This is for E.’M’s random word prompt.

Molly wasn’t sure why she disliked Tom.

Was it his sinister smile? The way his eyes followed her around a room? She wasn’t sure, but everyone else liked him. They sang his praises at his fancy parties – nothing out of a place, a beautiful home.

She wasn’t sure why she attended the party at his house – but everyone else would think her rude. Part of it was curiosity. Maybe she was wrong and her colleagues were right.

‘This is my wife, Helen,’ he said, smiling.

His arm around his wife’s waist, he pulled her closer.

Their home was as beautiful as her friends had said. Nothing was out of place. The whole place smelt of polish. Perfection. Not a speck of dust was allowed houseroom.

‘Shall I take your coat?’ Sarah asked.

‘Thank you.’

‘Everyone else is in the front room,’ Tom said, guiding me inside.

Molly had seen perfection like this before – she pulled down her sleeves, and observed Tom’s wife. She was beautiful. Just like the house, nothing was out of place. While he was talking to their manager, his wife was in the kitchen.

‘Do you need a hand?’ Molly asked.

‘Don’t worry . . . you’re our guest.’

‘I don’t mind, I was never good at dinner parties.’

Sarah smiled, but carried on with her cooking. The room was filled with a delicious smell of lamb. Perfection, nothing was burnt in this kitchen. All Molly wanted was a cheese sandwich, with the crusts cut off, and a pint of milk. Her mum used to make it when . . . when things got tense in the house. She brought it up, and told her to be quiet.

She picked up a dirty dish, to put it in the dishwasher, but the wide eyed look from Sarah stopped her. Kindness could be a dangerous thing, in a house full of perfection.

Eyes firmly on the front room, Molly picked her moment carefully. ‘Sarah, take my number. I’ve seen this before. My mum thought she deserved this life as well, but she didn’t.’

‘I . . .’

A look passed so quickly, but it was filled with sadness and pain. ‘I know the signs, you in here, working yourself for a perfection you won’t ever be able to get. Your husband in the there . . . Oh so charming.’

‘He doesn’t . . . ‘ Sarah kept her eyes on the door.

‘Take my number,’ Molly passed a card into her pocket. ‘If you need to talk, or a place to stay, you’re not alone. It’s not your fault.’

‘My children,’ she said.

‘You would all be welcome . . . You may think you are protecting them, but you’re not. I’m such a child – where are they now. Upstairs, being quiet I bet. When you’re ready, I’ll be there.’

Published by writerravenclaw

I am a fifty something mother of two grown up children, and one beautiful grandchild. I have been married for nearly thirty-four years. My first book was published ten years ago. I wrote my book Sticks and Stones because of my experience of being bullied at school.

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