Today’s writing prompt and my response.
Day four of this week’s challenge. The story starts here.
He was terrified of small spaces and she knew
I was hesitant about going into a cafe unwashed and in grimy clothes, but Maree pointed out that, without the wig, we could say I’d just come from a piece of local theatre, should anyone ask.
‘By the way,’ I said, ‘I’m Alan, waiter by day, out-of-work actor by day and night.’
Maree laughed – a sound which warmed me more than it should have.
When we passed a small hotel, Maree went in to book herself a room, suggesting I might prefer the footpath despite the chilly wind. I couldn’t blame her, although I wondered if she’d re-appear. She did, and some fifteen minutes later we were sat at a table in a mellow warm, café with coffee before us and meals ordered – a toasted panini for Maree, a hamburger for me. The weary waitress simply raised her eyebrows at my attire and sighed, like she’d seen it all before.
It was the first time I saw Maree in decent light. Brown, straight hair in a no-nonsense bob, minimal makeup by this time of night, and clear, pale skin drawn tight with tiredness. There were light shadows under her eyes. I liked it all. Shame she had a boyfriend. Shame she was also still possibly pissed off with me.
Maree returned my study over the lip of her cup. I also liked the way she openly appraised me. I was keen to come up to standard.
‘So tell me,’ she said, cradling the coffee, ‘what did the arsehole tell you about me?’
I shrugged. ‘Not a lot. Only that you and he had this thing going about knowing where you were, and he had to keep finding more and more extravagant ways of showing it, to make you laugh.’
She pursed her lips, and even that gesture sent a tingle up my spine. ‘You saw how much I laughed.’
‘Yes, and again, I’m sorry.’ I drank my coffee. ‘Do you have an idea how I can make it up to you?’ I had ideas, but they were unlikely to be the same as Maree’s.
She smiled, grimly and told me Peter’s dark secret – that he was terrified of small spaces, and she knew just the cubby hole which would work perfectly to exact revenge. ‘There’s no rush,’ she said. ‘After all, revenge is a dish etc.’ The smile was less grim this time. ‘In fact, I’ll wait until I’ve been out of his life for a bit. That way, he won’t necessarily know it’s me who gives the bastard his final comeuppance.
Out of his life? Final comeuppance? My fickle heart soared and fell all in one movement. This was going to be interesting.
Read Day 5 here
Find Cheryl’s flash fiction and short stories here!