Everybody said how perfect they were for each other. Brought up as she had been, she had never questioned this, although she wanted to, daily.
He had a good job in the City, and she upcycled furniture she found at house clearances. He travelled to work by train from their home in Sussex, while she played Radio 4 as she sanded down tacky varnishes in the garden shed. He wolfed down pre-packed sandwiches at his desk, while she pulled up carrots and potatoes from the bottom of the garden and prepared their evening meal. He slept on a crowded evening train while she sold her handiwork over the internet. He came home, dishevelled and exhausted while she laid the table. They went to bed together. He fell asleep and she lay awake until the early hours of the following morning.
As he turned in fitful sleep, his mind processing the day’s data on the ever-blinking iridescent computer screen, she saw in her mind’s eye his pride when he had showed her the coffee table, the rocking chair and the children’s toy box he had made in the first few months they were dating. She thought back to her degree in Business Management and her year on work placement, selling artisan furniture in Brighton.
That was how they had met – at a mutual friend’s exhibition. She had done most of the promotional work and arranged the venue, close to the town centre, in a bistro with extra space upstairs. It was their mutual friend who had joked they were perfect for each other.
This is the beginning of a short story I hope to publish in a women’s magazine or other such outlet.