Elizabeth ran up the stairs two at a time and slammed her bedroom door shut. She threw herself face down on the bed. Her right hand reached out of its own accord and pressed the play button on her cassette player. Music flowed alongside her tears.
Gemma Bolton was a bitch of the highest order. She replayed the night’s events over and over in her mind. Occasionally, she imagined herself acting or speaking how she had would have liked to have reacted rather than the way she did. If only she could turn back time, she would do it differently and Gemma would have been the one in tears tonight, not her.
Outside, she could hear a large tipper lorry with its open tailgate crashing loudly as it tackled the narrow road on its way up to the quarry. The sound of the night-time traffic rushing through the rain-swept road was exaggerated as were the chattering voices of people passing by. Every man and his dog seemed to be out tonight and here she was, sobbing her heart out and wishing the world would go away.
How different everything had appeared earlier. She had barely been able to contain her excitement whilst getting ready to attend the end-of-year school disco. Elizabeth adored the long flowered maxi-skirt she had bought at the outdoor market and the skinny ribbed Lurex threaded jumper had set it off nicely. She had even allowed herself to believe she looked attractive with the curled flicks in her long blonde hair and the accentuated gold eye shadow she had worn.
Gemma had looked so much better though. Her petite figure clothed in a pair of wide caramel culottes and a luxurious gold satin blouse. Somehow, that creature managed to outdo her every step of the way. Elizabeth could live with that. She could give up all desires to be more attractive, cleverer, slimmer or more popular if only she could have been Tashriel’s favourite. Now, thanks to Gemma, she knew she never would be.
What hurt the most was that Gemma had known exactly what she was doing, had even planned it. Gemma had wanted to hurt her and she had walked right into her trap. What a sap she had been! How Gemma and her friends must have laughed at her desperate attempts to fit in, at her desire to be part of their group.
Why couldn’t Tashriel see through her? Maybe he could, but he loved her so much it didn’t matter to him. Elizabeth wrapped her arms around herself and replayed the night’s events again.
Gemma bumping into her
The spilled drink
And insincere apology
The offered handkerchief
Tashriel and Gemma
The biggest humiliation of all was standing there while Gemma gloated.
Labels: 1970s, Elizabeth, Refuge of Delayed Souls, Web Fiction