by Allison Symes
raspberry and lemon juice
Bloody hell, what now, Liza thought. What more do they want? Can’t they see I’m tired and some help would go a long way?
Liza gazed around the living room with books and papers everywhere. Between her husband, with his novels, and the children with their homework scattered as if to the four winds, Liza could just make out a tiny patch of sofa which was, as yet, unclaimed. So she went and sat on it.
Perhaps tonight the others could do the cooking. They were old enough now. Her husband moaned about having the same old thing all the time so he could do something new. And maybe she would get to read a book for once.
They ended up having takeaways, the night before Liza’s weigh-in at her slimming club.
‘Course I’m not happy. I put on three pounds last night. Why couldn’t you have made me an omelette? I have shown you how often enough.’
Liza wasn’t surprised the replies ranged from not wanting to come home after work and have to cook to having far too much homework to do. Besides Liza could’ve had less of the takeaway if she wanted to keep her weight down.
Liza thought of several things she wanted to say but most of it would have been swearing and she wondered wearily what would be the point. What was the point of anything… if her family couldn’t see all she did for them, would it matter if she went away? They’d have to manage then. Maybe they’d manage better.
Liza went up to have a bath before her tears got the better of her. She couldn’t face an interrogation about why she was crying, assuming they bothered to notice. She wasn’t sure what would be worse - the interrogation or the not noticing. She did know she didn’t want to find out.
A week later, Liza woke to find she was in hospital. Her head hurt, she ached all over, and she felt so tired. Oh yes. She’d been rushing across the road to get her bus for work when something hit her. She thought it was a cyclist. They hadn’t stopped.
Liza looked around as far as she was able. She seemed to be in a room on her own. There was no sign of her family. Liza felt tears well up. Where the hell are they when I need them? Why have they left me alone?
‘Hello, good to see you back with us, Mrs Manners.’
The cheery sounding voice seemed to come from Liza’s right. Liza turned to see a nurse standing by her bed.
‘Now what’s with all the tears then?’
‘Err… my family…’
‘Have been in every night and every hour they can waiting for you to wake up. Indeed, your husband went home only fifteen minutes ago when I told him he needed to get something to eat and some rest. Look, they’ve put up some lovely pictures.’
The nurse picked up a couple of photo frames and showed them to Liza. One was of Liza and her husband on their wedding day. Another was of their three children on the swings at the local park.
‘There is a card too, Mrs Manners.’
The nurse held a huge flower festooned card out and opened it up so Liza could read it.
It read. We’re so sorry. Get better soon. We miss you so much.
This time, Liza didn’t bother to hide the tears.
About the author
Her latest flash fiction collection, Tripping The Flash Fantastic, is out in Kindle and paperback.
Her Youtube channel, with book trailers and story videos, is at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPCiePD4p_vWp4bz2d80SJA/