Friday, February 21, 2014

Flash fiction - A Dish Served Cold.

Slowly the tight band around her chest squeezed and squeezed until she thought her heart might implode. She stood up slowly, the room swooped and dipped as she grabbed the back of the chair in front of her, she wanted to remain upright and maintain her dignity in the crowded restaurant. She would not collapse, she wouldn't give him the pleasure of witnessing the physical manifestation of the hurt he had inflicted. She took a long breath and opened her eyes. He'd gone. The chair opposite from her own was empty. He'd not even stayed to see if she was OK. She felt the sweat start to bead on her forehead, the panic was building. Her heart thumped alarmingly.

She moved forward, staggered slightly. She needed a bolt hole now. She spied the ladies room and headed that way. There was only one cubicle, it was empty. She knew her face was flushed and sweaty but still tinged with the grey-green of shock, she just needed time now. Time to put her plan into action. Sitting on the closed lid of the toilet, she pulled her bag onto her lap and started to rummage.

She'd seen this coming a while back, still it was a shock. The missed meals, the long calls on his mobile in the garden, the increase in dry cleaning bills for his shirts. She'd decided on a plan of action should today ever come to pass. It wasn't just the shock that affected her, it was fear and adrenalin. In his horror at her reaction she was sure he hadn't noticed her slip her glass off the table, the glass he'd held as her poured her wine. Both their fingerprints were on it as well as her lipstick. She was also sure that lots of diners had witnessed their interactions and her staggering walk to the ladies.

 Standing up she took the vial from her bag, her hands were shaking. She tipped a few drops from the vial onto some tissue and smeared it around the inside base of the glass, the remaining liquid she gulped down. She wrapped the small plastic vial in the tissue and dropped it into the toilet bowl. Round and around it sped in the following flush and then it was gone. She felt so sick and dizzy, they'd told her she would, it would be quick too, already she felt numb in her feet. Fumbling for her mobile, she found the photo of him, smiling across a table in this restaurant, taken three weeks ago. Her sight blurred and her fingers felt numb. Knees buckling, she sank down on the floor. Her last conscious thought was, if I can't have him, no-one will.

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