|Word count 635, written for no dialogue contest.
She made the narrow bed, tucking the grey blankets in tightly, her thoughts turning to the past as they often did. She tried to avoid thinking about her circumstances and what had lead up to them, but more often than not she failed.
Passing a mirror was another thing Jan avoided. In her mind’s eye she was still an attractive young woman, but the reality was now a fifty-six-year-old, overweight failure.
She knelt and retrieved her diary from under the thin mattress. The pages were full of self loathing and all the words she couldn’t speak out loud to anyone. She laid her soul bare on those pages.
It was all because of the incident, before that she’d been happy, confident and self assured. Why she’d sabotaged her life was still a mystery to her. Joe had been a good husband, he’d been loyal to her and their marriage, why was it she’d had to spoil it? Now her children had disowned her, sadly she’d never even seen her grandchildren.
Jan couldn’t even imagine now what it was she’d seen in him. Her thoughts turned to that fateful day, the day she’d first laid eyes on him.
Jan had felt self conscious in her black tights, leotards and leg warmers, feeling as if everyone was looking at her round backside. She walked like a woman condemned, as she entered the brightly lit gym. Her first impression of the establishment was unfavourable. She found the noise overwhelming, music blasted from speakers set around the cavernous space, the people pedalling on exercise bikes seemed to Jan as if they were being chased by the devil himself, but getting nowhere fast. Dozens of treadmills were all in use, full of red faced, men and women, sweating profusely, admiring themselves in full length mirrors. Jan had been unimpressed, and all she’d thought of was was getting out of there as soon as possible. Until she saw him, the aerobics instructor, Pablo, with his dark smouldering eyes, olive skin, and tight bum.
That was the start of her troubles. Within a month of joining the gym, Pablo and Jan were meeting secretly. It had started innocently enough with a coffee after the classes, then one thing led to another, and before she knew it Jan was lying to her husband, and the lovers were having a full-blown affair. They’d meet up after the gym closed. Pablo had a key and they would make passionate love on the rough industrial carpet. Jan would have carpet burns she needed to hide from Joe. They were like teenagers who couldn’t get enough of each other.
It all ended badly of course, it was much too intense and couldn’t possibly last. Inevitably Joe found out about her secret affair, and that was the end of her marriage.
Jan gazed into the mirror, forcing herself to see the woman she’d become.
It had been a common enough story she supposed, a foolish woman falling for the sweet words of a man who thought he was God’s gift to women. Pablo had dropped her like a hot rock as soon as his next conquest came on the scene.
However, she’d been a woman scorned, her anger knew no bounds. One day she sat outside the gym waiting for Pablo to appear with his new floozy.
As they stepped out into the afternoon sunshine, he with his confident swagger, and “that bitch” tossing her long blonde hair, Jan’s outrage was complete. She turned the steering wheel of her car in their direction, floored the accelerator and mowed them down.
The sound of jangling keys brought Jan back to the present. She replaced the diary under the mattress, her iron door clanged open wide. She stepped out into the long corridor and stood waiting for permission to go down for breakfast.