Sunday, 16 June 2019

Write-In 2019: 'The last holiday' by Cath Barton

We set off for the place where we’d been happy lots of times, before, but I felt terrible from the first day, a stone dragging in my heart. In the evenings I drank wine to numb me, but next morning, on the long drive, I felt its leaden weight. I found myself crying for no reason, except of course there was a reason, I just couldn’t work it out.

When we reached Provence the sky was luminous and I thought it might work its magic on us again. I cooked the simple food we both loved and we ate on the terrace, overlooking the lavender fields. Anyone seeing us would have thought he was behaving normally, but he was always a good actor. There were times when he had rehearsed his parts with me, on that balcony. We had laughed together then, when there was no-one else in the plot. Now I had an unknown rival stealing all my best lines.

‘You can guess who it is,’ he said, finally cornered.

‘I don’t want to guess,’ I hissed, eyes narrowing. Though by then I knew her name. I wanted him to wriggle. Like a worm. Skewered.

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