That’s Better (Short Story)

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Emma had been a bundle of nerves for weeks. Her husband Roger had beared the brunt of her anxious outbursts and odd requests, by casually reiterating to his wife that she should simply make a checklist. Knowing his wife Roger added that the checklist would help her to stay on task and keep her worries at bay but Emma heeded none of his advice. She instead deduced that he just didn’t get it; he never walked in the unfashionable plimsolls of her teenage years. Therefore, he couldn’t even begin to comprehend how important it was that everything went off without a hitch.

Emma also thought Roger was wrong to cause further distress by cutting the locks that she adored. When they had met in school several years ago, he owned the most brilliant head of bouncy hair. Emma was certain the sun made a personal appearance and planted a big one on his crown. Emma was unreasonable under pressure and couldn’t believe Roger selfishly decided to throw her another spanner by cutting his hair, she felt close to opening the floodgates of a hysterical fit when he came home that evening. Roger laughed at his wife’s dramatic open mouth and chuckled more deeply when Emma began to suggest wild ideas of how he could remedy his poor decision.

“What have you done?!!! Why would you do that to me? We’re just gonna to have to get you a hair transplant or a toupee. How much do you think that will cost? We have two weeks left I’m sure you’ll have some growth by then.”

Roger sighed at his wife before rummaging inside the fridge for something to eat; he soon settled on the sofa with a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk. Emma suddenly shouted “Oh-my-gosh…I’ve got it” at the screen of their PC, dancing triumphantly. Roger left his place on the chair to join his wife “What is it honey?” Emma pointed at the monitor smiling happily, Roger followed the direction of her index finger and saw the vlog. He read the title of the clip ‘How to grow hair fast-inversion method’ and wasn’t enthused about the prospect of having to perform what looked like a yoga pose. He presumed that the move would undoubtedly cause an influx of blood to rush to his head and result in: a headache, fainting or sight issues with the strain of the pressure on his eyes. Roger also wondered if his wife was so far gone with the stress of attending that she now believed he was Spiderman.

Nonetheless, just seconds later with the relentless sounds of his wife’s requests there he was bent at the waist whilst trying to block out all of the related banter he presumed his friends would have initiated. Luckily they weren’t there. Emma ventured into the kitchen to get the olive oil, which she massaged into his head but she hadn’t been liberal with the oil, like the video suggested. Oh no, Emma instead applied so much oil that even though he was bent in a divers stance, he swore he could feel olive oil slide across his back and almost into his eyes. Not wanting to upset his wife, Roger graciously accepted that this would probably be his fate for a further six days just like the vlog suggested.

The following week Emma woke Roger up early and asked him to try on the outfit he chose for that night. She was adamant that he could offer no further surprises. Roger put Emma at ease by assessing the entirely different look that she laid out for him, he handed Emma a card of support then accepted her new styling choice. Emma kissed her husband for his thoughtful gesture and said she would read the accompanying note later. “You might want to read it now,” Roger hinted mischievously but Emma’s mind was somewhere else. She placed the note on the dresser and left to attend a luncheon with her mother.

Roughly three hours later Emma called Roger incredibly upset; she explained the fiasco in the restaurant that caused a trainee waiter to redesign her dress with spaghetti bolognaise. Roger asked his wife not to worry as she breathed exasperatedly into the phone. He also took the trouble to lay out her faithful burgundy number. When she returned home Emma quickly hopped into the shower before throwing on Roger’s choice. She retouched her makeup on route to the reunion.

The school gates were lined with ribbons and banners but they heard no music. Emma left the car to investigate; she noticed that the banner read 18/04/2016 6pm. Emma looked at her phone it was 17:50 they were early, as she unlocked her phone Emma’s eyes were drawn to the calendar she read the date Tuesday 19…it was the 19th, the reunion was yesterday.

Feeling deflated Emma informed Roger of her mistake and was relieved to find that Roger was extremely sympathetic considering he was missing football. When they arrived home Emma complained to her mother on loudspeaker “That’s just how the cookie crumbles sometimes. I’m sure you’ll make the next one,” her mother reassured her. Emma soon ended the call she had been very distracted with her husband anyway, he seemed incredibly unfazed by the last uneventful hour of their lives.

“Emma, honey read the note,” Roger shouted as Emma entered their bedroom and she did.

‘Although, you may not think you have the perfect life or husband (sometimes) the pieces of our lives fall exactly where they’re meant to. If we don’t make it to the awful reunion at least your other wish came true. I’ll give you a hint you need a checklist because you’re quite forgetful (I’ve been getting away with murder), parts of you are bigger but more beautiful and you haven’t seen your friend in two months (I checked your calendar)’

Copyright Teherah Wheeler (©) 2016 

Teherah xXx


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