‘I hear you’ve finally dumped that loser, Will,’ Gemma said, half turning to Lily.
Lily watched Tess’s shoulders go up and tense.
‘I’d rather not talk about it and don’t call him that.’ Lily turned away and looked out of the car window.
‘Take it from me; you’re better off without him. Don’t get yourself saddled with a loser who tells you what to do then wants you to keep on having babies even though you nearly died with the last one.’
‘You didn’t nearly die,’ Tess said quietly.
‘Well. Felt like it at the time. They’re all pains in the arse, Lily. They can’t help themselves, it’s part of being a man.’
‘Gem,’ Tess said, dragging out the word. ‘Lily doesn’t want to hear this.’
‘Why not? It’s the truth. You’re a bright girl Lily, you’ve got a good job, you concentrate on that and don’t rely on anyone, least of all a man.’ Gemma stopped to draw breath before continuing. ‘I hear he’s buggered off to America for a sad-sack jaunt on a bike.’
Lily didn’t answer but Tess said, ‘That’s enough now, Gemma. Just leave it there.’
Throughout the remaining hour and a half it took them on the M4 to get to Taunton Dean services Lily sat in the back and seethed. More than once she considered asking Tess to turn around and take her home. The holiday was supposed to be about forgetting Will, not having him rammed down her throat. She laughed out loud at the irony of that thought.
‘That’s the spirit. Sod him,’ said Gemma taking her cue to start talking again.
Lily threw Gemma a dirty look but it bounced back from Gemma’s perfect, cast iron hairstyle. It was one hell of a bob, incredibly dense and not a hair out of place, sleek and blue-black it had a personality all of its own – defiant. Perhaps feeling Lily’s eyes on it, Gemma reached up with her perfectly manicured hand and smoothed it flat. Lily was sure she heard it crackle.
‘Do you have extensions?’ Lily asked, the words popping out of her mouth before she could stop herself.
‘Certainly not.’ Gemma’s voice filled the car with indignation.
‘Oh.’ Lily sat back and thought, serves you right for sticking your conk in my business.
As they arrived at the services a dog ran out in front of the car, Tess executed a nifty swerve and an emergency stop.
‘Tess, don’t do that. Do you want me to be sick?’ Gemma waved her hand in front of her face, fanning herself.
‘Did you want me to kill the dog instead?’
‘Too late,’ Gemma said, fumbling in the foot-well until she found her discarded Costa cup. She peeled the lid back and vomited profusely into it.
The stench of coffee flavoured vomit made Lily and Tess gag simultaneously.
This is the third excerpt from my romantic comedy ‘Mermaid Hair and I Don’t Care’ which I am currently writing. It’s a first draft, so excuse any typos/erros. Hope you enjoy and come back next week for another taster.