…‘cos the face ain’t listening.
Ger’s escaping. The thought is piggybacked on Chelsee’s shoulders, the weight of it dragging at her with every move. A proper job, he said. Like working in here isn’t a proper job.
Well, it isn’t, is it?
A proper job you get paid for all the hours you work. A proper job has prospects.
“You’ll have to do more hours now,” Mum had said. She should have told Mum then.
That Louise is back. Same time, same table, same drink. Habit-forming, life is. Do the same things over and over, and it reminds you who you are. It makes you safe.
The bread pudding needs cutting into squares. The knife is sharp. It slices through her arm as easily as the cake. The skin gapes like a smile, bubbles of fatty tissue gleaming pinkly. How come she has so much fat if everyone tells her she’s skinny? She tries another slice. Odd how it doesn’t really hurt. “I am alive, after all,” she thinks. Red wells up round the tiny beads, gathering in to a trickle. Chelsee moves her wrist, watching the trickle changing direction, controlling the flow.
“What the…? Chelsee.” Louise is with her, clamping a tea towel on the arm, yelling for Carol.
Carol bursts through from the back. “Oh not again. I thought you’d outgrown all that stupid nonsense.”
Later, lying powerfully in her hospital bed, Chelsee allows a smile to slither across her face. Ger looks angry, Mum looks cross and worried: Dad just looks impotent. That’ll teach him.