Carol was fidgeting. She sat down on the sofa, picked up a book, read two lines, closed it. Whatever she did, however she sat, wherever she looked, she couldn't rid herself of the feelings in her mind. She wandered over to the window, stared out across the street at the darkened police house. It had been an hour since she'd skulked into the pub, downed a gin and tonic, before hastily making a retreat back to her flat. It had been 15 minutes since she'd seen Joe arm-in-arm with Gina, lurking at the bus stop, destined for hell knew where.
Gina? Of all people Gina. She figured she would have probably felt better if his rebound had been Rachel Dawson. At least there was history there. At least she already knew how to hate that woman...but Gina? She was struggling to hate her best friend...
Sure, it could be nothing, an innocent trip into town - but she knew the complexities of Joe too well for that. No, she'd seen that flirtatious smile before, that awkward glance, the way he thrust his hands into his pockets like a school boy, the way he let her onto the bus before him, and chivalrously tried to pay her fare. The more she thought about it, the more she convinced herself she was right, the more and more 'Gina and Joe' became an established couple in her mind.
Now she couldn't concentrate, the thoughts had become too much of a fixation. In the space of 15 minutes, what had started off as photograph in her mind of the pair having a bit of a flirt at the bar, had turned into a full-scale animation of them love-making back at the Police House. She couldn't focus, she couldn't concentrate and now she was fidgeting.
Eventually she could take it no longer. Resolving that her relationship with Joe was finally at an end, rather than in the hiatus that seemed to hang over them every time they quarrelled, Carol asserted herself as a strong, young and free woman. And with that thought in mind, she squared her shoulders, took the phone and dialled...
"Oh...hi...Mike. It's Carol."
"Do you still...fancy that drink?" Carol twirled the phone wire with her fingers, and swayed girlishly as she spoke. She was conscious of her wasted movements, but convinced that her actions conveyed through her tone, she continued to flirt to the empty room.
"Yeah, sure. Tonight? I mean, I'm free if you are?"
"I'm free as a bird..."
"Great. See you in an hour?"
"See you then."
And then he was gone, and the silence returned. And the thoughts recommenced. But in one hour, the relief would return, and Mike would be here, and Joe would be as far from her mind as she could possibly hope.