Lynette is slick with sweat as she runs the last few metres to her home. Each heart beat bangs inside her chest; her legs burn from exertion.
She bends forward, panting; checks her Fitbit: 15kms in 1:05. Not bad. Pleased with her effort she performs a few cool-down stretches on the kerb. Across the road, she can hear the giggles of Marla and Joe’s girl, Lila, as she toddles about in the garden. Lynette looks over to see Marla waving.
‘Hi Marla.’ Lynette moves towards her front gate, hoping that Marla receives the message.
‘Lila’s birthday on the weekend. We’re having a huge party. You and Dave coming?’
Message not received, Lynette notes. She turns the top half of her body to face Marla. ‘Planning on popping in for a while. We’ve got a busy weekend.’
‘How’s the run?’
Lynette’s shoulders sag. She’s going to be stuck for a while. Joe is chasing Lila around; her little voice calls for her mummy. She’s Lynette’s only hope to end the neighbourly chit-chat. It’s not that she doesn’t like Marla, she does. She needs to shower; desperate to feel the tickle as the water cascades out the shower head onto her back.
‘Good, thanks,’ Lynette responds as she fishes for her key in the back coin pocket of her Lorna Jane tights. ‘Hey, I’ll see you on the wee—’ She gasps. Her key is missing.
‘Lynette,’ Marla says. ‘What’s the matter?’
‘Um, can’t find my key.’
‘Oh, come and get your spare, then.’
‘What?’ Lynette’s voice rises sharply. Why does Marla have a key to her home?
‘Dave asked us if we’d mind. Bout a year ago. It’s in a jar in the kitchen. Come in while I grab it for you.’
Lynette sighs. Looks like she’s going to do that neighbourly chit-chat after all.