Short Story Preview: The Visit
‘You are part of my life,’ she says, hugging me, kissing me and shimmering with sorcery. She is through the front door, down the hall and into the kitchen before you can say, Merry Christmas! Small damp footprints treading cream carpet: The house already hers.
Hot travelled, her swollen shoulder bag spills half-used packets of aspirin and scrunched up tissues onto the floor. She sinks into the nearest chair, wipes a botoxed forehead with the back of her hand and asks what’s new?
‘Not a lot,’ I say, affecting the casual air reserved for old friends. And I make us gins and tonic, swallowing mine quickly, hungry to relax. A sliver of ice slips down my throat and I gasp.
‘I wish you’d ’phoned, Isabel. Wish you’d told me you were coming.’
I still have to buy cards, put up the tree and make a batch of mince pies.
‘Well, you know me, impetuous as ever,’ she says, whilst foraging in her bag for cigarettes. ‘I was in the area and simply couldn’t go home without calling. It’s been such ages. And it is Christmas,’ she adds, looking up with a dimpled smile.
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