For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #152, where we write about the image below from EyeCandyDesignz @ Pixabay.
“Terry, is that you?”
Even as he closed the front door, Helen was onto him. There’s no let up, thought Terry. He responded, on autopilot, “Hi, hon, I’m home.”
Lately, though, he’d had to admit that the place they’d bought together just a year ago felt far from home. The question foremost in Terry’s mind now, every waking moment, had they done the right thing by moving in together?
As claustrophobic as he felt, Helen suspected nothing. But fortunately, Terry would get some space tonight. For this evening he could not only have a break from Helen, but was about to indulge in his favourite pastime, with his old high school buddies.
“You remembered I’m out tonight, didn’t you, sweetness?”, he called, in the direction of her voice.
Helen, short and blonde, clad only in a skimpy aquamarine dressing gown, emerged from the bathroom into the long hallway.
“Out? But, hon, you never said. I was hoping we could talk some more about the wedding tonight. I’ve been thinking about some places for the reception, wanted to run them by you.”
“Helen, I told you three weeks ago…”, he started, with a sigh. “I’m out with the boys tonight. I reminded you only last week, remember?”
But before he could continue, she was on him, lifting her arms around his neck, pulling him down toward her, kissing his dark beard. Instinctively, Terry pulled away, ostentatiously raising his wrist to check his watch.
“You remember, lovely? I told you last week. And what’s more,” he added for good measure, “I need to be out of here in like, thirty minutes, so I’m on a schedule.”
Helen backed off.
“I remember, honey bunny… I just forgot it was tonight, that’s all.”
Terry vanished into the kitchen, and Helen heard the freezer door, then the dull rumble as the microwave fired into action. Quickly reappearing, he skipped straight past.
“Is it okay if I use the shower? I’ll only be two minutes.”
“Course, hon. Don’t let me hold you up.” Her remaining nails could wait.
True to his word, Terry was out again shortly, disappearing into the bedroom to dress. “I’m just gonna fix me a ready meal, then I’ll be gone”, he called, over his shoulder, as Helen returned to the bathroom to resume.
A short while later, Terry was tucking into a microwaved vegetable lasagne, straight from the tray, when Helen entered the kitchen, wafting her hands to dry the fresh polish. Seeing Terry gulping the food, she chided, “I don’t know, you think more of that band than you do of me.”
Terry ate faster.