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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Comedy · #1177091
Drama within drama
Sorry Just Isn’t Good Enough.

He lay beside her on the family double bed. She gently put her small, soft hand on the side of his tired face. Her thumb slowly caressed his skin. Sometimes, she caught a tear and spread the salty liquid across his cheek.

The doctors had given her three weeks but she was a fighter and more than five weeks had passed.

She looked at him and slowly said, “Thank you, thank you Jim, for everything.”

He sensed she wanted to kiss him but hadn’t the strength, so he moved closer and brushed her lips with his ever so gently.

“No, no,” he whispered. “Thank you Sadie. Thank you for everything. Thanks for the good times, the laughter, the tears, the fun, the love, the joys Gillian and Karen, our dear children. Thank you for everything.”

Again, she drifted away into semi-consciousness. Her hand, the hand that wore their wedding ring, slipped down across her body. Slowly her careworn face seemed to relax and a peaceful serenity enveloped her as she drifted away.

Jim took both her hands and held them to his lips. He whispered just loud enough to be heard, “Thank you, thank you for everything.”

The audience sat in stunned silence as the curtain fell. They gradually recovered and their clapping grew stronger and louder until the curtain began to rise. Jim and Sadie stepped forward to rapturous applause. They bowed, Jim stepped to the side pointing and clapping at Sadie. Sadie returned the compliment as the applause grew louder.

A little girl, dressed in a pink frilly frock, which made her look older than her years, marched on and presented Sadie with a big bouquet of flowers. Sadie bent down, took the child’s face in her hands and kissed her forehead before accepting them. The girl skipped back to her Mum standing in the wings.

Another bow and they stepped back as the curtain closed. The house lights came up in the village hall. The audience, talking as one, headed for the doors.

Behind the curtain Sadie returned to being Janet, the demanding personal trainer, and Ken, the quiet bank clerk. Janet handed the flowers back; they would do for another two performances at least. The stagehands removed the bed and set up the stage for act one scene one tomorrow night.

They walked slowly down the long corridor to the communal dressing room. Ken was chattering away about how great the audience reaction was. He really felt he got through to them in the final deathbed scene - how he got into the part and managed all the tears.

Janet, walking a few feet ahead, suddenly stopped, wheeled around, grabbed him by the shirt and forcing him hard against the wall. “Yeah, sure your tears were great,” she snapped, the index finger of her free hand practically up his nose. “While you were being fantastic I was nearly throwing up, and you bloody well know why.”

“Oh no, I completely forgot; I’m really, really sorry,” he said, unsuccessfully trying to escape. Janet’s daily workouts saw to that.

“Sorry just isn’t good enough. Three times I ever so nicely asked you not to eat garlic before the show. It was worse than ever tonight, my stomach churned all through that final scene in the bed. This time I’m telling, not asking.”

Her hand stroked his cheek. “If you don’t sort it out for tomorrow night, this hand, the one that caressed tears, will grab somewhere lower down in your body and bring a different sort of tear to your eyes.”

She again pushed him hard against the wall. He could feel the outline of the bricks against his back. Suddenly he winced and slid up on his toes.

“You get my message?”

He didn’t reply, just nodded.

“Good,” she said, and strode off down the corridor.

Well that's the news from the Cream Bun Cafe, where, if it's not one thing it's another. Oh I forgot to tell you, Auntie Barbara provided the teas at the interval

Other tales from Auntie Barbara’s Cream Bun CafĂ© on Writing.com can be found at
Lightning Romance
Monday Ministers
Sticky Kiss
The Oddballs
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