Chapter 5

Written by: Suraya Dewing

Jim’s steely glare stopped Francesca. She felt as if she was coming out of a daze.

Two policemen with cuffs rattling from their belts dragged her to a nearby office.

‘Sit down!’  an authoritative voice bellowed.

She sat, hands clasped in her lap with fingers threading though each other, realising she was in trouble.

‘You’ve breached protocols.’ 

 

A policewoman strode into Jim’s interview room.

‘You are a very lucky man. Your wife’s come round.’ 

Jim wiped away tears of relief with trembling fingers then sunk his head in his hands.

He vowed he would never, ever gamble again.

-----

 

Jim was sitting beside the bed when Cate woke up feeling groggy and light headed. He sat in the chair beside the bed, curving thumbs pressed together, his body rigid and mouth set in a grim line.

The nurse checked Cate’s vitals then bustled away to the next patient.

Jim took Cate’s hand. It rested limply. He leaned closer and she felt his hot breath brush her skin. A deep frown formed between his tear stained eyes.

‘Cate, I’m so sorry for what’ve done,’ he said.

She believed he was genuine but she was not ready to hear an apology….not then.

‘Please Jim, maybe later,’ she murmured, ‘Just go.’ She turned away.

His hand slid down his worn trousers and his thumb hooked into a hole. Angrily he jerked it away, making the cloth tear further. The searing sound filled the silent room.

As she watched his retreating back, tears flowed down Cate’s cheeks.

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Several days later Jim cautiously walked through the door, checking to see if he was welcome or not. Cate was sitting up beside the bed and gave him a tight smile. Encouraged, he handed her a bunch of yellow and red flowers.

His expensive after shave wafted over her as she took in his clean shaven features, new jeans, smart khaki polo shirt and loafers. His hair gleamed like gold as he ran his fingers through his fringe. Cate felt a tug at her heart.

Gingerly he took her hand then held it tighter when he saw her lips soften to a small smile.

He went down on his knees and earnestly declared, ‘I promise I have really changed.’

Half wanting to believe him, she muttered, ‘People don’t change.’

‘I promise, I have.’ He clutched her hand to his heart.

He took out a set of shining keys and dangled them before her.

‘See, I’ve bought a new car with the insurance money instead of gambling it away. I bought you a Mercedes Cabriolet. I know you’ve always dreamed of having one.’

Excitement flared then died.

‘But what about the debts?’

He waved a dismissive hand, ‘I’ve sorted those.’

His ebullient mood dared her to hope.

‘And…’ He grinned as he swept the papers from his pocket with a flourish.  ‘My new job,’ he announced.  ‘A six figure contract.’

Her eyes became huge and she hesitated. Perhaps he deserved another chance.

Suraya Dewing (NZ)

 

 

 

 

Comments

I think Jim is an idiot and a liar. Next writer has a good chance to take this serial to another level.
I think Jim is an idiot and a liar. Next writer has a good chance to take this serial to another level. Just read this once because I must have pushed submit twice!
My favourite part of this story was the last third. I was suddenly there in the room watching the conversation take place.