Everyday Life. Short Story.

“So just put that on your skin when you’re in the shower, then rinse it off and it’ll clear up all your spots.”
Jessica smelled it, “Are you sure?”
“Yes, totally sure. If it doesn’t work in a few days, say next Tuesday, just come back and I’ll give you a full refund.”
“Ok then, I guess I’ll take it.”
“Great, c’mon up to the till and I’ll get you sorted.”
Jessica trailed after the shop assistant, still unsure. The stuff didn’t smell bad exactly, but it didn’t smell amazing either. Well, what ever worked to get rid of the damned spots that had started popping up all over the place. She had managed to get through her teen years with barely a blemish, seems like they were all just waiting until she was in her mid twenties. Not that she was too surprised, it had been a stressful week, particularly after the breakup with Todd, that had not been fun.

Jessica paid for the face wash, cringing internally at the price, even with the potential refund, it was pricey, still, she needed to splurge on herself a little every now and then. She could afford it after all, she would just have to take a hit somewhere else for the week. With the face wash in a bag, she left the store, mentally ticking it off her list. There were one or two things she still needed to do, but she was eager to get home and try it. After a moment of debate she headed for the bus, a trip into the city wasn’t that long, only about twenty minutes or so. She would pop in another day and finish off her shopping.

Jessica sat down, happy that she snagged a window seat, the bus didn’t look too full now but she knew it would fill quickly after a stop or two. She looked out the window, listening to her music. At the second stop someone sat beside her, normally she didn’t care all that much, but the old man reeked of stale cigarette smoke. It was almost overpowering. She tried to breathe shallowly, praying that the smell wouldn’t cling to her too. A few minutes later she heard a faint click and looked over to see him lighting a cigarette. Jessica looked around to see if anyone else noticed, one or two people were giving him looks. An announcement played, reminding people not to smoke. Despite not having part in it, she felt a strange sense of guilt. The old man grumbled to himself and put out the cigarette, putting it back in the box for later consumption. She had no doubt that she would stink of smoke now, it had only been briefly, but with no real airflow on the bus the smoke had seemed to pool around them.

When her stop came, Jessica got off the bus, glad to be free of the smell of smoke, which had lingered long after the old man had left the bus stop, only two stops after he had lit his cigarette. She might have understood if he was in for a long journey, but she didn’t get why he couldn’t just wait the extra minute or two. As she walked she enjoyed the breeze and the sun, it was always a pleasant stroll from the bus stop.

When she got home she let herself in and stripped out of her coat, she gave it a quick sniff, then went into the kitchen before returning with a can of deodoriser, she sprayed her coat then stripped off she shoes and headed upstairs. She had decided on the walk home that she should just have a full on shower when she got in. She turned on the shower and while she waited for it to heat she stripped out of her clothes and read over the back of the face wash. It all seemed pretty simple, just on and off, applying moisturiser if needed afterwards. She stepped into the shower and let the hot water wash over her.

The face wash had felt tingly on her skin, it woke her up a little. She left it on as she lathered up her hair, once she was done she rinsed the shampoo and face wash off. When she was finished washing, she stepped out of the shower and wrapped herself in a thick towel, she wiped away the steam from the mirror and started to dry her hair.

She hadn’t needed to use moisturiser afterwards, which surprised her, normally she had to, even with the ones that claimed that you didn’t need too. Her skin looked a little red, but beyond that it looked fine. She carefully prodded at the redness, it didn’t hurt, which was a good sign, she had probably just scrubbed a little too vigorously in the shower.

When she dried herself off, she dressed in some comfortable clothes and went down to the kitchen for some tea. She would have the house to herself for a little while before her roommates got home and she wanted to enjoy the quiet.

A few hours later Jessica was back in her room, the redness on her face had gone down, so too had some of the spots. The face wash had worked even faster than she had expected and it was definitely worth the price, particularly if she only bought it when she needed, as it was there was still loads left.

The next morning Jessica woke to find the spots were completely gone. Her skin was smooth and blemish free, the face wash had worked amazingly. She examined her face in the mirror, she felt much better about the work party she had to go to on Friday. She had been feeling down and unattractive, first the break up then the break out. Still, she was feeling better now, she would have a great night. She even knew exactly what dress to wear. Mandy had been talking about setting her up with someone, she had been hesitant before but why not? Maybe she needed a rebound fling. She and Todd hadn’t dated too long, about three months all told, but she wasn’t really feeling it, and he seemed to have stronger feelings. She knew it was better for everyone to break it off, but it didn’t stop her feeling crappy about it. Not anymore though, she was feeling good and she looked good.

Downstairs someone knocked at the door, Jessica threw on a dressing gown and went down the stairs. She had been waiting for some deliveries, so too had one of her roommates, if the postman had finally brought them it would definitely help start the day off right. She opened the door and was surprised to see Todd.
“Oh, Hi. Is um, everything ok?”
“Yeah, fine. I just wanted to talk, is that ok?”
“I’d prefer not to, to be honest.”
“It’ll only take a few minutes.”
Jessica hesitated, no one else was home so no one would hear them if it turned a bit emotional, but then did she want to deal with him crying or something?
“Well, ok, but I’m kind of busy. We could meet later on for coffee or something if you like? There’s a place down the street, it’s small and shouldn’t be too busy, just give me an hour?”
“uh, yeah. Ok I guess. Where is it?”
Jessica stepped out of the house, “It’s just down there, see that red sign? Take a left there and it’s like twenty feet or so down the road.”
Todd nodded, “I’ll see you in a bit.”
Jessica turned to go back in, Todd grabbed her, he slid his hand from his pocket and thrust the knife into her side, again and again. He let her go and Jessica dropped to the ground, blood pooling around her.
“I’m…I’m sorry Jess.”
Todd turned and ran.


About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
This entry was posted in Drama, Short Stories and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Everyday Life. Short Story.

  1. @ngela15 says:

    the end was surprising.. good story

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