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Clare – The dreaded return

Sue could hardly speak, she was flabbergasted that Clare had the audacity, to stand there, yet’ alone think she was going to be invited in.

‘Well, are you putting that kettle on… it’s a bit too early for wine, I suppose!’

Sue looked at her, and swiftly said, ‘Please Clare, will you leave, I’ve nothing to say to you.’

‘Oh, come on Darling!’ Clare said, ‘We’ve got a lot to catch up on.’

‘Just leave Clare….. NOW!’

Daniel could hear that Sue was getting more and more angry and soon realised it wasn’t Jean from across the landing. Putting on his trousers, he came out of the bedroom and stood behind Sue.

‘Well, well, if it isn’t Daniel!’

‘Hi Clare.’ And before Daniel could even get out the word Clare, Sue snapped at him, ‘How the hell can you say Hi… after all she did, or have you forgotten Chloe and Tim?’

Sue slammed the door on Clare’s face and too much surprise was rather taken back as to why Daniel, was so calm and prepared to speak to her. As far as she was concerned, she was inflexible when it came to Clare… she wanted nothing to do with her.

How could he, she immediately thought…. Clare was toxic and Daniel knew exactly what happened, especially as he was Tim’s best mate.

One thing led to another and before they knew it, Sue and Daniel were having their first row, with Sue throwing a right old tantrum. One minute they were on the crest of a wave, planning a holiday, now they are at loggerheads.

Sue was so angry at his calmness and reaction to Clare, that she looked at Daniel and told him to go… She was angry and needed time on her own. The anger of what Clare did was bubbling inside her. Within seconds, Daniel was gone, and Sue started to let the tears flow. As she remembered that horrible time at university.

As she walked into the bedroom a couple of minutes later, through the half-closed blinds she could see, Clare getting into Daniel’s car.

Through her tears, she rammed a selection of clothes into her overnight bag, bundled Tibs and Kitty into their crates and headed down in the lift. All the time thinking about Daniel and how he reacted on seeing Clare. And how Clare was now in Daniel’s car.

Hastily she drove to the only place she knew she could unburden herself. Her parents who lived in a coastal community. Sue had never really spoken to anyone about what happened back then… and had buried those feelings deep inside her, and now they had resurfaced.

As Sue arrived at her parent’s home, her mum saw her pull into the drive and was at the door waiting for her to get out of the car.

‘Darling, what is wrong?’

‘Mum, guess who turned up? Clare, and Daniel and I had a row over it and I told him to go, and he’s gone off with Clare! She’s like a bloody annoying mole, who keeps damaging the grass when they appear, nothing but the dregs of society is our Clare.’ As Sue felt the warm embrace of her mum, she let the tears flow and flow.

Eventually, Sue calmed down enough to tell her mum, what had exactly happened at University with Clare. Whilst her dad made her a nice warm cuppa with a drop of brandy in it. That was her dad’s way, tea, brandy and a shoulder to cry on.

Sue went to school with Clare at secondary school and they both became friends. However, in the sixth form things turned sour. Sue was seeing a lad, a year above her, things were going well, then he told Sue it was over. Next thing Sue found out he had taken Clare out.

‘Do you remember Justin? Well, it was Clare, he dumped me for. Anyway, she told me it was just friendship meeting and not a date, and he was trying to get me back.’

‘But it was all lies.’

‘That’s when I started to make friends with Chloe, and she was seeing a lad called Tim.’

Sue’s mum said that she remembered them and told her to continue and get it all off of her chest.

Sue went on, ‘Then we all went to university, and on our first day, little did we know, that Clare had also decided to do the same course as Chloe and me. Tim, was doing another course, and that is where he met Daniel. Anyway, Clare was so jealous of how me and Chloe got on. And…’ as she wiped tears from her eyes, she continued the tragic story. ‘Chloe and Tim got engaged and they planned to marry as soon as they left university. Everything was great.. mum, then Clare did to Chloe what she did to me. Only this time, she spun a load of lies that Chloe and her family believed.’

