By Anna Booty
The buzzer rang. Sadie looked up from buttering her toast. Who could that be? Annoyed, she sat still just looking at the door for a moment, hoping whoever it was would go away.
They didn’t. They rang again.
Checking herself in the hallway mirror, she messed her hair up a little and sagged her shoulders. The person started knocking now.
“Sadie, Sadie are you in there? It’s Louise”
Sadie opened the door and her friend rushed in.
“Oh my god! Are you okay? I just heard!” Louise looked Sadie up and down, checking her out. “Are you okay?” she said again.
“Yes, yes, I’m fine Lou. Come on, come in for a bit”
“Well you look pretty well I must say.” Louise was watching Sadie’s legs very carefully and noting that they seemed to work perfectly as she padded back through to the kitchen.
“Do you want some tea or a coffee? I’ve just made some”
Louise looked around as she put her bags down and took a seat slowly. The flat was spotless, some choral music was floating out of the radio and the place was filled with the smell of freshly made coffee.
“There is some more bread if you’d like toast too.”
Sadie was now fiercely buttering the toast, layering it on thickly.
“Is that enough butter Sades…Let me do that for you”
She went to stand up but Sadie shook her head.
“It’s just really hard because it’s just out of the fridge” she replied with a furrowed brow. “Fucking hate that”
Louise now noticed how Sadie’s arms were working perfectly too. Moving easily down to the fridge to replace the butter and up to the cupboard to get the mugs, clearly nothing was giving her any pain, internally or out. She with a little smile of contentment as she placed the toast and coffee on the table.
“I’ll let you do the honours” she said, nodding to the percolator. “What’s wrong with you?”
Louise’s chin dropped leaving her mouth gaping, her eyes were confused.
“What happened, Sadie? I came straight away, I heard you’d been in a bad accident but you’re looking…well pretty fine”
Sadie sat slowly, her smile growing. “Yes I know”
“Well what’s going on? There isn’t a scratch on you”
“I could be bruised under my clothes, y’know”
“You could be…what the hell is that supposed to mean? Well, are you?!”
“All right, calm down”
“They said you’d be gone for weeks, what’s going on?”
“Um…” Sadie started to giggle.
She composed herself. “Well I suppose you could say, I jumped.”
“What?” Louise deadpanned.
“I jumped Lou. I didn’t fall”
Sadie giggled again. “Yeah. Yeah, I kinda jumped”
Louise said nothing, which meant she wanted her friend to continue.
“I didn’t go overboard, like, I didn’t hurl myself down the stairs head first. I just let myself go and off I went. It made a massive crash, my file and the papers went everywhere. I think actually the file might have clipped me on the elbow..” she got distracted and started to pull at her arm to check her elbow for marks.
“What the hell did you do that for?!” Louise was not seeing the funny side, and Sadie could see this now.
“Look, don’t worry. I’m fine!”
“Well you might not have a bruise on you but you’re not right in the head! What did you do that for? Are you fucking nuts? You could have broken your neck!”
“No, well see, this is the thing.” Sadie settled back in her chair and with great delight described a television show she’d seen about stunt men in the movies a couple of weeks ago.
“…and they do this tucking thing….like, brace themselves or imagine themselves as an armadillo…actually quite easy because they are on a descent…” She finished up, eyes wide and with her arms on a downward sloping action.
“Yeah, that’s great Sadie. But why?! Or just for the kicks? I mean, if you’d seen some programme about suicides, would I have come here to find you in the bath with the fucking toaster, just to see how to do it. Why?”
“I had no more holiday days left.”
“I’d run out of annual leave. I couldn’t face it anymore and needed a break. I was actually hoping to have some more serious marks, bruises and stuff, especially on my face, but really I came off pretty good.”
“You threw yourself down the stairs so you could go on holiday.”
“I didn’t throw myself, I just let myself slip. And I’m not going anywhere. I just wanted some time off”
“Oh my god..”
“Is it really that bad?” Sadie started to giggle again. “I’ve got at least 2 weeks… it’s bloody amazing!”
“Yeah! But if you’d slit your wrists imagine the time you would have got then!
Sadie rolled her eyes. “I knew you’d be like this”
“I think it’s how most people are gonna be. What have work said?”
Sadie smiled again. “They said get well soon. I can take as long as I need.” She thought for a minute. “They’re actually being really nice, I almost feel bad. But then when I think that instead of being here, I could be there today, at that desk, in front of that computer, listening to all that crap talk…” she shuddered “ I think again and realise how lucky I am”
“What are you gonna do for 2 weeks? Or for as long as it takes…”
Sadie shrugged “I haven’t decided yet. Might go to a few museums, see a few London attractions. I still haven’t seen so much. Might go on that Greenwich sky line thing.. I really wanna start planting some herbs in window boxes. Might go see my mum…”
“I haven’t’ seen my mum for months!”
“Well you know what to do don’t you…” Sadie took a sip of her coffee. “Plus, it’s awful bad for the company to have an employee slip on some loose carpet and fall down the stairs… I mean, they’d probably pay you to keep stuff like that quiet..”
“Sadie…oh my god”