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A Funny Way Of Doing it...

by jim60 

Posted: 23 July 2009
Word Count: 816

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Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.

Gerry looks at his watch. The umpteenth time he's done it. This wasn't his idea, this was hers.
He can't hang around, he's getting funny looks and people are getting suspicious of this scruffy, grey and black haired, unshaven man standing near the door.
Gerry's not too sure why she phoned him. They talk, but sparingly and they're not particularly polite with each other either.
She wanted the divorce and he surrendered so quickly and she had what she wanted. Talk about gift wrapped!
She definitely saw him coming and took him to the fucking cleaners. Well, maybe he deserved it, but he hadn't gone off and fucked Simon Buckley. Of all the men that she could have got off with and she picks Simon. He's as bent as a nine bob note, he didn't need it tattooed on his forehead.
Gerry looks at his watch again.
They'd been married for sixteen years, tehy had a daughter, Melissa and she's as sharp as a knife. A very smart cookie is Mel. You can call her Mel, she doesn't mind. She and Gerry get on exceptionally well, he loves her to bits.
As Gerry paces in circles yet again, ah...there she is.
Be about time!
Barbara Mason. Dressed to kill in a dark blue business suit. Power dressing and her skirt is clung to her hips like it's paintwork and stops at her knees, showing off her tanned legs,she won't apologise for being late, not her style.
She stops, he stops.
A little smile from her. A smaller one from him. We're off to a good start, they haven't thrown anything yet.
"I need to talk to you."
Gerry shrugs, "So I'm here. Talk."
Barbara points inside the coffee shop. Starbuck's is not a place he wants to be. He never comes here. Obviously she does, she looks comfortable shoving the door open and pointing at a table. Gerry sits.
With her bag slung over her shoulder, she sits, passing across a coffee.
"Why'd you pick Starbuck's? It's a shit hole!"
Barbara looks at him, not altogether nicely, digging in her bag for her artificial sweeteners. Some thing's never change.
"It's neutral ground."
Gerry sits back, leaving the cup like thing where she'd placed it. Barbara drops two little white pills in her drink.
"He's asked me to marry him."
"Why? Is there something wrong with him?"
Barbara smiles, well, sort of. It's kind of hard to tell really, she stirs her drink and stares at Gerry instead, maybe he's missing something.
"There's nothing wrong with him. He asked me to marry him."
And what did you say?"
Please let her say yes, please say yes...
Oh shit...her look has changed, from that sweet looking angel of death to the angel's slightly twisted sister, "I said I'd talk to you."
There's a choker! Talk to me? Fuck! What have I done now?
"You haven't forgotten our divorce, have you?"
She can't have. It was as bloody as she wanted it.
"No, but thanks for the reminder. Gerry."
"So why am I being dragged into this?"
Barbara took a drink, looking at Gerry in a very non interested kind of way, "I need you to talk to Mel."
Gerry laughs out loud, upsetting the couple at the next table.
"Why can't you talk to her? She's your daughter as well!"
"Yes, but she likes you. She fucking hates me."
"I think hate is a bit strong."
No it isn't, but I'm not going to tell her that.
"You know she doesn't like me or Simon."
"Simon's a cu-"
"Don't you dare say that!"
The oh so very close sound of thunder in her voice.
Gerry surrenders, takes a drink. Has another one, "Why can't I say that and yet you can say fuck and get away with it?"
Barbara smiles. Yeah, she does and that's all she does.
"Okay, I'll talk to her."
"Please. I need your help with her."
Gerry nods and finishes off ths piss like coffee.
"I'll talk to her tonight."
"Thank you. You know, I was thinking about us."
Oh for fuck's sake! Us? Why the hell did she do that?
"A stupid question, but why?"
Barbara smiles at him again, this is a nice one though and they're quite rare, "We weren't all bad, were we?"
Actually, they weren't and that's the truth of it, they weren't that bad at all.
"No, I suppose not."
Barbara's drink is finished now, "Would you take a walk with me?"
Oh shit! Now she thinks I'm a dog!
"Yeah, okay. Why not."

Barbara walks into the bedroom, her blouse open and fixing her skirt. She checks her hair again in the mirror. The sudden loud bang from the front door makes her jump,
"Hi Dad!"
Mel's shout from downstairs and Gerry, lying in his bed smiles at Barbara, "Do you want to handle this?"

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Comments by other Members

SJ Williamson at 14:16 on 23 July 2009  Report this post

Ah ... that was a big surprise ending ... nice one! Great little story here Jim. Once again, written in your lovely quick style, which I enjoy very much. These snappy, short sentences work especially well with this subject matter, and it gives us a real feeling of that slightly anxious, niggly, tension that would occur in conversations like this.

The "c you next Tuesday" line was a real LOL moment.

Trouble is, being a real romantic, I want Gerry and Barbara to get back together now, although if Mel can't stand her ... perhaps itís not going to end happily.

Very enjoyable, Jim.


StephB at 09:26 on 24 July 2009  Report this post

You have such a unique way of writing - your pieces seem very 'real'. I like Gerry's inner dialogue, its like he's speaking directly to the reader, so we can go through his emotions with him.

So, what happens next?!

Steph x

freynolds at 12:38 on 26 July 2009  Report this post
Hi Jim,

I think this story is my favourite one of yours, so far. The internal dialogue works well and the tenses did not jump at me too much as it was almost as if you had intentionally manipulated them, this time. It is almost like an oral account ,and Steph is right in pointing out that it is almost as if Gerry is telling us the story.

I really enjoyed this.


Mand245 at 06:34 on 27 July 2009  Report this post
Hi Jim

I think, of all the work you've posted so far, I enjoyed this the most. I agree with the others that you style works really well for this story and I loved the unexpected ending. Great stuff!


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