Message To Martha

by Patrick O’Connor

BEEEEEP!! ‘Plonker!!’

Stuart grimaced and waved half heartedly at the passing traffic. He knew he had no choice but to take the abuse.

Lorry drivers, van drivers, car drivers, even some poxy hoodie on a bike, they all weighed in.

Stuart was a good looking guy, smart, well dressed and with a good job, He drove a BMW and had a nice bachelor flat in a trendy new block near the city centre.

So he didn’t need all this but he only had himself to blame. He’d been a bloody idiot and now here he was standing alone on a busy roundabout, exposed for all the world to see.

‘You bastard,’ screamed Martha, her face contorted with rage, spittle flying in all directions. She punched Stuart ferociously on the chest and he winced. Then she stopped and her body was wracked with sobs, coming in wave after wave. Stuart tried to console her but it was all in vain. He had hurt her and betrayed her. Now there was nothing left of their relationship.

Tracey wasn’t really a friend, just a mate of a mate. They’d just indulged in a bit of harmless banter on Facebook but Stuart knew there was a nod and wink there, hidden amongst the casual phrases. It didn’t take long before their exchanges had moved from Facebook to texts and then their first secret rendezvous.

It been a brief, pointless, fling, and had ran its course inside a couple of weeks. But Martha had somehow found out and had stormed out of their relationship.

Looking back, Stuart couldn’t fathom what madness had led him to do it, he was happy and contented with Martha. She was bright, bubbly and the perfect match for him, slim and sexy, with short cropped blonde hair and baby-soft peachy skin. Maybe he was just a fool.

And that’s what had led him to the roundabout, yards away from where Martha worked. She would have to drive past on her way home but she must be working late tonight as she hadn’t appeared yet. So far, Stuart had been there 35 minutes, 35 minutes at peak traffic time, 35 minutes when his ego had taken a battering but it was a battering he felt he thoroughly deserved.

He stood on the barren grass verge, complete with makeshift sandwich board with its bold, red lettering on a white background.

And then, to make matters worse, it started raining and Stuart was worried the words would begin to drip away, making the gesture a complete waste of time.

As he stood motionless with raindrops cascading down his sorrowful face before trickling into his shirt collar, he took one last look at the message below him:

‘Been a complete bastard, cheated on my girlfriend but I’m truly sorry. Please forgive me Martha, I love you, take me back.’

It won’t be long now, he thought, before it’s completely obliterated and still no sign of Martha.

Beeeeep!! ‘Plonker!!’