This Won't Affect Us

by Russ

‘No way Linds, we made a deal!’ Michelle was livid about the lovestruck expression on her best friend’s face.

Lindsay fiddled with the tiny seashells on her necklace, the one he had made for her.

‘I’m sorry,’ offered the guilty party. ‘I didn’t mean…’

‘We don’t catch feelings, mate,’ Michelle continued. ‘We agreed. Didn’t we?’

Lindsay nodded like a child who knew she should have tidied her room like she was asked.

‘What did we agree, Linds?’

‘No feelings.’

‘Say it.’

Lindsay looked around at the other people in the little corner beer garden.

‘Say it!’

‘Choose them, use them, and flush them away,’ Lindsay mumbled.

Michelle shook her head and smiled at her twitterpated mate while her own heart ached with pre-empted loss.

‘So, go on, tell me,’ she tried to temper the contempt in her voice with something simulating support. ‘What happened to cause this seeping discharge of unwanted emotion? Did he at least win the lottery or something?’

‘No, he’s bloody skint,’ Lindsay sighed.

Michelle put her hands in front of her and moved them about a foot apart while raising an eyebrow at her friend. Lindsay blushed, shook her head, and let her shoulders drop a little.

‘What then?’

‘I dunno,’ Lindsay tried to find an explanation. ‘It didn’t happen all at once, like a magic injection or something. It was more gradual. He just sort of got into my system bit by bit, like a slow-release sort of thing.’

‘Like a suppository?’

‘Nice, ‘Chelle. You gonna use that in the wedding speech?’

‘Shut the fuck up right now,’ Michelle spat. ‘Over my dead body will there be a wedding. Just because you think you’re in love doesn’t mean anybody needs to be jumping into that swamp.’

Lindsay sat stock-still and said nothing. Michelle felt panic explode inside her.


Lindsay swallowed.


Lindsay lifted her left hand above the table, displaying the recent addition of Elizabeth Duke to her ring finger.

Silence engulfed the two friends. Time stopped completely. A man, unaware of the break in physics which was currently occurring, approached the table and asked if either woman could lend him a light. He waited by the frozen women for a few moments before assuming he’d stumbled upon some sort of wax-based art exhibit and shuffling off to another table.

It was the tears sliding down Michelle’s face that broke the spell. Lindsay reached out and grabbed her friend’s shaking hands between hers.

‘This won’t affect us,’ she lied.

Michelle sniffed and moved her hands to wipe her tears before returning them to the table so it was now her who held Lindsay’s hands. She gripped them tightly, closed her eyes, and let new emotions fill her completely.

‘Where are we going for the hen do then, mate?’ Michelle beamed as she opened her eyes and spoke.

Lindsay’s bottom lip shook. It’s up to you,’ she said. ‘You’re the Best Woman.’

Michelle nodded softly.

‘I was thinking though,’ Lindsay added. ‘We’ve always a good time in Ibiza…’