Sinking Sarah – A short story

A cold morning in early November, I decide to go to the Costa Coffee to attempt to write a story about a stranger that I come across with three words incorporated, why you ask? Well that’s what I would ask if I were hearing this from a man in his late forties that popped into a cafe with a laptop and then sat on his own and began typing away! Because I have been reading Writing for Dummies and also a recent copy of Writers forum and both mention to do something like this to get the words flowing.

Three words, what will they be? Ok well I need to say something that will build a story and help the story become a little more interesting, I don’t have to say the words necessarily though I do have to create the situation that involves them.

1/ Boat

2/ Payments

3/ Desperation

Sinking Sarah

I sat alone in a corner of Costa Coffee feeling every day of my thirty-four years.  I arrived for a coffee and sat to read my book and occasionally I’m bothered by my nagging boyfriend’s texts, Tom wants to talk further about our relationship and how his so say mistake over the weekend will never happen again, ha he must think I’m a gullible idiot. I had moved in with my boyfriend a little soon but felt that I had to move out of my mum’s house as she had a new bloke, Chris who seemed like a decent person, and it felt a little weird now he had moved in, especially as they didn’t hold back on the night time bedroom noises, and after all I need to get on with my own life, and had been seeing Tom for almost ten months at that point.

I stayed on my boat after what had happened this weekend; which is in Bristol docks, it took 5 years to get my boat a place in the harbour and I do love my boat, it provides me with freedom and an escape from life when things get a little difficult to handle, as they obviously did this weekend, Although I do have to say it is so cold at this time of year, and I spent a lot of time around the wood stove falling asleep by it a couple of times, strange but it was a happy experience feeling comforted by the flickering flames. I had stayed in on Friday night as my job as a care worker does not pay much and I can barely meet the bills as it is. My boyfriend is not very understanding and often says things like ‘Sarah get a better job you’re wasting yourself’, but I love my work and I know I am good at helping people. Tom is a Manager at a local restaurant and we recently rented a house together, but things had not been going the way I had expected. He goes out a lot more since we moved in together, and when he came home at 4am on Saturday morning he had a smell of perfume about him and glitter on his coat, I mean he might as well have come home with the girl he had quite clearly been snogging with, (and that’s the least that may have gone on!) although I guess even he is not quite that deranged that he thinks he could pull that one of.

To be honest I feel a complete fool trusting this absolute arsehole in the first place, I’m sure I’ve seen him looking at other women before, but oh no typical me again trying to pretend everything is alright because I fell in love with yet another loser. I decided to look at my finances and I found that the house rent and utility bills were possible but this would be a real push, costs of the boat were possible with money to spare, but no way could I have both. The boat is a 50-foot style out of service old lifeboat called the Stranraer 1, which had saved more than 170 souls when in service and I thought to myself ‘well perhaps it’s time to ask Stranraer 1 if she is prepared to save one more soul, and have me move in for a while?’ keeping up all payments would literally sink me financially so I felt it would be ironic to keep things afloat by moving into my boat.

That was it, I decided I was going to leave and I popped my book, a romance novel which I couldn’t bear to look at given my current circumstances. And went off home to pack. Tom was at work all day so I should be able to make an escape without having to go through a scene or anything like that. I left briskly and got into my trusty old ford, heading for my house in St George, not a bad area but all we could afford due to current rental costs. I parked the car and ran to the front door. This would not take too long as I really didn’t have much to pack I mean after all; we had only lived together for 3 months, we still slept on a mattress on the floor for god sake, and this was his anyway. Only a suitcase of clothes, an Iron, Kettle, Toaster and a couple of other things and I would be on my way.

Packing the cases and a big black plastic bag I loaded the car, one Item at a time until all that was left was to leave and write a note saying goodbye and good riddance. I noticed that in my pocket was a marker pen, not a standard one but one with a security pen that people use to mark notes and when they are stolen the hand of the thief would be marked and they would be caught red handed (although the ink is actually blue under UV light), I suddenly became excited and decided to play a trick on Tom so that he would never forget what he had done to me. I ran up the stairs and drew lines across both sides of the pillows and also on the sheet, thinking all the time that he would look ridiculous like a stick of seaside rock. Of course he would not know about this until he went to the tanning salon, or perhaps he might never know and I would just get to have a little satisfaction for doing this? Either way it felt good.

A few days later I went over to my mum’s house, Chris said mum was in bed ill and would not come out of her room. I went to my mum’s room and entered without knocking as I knew mum would be very insistent and I didn’t want to be turned down. I gasped when I entered and her mum, as mum was lying on her bed in tears, she said she had been using the face tanner and thought she may have something wrong with her, saying ‘perhaps it’s cancer? What do you think’ Sarah saw two long blue smears on her face, under the UV light, a tear fell from Sarah’s eyes and slowly dropped down her cheek, as she said I think you will be fine mum?

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