Thursday, 9 September 2010
Promised across the road, here's a short story or maybe the start of a longer one.
As far as Lois was concerned, if her life was shattered, why should he get off scot free?
She stood motionless at the foot of the bed they had shared for seventeen years or so. Her knuckles paled as she tightened her grip on the bread-knife.
“Now,” she muttered over and over again. “Damn it. Get it over with.”
Max was snoring gently, his face relaxed, his body sprawled diagonally across the bed. He was encroaching on her half of the mattress as relentlessly as he had encroached on her life.
It didn't really matter what happened next. He was in the throes of exchanging his family for a trussed turkey of a woman nearly young enough to be his daughter who was presumably promising him heaven on earth.
Lois looked back briefly at their life together, if you could call it that. From the word ‘go’ he had philandered. He was insatiable. And laughable as it sounded now, she had thought she had more to offer than his casual affairs and one-night stands with anything in skirts, or preferably without. On reflection, she was probably herself to blame for her unhappiness. He was just living according to his own basic instincts and she had been a hindrance. Not even that. Nothing in his life had really changed.
The knife dropped to the floor and the clatter disturbed him. He opened one eye and murmured “Oh, it’s you, is it? Can’t you just let me sleep for a bit longer?”
Then, quite unexpectedly, he swung himself in one swift movement out of his prostrate position and Lois just about managed to push the knife under the bed with her foot before he got up.
“I forgot. I’m meeting someone in an hour. Make me some coffee while I take a shower.”
Over his shoulder he called “Why the hell didn’t you wake me earlier?”
“How should I know what you have planned? You use our home like a hotel.”
“Correction, Lois. It might be your home, but it isn’t mine. And don’t ask any more questions.”
Lois went wordlessly into the kitchen to make the coffee.