Short Story: Fatal Sandwich

      ‘Brad broke up with me.’

      Gemma expected her two friends to overreact. They didn’t disappoint. Domino, Ellie’s cat, jumped across the coffee table and onto Gemma’s lap. His paws wrapped around her left leg and gently massaged her skin.

       ‘Crappy excuse no doubt?’ Brenda never held back.

       ‘Give you at least three excuses that sound like the truth,’ said Ellie, ‘and never tell you the real reason.’

       ‘Well …’

       ‘Was it the sex?’ Brenda asked her. ‘Please tell me it wasn’t the sex?’

       ‘You didn’t give him enough?’ asked Ellie.

       ‘Or too much?’

       ‘It was adequate.’ Gemma lied. She gave them an answer she hoped would change the direction of the conversation.

       ‘Hope you didn’t tell him that, Gem,’ replied Brenda. 

       ‘Not many men can make you feel delightfully dizzy while they are twisted around your . . .’

        ‘You need to stop reading Mills and Boon books, Ellie. They went out of fashion in the seventies.’

        ‘It wasn’t the sex,’ said Gemma. She paused for a moment to compose herself. ‘I made him a sandwich.’

        Domino let out an ear-piercing screech and jumped off Gemma’s leg.

       ‘You didn’t.’ said Ellie, her voice muffled behind her hand.

       Brenda’s cheeks were red, her fists clenched. ‘How typical. He would have read so much into that, Gem. Depending on what you put in the sandwich, he could have thought the relationship was bland, or stale. Mouldy.’

        ‘What did you put in that sandwich?’

         ‘Well, there was steak.’

         ‘And he wasn’t satisfied?’

         ‘Shhh, Brenda, let her finish,’ said Ellie.

          ‘Bacon, fried egg, and melted cheddar cheese’

         ‘The most exotic sandwich a man could ever eat,’ said Brenda. ‘You will probably tell me you put beetroot in it next.’

         ‘You didn’t put any vegetables in it, did you?’ asked Ellie.

         ‘Coleslaw.’

         ‘Even gave it a different name.’ Ellie looked at her in awe.

         ‘Genius!’

         ‘Sounds amazing.’

         ‘But the lumpy prick still found something wrong with it. With you. He’s a dick, Gemma.’

         ‘A real dick.’ 

         Domino jumped into the air as Brenda sprung to her feet with a sudden burst of energy. ‘You made one of those tiny bite-size entrée serves?’ Size is very important you know.’

          ‘Very important.’ Brenda glared at Ellie.

          Gemma shook her head. Her heart jumped as Brenda burst out with another epiphany.

           ‘The bread? Please tell me you gave him the gourmet stuff and not that home brand rubbish?’

           ‘Like one of those fancy buns?

           ‘That would be a burger, Ellie.’

           Gemma stumbled over the next words. ‘I didn’t use bread.’

           ‘What?’ Brenda yelled so loud, Gemma thought the windows would break.

           ‘I used lettuce leaves.’

           Brenda and Ellie gasped in horror. Domino screeched again. Ellie and Brenda squabbled hysterically, there words blending into white noise, while Gemma sat there more confused than ever. It was like she had committed murder. Serving a lettuce leaf sandwich wasn’t a crime. Was it? Surely not a deal-breaker. Obviously, it was.

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