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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A badly behaved young man receives his comeuppance.

Submitted: December 23, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: December 23, 2012




The moment Honoria woke up she knew that during the night something had changed. She sat up in bed and stared round the hotel bedroom. Nothing of Liam was there. He had gone and not said goodbye. He had just upped and disappeared. Honoria was puzzled and then felt anger and hurt. If he hadn’t wanted to stay why hadn’t he said something. She wondered whether she had committed some sort of breach of etiquette or other that he couldn’t understand. Whatever it was that had pushed him to go, she would probably never find out.
The hotel was on an elevation overlooking the Caribbean and throughout the day there was a slight breeze, which made it easier to bear the constant heat. Everything about the place made it memorable, the different shades of green, oranges, reds, yellows, and blues as dark as violet. The resort itself was a sheer delight for the eyes. The morning of Liam’s abandonment, to Honoria’s eyes the Technicolor surroundings might just as well have been in black and white. The excitement of being in a tropical paradise had gone when Liam had closed the door behind him. Honoria got out of bed and went note hunting. Everything in the room and its adjacent bathroom was turned over. The room service was so good that there wasn’t even a speck of dust, let alone a farewell note. Honoria went into the bathroom and had a shower and washed her hair. She took her time, she didn’t need to hurry there was no one else who would be wanting the bathroom. Feeling a myriad of emotions Honoria went down to a terrace to have her breakfast and think about what she wanted to do.
While eating she thought of the last days in their life together as a pair. What had the last two days been like. The only thing that occurred to her was that he had been restless and a bit grumpy. On several occasions she had asked him if he was enjoying the holiday, his reply was always the same, “Enjoying it? Of course I’m enjoying it, after what it cost to come here I have to enjoy it, don’t I? Stop asking foolish questions.” He had been lying on a sun-lounger at the time and had turned his back on her as a signal that he didn’t want to talk any more. There was another thing, he had become more taciturn and less inclined to do anything, unless it was initiated by him.
Feeling a little silly, Honoria went to the reception desk, “Have you seen my partner? I haven’t seen him since last night and he hasn’t left a note to say where he was going.”
The receptionist tapped into her computer and said, “Mr. Rook left on an early morning flight. He said you would be staying on. When asked why he was breaking his stay, he said that his family needed him, and that was the reason for going back so early.”
Honoria said, “Thank you.” Numbed by the news, she walked outside to the promenade and sat down under a palm tree. She didn’t believe what Liam had told the receptionist. She desperately tried to search inside her memory for any clues to his bad behaviour.
Liam hadn’t been too keen on the holiday, she knew that but he had never said why. As far as she knew his parents enjoyed excellent health. Then what was he talking about, their needing him. Maybe his mother or his father had suffered a sudden heart attack.
Honoria walked along the promenade, her head heavy with dark thoughts. She bought a soft drink and sat down on a bench in the shade, and tried to force her memory to work. From her straw bag she took out a small notebook and pen she usually used to note down where they had eaten and been. She saw that they had been out on a boat trip to another island, where they had swum and had lunch in a beach restaurant. Another day out was to an open air market where they had bought themselves some clothes and presents to take back. A visit to a botanical garden, and strolls to the different beaches. Looking at the list there was nothing to suggest that either of them had the idea of calling time on their relationship. Liam was turning out to be the true dark horse. The person who hides behind a façade. He had said nothing about such a plan, and as far as Honoria was concerned there was no reason for him to have just taken off without saying a word. There were still three days to the end of the holiday. Honoria was very upset, but at the same time she was pragmatic about the situation and decided to see the holiday out as best she could. No one staying at the same hotel asked her any indiscreet questions about Liam’s not being there. So she kept up the fiction of enjoying herself and for some minutes of the day she was even able to fool herself.

Liam arrived back at the flat he had shared with Honoria in the evening. He didn’t unpack but instead he walked around the flat removing his personal possessions. The bedroom was easy to clear out, and was done in a trice. He had time on his hands, he folded his clothes and jackets up and put them into two large cases. His shoes he packed in plastic bags. Books and DVDs went into a sports bag, toiletries went into a smaller bag. He left nothing of himself behind, not even his toilet water. A new bin liner was placed inside the rubbish bin. He wiped every surface over with a moist cloth. He told himself he was making it easier for her to forget him.
He took his car out of the garage and before setting out he made a call, “Hello, it’s me, Liam, I shan’t be long. See you.”

It took Liam just under two hours to reach his parents’ home in a smart residential area. He got out of his car and opened the boot and placed the contents on the driveway. His father came out and said, “Hello, Son, how nice you’re here. Your mother and I have been worried about you. We haven’t had much news from you. Come in and have dinner with us. We haven’t eaten yet as we have been waiting for you.”
Liam’s mother, a kindly looking lady, came to the front door and kissed her son. “Your room’s made up just as you like it. Just get inside out of the night air.”
The trio went inside the well cared for home and closed the front door behind them.

