Lizzie Koch’s Picture Choice: 2
Title: The Gift
It was her favourite body lotion, nestled in the basket alongside other pampering products, and a box of truffles. Despite the absent card, (as always) Lisa knew the sender. He was always lavishing Lisa with gifts when he couldn’t be with her. When he couldn’t get away. But at least he was thinking of her, as she lay on her bed and twisted off the lid of her body lotion. She inhaled the delicate floral perfume and thoughts turned to when she was last with Scott, when they spent the entire afternoon in bed where he slowly massaged her body lotion into her skin. A pang of lonely jealousy filled her.
He was with her tonight.
No matter his sweet words of promises, his whispers of love. He wasn’t here now. And it hurt. Her heart ached which made her angry. She hated feeling so pathetic, so weak and dependent on a man for her happiness when she was doing OK before Scott started flirting with her.
She swirled the lotion on her skin, her heart heavy. Scott would never leave her. Why would he when he was getting what he wanted? She rubbed the lotion in furiously, watching it disappear into her skin, wishing she could do the same. Wishing she was strong enough to tell Scott to bugger off. The shrill tone of her mobile made her jump. Without looking, Lisa knew it was Scott. On auto pilot, she lay back on the pillow, the phone pressed to her ear.
“Hi Baby,” he purred. “I really miss you.”
“Me too,” she found herself saying (which was true even if she hated the truth).
“What you up to?”
“Nothing.” A heavy pause filled the silence.
“Look, “ Scott finally said, “I’m sorry I can’t make it tonight. I’ll make it up to you.”
“I know,” Lisa said flatly. “You always do, with your gifts. But it’s not enough. Not anymore. And I’m going to say thank you for the pampering basket even though I really don’t want to.”
“What pampering basket?”
“The one you just sent me. Oh fuck! It’s for her, your wife isn’t it? You mixed it up! I’m such an idiot!”
“No, no you’re not Lisa. I never sent a basket to you or anyone. And I definitely would not mix you up. Who’s sending you gifts?” he asked curiously.
“I thought it was you. I have no idea. It’s all my favourite things.”
“So I have competiton. I better get my arse in gear. Look, I rang to tell you. I’m going to tell her this weekend.” He waited for a response. “Lisa? Did you hear what I said?”
“Are you falling asleep on me?” he asked, a nervous laugh in his voice.
“ I . . . I . . . feel . . . weird,” Lisa said, drowsily.
“Don’t mess about Lisa. I can’t come over right now.”
“I . . . my skin.” Lisa looked down at her legs, covered in a red raw rash, hot to the touch. Within seconds, she was gasping for air as her chest squeezed tight against her lungs. The mobile dropped to the floor as she clutched at her chest, gasping like a fish out of water. . .
“I’ve got to go out.” Scott shoved his mobile into his pocket, grabbing his car keys.
“Really? At this time?” Anna asked, not lifting her eyes from her magazine.
“Yes, a friend in need.” Which wasn’t a lie.
“Well, you’d better go then hadn’t you and I’d hurry if I were you although I suspect,” Anna looked at her watch, “you’re too late.” She watched Scott walk out; he hadn’t heard a word. “I said you’re too late,” she shouted. “It was fast acting, in the body lotion.” Anna stood in the doorway as Scott stopped. he turned, his face contorted in confusion. “I know your dirty little secret. Have done for a long time. I can’t believe you thought you could hide it from me.”
“What have you done?” he hissed, marching back up the drive, grabbing Anna by the throat.
“I tidied up the mess in my life!” she hissed, not flinching as his grip tightened. Her lips curled into a bitter smile as Scott released his grip. “And do you know the best bit?”
“I dunno, maybe you won’t have to see my ugly mug anymore when you’re prison?”
“That’s half true. Indeed, I won’t see your face anymore but the best bit is, it’ll be you inside. The basket was from you.”
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I dream of sharing my work with the big wide world one day as a published author. Right now, I share flash fiction with a wonderful community of writers and friends. If you liked this story, then why not visit my blog at http://40somethingundomesticateddevil.blogspot.co.uk/ for more. Thank you. Love Lizzie x