.”
Maugham sighed, then leaned over with a groan and put his head in his in hands for awhile. He rubbed the top of his head slowly as if to somehow comfort his own mind. But it didn’t seem to work.
When he lifted his head back up he looked at Steinthal.
“Do you think it will ever change?”
Steinthal looked at him and then shrugged wearily.
“I suppose that’s entirely up to the people involved. I only know one thing for sure… and even that’s not much…” and then he fell silent.
Maugham waited but when Steinthal said nothing else he just stood back up. It was obvious he was hurt though, so Stenithal moved over and put his arm under his friend’s and around his back and helped him start to walk again.
“What’s the one thing by the way?” Maugham asked as the men made their way torturously out of the ruined building.
“Oh that,” said Stenthal, as if he had just assumed his friend already knew. “Nothing ever changes much when no one ever much changes.”
So they made their way back to the river, dripping sweat, shedding blood, grunting in pain, and limping as they went.
from The Detective Steinthal