‘Clare told Chloe that Tim had made a play for her and wanted to take her out. Then, we were at a party at Chloe and Tim’s place and he didn’t feel too good, so he took himself off to bed. Then Clare turned up with another friend of Daniel’s and Tim. Chloe was not a drinker, despite what everyone said, and had only been on soft drinks all night. As Chloe was worried about Tim she went upstairs to see if he was OK, and when she walked in the bedroom, she saw Clare in bed with Tim. Chloe started screaming and Tim woke up and said nothing had happened, he’d fallen asleep and thought it was her in bed with him. Clare being Clare told Chloe he was lying to cover his actions and that he’d told her it was her he wanted and not Chloe.’

‘Before we knew it mum, Chloe had jumped into their car and sped off.’

Sue stopped for a minute, as continued to tell her mum, ‘Well, the party ended there and then, and I headed home. The next morning, we heard that Chloe had been killed in a car accident. Well, Clare told Chloe’s family that Tim was finished with Chloe and had secretly been dating her for the last few weeks, so they turned on Tim. Tim was a victim of Clare’s as well. I tried to explain to everyone Clare was lying, but they still they banned Tim from Chloe’s funeral.’

Sue then told them how Tim knew Clare was lying and causing trouble and he couldn’t prove it. Daniel was the only person to stand by Tim, because he knew exactly what Clare was like… he’d seen her in action. Sue told her mum, that if you had something that Clare didn’t have, like a boyfriend, or best mate, she would do whatever is in her power to ruin it.

Sue explained how she tried to talk to Chloe’s family time and time again, on behalf of Tim and they wouldn’t budge. They believed Clare and couldn’t believe she would concoct a story like that.

After the inquest, Sue told her mum, Tim took his own life on the day of Chloe’s funeral. He just wanted to be with Chloe and Clare had made this whole thing up, just to get back at Chloe for being my best-friend.

After Tim’s death Clare did a big announce and flounce from university, blaming everyone except herself. In fact, Sue thought of it more like absconding like a criminal on the run, without a conscience.

Bursting again into tears, ‘How the hell can Daniel, do this to me, side with Clare? I told him to go and when I looked out of the window, Clare was getting into Daniel’s car. And…..’

Sue’s mum comforted her and told her that what will be will be. Sue’s mum had a way with her… she knew how to comfort people and showed empathy and support and it wasn’t long before Sue stopped crying and calmed herself down.

Sue looked at her mum, with loving eyes and said, ‘Thanks mum, if only there was a little blue pill, I could take that sent me back in time… I would never have pushed Daniel away into Clare’s arms.’

That late afternoon, still red-eyed from all the tears, her dad invited her for a walk in the park. They never said a word as they dawdled around the park, but Sue knew her dad, was there for her as he let her hand slip into his, just like he did when she was a small child. He didn’t have to say words to comfort her, his actions spoke volumes. Sue felt safe…

All those pent-up emotions, kept locked away, since her university days, were now out in the open. Oh, how Sue had wished she had told her mum years ago about what really happened. Then she wouldn’t have had to suffer this guilt in silence. The guilt of becoming friends with Chloe knowing what Clare was like.

They must have been gone a good while, because it was starting to get dark as they headed home. Not far from home, her dad looked at her and said, ‘I’m here for you but remember what I told you as a child? Never act in haste or you’ll repent in leisure.’ Sue smiled at him and nodded with a yes. By the time they were getting close to home, Sue felt so hungry and couldn’t wait for that Saffron Lobster risotto that mum was preparing for dinner. Food was always Sue’s comfort especially when she couldn’t see the wood for the trees.

Her dad could see right through her smile… without Sue even saying a word, he knew that she felt lost as sea, without Daniel by her side.

More to follow…

7 responses to “Clare – The dreaded return”

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