I promise to love you tomorrow

Sally loves her husband Michael. At least, she tries. But nothing could ever make her forgive him. Michael loves Sally, and their daughter Amy. At least, he tries. But noting will ever make up for what he did to Amy. Not for Sally, for whom Jack is the only person who can still touch her heart. (13+)


5. The Note


Sally sighed, a tiered, pleased sigh. She enjoyed the sleepy feeling of fulfilment, the knowledge that people had a good time, thanks to her. Her eyes swiftly followed Michael, to keep track of his every move: to make sure he didn’t step too close to the flowers. She patiently waited for him to retire upstairs; she hoped he would as soon as the guests left.  Michael however seemed inclined to hang around her like an annoying fly. He mumbled something a couple of times, in the hope of starting a conversation. Sally cleared the table and proceeded to wash the dishes whilst waiting for Michael to say something worthy of credit. As she came into the dining room to take off the used table cloth and replace it with another she just couldn’t bare his piercing eye on her every move anymore. She looked up at him, challenging him; her hands naturally hoisting themselves into fists at her waist. He cowered away, and awkwardly bumped against the mantel piece.

”Typical” Sally sighed as she walked over to straighten the dainty little ornaments that tumbled over from the bump. Michael caught her hand just as she was about to reach for a little gold covered bell in the shape of a maiden that was lying on its side.

“I meant what I said” said Michael looking directly into her eyes. Sally fought the urge to look away and shivered with fear. What if he found out? Surely Michael was no wife beater? But he had beaten up his own innocent child; why should he spare a sinful woman like her? She pursed her lips and winced away from him.

“I MEANT what I said” Michael repeated. He let go of Sally’s hand which sub consciously straightened the little maiden back into its original place. He put his hands by his sides, awkwardly, as if he was trying to restrain himself. Sally noticed his hands shaking and felt a pang of guilt rise up from her chest. He had a problem. He was trying to resolve it. She, as a supportive, loving wife should be there for him. Help him. Instead, Sally’s heart was flying away to Jack. And it wasn’t planning on returning any time soon. Sally forced herself to think of Amy, and the guilt subdued.

“Too little, too late” Sally whispered as Michael exited the dining room.


Along with Michael left any concern, affection, guilt or any other emotion Sally felt for him.

She rushed over to the bouquet of flowers. She reached her hand in and pulled out the note.

A nice piece of white card with her name scratched in straight, small letters. She ran her hand along it, to make sure it was real, and then opened it. The whole of the inside was filled to the brim with the same neat handwriting. She read it again and again to herself.

To the dear Sally White,

I feel that, had we met in different circumstances, in a different time, our lives would look a whole lot different. I think that when I met you I was given the privilege of seeing a vulnerable side of you that I understand not many other people have. You have touched my heart with your grief. I want to help you, in any way I can, but even more so, I want to lead a life as close to you as I can, as close as you will let me. If that isn’t what you want, I understand fully, and only hope that you might forgive a lovesick fool for putting his heart on the line so bashfully. I already feel like a coward for writing this, not speaking it. If only we could meet, alone. We could get to know each other properly, act as if we were on a real, honest date. If you wish to do that, meet me in The Raymond Hotel tomorrow at 10. Maybe we can make sense of this.


Jack Cranford


     Sally took the note and, cradling it to her, went to the kitchen and put it in her secret compartment under the sink. There was a little ledge under which Sally often stuck banknotes so that Michael wouldn’t find it and spend it on alcohol. The note would now stink of dampness and vegetable waste, but it was definitely safe. Sally sighed and supposed that she ought to go to bed. Which one? Ever since Amy’s accident she slept in the guest bedroom, gradually taking various essential items with her. She felt like she should really patch things up with Michael, but at the same time, she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Perhaps if she slept in Michael’s bed tomorrow she’ll feel less guilty when she goes to meet Jack tomorrow. And she would go and meet him- she was sure of it. As much as she tried to persuade herself against it, she knew she’d come since the second she read that note.

Eventually, after taking the longest time possible in the bathroom, Sally stood in the door frame of their bedroom. Michael was in bed, lying on his side, away from her. His clothes were scattered around the room. The whole place looked atrocious ever since she stopped cleaning it. To think it was only 2 days ago! Carefully guiding her feet in the dark, Sally made her way around the bed and slid into the cool sheets on the other side, by the window.  She quietly tutted in annoyance when she realised she had to get up and slide the curtains slightly so the morning sun wouldn’t shine in her eyes. Her she was now absolutely cold.  She slid into bed once more, and pulled the covers up to her chin. Underneath them, Michael’s hand sleepily made its way across her and cradled her. Sally turned on her side sharply. That was too far. She wasn’t ready to act like nothing happened yet. As Michael’s hand slid off her body she thought of all the pleasant things she would talk about with Jack.  Though he might know her darkest secret, she still had to make a good impression. Her last thoughts of the night were on how she simply had to get her blue dress to the cleaner’s tomorrow.

 She was almost asleep when something aroused her. Michael was getting up, and shuffling around the room. She kept her eyes closed, listening. As she heard Michael go down the stairs then shut the door behind him and start up the car she realised the worst has happened. So much for “I meant what I said”. Michael was down at the bar again, and she made the mistake of believing him- again. Sally fought back the urge to cry, and thought of how tomorrow Jack will treat her like a princess. How he’ll buy her a castle, and tend to her every need. In the summer he would keep her cool with an enormous feather fan, and in the winter he’ll run outside into the wind and snow to chop wood for a fire just for her. It didn’t exactly make her feel better- but she fell asleep at least.


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