Stacy slammed the door behind her, desperate to get out of the apartment. Immediately she was greeted by the salt sea air blowing forcefully across the bay – a welcome alternative to the stuffy environment she had to put up with in the flat she shared with Connor and Lisa.
God knows what those two are up to now she thought lighting a cigarette. Lisa was the reason why they always had to keep it so unbearably warm in their apartment.
What kind of woman insists on parading around in next to nothing all the time and then complains about how cold she is? Thought Stacy. She was costing them a fortune with her ridiculous exhibitionism. And that wasn’t all.
As she made her way to the golden sands of Ballycastle strand Stacy recalled the night when Connor had lost his job and the two of them had gotten drunk together in front of the telly. Carried along on a wave of uncharacteristic confidence, Stacy had taken him from a state of despair to one of shuddering, spine tingling ecstasy that had left them both breathless and completely spent, lying in a heap of tangled sweaty limbs. Later that night when she listened to him snoring softly she had smiled to herself thinking that perhaps this was the start of something more between them. But sadly that was not the case.
As she negotiated the rough concrete steps down to the beach Stacy remembered how two days later he had announced over breakfast that he had found someone suitable to rent the spare room and that she was coming round to have drinks with them later that night. Cue Lisa’s memorable entrance wearing a thigh skimming black lacy dress with no bra underneath!
Stacy viciously kicked an abandoned sandcastle decorated with shells and watched the wind dissipate the remains. A glamour model! What hope had Stacy got of keeping Connor’s attention with a scantily clad glamour model running around the flat?
There was no hope of Stacy being able to finish her latest novel either; what with all the angst she was feeling these days. Not surprisingly Connor wouldn’t hear of her asking Lisa to leave even when she pointed out her messy ways – not to mention the extra heating costs. There had to be some way to get rid of Lisa she mused looking out towards Rathlin Island.
Just then an ambulance went tearing along the coast road, sirens blaring. Probably another accident, thought Stacy hoping it wasn’t too serious. That particular stretch of road was well known for it. Suddenly an idea began to form in her head causing a smile to tug at the corners of her lips. All she would need to do was Google the make of Lisa’s car and find out how to sabotage the break cable. It shouldn’t be too hard.
Enthused by her plan she hurried back across the promenade towards her second floor flat. The moment she opened the front door she heard the phone ringing. When she got close enough to make out the caller ID she rolled her eyes and slowly lifted the receiver.
“Hi Stacy.” It was Neil her publisher, who also happened to be her brother-in-law. “Haven’t heard from you in a while. Just wondering how the new novel’s coming along. I know you were having a bit of a struggle getting into the mind-set of a couple of your main characters.”
“Yeah well, I think I’m finally getting there,” replied Stacy, pulling a fluffy indigo coloured scarf from around her neck.
Thank God for that! thought Neil.
She’d been holed up in her pokey little one bedroom flat for months now and had produced nothing of note. The family had started to get a little concerned, but then again they were used to her artistic temperament.
“Well are you going to share? Or do I have to wait for the final draft?” he teased.
“Final draft? Who said anything about final draft?” answered Stacy sounding put out. “All I said is that I’m finally getting somewhere.”
“Come on! You’ve got to give me more than that!” protested Neil. “What about that Lisa character you mentioned? I liked the sound of her. You’re still keeping her in the story right?”
Stacy put the kettle on for a cup of tea and smirked. How typical!
“All I can tell you is that her story reaches a satisfying end from where I’m standing.”
“What does that mean?” he asked warily. “I hope you haven’t got yourself tangled up in that amazing imagination of yours again Stacy…remember what happened last time you got immersed to that extent in one of your story lines?”
“Yeah, yeah…” muttered Stacy dismissively. She didn’t like to talk about that – the time when she was a student and had almost ended up in the psychiatric ward. In those days she often spent hours working on her novels to the exclusion of socialising like most other university student. In the end she got so caught up in the other worlds she created on paper that to her roommates she appeared delusional. Somehow though she managed to convince the psychiatrists that they were wrong and that she was merely a very focused writer. But it always stayed with her that people thought of her as slightly eccentric.
“So you’re ok then?” asked Neil.
“Yes. Course I am.”
“Promise me,” he said, sounding unconvinced. “I want to be able to tell your sister that you’re alright.”
“I promise,” she repled, taking two cups out of the cupboard.
“Good,” he said. “We’ll try and call round at the weekend if Clare can get Saturday off. We’ll let you know. You take care now, alright?”
“Thanks. You too. Bye…”
Stacy put down the phone and finished making the tea. Grabbing a small packet of chocolate digestives from the cupboard she took a brief scalding sip.
“Connor!” she called out, licking her lips. “There’s a cup of tea here if you want it…”