‘Oh honey, it’s beautiful!’
I’m holding a box, inside is a bracelet. My breath catches in my throat as I watch the light dance on the beads.
‘What’s the occasion?’ I ask, dragging my eyes to look at George.
He grins, sheepish. ‘No reason really. Just saw it in a shop window and thought how gorgeous it will look on your wrist.’
I nod, unsurprised. Such a soppy romantic this bloke. Gives flowers and small gifts on a whim. I can’t take my eyes off it. Strange really, as I’m not usually a fan of amber, but the beads are almost translucent. Fractals reflect on the wall around us, so that it looks like we’re in our very own kaleidoscope.
Leaning across the bed, I kiss him. ‘Thanks, George. I love it.’ Flick my hair over my shoulder, and continue, ‘I gotta get to work, though, babe. What shift are you on again?’
He’s a cop. He always tells me his shifts, and the roster is on the fridge, too, but I never remember. My mother used to tell me that I was too self-centred to be bothered to learn about the stuff other people cared about. Too selfish to invest, she’d say. And if I weren’t careful, then hubris would be my downfall.
George has answered me, but I missed it. Fuck.
‘Sorry, say again?’
‘Afternoon. I’ll be home just before midnight.’
‘OK, I’ll wait up then.’
He plants a kiss on my lips, and for a second, I contemplate calling in sick. Instead, I jump upright and stride out of the house, and down the street to the bus stop. The bracelet feels heavy on my wrist; the yellow and brown tones merge and dazzle in the sunlight. As I stare at its beauty, my mind rests on a comparison between the bracelet and me.
I am light. I dazzle. I am beauty.
The smile on my face widens at my thoughts; I lift my jaw and flick my hair over my shoulder again. Breathing deeply and glancing up at the blue canopy over my head, I congratulate myself on, well, myself. My good lot in life. My looks, intellect, my wealth and George.
I step onto the road, don’t see the bus coming towards me. My brain registers a voice behind me screeching, ‘Watch out,’ simultaneous to the force of 16,000kgs running me over.