Honoria returned from her holiday and only on entering the flat, the whole place fell in on her. Liam had never existed, or so it seemed. There would be no crying into his old sweater or being aware of his smell on the pillows. Honoria thought to herself, If I loved you enough to write a poem it would be full of fantasies I had dreamed of about you. Then she decided that her time would be better spent looking for him, to find out why he had gone without saying anything. First of all she had a problem, Honoria had never met his parents nor anyone other than a couple of his work mates.
She went to a pub they had frequented during their romance. The pub was called The Dark Horse, rather apt thought Honoria as she opened the main door. From outside the inside of the pub was difficult to see. But once inside the visitor had a rare treat. The bars had long mirrors on the walls rather like a saloon in a western film. The tables were low and dark brown, the chairs and sofas were of studded green leather. There was never a moment in the daytime or in the evening when there were no clients. Honoria and Liam had passed some words with other clients and Honoria was hoping that one of them would be imbibing that evening. She sat down at the bar and looked into the mirror. Fortunately, she had a suntan or otherwise she would have had a rather unfortunate appearance. The barman came up to her, “Good evening, Madam. What can I serve you?”
“A lemonade, please. Is my face familiar to you?”
The barman looked at her and said, “ Yes, it is. You and a gentleman usually come here on a Saturday evening.”
“Has he been in here recently?” Honoria asked.
The barman thought for a moment, “Well, no he hasn’t. Excuse me, I’ll go and get your drink.”
Of course Liam hadn’t been in the pub, probably not since before they had gone on the fatidic holiday.
The barman came back with her drink. “I’ve been trying to remember when I saw him last. It must have been a couple of weeks ago when you were both in here. I can’t say more because I’m always busy. The business in here never slows until it’s closing time.”
“That’s OK. I understand. Thank you very much. I’m off home then.”
The waiter thought to himself, Another woman let down by a man.
Honoria went home and began phoning around, perhaps she’d get lucky and find out what had happened to Liam, or perhaps she’d write that poem to him.

Dinner was over and Liam was sitting down in his parents’ living-room playing cards. His mother, Anne, looked at him and said, “We were given to understand that you were going out with a girl. Have you two had a row?”
“No, Mum, we haven’t had a row.”
“Then why have you come back home?” his father asked, at the same time checking his cards.
“I was bored.”
“Bored!” exclaimed his mother.
Liam’s parents were used to his short term affairs and his returning to the family home in between leaving an old flame before lighting a new one, and also finding a new place to live. Liam was Mr Comfortable, the first thing that attracted him to a girl was her flat or her house. Everything else was secondary, if the girl was pretty then all the better, but if not why worry, nothing lasts forever, and affairs certainly did not with Liam. His parents had given up remonstrating with him. They were always issuing dire warnings like, ‘you’ll get your comeuppance.’ Meanwhile, Liam was back at home with a nice comfy bedroom and all the other comforts of home with no effort on his part.

Honoria was still thinking of writing a poem about Liam and his bad behaviour. Then she would have a rethink, and come to the conclusion that he wasn’t worth it. However, she got a few lines down on paper and then wrote up a line on twitter warning all the young women who might come in contact with Liam, to steer clear of him. After two weeks she still hadn’t found out anything more about him than she had already known.

Liam’s parents said no more about a girl friend. He had found a job in another town and was getting along famously with it. His employers were happy with him, and he was a good worker. No one knew of his past with women and his using them. Two girls who worked in the same company saw him one day in a restaurant and were instantly smitten. “Oh, what a dish! Has he already been claimed?” asked Marlise.
“I hope not or else the two of us will be disappointed instead of only one,” Claudine, Marlise’s best friend and confidant, replied.

What Liam was on the point of discovering was the duplicity of the female of the species. Marlise and Claudine always worked together in most things, and when there was a man involved even more so. They had Liam knotted and tied as far as his character was concerned on seeing him only once. They fancied him, but only as a diversion not as husband material. How did they get onto him? Well, it’s really quite simple. Liam was thirty-five and girl-friendless, also he had recently arrived in town. He was good-looking and he never spoke about a wife or children or ex-girl friends. In other words he was a man not to be trusted. He had a faint suntan, and when asked about his summer holiday, he said he’d got it by lying in the garden, which could hardly be true as it had been raining practically all summer. At last, Liam was up against two females who were preparing to teach him a lesson.

