by Matthew Roy Davey
“Jesus Libby,” shouted Max, shutting off the smoke alarm, taking the pan off the hob and opening the back door. “What are you playing at?”
From the living room came a cheer from the TV echoed by a cheer from their son Kieran.
“Christ! Now they’ve scored. Can’t you even cook fucking dinner? I’ve worked an eleven hour day.”
“Sorry? Well perhaps it would help if you’d put that bloody wine down.”
He stopped, hand on hips, breathing hard and staring at her. She was sitting at the table, staring at her phone. He cocked his head.
“Are you okay?”
She hadn’t known about it until several days after the event. On the Monday he didn’t show up for their meeting and then didn’t return her calls. She wondered if she’d done something wrong. It went on for two days until his wife picked up, her voice hollow and flat, demanding to know who Libby was. Eventually, Libby couldn’t stand it any longer and drove over to the house, something he’d forbidden her to do. At first, she thought there was a party going on, then she realised most of the guests were wearing black.
He’d been so kind, so attentive, so loving. But now he was gone. She didn’t even know how or why. She couldn’t even say goodbye.
She looked up and gave him a tired smile.
“I’m fine. Just a long day. Shall I call a takeaway?”
Kieran appeared in the doorway.
“Half-time. What’s up with Mum? She’s been weird all day.”
Max waved his hand in the air.
“I dunno. Women.”
About the author
Matthew Roy Davey has won the Dark Tales and The Observer short story competitions. He has been long-listed for the Bath Flash Fiction award, Reflex Flash Fiction competition, Retreat West Quarterly competition and was recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Bristol, England and has no hobbies.
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