chapter 3

She pushed her key into the lock and twisted the reluctant handle, met by a little resistance, then a waft of warm breath that hinted that food was imminent. A sigh escaped Laura as her mother entered. Laura dropped her bag at the foot of the stairs as she was lead by her mother to the table. A steaming plate loaded with food awaited her. Laura sat. She glared down at the plate, the plate smirked. She looked up at her mother who was sat opposite. “So, how was your day.” It was more of a statement then a question. Laura picked up her knife and fork and began cutting quickly, slicing everything into a kind of mulch. Animation entered her voice as she described school, the all too public break up and make up of Courtney and Steve on the quad, her physics test that she had, how she thought that uniform turned her into yet another faceless clone, the prospect of a new girl in her class, the DVD in Spanish about some Mexican cowboy, or was it Argentinean? And how her phone went off in the middle of Geography and she was so embarrassed because of her ringtone, you know the one that comes with the phone, and it wasn’t even anyone interesting, just a window salesman. Gosh she was full, and she had to go do all of her homework. “Thanks for dinner mum”, she called once she was already half way up the stairs. Her door had slammed behind her before her mother had even risen from her seat. Cross-legged, she collapsed onto her bed; a wave of slumber hit her. Her eyes began to droop, fluttering almost to a close. Her ringtone sent her bolt upright and her hand slammed onto her desk next to her, scrambling to answer it. She put it to her ear and spoke a frosty greeting to the cheery caller. It turned out it was Sophie, and she was happy which could only mean one thing: she was back with Tom. Oh god. Sophie had never been a malicious girl, perhaps a little catty at times but only when you disagreed with her. She was incredibly loving and kind, and especially when it came to herself. She preened her olive skin for hours every evening and perfected it with slashes of make up each morning. She bought herself lavish presents and treated herself to the richest cake, and yet, she remained the doll that she always had been. Laura had known her since Nursery so was used to her ways, and the whole Tom dilemma had been haunting her for at least three (or was it four?) years now. Laura had learnt to tune out. All that was needed in these phone calls was the occasional “wow” or some such exclamation, and then “I’m so happy you guys have sorted it all out” once Sophie finally shut up about it. In a way, these “happy” phone calls were even worse that the so called “suicidal” ones that came practically monthly. In these at least they would be different each time. All of the fantastical ways that Sophie could find to end things with him, or even better, the millions of ways that Tom found to break up with Sophie. Those two were even better entertainment than TV, and they kept life interesting for Laura. Not a day went by when there was nothing to hear about their volcanic relationship: a scandal, a romantic gesture, whatever. Laura made her excuses and hung up with a silent plea that hopefully, she was done with all of that drama for the day. She emptied the contents of her bag onto her bed, folders, books, pens, a piece of paper with her scandalous conversation with Rosie on about last weekend, “Better get rid of that before mother sees”, some coins, mascara and finally the phone that she found on the beach followed by a shower of sand. She looked at the phone for a moment, filled with wonderment as to how anyone could just lose their phone. She picked it up and turned it over a few times in her hands. Granted it wasn’t the nicest phone in the world, the word “brick” sprang to mind, but it was a phone nonetheless, and it obviously worked just fine from the calls and the text from earlier. She flipped it open in a moment of inquisitive desire, and began to look through the texts, most of which were your standard boring texts. Yes, there were plenty from this mysterious man who was simply named “baby x”, how cliché. Laura grew bored of the love declarations from “baby x” and decided to move on. Back. Menu. Photos. There were a few of a puppy, some women who looked late 20s maybe early 30s in a bar, a sunset, a beach that must have been where she found the phone, and then photos of a woman and a man. The man looked all too familiar for Laura’s liking. She slammed it shut, and shoved it in a drawer.

The End

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