Short Story Preview: Wheeling, Feeling Blue – Josie Arden
So this widowed actress is feeling blue. (I’d put it stronger but I’m eschewing bad language in my journal.) I’ll settle for ruddy fed up. Today’s supposed to be ‘the first day of the rest of my life’. Only my life ended, more or less, yesterday. Oh Leo. How could you?
He just walked out. Said he couldn’t stay another day. I’d let myself go, he said. Was ashamed to bring friends in. If I really loved him, I’d try a bit harder; lose some weight, freshen up in the evenings. ‘Which man wants to come home, after a hard day’s work,’ he’d shouted, ‘to an old slag who can’t find time to do her nails or her hair?’ and stunned, I’d cried: ‘Old slag? I’ve been busy!’ and he’d hurled back: ‘All DAY?’ Then looking round the flat he’d sneered: ‘I don’t see much sign of ‘‘busy’’!’ I can’t remember all that followed, but anyway, he upped and left. Self-awareness is paramount, they say. Always be honest with yourself. Then you can love yourself. (That last is rubbish!) But why am I feeling so blue and gutted? Self-pity? Am I more frightened of being alone than sorry he’s gone? Yes. That’s got to be it. Oh, Journal, I hereby now admit the truth.
Restless and edgy, I took myself off to the newsagent for a magazine and some chocolates. Strolling in the sunshine on the way, I went over some of the old boyfriends I’d known in the past. Would I fancy any of them back? Which of them could p’raps turn loneliness into happiness again? Sefton? No. He drank too much. Elmer? So sweet when he wanted to be, but oh dear, so possessive! Garth? The proverbial wealthy banker, only a know-all and a bore. And Geoff? Ah! Him, I’d been really fond of before I married, but, well he’d just disappeared into the sunset.
Recently, there’d only been Leo.