I’m seldom short of ideas for writing my stories, only time. However, I can’t resist a challenge, and when I was prompted to use one of the following words in a story, I had to include all of them! 😀
Anonymous, Faceless, Grey, Sunlight, Attention, Secret, Purpose.
Warning: This story contains minor elements of domestic violence.
The day looked grey and overcast as I set off on my secret lunchtime mission. My purpose was to find something special to cheer up a friend who had been going through a traumatic time with her boyfriend. She hadn’t known him long but although I’d never met him, I hadn’t been impressed with the things she said about the way he treated her.
‘He’s entitled to a night out with the boys, Jen. It’s not up to me to stop him enjoying himself.’
‘Exactly, Sandy. But think of the fuss he made when you were supposed to come out for a girlie night. Why did you let him stop you joining us? We had a great time.’
‘He didn’t stop me. He just said he wanted to spend time with me, and I wanted to be with him while I had the chance.’
I let it go rather than upset her, but still felt concerned. We were a friendly lot at work, and it was normal practice to bring along other halves to our monthly pay day booze up. It had been two months since she had started seeing him, but so far, we had never met the wonder boy.
She had come across him on an online dating site and showed me his profile, but “Rich, successful, thirty-something businessman with his own house and sports car looking for a kind, gentle lady to pamper,” sounded too good to be true.
The rain had finally stopped, and a stray flash of sunlight caught my attention as it bounced off the stainless-steel counter in the coffee shop next to me. My stomach rumbled, encouraging me to go in for something to eat.
‘Hello, I’m Brett. What can I get you today?’ the waiter asked as I settled into a table by the window.
‘Hi Brett. Do you have a menu? I’m looking for a toasted sandwich or something similar. And a black coffee, please.’
‘Sure. I’ll bring one over. Don’t think I’ve seen you in here before.’
‘No, I usually bring something from home but I had some shopping to do today.’
‘Keeping the hubbie happy, eh?’
‘Let’s just say “it’s complicated.” Could you make the coffee large, please?’
Something about this guy gave me the creeps. Perhaps I was over-reacting and he was just being friendly. His name rang a bell for some reason, and suddenly I realised why. “Brett” was the name of Sandy’s faceless beau. It couldn’t be the same man. My waiter was nearer fifty than thirty, short, dumpy and his grubby clothes were definitely not of the rich businessman variety. Sandy was twenty-nine, and beautiful inside and out, although she had always been rather shy. I was letting my imagination run away with me.
Or so I thought, until I went to pay my bill on the way out. The café had emptied and for a moment he didn’t see me standing in front of him. I noticed he was online, updating his profile on a social media dating site. The photo was the one Sandy had shown me on her phone. It was the same man, but how to tell her I had discovered her secret?
‘Oh, I didn’t see you there. Sorry if I kept you waiting,’ Brett said as he hastily shut the lid of his laptop. ‘£6.52 please. Or I could rip up the bill if you fancied meeting me for a drink tonight?’
‘Thanks, but I’m spoken for,’ I said as I hastily put £7 on the counter. ‘Keep the change.’
I breathed a sigh of relief as I escaped but could feel his eyes following me as I rushed up the road to go back to work. Sandy hadn’t been in that morning, claiming she had a dentist appointment, but mid-afternoon I visited the ladies and found her there. She was nursing a shiny, black eye and her face looked red and bruised.
‘Good Grief, Sandy. What happened to you?’ I asked as she turned her face away trying to hide it.
‘Nothing. Just clumsy me walking into a door.’
‘Are you sure?’ Plucking up my courage I blurted out ‘Was it anything to do with Brett?’
‘Why would you ask that,’ Sandy replied, before bursting into tears and telling me the full story. After responding to his online post, they had cyber chatted for a while and she had been impressed by how caring and sensitive he seemed. Eventually she had agreed to meet him and discovered the reality behind his anonymous profile. She had wanted nothing to do with him, but he had sent her Photoshopped pictures showing her in compromising positions, and threatened to post them all over social media. He knew her home address, where she worked and had hinted she might lose her job if her boss saw them.
Although she was innocent, she was too scared to take the risk and had continued to put up with his visits, until the previous evening when she had stood up to him. Her face was the result of his temper explosion, and now she was petrified what he would do next.
‘Don’t tell anyone, please Jen,’ she pleaded. ‘I feel so ashamed of myself but it’s my problem.’
The following day I visited the café again, and it was a simple task to arrange for Brett to visit me at the address I gave him. Although it made my skin crawl, I greeted him at the door wearing my sexiest outfit and directed him to the bedroom while I “prepared” myself. He was even more excited when I suggested “others” might join us.
He wasn’t quite so impressed when I called ‘You can come in now boys,’ and four strapping bodybuilders entered the room. It was hard to keep the smile off my face as I introduced the little weasel to them.
‘Don’t bother to send Sandy’s photo to her boss, Brett. This is him, he’s already seen it and doesn’t take kindly to worms upsetting his staff. You should have known better than to pick on someone who works as a gym receptionist, especially when Arnie here is rather sweet on her. Now, get your sorry arse out of here and if you ever bother her again, remember, he’ll be back.’
When I next went past the café there was a new man serving and we never saw Brett again. Something good came out of it though, as Arnie plucked up courage to ask Sandy out and they are now an item.
© Voinks November 2018
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