Here is my attempt at a story inspired by the prompt suggested by Nik Eveleigh making use of the phrase “if that was in the Olympics you’d win gold.”
This slice of domesticity may seem a little stereotypical, but I have drawn on some inspiration from life for this one (of course hugely exaggerated and bearing no resemblance to actual persons living or dead..) so hope it will strike a few chords! Let me know if you think it works or not.
Wallpapering Over The Cracks
“Sport, again?” Kelly sighed and slumped her shoulders. Another Saturday afternoon looked set to be dominated by Gary’s insistence on watching every sporting event in the calendar.
“But it’s the Olympics Kelly, it only comes around every four years!” He was making himself comfortable on the sofa, settling in for a long session of beach volleyball or whatever it was. His trainers were lying where he’d thrown them after walking the dog, and he’d opened a huge bag of tortilla chips when they’d only had lunch half an hour ago.
“But can’t you watch it later? I really wanted to go shopping; we need to choose wallpaper for the spare room and we can’t go next weekend because your brother’s coming.”
“Oh, that’ll work out great. You and Jen can go wallpaper shopping while me and Dave can go to the pub and watch the football. You don’t mind do you? I don’t see him very often. It’s not like I’m out every weekend?” He was doing his best ‘how can you be angry with this innocent’ face. It wasn’t working.
“Football! For God’s sake it’s never ending; first the Tour de France, then the cricket, then the Olympics, now football! Don’t you think you could give something a miss? It’s totally taking over our lives at the moment.” Gary was brushing crisp crumbs from his stomach onto the floor. She noticed his toenails were yellowing and needed cutting and he hadn’t bothered to shave.
“Look, it’s just, unfortunate timing that’s all. In a few weeks it’ll all be over and then you can choose what we watch and we can get on with all the decorating then. Autumn is a much better time to be stuck in doing wallpaper anyway.”
She knew he was probably right about that but she wasn’t about to let him off the hook that easily. “Well it’s got to be done by Christmas and I know what your rate of progress is usually like.” Damn. Now it seemed like he’d won the argument. “And move those shoes, they stink!”
“Honestly Kelly, if nagging was an Olympic sport you’d win gold!” He stomped off, she heard a clunk as he hurled the trainers into the hallway cupboard.
“I wouldn’t have to nag you if you just did what needed doing without having to be asked fifty times!” She shouted.
“Oh, never mind.”
Kelly went upstairs to read her book, but soon found herself unable to concentrate. Why on earth was she living with a man who was obsessed with sport when she hated it? Why was he happy to just waste away the days this way, when there were things that needed to be done and the sun was shining outside? She sometimes wondered if they had anything in common at all; did they really have the same goals and aspirations? He never seemed as motivated as she did to get the house finished. It was as if he had a completely different concept of time. The unwritten timetable in Kelly’s mind was slipping off schedule and it made her anxious.
She lay back against the pillows, and noticed with some annoyance the discarded socks, magazines, old receipts, loose change and other detritus gathering like tumbleweed by his side of the bed. How many times had she asked him to tidy it up? She’d lost that battle long ago. How many more before she had to admit that there was no point fighting any more?
“I’m going out.”
He was staring at the figures on the screen who were performing elaborate somersaults on parallel bars, whilst picking his teeth with his fingernails.
“I said I’m going out!” She began turning for the door.
“What? Oh, where are you going? Are you passing the supermarket?”
“I’m going over to Mel’s house for a bit, and no I am not going to buy you beer before you ask.”
“I wasn’t going to ask that. Well, maybe just a couple…” That innocent smile again. “I was wondering if you could get some ginger and coconut milk. I was going to make us a nice curry. We could watch that film you wanted to watch?”
Kelly refused to meet his eyes.
“Come on Kel, I’m trying here.”
“Tomorrow? Tomorrow it’s the men’s 10,000 metres.”
“And… I will absolutely strip all the wallpaper in the spare room before that starts. I promise. We’ll do it together.” He smiled at her again, that smile that always won her over even when she was determined that it wouldn’t. Actually, the unshaven look quite suited him, annoying as that was.
“It’s going to take more than a curry to get you back in my good books again.” She walked out, trying not to smile as she did so.