Michelle, Ma Belle
She pressed "send". What would he do? She sat on the windowsill and gazed over the wet rooftops. The tenth floor view was like the Top of the World. The kettle boiled. She dunked a teabag into a mug and flung the hot soggy lump toward the bin. She barely acknowledged the miss. She was too preoccupied by the fucking whimpering in the next room.
He checked his mail on the way to the next job. Yet another message from Michelle. He pressed "delete'. What a mistake she'd been! He shook his head, trying to rid himself of the images. He trudged over churned up mud and breeze blocks and surveyed the building, recording measurements, hunched against wind and drizzle. It took hours. By the time he'd finished it was dusk and blustery. He opened the car and dumped his hard hat and work bag on the back seat. He bashed his boots together, shedding clumps of mud and then slid his feet into clean soled shoes. Another job done.
He phoned home. Emma didn't answer. He checked his phone for messages just in case. His gut flushed hot – nothing from Emma but something from Michelle.
"Aren't you sorry you deleted the last message?" was all it said.
He rang home again. No reply. He careered along the roads reckless and desperate. He slammed on the brakes, jumped out of the car, left the door flung open wide, as he sprinted to the block of flats. Then he saw simultaneously in an explosion of blue light: the ambulance, the police car and Michelle, smoking, indifferent, in the back seat.
19 November 2013