I thrust my hands further into my coat pocket and pulled my collar tighter around my neck. I looked again at my watch. He was late, over thirty minutes late, not like him. I looked across the road at the diner, wondering if I should go inside and wait. No, he’d been quite insistent we meet outside.
I spun round when I heard a voice, one I instantly recognised.
“He’s not coming my love. The man of your dreams, the one you were leaving me for, he’s been detained… permanently! Give me your case sweetheart, it’s time I took you home.”
Surprised they’re not here yet. Could be the traffic I suppose. It can be a nightmare this time of the morning. Wonder if I’ve time for another coffee? What shall I tell them when they arrive?Maybe turn on the tears, say it was all a horrible mistake. I didn’t mean to do it. He attacked me first. That sort of thing. Not true of course. I knew exactly what was going to happen. Just been waiting for the right moment. Wonder what’s keeping them? They should’ve been here ages ago. Surely somebody must have found his body by now?
I’d always known it was going to be a tight contest. The rules had been simple, ‘winner takes all’ and he’d won. Despite my efforts the people had slowly but surely turned against me. The resulting greed, violence, hypocrisy, we’re exactly what he’d wanted. Whatever I had to offer seemed so paltry in comparison. In the end I had no choice but to admit defeat. In my capitulation speech I tried to remain calm and graceful graceful. Lucifer hardly listened, his impatience quite disgusting. So here I am, watching helplessly, as he slowly destroys the world I so lovingly created.
“Screw you!” I scream through bloody cracked lips. He turns his head and looks at me curled up on the cold granite floor. He smiles. Ash from his cigarette drops onto his cheap suit. He carefully brushes it off not once taking his eyes off me. On the floor by his feet is an empty wine bottle lying on its side. Slowly, he bends down and spins the bottle again. We all watch its slow revolution, desperately praying it won’t point in our direction. God is not with me today, my silent prayer goes unanswered. It was my turn again.
My fault Marge, should have stuck to knitting him a plain, v-necked sweater. Never thought a blue sweater with a big ‘S’ on the front would cause such problems. Keep telling him that the ‘S’ stands for his name – Stephen, but he won’t have it. Got this daft idea that he’s a super hero. Silly bugger!
Went missing this morning. Police found him on top of the multi-storey car park, ready to jump. Daft sod! I’m telling you Marge I don’t know what he’s going to do next. He’s even forgotten who I am. Keeps calling me Lois.
“I’m telling you Jimmy, she’s old and it’s about time she died.” I looked over at Grandma and it struck me that Billy might just be right. She had no idea who we were. Every time we came to see her she’d just sit in that chair, a blanket tucked around her legs, staring vacantly out of the window. She’d been like this for years and, according to the staff here, could carry on like it for years to come. I was about to answer when Grandma’s hand suddenly clutched my arm and she whispered, “Don’t even think about it.”
Things had changed dramatically since the invasion. Had he been more alert in those early days he would have fled when he’d had the chance but, as usual, he’d dithered and ended up being part of the first cohort to be rounded up by the invading troops. Betraying his friends and family had been easier than he’d thought it would be. The whiskey helped him sleep at night as did the thought of what they might do to him if he went against them. The offer of a senior position in the new administration had also been a great incentive.