Car 7

Mrs Susan Reece

Outward appearance

Heavy on the slap. Ruby cheeks, vermilion lips, long polished boots. Clutches a black bag, leaning sideways, confidentially, towards her neighbour. Talks, stops, leans sideways again, adds something else, looks away, is moved to speak again.

Inside information

Works in HM Customs and Excise. Workmate of the woman next to her, with whom she has been living since separation from her husband. The rat has asked to come back.

What she is doing or thinking

She feels vindicated, enraged, and can see that Marina feels the same on her behalf. She really doesn't know how she'd have got through it without Marina, especially after Mum stuck her oar in.

"I've told him, if he does come back then we'll have a contract in writing about what happens to the property. If I play my cards right I'm sure I'll get my new kitchen out of it. You remember the one I showed in the catalogue? "

She leans back, absorbing the sense of victory.

"The all-white counter tops with the built-in stove? I mean the least he can do if he's coming back is finally do something around the place. It's a tip. The whole house will have to be re-decorated, and that's a promise."

She leans back. She wants a fag. A white Kleenex is wrapped around her thumb, in case she starts to cry. "Oh God," she says in despair. "I'm sure I'm being too nice again." She looks into her companion's eyes, then at her silver fingernails.

"I'm sure you're not," says Marina, tartly.



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