‘We’re keeping things casual you know, no pressure.’ Keeping her foot on the clutch Shannon switched from second to third gear and eased off the roundabout, trying to ignore the silence on the other end of the phone. Above her the hands-free device blinked balefully, reminding her that it was about time she put it on charge but that it hadn’t died yet. The lights on the crossing up ahead moved from green to amber and she swore softly as she reached for the break and moved back down the gears. Traffic always seem to be against her when she called her sister.
‘Casual?’ said Karla on the other end of the line. ‘We both know that you don’t do casual.’
‘That’s nonsense and you know it! Anyway, this time it’ll be fine. Rick’s a great guy but he’s not really my type. Yeah he’s cute but he’s so god-damn boring. I think if I had to listen to that all day I’d throw myself out the third floor bathroom window.’
A couple with a stroller were idling in the middle of the road alongside another woman and her toddler. Flicking down the visor Shannon check her reflection in the mirror and rubbed the smudge of eyeliner from her cheek.
‘You do listen to that every day,’ her sister reminder her. ‘He’s your boss.’
Shannon scowled. ‘If you want to get all technical then yeah, I suppose he is my boss, but there are six other people in the hierarchy between him and me so I don’t see what difference it makes. It’s not like I’m sleeping with my supervisor or anything!’
She could practically hear Karla pursing her lips on the other side of the phone.
‘Look, if it makes you happy I’ll tell him it’s over. It was fun but I’m calling it quits, will that make you happy?’
‘This isn’t about me being happy,’ said Karla. ‘I’m worried about you here.’
‘Me?’ Shannon snorted. A car horn blared to her left and a sixteen plate mini shot out of a side street in front of her, almost clipping the front of her car. Shannon hit the brakes hard, the seatbelt digging into her chest. Something in the boot moved and thudded against the partition. ‘Shit! What the hell moron!’
‘Shan, you okay?’ Karla’s voice had jumped in pitch.
‘Yeah I’m fine. Just peachy. Some idiot just didn’t know how to drive that’s all. Where were we again? You were saying something about being worried?’
‘Yes I-, look, just tell me when you’re getting home? We can talk about this then. You know I hate having these sort of chats over the phone.’
‘Sure, sure,’ Shannon nodded. ‘I’ll be home about…’ she checked the dashboard clock and weighed up the time it would take her to get to their parents farm and back in her head. Maybe half an hour each way? ‘Let’s say seven, I’ve got some things I need to wrap up before heading home.’
‘What things?’ Karla asked. ‘I thought you had a free weekend?’
‘Something popped up.’
Shannon grit her teeth and reminded herself that she loved her sister. ‘Just something,’ she said. ‘It will take a couple of hours but then I’ll be home. Can you cope with that?’
There was a few seconds of silence and then Karla’s voice. ‘I suppose, but be safe. The radios been talking like the roads are murder today.’
‘Huh, you don’t say.’
‘Well I speak to you later then. Give me a call when you’re on the way back and I’ll get tea started. I love you.’
‘Love you two,’ Shannon chirped, finger already resting on the end call button. She hit it and moved her hand to flick the radio on instead, thumbing through the stations for the traffic report.
‘Murder,’ she sighed. ‘Poor girl has no idea.’
Written For Today’s Daily Prompt: Casual
Poetry didn’t seem to be working for this piece so I went for a piece of free write flash fiction instead. Any feedback would be appreciated and if you want to get involved with the Writing and Works Friday Fiction Link Up then you can check out the prompt right here.