Sheila sat there with the book open on her knee. Balancing it precariously as she moved to turn the nightlight on and turn off the big light. She had bought the book at a car boot a few weeks back. Derek had scoffed at her when she picked it up. “You lose weight?” He laughed in that patronising tone he had perfected so well over the years. “there’s more chance of the Daggers winning the premier league and they’re not even in the premier league” Shoving his burger into that overused noise maker in his face, Sheila wished, just briefly, that he would choke on the bloody thing.
Buying the book to spite him, Sheila parted with the £1.50 asking price without even trying to haggle. She was good at haggling. She had been doing it most of her life, mostly when Derek was to tight to put his hand in his pocket and let her buy what she needed for, well, pretty much everything. He hadn’t always been like this though. Her Derek, the one she dreams of was handsome and kind and never had a problem parting with his cash. And when her dreams turned to nightmares, well it was this snoring animal that currently lay beside that invaded her dreams. And when he did, boy was she furious.
But in her head, she always had her Derek, the old Derek.
It was hard to say where and when he changed. Maybe it was when he retired from the police force due to bad health 10 years ago. Or the time she came home from her sisters an hour early to find him butt naked, literally she saw his pasty white backside first and panting over a completely naked, now forever known as ‘Joan free for all’ from down the road.
Sheila didn’t know if she was more shocked he had somehow managed to woo old June, which she totally knew he was doing. Subtly wasn’t his strong point. Or that he had that kind of energy and flexibility left in him. Either way, it was a sight for eyes and one that was now burned in her memory forever more.
But still, she didn’t leave him. Even when her sister’s told her she could do much better, she stayed. He was her Derek and they had made vows to stay together until death do us part. He might have broken his vows, but she wasn’t ready to throw away their whole life together, not just yet anyway.
So she opened her book, How to Eat Chocolate and Lose Weight and sighed.
He had thought it was another diet book, another fad in the life and unsuccessful weight loss of Sheila the drab and depressing. Flicking the page open to where she finished reading it at 3 am, Sheila found her stopping point.
It was Fabrizio who Claudia was slipping around with at night she had deduced. Sheila was only a third of the way through but she could spot the twist a mile off.
Fabrizio and Claudia had been fooling around and they were behind the murder of Claudia’s husband Demetrius. Not the maid whom Claudia had accused after finding them sleeping together when she returned from her wicked weekend away with Fabrizio.
Sheila wondered why never read stuff like this as she finished the book two nights later. What a funny name for a murder slash romance book. Claudia did love her chocolate she grinned to herself as she imagined the fictitious character standing over her dead husband as she finished off her chocolate bar. What a sight that would be for whoever stumbles upon it.
The book had lifted her mood more than any bar of chocolate could. Although, as she stood there in her bedroom legs spread over the dead body of her former husband Derek, wearing the sexiest pair of high heels she had ever seen, she had most definitely lost some dead weight from her life and all whilst enjoying a nibble or two of her favourite treat.
Joan’s husband would be along shortly to whisk her away to a new life and by the time someone finally stumbled across old Derek, they would be long out of the country and living their new life abroad together. With one last glance at around her bedroom, she crouched down beside Derek’s still warm body “I always told you till death do us part. I just never told you it would be me killing you. Ah, and it’s such a shame you weren’t here to see the Daggers win the premier league, I hear they’ve got it in the bag this summer!”
*original fiction “How to eat chocolate and lose weight was written by Tracey Bowden and featured on One Frazzled Mum May 2018*