So yesterday was my birthday for those of you playing at home. and my Mummy bought me an iPad II (electric bugaloo). Combine that with 3WordWednesday and you’ve just created a very good reason for me to write another short story (I know, it’s not like I actually need a reason, it’s just something I’m going to do anyway.) So the 3 prompts for this week are (drumroll please) CARNAGE, JERK & PUNCTURE.
We had been laughing when it happened. One of those all too rare, brief crystalising moments where life shows you the path you’ve been wanting, usually subconciously, to take. My laughter was cut off with a jerk in mid-flow. I smiled while I tried to collect my thoughts, trying to gather together the threads of our conversation. She knew that I had been distracted. Her laughter too stopped as she stood. “What is it this time?” She always seemed to go from neutral to top speed in seconds, like a drunk driver on backstreets, trying to avoid the police, never predicting the carnage to come.
“What could it possibly be? We were having such a good night out together. For once.” I couldn’t answer her, I was still to stunned by the realisation. It was amazing to be able to sit back and watch her in full flow, to see her fully embrace her anger. It always simmered just below the surface, waiting to emerge and make a scene in the crowded restaurant. She saw my smile again, as though I had been trying to hide it from her.
“So this is funny to you, is it? This is just some kind of big joke that you’re playing at my expense?” She swept her arms wide as if to indicate that everyone here was somehow united against her. She was always ready to go flying off the handle, always quick to leap to the wrong conclusion. I looked up into her hazel eyes, flashing with self-righteous anger.
I was still smiling when I stood, serene, trying to catch the waiter’s eye. I signalled that it was time for the check. I had to deflate her swollen ego before I left, had to try and show her that the world was not a side-show arranged by some benevolent deity for her viewing pleasure. “Look, I would be lying if I said I hadn’t enjoyed myself tonight,” I held up my hand in the universal symbol for let me finish, “but I would be lying too if I said I still loved you, that I could still see myself with you. I have to leave, and I really don’t want to see you again.”
I strode towards the doors as quickly as I dared, fearing the explosion I was sure was building to a head behind me. I turned back to see her crumpled on the floor, like a blow-up doll punctured and forgotten in a sex store’s dumpster. I almost went back to hold her, to pull her off the ground. To tell her that classic, overused lie, “It’s not you, it’s me.” But I didn’t. I just walked away.