Jessica picked up her suitcase and ran towards the waiting truck. Hauled herself up into the cab and breathlessly thanked the man behind the wheel.
“Where you going, sunshine?” he asked.
“Anywhere but here, gorgeous” she said, looking out the window towards the wide open highway.
It had been a fairly normal day, all things considered. She’d woken up with Chad’s penis prodding her in the back. Like a chipolata. Like one more thing she didn’t need. But he’d sulk otherwise. Find fault with everything. The house, the ironing, the way she’d parked the Chevy. So she’d rolled over, let him poke his useless way around until he was done, while mentally writing the shopping list for dinner.
When Chad got up, strutted his way to the bathroom, whistling an inane little tune, she’d made the bed and picked his stained jocks up off the floor. Dressed in the chenille gown the kids had given her at Christmas, she’d taken the wash basket into the kitchen, put a load on and switched on the kettle. Made a cup strong, sweet tea and wondered what to cook for breakfast. Chad was still whistling in the shower. She put the bread in the toaster and hauled out the frying pan, cracking two eggs into its scratched, black bottom. Watched them sizzle mindlessly, sipping the tea. When Chad ambled into the kitchen, dots of toilet paper stuck to his chin, he’d slapped her bum and said “You’re a lucky woman, Jess baby. A whole lotta Chad for breakfast, hey babe? That’s gotta keep a smile on your dial the whole goddamn day, hey babe?”
He sat and began to stuff the eggs and toast into his mouth, crumbs and flecks of white albumen falling on his tie. Jess was unable to keep the look of disgust hidden, so turned back to the sink and started running the water. Chad ran a finger over the plate to clear the last of the yolk, downed his Sunny Delight and grabbed his pleather briefcase (“don’t it just look real”). He left. As he reached the front door, he stopped and called out “Don’t forget to get more KY baby. The Finches are coming ‘round tonight. And I want you to be nice and lubed for Andy, baby. He’s gonna love my hot little mamma, hey cupcake?” And he swung the door shut behind him,
And Jess stared at the running water. Slowly, slowly turned off the tap. And with one huge sweep of her arm, smashed all the dishes on the sideboard to the floor.
She undid the frayed knot of the bathrobe. Slipped the faded pink off her shoulders, and left it lying in the broken shards of the dishes. Naked, she walked back into the bedroom. Pulled the large brown suitcase down from the cupboard and undid the buckles.