September 2, 2004

Chapter VIII: Pandora’s Inbox

Over the course of the first year of their marriage, Dorothy Sevitz had learnt to adjust her expectations downwards. Every evening – the very second that dinner was cleared away and the dishwasher loaded – Adrian would hastily mumble his excuses (“It’s just for half an hour or so, darling; I’ll be straight back downstairs for Millionaire“) and scuttle upstairs to the study, where he would remain cloistered for the rest of the night.
Apparently, he was working on some sort of “online writing project” – although, prod him as she might, he remained frustratingly vague as to the details.
Sighing softly to herself, Dorothy would rise from the table, pausing only to re-tune Adrian’s mini-system from the ghastly, nerve-jangling din of XFM to the sonorous, palliative mellifluence of Classic FM. Clutching the remainder of the lukewarm Pinot Grigio (oh, for the Viognier-guzzling days of their courtship!), she would shuffle over to the distressed burgundy Linda Barker, where she would while away the last couple of hours before cocoa time, with only her prized collection of eminently strokable stuffed ruminants for company.
Most nights, she wouldn’t even wake to hear him slip into the bed beside her.
At the beginning, she tried her best to take a healthy interest.
“Darling, why don’t you bring some of your drafts downstairs? You know how I love it when you read to me.”
“Perhaps another night, darling. I’m still struggling to construct that uniquely identifiable authorial voice, you see. My attempts at hyperbole are a catastrophe of thermonuclear proportions, my alliterations are absolutely atrocious, and my similes suck like a toothless hooker, if you’ll pardon my French. Anyway, I’m shy.”
Frankly, Dorothy was beginning to have her suspicions.
One Saturday afternoon, with Adrian safely dispatched on an errand (that long-awaited baby vicuna was finally ready for collection from Stuff ‘N Stuff, two hours up the motorway in leafy Kidderminster), Dorothy invited her sister Shirley over for tea, cakes, and SSRI swapsies.
As the double-dropped blueys started to kick in nicely, Dorothy seized her moment.
“I say, Shirl dear – could you help set this silly girl’s mind at rest? It’s my Adrian, and all that time he spends on that blasted computer of his. Frankly, I’m beginning to have my suspicions. Do you think we could toddle upstairs and take a shuftie?”
“Course we can, Doro. I think a little rummage through a Certain Somebody’s Inbox might be in order; don’t you?”
“Ooh, Shirl! The Sisters didn’t call us the Naughty Newbolts for nothing, did they?”
Their giggling was to prove fatally short-lived.


2 thoughts on “Chapter VIII: Pandora’s Inbox

  1. (Author’s Note: I’m trying to nudge the narrative towards some sort of denouement, ere the week is through.)

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