Chapter 5

Written by: Suraya Dewing

I draw myself up tall but that still makes me shorter than Lucinda. The friggin’ chair squeaks. I frown. I can’t help it if I’ve put on a few extra kilos and these ridiculous chairs are so flimsy.

 

Lucinda allows herself a quiet smirk and her ice blue eyes connect with mine. “I’ve got ya!” they say.

 

My eyes drop to Donna’s hand, still laid sympathetically across Lucinda’s. The blood roars in my ears.

 

Who’s being held to account here? My prized Dodge Viper is still at the surgeon’s, it’s future hanging in the balance. I feel tears pricking the back of my eyes. Even if it survives, it will never be the same… I’ve admitted it to the most expensive car restorer in town and even he is scratching his head over how to mend my beautiful machine.

 

The anger becomes unbearable and I leap to my feet. I roll my shoulders back to make myself taller.

“Have you got any idea what your carelessness has done?” I shout.

 

Lucinda has the grace to drop her eyes. Her thick lashes, coated in mascara, fan out over her soft cheeks and… dammit, I remember Madeline. All those old feelings surge back. I thought I had banished her from my heart but there she is, manipulating it, as if she is in the room.

 

Donna leans forward, her stern face set and forefinger pointing. “Sit down. Immediately!” 

 

I come back to the room. Blink. Then I wonder why I am allowing women to push me around this way? So I stand again, hands on hips.

 

Donna thumps the table. “Mr. McGibbon, you will sit yourself down. Now!” Then her voice drops dangerously low and she lays her manicured hand over a file which I presume holds all our statements including the report disclosing Lucinda’s elevated blood alcohol level. “If you want me to attend to the matter in hand, you need to maintain composure.”

 

I sit down and the damned chair gives an ominous squeak. Lucinda allows a smirk to again tweak her lips. God, she looks like her twin sister. A knot screws in my stomach.

 

“Yes’m,” I mutter as if I’m back in class with Miss Horn, Headmistress. I hate myself even more.

 

This woman….no, not Donna (I shake my head impatiently) the other one … Lucinda, has reduced me, the Executive Director of my own construction company, to a quivering mess!

 

Then I realise what the problem is. I am surrounded by women. They have always been the bane of my life. If they aren’t wrecking it they are wrecking the things I love. 

 

The image of a wrecking ball appears in my mind, Lucinda’s face etched on it. It goes crashing into an ugly high rise building and I think, ‘great job’. 

 

But then Donna’s voice brings me back to the cold, sterile church hall, those ugly chairs and Lucinda’s smirking face.

 

 

Comments

A prickly confrontation. Very nice, Suraya
Thanks Antics