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I Want You Gone by Miranda Rijks

I Want You Gone by Miranda Rijks

Author:Miranda Rijks [Rijks, Miranda]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Inkubator Books
Published: 2019-04-12T16:00:00+00:00


23

I walk home slowly, too numb to think. On automatic pilot, I collect my post from the little grey box in the communal downstairs hall and traipse up the stairs. There are three envelopes: a brown one, probably a bill; a white envelope with my name and address typed on it; and a handwritten envelope, which looks like a greetings card. I walk into the living room. The answer machine is flashing. With trepidation, I press the play button and exhale with a loud sigh of relief when I hear Ian’s voice. Who would have thought that a message from Ian would be welcome!

‘Hi, Laura. Just to let you know that Charlene went into early labour yesterday and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy called Rory. Mel knows and she wants to come down this week. I’ve tried to dissuade her, as it’s the middle of term, but she says it doesn’t matter, as it’s reading week. Not sure what that means. But just to warn you she might show up. Mother and baby are both doing fine, by the way. If you’d like to see them, which you probably won’t, they’re at home. Bye.’

I’m not surprised that Mel wants to come home to see her new half-brother. She may have been distressed and confused about his existence only a few days ago, but now that he is a reality, nothing will keep her away. The problem is, as much as I want to see my daughter, I don’t want her to know about all the dreadful things that have been happening to me. Life has just got even more complicated. I sink onto the sofa. It’s strange being at home on a Monday morning with nothing to do. I know someone who will be pleased: Anna. She’s been moaning about me working; well, now I can spend time with her. Go to the gym, or perhaps not. Stupid idea. I’ll make the most of Mel arriving.

But first I open the letters, the brown envelope first, which is, as expected, a utility bill, twice as much as I had anticipated. How could electricity have gone up so much in three months? Sighing, I drop it onto the sofa. I open the greetings card next. It is a rather charming painting of a theatre auditorium, a woman in a box, another woman about to be seated in a front-row seat, and a debonair gentleman clothed in an evening suit, shrugging off his coat. I turn the card around. The artist is Edward Hopper and the painting is entitled Two on the Aisle, painted in 1927. I have never heard of him, but then I am ignorant of art. It shows how slow I am this morning, as it takes me a good five seconds to realise who the card must be from. Ben Logan. I drop it onto the floor as if it is a hot poker. The picture may be attractive, innocuous, but it has been in his hands and he has written inside it.



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