The End of the Road Cafe

“We’re stopping, here,” Gemma said, pulling into the parking space, shutting off the engine.
Without looking at her passenger she knew Ian was pulling that face: the one he always made when confronted with something that didn’t fit into the narrow little box of his world. She knew he was staring up at the rustic handpainted cafe sign and the sculpture of a triumpant woman on the roof. To Gemma, there was something free about the sculpture. Something powerful in her stance.
She knew what Ian would say before he spoke.
“It’s… a bit artsy, isn’t it?” Ian drooled the world “Artsy”, and Gemma felt the irritation build inside her.
The road trip had not gone as planned. Far from pulling them together as a couple, it had exposed (at least to Gemma) the faults in their relationship.
Gemma realised she didn’t want to look at Ian, that if she looked one more time at his smug, self-righteous face she would have to admit that far from loving him, she did not even like him.
Gemma took a deep breath and turned to Ian.
“Stop complaining,” she said. “And get out of the car.”
He stared at her for a second before unclicking his seat belt and opening the door.
“Don’t forget your wallet,” Gemma said.
“But, it’s your turn to p-”
“Just take your wallet,” Gemma said.
Ian reached into the glove compartment and took his wallet out, stuffing it into his jeans pocket with a sniff.
As he slammed the door, Gemma wound down the passanger window, and started the car.
“I’ll send your stuff to your mother’s,” she said, before pressing down on the pedal and pulling off at speed.
In the rear view mirror she could see Ian emerging from a cloud of dust, looking as lost and hopeless as she knew him to be.

 

This story was inspired by a photo I saw on Tsu. You can see the photo, and my original post here

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