The first line of this fictional short story was suggested to me by writer and blogger, The Northern Witch.
This time, their argument was lengthy, nasty, and spiteful.
Why is it that the worst arguments always seem to start over nothing much at all? Everyone argues, but the big things seem to get settled very quickly. It’s the small things that niggle, get right under your skin. On the train to work that morning, Tanya was thinking about last week, and how everything had changed because of half a pot of stupid yoghurt.
Everyone always said they were like sisters. Since meeting at university her and Rita had been inseperable. They shared a flat, sometimes even shared a boyfriend. Rita had drawn the line at working for the same company though, so had gone into teaching instead. They had passed their driving test the same week, and went on holiday together for two weeks every year.
Tanya liked to drink red wine, and so did Rita. Neither of them smoked, but they both loved to eat chocolate and curl up with a good film. Preferably a rom-com they had seen half a dozen times before. Neither needed any other friends, as they just got each other completely. There were times when one would laugh before the other spoke. “I knew you were going to say that! I Just knew it!”
Not many flatmates manage to stick together for six years, but they had. And they couldn’t really imagine a time when they wouldn’t be together.
There had been ups and downs. Using all the hot water by showering for too long. Forgetting to pay the electricity bill and then being cut off. Those arguments had been loud, but brief. And soon forgotten. If anything, they became amusing anecdotes. “Do you remember when you didn’t pay the bill, and we got cut off? Just as well we had those extra candles”.
Of course, not everyone likes the same things. Tanya didn’t care for bananas, and Rita hated yoghurt. Rita would have chips with so many things, while Tanya preferred rice. Not a big deal, and never worth arguing about.
She still had no idea why Rita had eaten that yoghurt. Half of a large tub of Ski Black Cherry that Tanya had saved at the back of the fridge. She had travelled home on the train that evening, looking forward to eating it later, after the microwave chili that was in her shopping bag. Rita had already eaten, and was watching television when Tanya got home. She ate her chili on a tray, so she could watch the end of the programme, then went back into the kitchen to get the yoghurt.
But it wasn’t there.
Checking the bin, she found the empty pot under the messy plastic tray that had contained the chili. Walking into the living room, she held it aloft, like a trophy. “Did you throw my yoghurt away? I was looking forward to that”. Rita didn’t even turn away from the TV. “No, I ate it. Just fancied it. Sorry”. Tanya felt herself becoming angry. “But you don’t even like yoghurt for god’s sake. I saved that specially”.
If only she hadn’t smiled when she replied. “Like I said, sorry. Actually, it wasn’t very nice. I poured most of it down the sink”.
Well that kicked it off, and no mistake. Lots of things were said. Mean things, cruel things, personal things. Nine years of close friendship melted away in those next twenty minutes, and the atmosphere was so bad, Tanya retreated into the kitchen to try to calm down.
But she didn’t calm down. Instead, she walked back into the living room, determined to win the argument.
The train was arriving at the terminus, and Tanya stood up, reaching down for her bag. After work, she was really going to have to do something about Rita.
Her body was starting to smell.