“Why are you glaring at me?”
“I’m hoping you’ll spontaneously combust.”
“…I’ve had a bit of a shit year. I got divorced.”
“Sorry to hear that.”
“I’m not. Bastard cheated.”
As she approaches the group, she slows down to debate whether to keep on walking silently or pause to exchange polite chit-chat. Hearing the conversation topic, her eyes narrow. The woman, well known to her, makes eye contact. There is a smile on the woman’s face that fades once she realises it is not returned, “You okay, love?”
The girl tilts her head briefly to one side, “Yeah, fine.”
“Why you glaring at me?” is asked with a humorous snicker, “ya know, if the wind changes, it’ll stay like that.”
“Maybe that’s just my face.”
The group dissolves into laughter, assuming the conversation is in jest. As if by unconscious consensus, the group starts to walk towards the centre of town.
The woman slows, walking towards the girl, “You’re still glaring at me. Why?”
“I’m hoping you’ll spontaneously combust.” The response is said so sarcastically it causes pause, the woman startled by the harshness of the words, “Dave left you?” the girl stands her ground, maintaining eye contact as she asks the question.
She spits out a defensive response, “I left him. He cheated!”
“Wasn’t he married to someone else when you met him? You were the other woman, right?”
“And you and Paul, you know each other quite well, right? Despite the fact that he’s been in a relationship with a friend of yours for the last decade…”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, hun.” The woman states, eyes lowing to the floor.
“Well… I’m just pointing out the fact that criticising someone for being the other woman when you have been in that position yourself, and continue to be in that position despite recent events and despite the fact that Paul’s partner is a ‘friend’ of yours… it kinda makes you sound like a hypocrite”
“Don’t shit stir. You’ll only end up hurting her.”
“Oh, she already knows. You don’t honestly think she wouldn’t?”
A defeated sigh leaves the woman, shoulders slumped, “Look, hun…”
The girl jumps in, interrupting the woman for the second time in as many minutes, “I’m just saying what everyone else is no doubt thinking. Only difference is, I dislike you just enough to voice it.” The girl walks closer, a hairs breath between them, “She deserves better. Paul is Paul, no one would be shocked to hear he has a wondering eye. It’s the fact that you call yourself her friend that gets me. That’s kind of the lowest blow. The kind that’s deserving of being glared at. In my opinion.”