There were noises coming from the house. Loud, manic laughter and pulsing music. The sort that could get on your nerves if you weren’t in the right mood. And she wasn’t. She walked towards the building at a slow pace, each step dragging her in.
There were flashing lights. She hated flashing lights; they made her eyes go funny.
A car shot past, screeching to a halt. Two men got out but didn’t see her, standing in the dark as she was. They rang the doorbell and were greeted enthusiastically, Music spilled out, some sort of dance music, she supposed. Not her sort of thing at all. She was too old for that sort of nonsense. The door slammed shut and peace was relatively restored.
The level of irritation and annoyance swelled inside her, and she could no longer stay still. The house was calling to her and she quietly let herself in through the unlocked door. Everyone appeared to be in the room to the left, so she made her way over to the right. The kitchen was a place of solitude, a place she could take a breath for a moment.
The grating music and laughter continued to drift across from the other room. She began opening drawers, searching for one elusive item. Eventually she lay her hands on what she was looking for – a long, sharp, gleaming knife. She ran her finger along the edge to check the sharpness, and winced as a tiny droplet of blood ran down the surface. It hovered for a moment, elongating, and then dropped down onto the gleaming white tiled floor.
The tiny pool of blood bothered her, and she grabbed a piece of kitchen towel, deftly wiping it up. The she turned her attention back to the other room, knife in hand.
Another knock at the door and she froze. More people came in, were welcomed, and made their way to the centre of the action. More cheers and whoops. Everyone is so happy, she thought bitterly. It’s so nice for them all to have fun. She held the knife in front of her face, checking it was spotless enough to view her own reflection. The overhead lights glinted as she moved the knife around. A cheer focused her mind on the task she had ahead. Now. This was the time.
Swallowing hard, her earlier confidence gone, she pushed open the kitchen door and stood in the hall. The front door and the outside were calling to her, but she knew she had no choice anymore. She held the knife behind her, her hand becoming sweaty and her grip loosening.
Her fingers on the door handle, she went through the door and into the room. Everyone turned to look, and a man scurried over, beaming.
“Honey, finally you’re here! Happy birthday!”
He kissed her and then waved towards the cake, with the dreaded 40 emblazoned on the top in pink icing. So it was real, she thought.
Producing the knife from behind her back, she plunged it into the heart of the numbers, and repeated it until they were no longer clear.
There, that was better.