Bleary-eyed, Peter awoke after another torturous dream of Debbie cheating. The rumour had come from a dubious source but with the missed visits and the indifference over the phone the evidence was mounting. Their tempestuous affair had had a rocky beginning but he thought they’d turned a corner after the baby. It’s going the way of most jail relationships and the slag only had four months to wait.
“When it rains...” The chubby doctor smiled.
“Rain! I’m in the middle of a shitstorm! How the fuck is it possible to catch a genital wart on my face?” an exasperated Peter inquired.
“It’s happened before. Look, how many inmates go round with a hand down their pants? It only takes someone with a genital wart to scratch their nuts then grab the weights bar at the gym.” The doctor chuckled. “Have you got a girlfriend?”
“It’s hanging by a thread at the moment,” Peter answered.
“Well, don’t kiss her, if you do it can spread like wildfire. Good luck explaining.” The doctor laughed, setting his jowls vibrating against his shirt collar.
Well I know what the topic will be in his local tonight, thought Peter looking away. A child eating an apple on a healthy eating poster caught his eye. Well he doesn’t practise what he preaches; he’s no stranger to the fridge that’s for sure. Peter smiled, unable to hate the doc.
Who’s Michelle and who’s Kate? Debbie had asked in her letter. I don’t know a Kate, thought Peter. Is she accusing me to excuse her own behaviour? There’s only Carl that knew about Michelle but that was before she got pregnant. The letter was distant with no endearments, saying they needed to talk. Conflicting emotions swirled round Peter’s head as he stared vacantly at the ugly inflammation in the mirror.
The rain hammered down as Peter dashed for the visit. How am I going to explain the wart? Peter thought. Debbie looked as good as ever: blond highlights, a new low cut top and a familiar scent of Channel perfume triggering happy memories.
“You look nice,” Peter said.
“Thanks, you don’t,” she replied. “What happened to your face?”
Peter was about to explain but noticed the love bite on Debbie’s neck. “What’s that!”
“Swiss cheese,” she mocked. “Well, what’s good for the goose an’ all that eh!”
Peter had dreamt about this and in his dream he’d slapped Debbie then walked off.
He barely recognised his own voice. “Don’t tell me you’re with Carl.”
“How did you know?” asked Debbie, genuinely puzzled.
“You deserve each other,” he laughed, amazed at the relief he felt.
His cool response threw her. She mumbled, “What about my birthday present?”
“Carl will get you one.”
“I don’t want you seeing Liam,” Debbie added, changing the attack.
“I’m going now before we say too much,” he calmly replied.
“You’ve already said too much. He’s not yours anyway!” she shrieked.
“Goodbye Debbie.” He leaned over and kissed her, expecting her to pull away. The wart made contact with her plump cherry lips.
© SF 2010
Stephen is a totally independent writer and DNMF is delighted to announce that he will be contributing to future issues of SELECTED STORIES.