Break one’s word (9)

[Here’s part three of the four part Christmas story. If you haven’t read the story so far then you may want to check out, Part one: You may have seen a cakewalk, but have you seen plenty of this (9) and Part two: Love Handle (3, 4)]

Tom was eating his cereal while Jenny dithered in the kitchen. It was Christmas eve and the goose was… Well it wasn’t getting fat, Jenny thought, because by now it would probably be dead. And anyway they were having turkey again this year. This had caused a bit of an argument in the flat over the last few days. Jenny had wanted to try goose for a change but Tom had put his foot down. He didn’t usually mind about things like this so she knew it was important to him. But she also knew that she’d pushed him to defend himself a lot further than she’d really needed to be convinced. It was just so refreshing to see him passionate about something like that. Tom wasn’t brain dead or anything far from it. He was just very good at having come to the correct conclusion first. So he would normally be able to diffuse any argument with the answer. Or the smart compromise. What Jenny’s boss, whom she hated, would call, “the win win”.

But she had pushed him further than she probably should have because it was great to see the passion. To see him really care about something. And she knew that it was probably destructive to play the bad guy just to see that reaction. But she wasn’t able to help herself.

She hadn’t been able to help herself at the work Christmas party last night. She had known it was wrong but she had done it anyway. It was, a moment of weakness, and she was already trying to tell herself that it didn’t mean anything. She had slept with a guy. It had never happened before. And she knew it would never happen again. But while she would easily be able to get away with what she’d done she also knew that she didn’t want to. It wasn’t that she wanted to go out with this guy. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to not go out with Tom anymore… No actually that was it exactly it. She didn’t want to go out with Tom anymore.

She looked back at him sitting at the table. He was just pushing his cereal bowl away form him, and pulling the paper closer to him.

And then he said quite quietly to Jenny, “here’s the one I can’t do, ‘Break one’s word, nine letters'”.

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