Alison hesitated on the doorstep, quaking at the rigour of her own rules.
“Darling, how were your friends?” Stuart beamed.
She winced. That lie again.
“I’ve something to tell you,” they exclaimed together.
A “You go first” standoff followed, before Stuart led her to the sofa.
“I’ve been diagnosed with kidney disease. It will deteriorate. It’s likely I’ll need a transplant.”
Her eyes moistened. He held her tight, “Don’t worry, it’ll be alright. What do you have to tell me?” He asked lovingly.
“Nothing,” she cried, “I was thinking of joining the WI, that’s all.” Deceit returned like welcome succour.
A tale of love and conscience written in 100 word chapters. If you wish to read prior episodes open the category, “The Whole of the Moon”
John inserted his key almost apologetically. Amy greeted him, hair towel-turbaned. “There you are.”
He expected more. “I had to go away.”
Her laugh held no humour, “To get your head straight?”
She turned the hair dryer on full. After a brief blow through, she flung it down.
“I’m moving out.” He knew anything he said would be weak.
“It’s not working. Is that what you want to hear?” She railed.
“I love you…” the words seemed to come from outside him.
“And it’s not me, it’s you.”
The rest was weighted silence as he helped her load her car.
Thoughts of guilt and despair crashed through her mind. Radio and daytime TV offered no succour. She needed to get out. She’d take her Kindle and treat herself to a cream tea.
Idling through town, woollen hat and scarf wrapped against the cold, she found herself outside the Diner. Remembering the music, milkshakes and good times, she regretted she couldn’t enter; John might be there. Head bowed, she hurried by. The doorbell tinkled as she stepped into the café, unwinding her scarf.
John looked up from a table, “What are you doing here?”
“Avoiding the diner,” she groaned with resignation.
photo by sandritta88
She didn’t move. He twisted in his seat. “What are you thinking?”
“Nothing.” She stared him down.
“You should go to him. Stop tormenting yourself.”
Her shoulders shook.
“Don’t cry, go to him and forget me.”
She stiffened in her seat and said tautly, “You say you love me, but we’ve never even touched.”
“Is that what you want?”
Scudding clouds of panic crossed her eyes.
“It wouldn’t be just once.”
“Why do you have to love me?”
He chuckled, “There wasn’t a short list to choose from. Love is never optional.”
Wrenching the handle, she leaped from the car.