- Holly Searle
- London, United Kingdom
- Holly Searle is a writer who was born in Westminster in the middle of London. She shares her birthday with Jarvis Cocker and David Seaman and like Jarvis Cocker she wears glasses but has nothing whatsoever in common with David Seaman. She is fascinated by words, people and their stories, and regularly spends hours fantasising about being offered a weekly column. She has a degree in Film and Television which she gained from Brunel University in 1997. She has been blessed with two quite remarkable children whom she adores. She enjoys the company of her friends and the circus that is life. Long Walk to Forever by Kurt Vonnegut is her favourite short story. She is the author of the published children's tale The Story of Balan Singh, and is currently working on her first book.
Saturday, 9 March 2013
Waiting For Walt By Holly Searle
Ruby sat down in front of the dressing table mirror with a petulant thud.
She had woken up alone.
She wriggled about a bit until she made herself more comfortable and then studied the image that reflected itself back at her from the mirror.
She didn't look happy.
She wasn't best please with Walt, and it showed.
She let out a long sigh and pulled that mean face that Walt said he found unsettling. Closed her eyes in a theatrical diva fashion, and then got up and headed for the stairs.
She made her way half way down the stairs, before plonking herself on one of the steps in an unceremonious stroppy fashion.
Her mood was so well executed, that it is was a shame that there was no audience to witness it.
The carpet felt rough beneath her bottom, but she was far too cross to let it bother her.
In fact, its discomfort was yet another unnecessary evil and thoughtless predilection that she would blame Walt for, when he finally got home.
She made a mental note to do so.
Boy, was he in for it.
From her vantage point on the stairs, she was able to stare unblinking at the front door.
If he arrived home in the next few minutes, she thought with glee, he would find her sitting there in a trace like state, whilst staring menacingly at the front door.
The front door that he had double locked on his way out late last night.
He wouldn't expect to find her sat there like that, waiting for him and ready to confront him about his whereabouts.
If looks could kill, Ruby thought, he would be done for within seconds of opening it.
She could just see his expression. How surprised he would be.
She definitely had the upper hand and that was a first.
Waking up alone, without Walt was horrible.
Where was the idiot?
Although, she reasoned, on the plus side, it did mean she had had the luxury of having the whole bed to herself without him being there and fidgeting about all night.
It was something at least.
But not to come home at all. Well, that was just unforgivable.
How dare he.
She decided that she would punish him by ignoring him for the rest of the day when he finally got home. He hated it when she did that. But what did he expect. Stupid man. Didn't he know how lucky he was to have someone like her at home waiting for him?
She let out a small sorrowful moan that sounded huge in the silence of the empty house.
And now she just felt sad and alone and abandon.
Oh Walt, Walt, Walt. Where are you?
She got up and made her way down the stairs and headed into the kitchen to get herself a drink.
The thing was, Ruby relied upon Walt for everything. She knew she shouldn't, but she did. He was her world.
She didn't have to work and had the run of the house.
She saw her friends whenever she wanted too. When she thought about it like that, she thought she was probably quite lucky, but she didn't feel lucky this morning, she just felt alone.
Her Mother had advised her not to trust men as they would take advantage of her.
Ruby didn't like to believe everything her Mother had told her about men, especially as far as Walt was concerned.
But her advice was starting to take on an I told you so arms folded stance this morning.
Ruby dismissed these negative thoughts from her mind as she helped herself to some water and then sat at the kitchen table staring out at the garden.
It was a beautiful morning.
She liked the garden. She liked spending time in it with Walt. They had spent many hours out there pottering about together.
He would witter on, as was his want, while she just listen and thought to herself how lucky she was to live with a man like him.
Maybe she would revise her thoughts about him, if he didn't get home soon.
She yawned, got up and made her way back down the hallway and before she reached the front door, turn left into the living room.
She liked this room. It was comfy and warm.
The large clock ticked over the mantelpiece mirroring the rhythm of her steady heartbeat.
She sat down on the sofa in the spot that Walt always favoured for himself.
Ruby favoured the same spot as well.
Ruby closed her eyes and thought of all of the nights that she and Walt had spent in this spot.
Just the two of them, cuddled up and warm, while the clock ticked as they watched something on the box that sat opposite.
She opened her eyes and saw her reflection in the box. She looked like a statue.
She looked smaller and slightly distorted in this reflection.
She studied herself. People said how beautiful she was, and she quite liked that.
Walt liked it as well.
When she mentioned it to her friend Mabel who lived opposite, Mabel’s response was “Yes, I hear that a lot as well. I rather like it too.”
Mabel lived with George.
George drank a bit too much on Friday nights.
But Mabel loved him never the less and wouldn't hear a bad word said against him.
