Fiction

The discontent couple (short fiction)

‘So, life is returning to normal?’ Bea’s voice is thin, raspy. She checks the calendar. ‘Coz, you know, it’s been a long time.’ She looks across the table at Matty. It’s been over twelve months since they slipped into this rut. No shags. No pleasantries whatsoever.

‘Thanks for reminding me,’ Matty replies, fighting the urge to roll his eyes. Matty has no intention of allowing life to return to normal. His plans to get her to move out are skirting ever-closer. She has no clue, of course. Bea is so up herself, she would not realise if someone’s arse was on fire. He stares at the woman he despises. Her lips are tightly pursed, her brow is lined from her constant frown.

She never used to be like that, Matty ponders. For the past three years, Bea hasn’t been the same woman as when they hooked up. She became critical of everything Matty did. The clothes he wore, the way he spoke, even the way he folded his socks. Matty doesn’t know where it all went wrong.

‘I said, ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?’ This time, Bea’s voice is thick and shouty.

Matty doesn’t bother to hide his discontent. He rolls his eyes at her, and opens his mouth, but she beats him to it.

‘Don’t you fucken roll your eyes at me! You weren’t listening to me. As usual.’ Bea screams, but through clenched teeth. ‘I can’t believe you. We’re having this nice conversation about how life is about to settle down again, and you pull this shit on me. Nothing’s ever going to change. You’re a fucken loser.’

At this, Matty boils with rage and he realises his plans must be brought forward. ‘Actually,’ he says to Bea, with a calm, quiet tone, belying his anger. ‘Everything’s going to change. As of now. Pack your bags, you’re outta here.’

He watches Bea’s face turn white, her eyes wide in disbelief. ‘You’re not serious? I thought we were going to make this work.’ Her shoulders slumped around her chest, almost enveloping the front of her body. For a brief moment, he thinks he sees the old Bea. But no. He will not allow himself to back down. Not now.

‘Nope, no intention of working this out,’ Matty responds. ‘You work yourself out, without me. Get out. I’ll give you until the end of the day to move out, you can come back for larger stuff by the end of the week.’ He grabs his car keys from the kitchen bench. ‘I’ll leave you to it. You’re not to be here when I get back.’

The door slams shut.

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