Posted: 15 April 2005
Word Count: 667
Summary: Flash for the Relief challenge
Even though we shared a flat we rarely saw each other during the week, Sunday was our special day. Erica was studying fashion at college and I worked long hours in an office, on Sundays we enjoyed London. We’d rise late, still chilled to the bone in our tiny central heating free flat. It only had one bedroom and we took turns sleeping in the bed, the other option was cushions on the floor, which when you're young can be surprisingly comfortable. We’d wrap up in blankets and curl up on the sofa drinking tea and reading the papers that one of us would have bought from a vendor late the night before. We’d take long soapy baths sharing the same water, tossing a coin to see who’d go first. We’d dress alike, never intentionally, it just happened, if I chose a black skirt and pink top then Erica would emerge from her room in a pink skirt and black top, we complimented each other, literally as well as figuratively. Even though we’d known each other since childhood our adult friendship was just beginning. We’d been neighbours when we were young, next door but one, always in and out of each others homes, she’d drag her lonely only self around to play with me and my two brothers, I miss sharing, she’d often say, it doesn’t come naturally to me being an only child, I need to learn it.
And she did, we shared jewellery, makeup, clothes and sometimes men. Our Sundays were spent linking arms and hiding under big grey coats, as we marched through London streets, meeting for coffee and patisseries in the Soho cake shops then catching a foreign film in one of the many art cinemas that lined the alleyways. In the summer we’d swim in the Serpentine lido and eat ice cream cones in the park. We’d grab a table at the local Italian and raid the kitty for a cheap bottle of red to take with us. Dark winter afternoons were spent drinking in the French Pub, when days would blend seamlessly into nights.
Some evenings we’d sit in front of the tiny ten-inch black and white telly and talk through entire movies and South Bank shows. We’d experiment with nail varnish and back combing hair, stitch and unstitch second hand dresses then dye them black and start again.
When I first heard the news I couldn’t believe it, but now sitting here in this café it all seems so real. Like I can feel her beside me. I remembered those late night conversations that she’d always start and never finish.
“Didn’t he ever try it with you?” she’d ask, eyes pleading.
Each time I’d shake my head, almost in disbelief, perhaps that’s what she sensed.
“Hello Sophie, how lovely to see you.”
He looked down at me, his moustache as I remembered it and his eyes piercing and thorough.
He took his seat and ordered tea for two even though it was obvious I had been drinking coffee. Of course he moved years ago, our old neighbour, whose house sat squarely between Erica’s, and mine a thorn between two roses. I tracked him down through a friend of my brothers, he was very surprised to hear from me but said he visited a private club most Sundays, right in the heart of Soho, let’s hook up, he suggested.
No Erica, he never tried it with me, I don’t know why, but I’m sure it had nothing to do with me being any better than you.
The waiter brought the tea and my love for you forced my hand. I plunged my sharp little knife right through his heart and as his bewildered eyes met mine I whispered.
“That’s for Erica, you dirty old bastard!”
You were so full of life, so beautiful, my Sunday Sister, lying white and lifeless in a cold dark morgue. Your life taken by your own hand, rest in peace my darling, he is no more.
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