Outside: Part Eighteen

This is the eighteenth part of a fiction serial, in 712 words.

There didn’t seem to be much point continuing to chat with Matt on the email. He had made his decision, and Gillian was annoyed with him anyway, for worrying her. So she tried the blog instead, and saw a comment on her last post.

oldgrumpybloke
You say you might be doing something wrong, and you are.
No tags.
No categories.
You don’t follow anyone else.
You don’t comment on other blogs.
Seems to me you just want people to feel sorry for you.
My advice to you is to delete your blog, open the door, and go out into the real world.

She couldn’t understand why some people could be so rude, and there was no way she was going to click to like that comment, or bother to reply.

Forgetting she hadn’t read Charlotte’s email, she logged on to the supermarket website, and started to compile her grocery order for delivery later that week. She couldn’t fool herself that her clothes were no longer comfortable, and decided it was about time she changed her diet to eat more healthily.

After almost half an hour scrolling up and down the huge number of selections available, she was pleased with her order. Only two choux buns instead of six, and ordinary plain digestives, instead of those covered in milk chocolate. There was even the substitution of sweeteners, for the granulated sugar that she had two and a half spoons of in every cup of tea.

The biggest sacrifice had been ordering only two bags of frozen chips, instead of four. But that was mainly because the freezer was almost full. And Diet Pepsi. She didn’t really like it that much, but of you gulped it down, it tasted much the same as full-fat Pepsi. Anyway, it was better than Diet Coke. Much sweeter.

Thomas Halloran wasn’t in the least bothered that there was no reply to his last email. He liked the waiting, the heightened anticipation. Knowing full well that someone like her would eventually cave in and reply made it all the more enjoyable. And he had just quoted someone two thousand five hundred pounds for a pair of carved bookcases that would cost him less than three hundred to make. They had confirmed the order without hesitation.

Life was good.

Leaving the rubbish bag out the front had worked well. Gillian had put on the security light, opened the front door, and flung the bag along the wall in the direction of the side gate. It had ripped a little bit as it landed, but it was a long way from next door, so that Kirsty had no cause for complaint.

Unable to sleep, Gillian got up at after one in the morning, and made some hot chocolate. She liked the real stuff, Cadbury’s powder mix, stirred into warm milk. While she sipped the drink that she hoped would settle her down for some sleep soon, she remembered Charlotte’s email, and logged on to read it again. Feeling sorry for her, she composed a long reply.

Dear Charlotte, I am so sorry to hear about you not having enough clothes, and your problems with paying the bill. As I said, I feel a real connection with you, and think we are very similar. I was left some money when my mum died, so I could help you out by sending you some. But that would mean you would have to send me your bank account details for telephone banking, and I’m guessing you wouldn’t want to do that, considering I am a stranger on the Internet.
I have been having trouble with my new neighbours. They had a really noisy party and then complained about my bin bags and threatened to report me to the council. The one who comes round is called Kirsty, and she looks like a man. She is so angry all the time, I feel scared of her. I have to put the bags outside the front now, so they don’t have anything to moan about.
Let me know if you want me to send you some money for your bills. Love from Gill. x

That night, she dropped off on the sofa as she was watching the DVD of Little Women, starring Elizabeth Taylor.

32 thoughts on “Outside: Part Eighteen

  1. (1) Okay, Pete, I want you to deny that you are the oldgrumpybloke.
    (2) Gillian is not only thinking about changing to a healthier diet, she’s also getting a whole lot of exercise scrolling up and down the supermarket’s website.
    (3) You need to string together at least six buns to make a chou chou train. But at least she won’t be fattening her caboose.
    (4) Concave and convex without the con: Her diet (con)victions notwithstanding, Gillian won’t cave in; she’ll vex out.
    (5) Many an old bag is known to rip one off…
    (6) Gillian dropped off on the sofa. Make up your mind: off or on?
    (7) Gillian will never be one of the Little Women, and her tailor knows it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I suspect all your readers understand. albeit in a variety of ways. reaching out on the Internet. There is an inconsistency in refusing to join other people but still reaching out. I get the feeling that inconsistency is about to bite her. Warmest regards Theo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s the rubbish already piled in the alley at the back, and a new pile starting by the front door.
      Thomas is biding his time, and Gillian is still eating choux buns! 🙂 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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