She's Got This Toyboy
Rachel arrived at work the following morning in Janet's car having crashed on the settee the night before. She had needed some persuasion to talk about the date with Gill, but only 2 glasses of wine and an Indian takeaway later, Rachel was spilling every little detail of the night's event.
"I mean, I went out for a cigarette! As far as I knew, the date was going well."
Even Dorothy had been shocked from her seat in the corner. She thought the sun shone from Gill's arse, so to hear she seemed to side with Rachel made her smile for only a moment. Then she was reminded once more of her hurt and the victory had paled into insignificance.
In the carpark of Oldham Road Police Station, she watched as Janet killed the engine and looked over at her with that stupid look of pity she had become accustomed to over the years. Rachel merely shook her head in return. No, she wasn't going to be pitied. This was her fault and her fault alone - she should have known Gill was still smitten with stupid Chris Latham. Still, didn't mean she wasn't hurting like a bugger.
"Don't do that, Jan. Let's just get on with the day."
Janet sighed, "Rachel, it's okay to be upset."
"I should have expected it, she's too good for me," she shrugged, grabbing her bag. "Come on."
Gill woke up the same morning with a pounding headache. She hadn't had any more to drink than usual, but she had tried calling Rachel most of the night - each time the call was declined.
She forced herself out of bed and then made herself a coffee, which she took in massive sips against the nausea prevailing in her stomach. Screwing her face up at the bitter taste, she laughed at herself.
You have more to worry about today than a shit cup of coffee, Gill Murray.
Checking her watch, she saw that it was only half 7. Perfect, perhaps she'd get a chance to speak to Rachel before work started. She'd struggled to sleep all night, worried about how the night had ended, and in fact, how well the night had gone before the drama had unfolded.
She didn't want Rachel to be angry with her - deserve it though she might, she knew she'd be absolutely devastated if the young woman had anything less than her usual respect for her. Shrugging it off, she sighed.
If she was in Rachel's position, she would be furious.
Arriving at work an hour later, she found Janet and Rachel there first. She put her game face on, lifted her chin and greeted them with the biggest smile she could possibly muster. Apart from looking a little tired, Rachel seemed okay.
"Morning, Gill," she replied. Not as upbeat as usual, but she replied and that was more than Gill had expected from her (and perhaps more than she deserved). Janet looked up with a forced smile, as though she was being civil only because she had to. Rachel and Janet were close, she remembered, and she was daft to expect the older of the pair wouldn't have been informed as regards the events of last night.
She shook her head, might as well clear the air while the office is quiet.
"Can I have a quick word, kid?"
Her eyes met Janet's, wide with whatever thought was running through her mind. Janet seemed to nod her head, and with that she was rising from her seat, heading on through to Gill's office. Heart pounding against her chest, Gill followed behind her and shut the door, ready to spill her guts.
Sitting beside her, Gill let out a sigh, "I am so sorry, Rachel. I truly am. I shouldn't have behaved like that last night and I certainly shouldn't have treated you like that either."
Rachel looked away, not crying, just uncomfortable she supposed. She shifted in her seat and found the strength to meet Gill's eyes.
"No, I'm sorry. I overreacted and I shouldn't have. I just wish you'd told me you and Chris were still together."
Gill nodded, "Not my best move, I admit. But I am sorry, Rachel."
"I didn't suspect it would work out," she said, so quietly it was barely a whisper. "You're perfect and I'm well… I'm me, aren't I?"
She took her hand, shaking her head, "No, Rachel. I'm not perfect and whatever you think about yourself, it's not true. You are not a fuckup and I am far from perfect. I was abysmal last night and I don't even know why I did it. Well I do, but it's not an excuse so-"
"He made you feel alive, I presume," Rachel spoke, defeated. "You hadn't had anything like Chris in years. I'm flakey and you didn't want to give up what you had with him until you knew what was going on between us. I know, I realized this morning."
"You won't believe me here, but I hope you do. Rachel, I'd really like to try this. Us."
She allowed her lips to turn up into a smile and then took a moment, "Not unless you end things with your toyboy. I'm not being your bit on the side."
She kept her eye on Gill, in the name of showing Gill just how serious she was being. She nodded, "I'll do it today. Rachel?"
"I am sorry for last night, truly."
"I know you are. Remember, Gill, you don't need Chris Latham to make you feel alive."
And if the new fire in Gill's belly was anything to go by, and she was sure it was, she knew that Rachel Bailey was absolutely correct.
Short and sweet... and that's a wrap. Thanks for the reviews. New story soon x