Piece Of Cake

Entry by: Olivia

25th September 2015
Piece of Cake

She stood up and waited as she gained her balance and launched herself round her desk, grabbing her cup as she went. ‘Get anyone anything?’ she asked generally and took their silence as a ‘no’.

The walk to the kitchen produced its usual trickle of sweat and she paused to get her breath before reaching for the kettle. She needed the loo but the effort required seemed too much and she didn’t bother.

She waited for the kettle to boil and reflected on yesterday’s miserable evening. Once again they had rerun the old, ‘you do nothing, I do it all,’ argument, and she had gone to bed fed up and lonely. The warm milky drink had soothed her but she still felt bad in the morning. `Her usual breakfast hadn’t filled the gaping void and she had needed a cappuccino at the station. She had tried everything, every diet, every regime, she had even exercised. Nothing lasted for long; oh, it started well (usually on a Monday) and would work for varying lengths of time, but inevitably she would give up, deciding it just wasn’t worth the effort. Very little was worth any effort these days. With the children at uni she really couldn’t be bothered to cook and usually picked up a take away on the way home. John, if he looked at her at all, appeared to think her beyond the pale. She watched the kettle boil and made her drink. The walk back was hard, difficult to balance with a weight in her hand . She was on the point of leaving the kitchen when George called in. George was lovely but desperately boring and she felt sure that she was in for a long session, only to leave with more information about model trains than she could possible want.

‘Sally, can I talk to you’, he asked. ‘Here we go’ she immediately thought, ‘he’s going to tell me I take too many snack breaks’. He simply turned to her and looked straight into her eyes, ‘Sally, we are worried about you. You have looked so sad lately and you haven’t seemed yourself. Can we help?. She barely heard him, instead concentrated on a quick retort, anxious to divert attention. She shrugged, thanked him and mumbled an apology and an assurance that it was just a ‘woman thing’.

Sally had spent most of her adult life as a ‘big girl’, urged by her parents to clear her plate she had developed a healthy appetite and an ability to eat whatever was put in front of her. Two children had added to her waist line but her real ‘food issues’ had run wild when she had lost her love for the man she had married. She wasn’t sure she had ever really loved him but now she knew she didn’t. So anxious was she to prove her parents wrong and show that someone did want her, she had married the first man who had shown any interest in her. She reckoned she wouldn’t get many choices and couldn’t be bothered to see if there was anyone better out there. They had muddled through well enough to begin with but it was never quite the same after the ‘Lucy problem’. Neither of them had ever really tackled that summer but it hung between them like an unsung song.

Sally made it back to her desk, not looking anywhere other than at her drink or her screen. She didn’t want their pity nor their judgment. She knew, if she allowed herself to know anything, what she wanted, but it was so far away that it seemed impossible. She didn’t even have the words to think it through, far less do anything about it. The afternoon dragged on and eventually she escaped into the dull evening.

She ate steadily through her portion of the Chinese and most of his too. The sore feeling of her over filled gut went some way to dulling the pain and the alcohol took the rest away for a blissful half hour. The backlash was a bad one and she went to bed angry and sad, tossed and turned all night, longing for the love she had lost.

Desperate for some relief she had eaten her mid morning snack by 9.30 and was looking round for something else when the text arrived. She had deleted the contact so it looked like someone she didn’t know but she read it anyway, expecting yet another PPI check. ‘Sally, how have you been? I long for you every day please think again. Please let me in. Life is empty without you’.

She knew without a shadow of doubt who it was and suddenly she knew what she was going to do. ‘Hi Sally, its my birthday, want a piece of cake’ the little accounts clerk asked. ‘No thanks, I’m eating clean from now on in’.

She grabbed her phone and set off to the staff room. ‘My life is empty too Lucy. Usual place? Usual time?’ She practically skipped back to her desk and smiled at George and mouthing ‘thank you’ she settled herself down to some work to pass the time till she escaped into the fresh air.