Walt would often say to Ruby on hearing George drunkenly singing in their street on his way home from the local on a Friday night.
“I bet you're glad you're not Mabel Rubes?”
And sometimes Ruby was.But not today.
At least George always came home. Unlike Walt.
Mabel and Ruby shared secrets about George and Walt.
And that ultimately was the string that bound their friendship together.
It was an escape and a blessing to have a friend like Mabel, one with whom you could share so much.
Just wait until Ruby saw her later when she would sound her out about her displeasure with Walt's behaviour and see what Mabel thought about it all.
She began to grow restless and annoyed all over again.
She wished she could talk to Mabel now, but she knew that she was busy with George this morning and besides, all the doors were locked and Ruby was trapped in the house until Walt got home.
Walt had become more security conscious in the last few weeks after a spate of burglaries in their area.
Thank God no one had broken in to their house as the thought of strangers scared her.
Probably kids the neighbourhood watch man who had paid them a visit had said.
Ruby disliked children. They made her nervous.
She liked order and routine. She didn't like Walt being thoughtless and inconsiderate of her welfare like he was being now.
The more she thought about it the more she realised that he took her love and acceptance of him and his ways for granted a bit too much.
Maybe her Mother had been right after all.
She didn't want to sit in their spot any longer, not while she was so angry with him.
So she walked over to the window and parted the curtains.
Oh come on Walt, she thought, where in heavens name are you?
As she looked out onto the street and saw the familiar unfolding weekend routine coming into play.
There was George across the street putting out the rubbish.
Maybe George did like a tipple or two on a Friday after work, but he never left Mabel alone over night wondering where he was.
And there was Mabel by his side.
And in that moment, Ruby saw their affection they had for one another and wondered if people ever consciously noticed the same of her and Walt.
And now she wasn't so annoyed any more, now she just felt sad and lonely trapped in the house, on this beautiful morning whilst the clock ticked away the time, waiting for Walt to get home.
She returned to the sofa and sat down. She was tired of waiting. She yawned, sat back closed her eyes and swiftly fell asleep.
At first she thought she was dreaming.
But her ears had definitely heard it, that unmistakable solid click of the lock as the key rotated to the right from the outside of the front door signalling his return.
Ruby opened her eyes and turned her head towards the sound that was quickly forward by the familiar sound of Walt's footsteps as he entered the house.
“Rubes?” He called out.
Ruby stayed where she was. He could wait she thought.
She sat up and and decided to adopt an air of indifference towards him.
She had waited and waited and now he could wait.
She sat very still, she was very good at that.
She heard him hang up his coat and take of his shoes.
“Ruby! Ruby Ruby Ruby”
She heard him bound up the stairs and the creaking of the floorboards above her head, confirmed that he was checking all the rooms for any sign of her.
Her indifference turned to excitement as she waited for him to find her.
She heard him coming back down the stairs and head towards the kitchen.
“Oh God, I hope I didn't lock you out Rubes.”
She waited. As still as a statue. She'd win a prize if they were playing that game.
She heard him fill the kettle and the click as he turned it on to heat the water.
Heard him exhale in exasperation at not being able to find her.
And then she heard him walking back down the hallway and met his eyes as he entered the living room.
She cock her head to one side as she looked at him and smiled.
“why didn't you answer when I called you?”
The tone of his voice indicated that he was annoyed.
Now you know what it feels like she thought.
He looked at her and pushed his hand through his hair.
She remained silent.
He looked guilty.
She turned away from him and looked towards the window.
He crouched down so that he could meet her eye line.
“I am so sorry that I didn't come home. I know that you have been locked in the house. It was unavoidable. If you had a mobile, I could have called to let you know, but seeing as you don't, well, what could I do?”
There was a funny tone to his voice, something playful.
She turned back towards him.
She blinked at him and decided that she wouldn't keep up the pretence.
She got up and walked into the kitchen and he followed behind her.
“I'll tell you what Rubes, how about I make you your favourite supper later. A big sorry for me to you. Would you like that?”
Ruby made her way towards the back door.
Yes, she thought, yes Walt, that would be a start. But right now though, she needed to get out of the house as she wanted to go into the garden as she needed some fresh air and more urgently she needed a pee.
She turned and looked at him and chirped.
“Is that a yes then?”
She repeated the sound.
Oh get on with it and open the door Walt she thought.
He bent down and stroked her.
She repeated her chirping, mip, mip, mip noise and became more animated as she stood by the back door.
Walt finally got the message and unlocked the it.
Thank God for that thought Ruby.
And with Walt home, and the back door open, she stuck her tail in the air and made her way out of the house and into the garden and was finally free at last.