Confused Little Bird

They say all good things must come to an end, so Chaucer says. And so, it did with Rachel and Jack on a cold wintery Sunday morning. As he did every Sunday, Jack was cooking breakfast whilst Rachel was reading the Sunday papers in bed. Bacon and sausages were done, and Jack hunted for the mushrooms. Odd, Rachel knew to have mushrooms in for Sunday.

‘Where are the mushrooms, baby?’ he yelled up the stairs.

No answer.

Jack put the breakfast in the oven to keep warm, then went upstairs. He could hear Rachel talking on her phone as he opened their bedroom door. She ended the call as he entered the room. Looking at Jack she said, ‘No breakfast, is there a problem?’

‘No mushrooms, where are they?’

‘I didn’t get any, you don’t like them.’

‘What? I love mushrooms, hun’ he said. ‘never mind, I’ll go do the eggs.’

He went downstairs. It wasn’t like Rachel to get confused like that, he thought. After 3 years together, he knew he knew her well enough. He began poaching the eggs and put it down to stress from work.

A few minutes later he carried her breakfast tray upstairs. Breakfast and coffee might help. He thought. Rachel was on the phone again as he entered the room. He placed the tray in front of her. ‘Coffee?’ she snapped, ‘you know I don’t have coffee anymore.’

‘What? Since when?’

Jack went downstairs. He didn’t fancy breakfast now so picked up his gym kit and headed off to the gym instead. Rachel was on the phone again, so he didn’t bother yelling goodbye.

As Jack entered the gym he noted that Lucy was on reception. ‘No Gareth today’ he said

‘Oh, he’s on break’ she said, ‘what you in for Jack?’

‘Just a session on the weights’

As he paid his fees he said ‘you can’t have long to wait now?

‘Six weeks’

Some time later Jack was working on leg extensions when he saw Rachel walk past the weights area with Gareth. Nothing unusual in that he was her personal trainer. What he saw next was a little too personal. Holding his rage Jack completed his workout.

As he walked past Gareth half an hour later, he quipped ‘I hear you don’t like mushrooms’

‘What? Who told you that?’

‘A confused little bird’

When he got home, Rachel was sat on the sofa, in her dressing gown as if she had been nowhere. No doubt Gareth had called her. Jack just went upstairs grabbed some clothes and threw them in a bag.

He had no idea how he was keeping calm, but he knew he could pull this off. Back downstairs he went to the front door and called out to Rachel ‘You can tell Gareth the coast is clear now.’ Before Rachel had chance to answer he shut the door and went to his car.

How long before Gareth told her about his pregnant wife, he wondered.


©JG Farmer 2018

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