by Lynn Clement
‘Where’s mum?’ asked Ray Boswell.
‘In the bathroom,’ replied his eldest.
‘Right, we’re going,’ determined Ray. He slammed the door to make his point.
In their newly refurbished bathroom Samantha was washing her hands.
A sticky note was on the kitchen cupboard door above the kettle, where Ray knew Samantha would see it. Don’t forget your doctor’s appointment! When she saw it she lifted the note from the door and walked to the bin. Hitting the pedal she dropped the note in, and then wiped her feet on the mat just inside the kitchen door. She went to the sink. The teeth of the nail brush snarled at her as she picked it up and began scrubbing at the tips of her fingers. The red water swirled down the plug hole.
The clock chimed ten. She should have set off by now, if she were to be on time. Samantha finished applying the plasters and put her gloves on. Lifting her raincoat from the stand she carefully manoeuvred her arms into the sleeves, leaving the buttons undone in spite of the biting cold that would hit her outside. The belt hung loose and banged on her leg as she walked.
Samantha crossed the road, avoiding the urine soaked bus stop and quickened her pace. A film of sweat formed on her top lip and she felt sick. Fishing in her pocket she brought out today’s freshly laundered handkerchief, and dabbed at her skin. She felt the familiar burning sensation in her throat and tried to swallow it down, but vomited on the pavement nevertheless. She moved away swiftly. She had to make this appointment. Ray was at the end of his tether with her. She needed help.
Samantha pushed open the wooden door, looking immediately for the ladies.
‘Welcome,’ said a deep voice.
She went in.
‘How can I help you,’ he said.
‘Forgive me father, for I have sinned,’ said Samantha.