As is my custom, I am serialising one of my past books here on the blog, and over the next few weeks, stories from my 2020 collection, Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries, Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet. I hope you will enjoy.
Falling in and out of love – Friday Night
Lizzie sat at the table in the pub next to Dave, her boyfriend of three years. As usual he was the life and soul of the party, cracking jokes, shouting across the packed bar welcoming anyone he knew as they turned up for the end of week celebration.
They came here every Friday, and the rare times Lizzie had suggested they might do something on their own, such as trip to see a new release at the cinema, or a meal down at the local Indian restaurant, she had been given a kiss and a cuddle, and reminded their friends would miss them.
After three years of sitting quietly sipping her white wine at the noisy table, she was under no illusion the friends were theirs, only Dave’s. He dominated the conversation and paid more attention to his mate’s girlfriend than he did her. Under the table she felt the large bag resting against her leg and felt a surge of resentment. He had said he had to work late, could she make her own way to the pub and he would see her there. He arrived a few minutes after she had sat down at the already full table, carrying the bag which he deposited beside her on the floor.
‘Be a doll and do my washing for me love, the laundrette around the corner was closed again.’ With that he greeted all his mates with high fives and kissed the girls on the cheek before announcing it was his round and headed off to the bar. Lizzie noticed a couple of the girls were giving her a look which was more pitying than envious. As she watched her tall handsome boyfriend swagger back from the bar carrying a tray of drinks, she felt the trance she had been under for so long begin to clear from her mind.
Later in the evening, on the way back from the ladies, she found herself in the middle of a bunch of lads celebrating a birthday next to their table. They were good natured and moved aside to allow her to pass, but just as she was about to emerge from their midst, she heard her name being mentioned. Pete, one of Dave’s mates, shouted over the noise of the others around the table.