Claudine and Marlise still lived with their parents as their salaries didn’t permit them to buy properties of their own. They were quite happy with the arrangement as their mothers did everything for them. Therefore they both had plenty of time to plan all kinds of mischief. It was decided to make Liam look a fool, the reason being that he was so arrogant. “Huh! He loves himself,” Marlise said to Claudine. “ And he thinks we all have to love him too.”
“I fancy him, but that’s all. Well, what shall we do with this creep?” Claudine asked her friend.
“Make him suffer,” Marlise said laughing.
Of the two Claudine was the more seductive and so she was the obvious choice to be in on the direct action. It wasn’t long before Liam noticed Claudine, it would have been nigh on impossible for a red-blooded male not to have done so. She began wearing extremely short skirts and skin tight blouses and making suggestive gestures and flicking her long brown hair as she passed Liam’s desk. He thought it was quite right that she should fancy him and not any of the other men working there. One day he could stand it no longer and asked her out, “Claudine, come out for a drink after work?”
Making the most of it, Claudine paused, and then said nonchalantly, “Why, yes of course, thank you, Liam.”
All this was observed by Marlise who hoped and prayed Claudine kept to the plan and didn’t fall for Liam. She had no reason to worry, Claudine was enjoying herself. As Liam liked to show off he took Claudine to the best bars and restaurants, to her delight. After every date Marlise and Claudine had a chat on their phones about the next step of the plan.
“Where do you live, Liam?” Claudine asked him after their third date.
“At the moment I’m in a small downstairs flat in the old part of town. It’s not bad although I’d have preferred something bigger.”
“I might be able to help you there. I know a man who rents out flats fully furnished. Are you interested in seeing one?”
“Yes, if it’s possible. I’d love to,” Liam said wondering when he would be alone with Claudine and not always in a public place.

“Marlise, Liam wants to see a furnished flat. Will your friendly estate agent lend you a key?” asked Claudine.
“He’d better or we’ll have to say goodbye to our fun night.”

“Liam, I’ve found a flat that might be of interest to you,” Claudine said to him one day in the lunch hour.
“Great! When can I see it?” he asked eagerly.
“Just say the word and I’ll give you the key. Friday would be a good day, don’t you think?” Claudine suggested thinking of the weekend.
“Yes, fine, this Friday then,” Liam was looking keener than ever at the thought of having a better place.

Marlise got the key and a bottle of champagne and a bottle of Sweet Dreams sleep tonic. She also made sure that there was dreamy music on the CD player. The scene set, Marlise went home and rang Claudine to inform her of all the details and what she should do. Claudine was happy to know that she didn’t need to shed any blood. She was rather squeamish where blood was involved, whereas Marlise wasn’t.

All day Friday, Liam could barely concentrate on his work. That night he was going to have Claudine and see a new flat.
Marlise stayed out of his sight at work and watched from her mother’s car as the two drove off in his BMW. She followed at a discreet distance. Both girls had fobbed their mothers off with a story of how they were going out after work.
“Do you prefer to eat before or after?” Liam asked Claudine.
Claudine almost burst out laughing, before or after ‘what’, she thought to herself. There wasn’t going to be any before or after.
“Stop right here,” Claudine said, pointing to a building on the other side of the road.
“The building has a good look to it. Let's get out and get inside," said Liam, desirous of seeing the flat and the parts of Claudine he had yet to see.
Claudine opened the front door with the key Marlise had given her. Everything was as Marlise had said. There was a bottle of champagne in the fridge, the Sweet Dreams was in a drawer by the champagne.
“Let’s have a drink,” suggested Claudine, as she left the kitchen and made her way along to the main bedroom with Liam right behind her.
“This is very nice, is it very expensive?” Liam asked.
“Depends from where you are looking. For some people yes it is, and for others no it isn’t,” replied Claudine.
“Perhaps we could share it,” Liam said.
You don’t waste time, do you? Claudine thought to herself.
They sat on the matrimonial bed side by side, and Liam pulled the cork from the champagne bottle, “I think there’s someone at the door, check it will you?” So Liam left her alone in the bedroom.
Like a flash, Claudine took out the bottle of Sweet Dreams from her pocket and poured the whole lot into Liam’s glass.
Liam returned. “No, there’s nobody there.”
“What are we drinking to?” Claudine asked innocently.
“To a fun relationship,” he answered.
There’ll be more fun and sooner than you think, Claudine thought as she raised her glass flirtingly.

Claudine stripped Liam naked and put all his clothes into a sports bag Marlise had left for that purpose. She then emptied the bottle of champagne into the toilet and put it into the sports bag and cleaned and dried the glasses and put them away. She wiped all the surfaces she had touched with her hands and went to the door and let herself out, locking the flat behind her. The key was to go quickly back to Marlise’s friend.

Marlise’s family had a house near the block of flats where the drugged and naked Liam slept in total ignorance of what had befallen him. The contents of the sports bag were spread out on the top of Marlise’s bed. They weren’t interested in keeping any of his clothes, those would go to a charity organisation that had special containers in the streets. The phone was their main interest, not to keep but to investigate. They ran through the messages and saw some from a girl called Honoria. “Take a look at this, Claudine! That blighter’s abandoned her on their summer holiday, in the Caribbean, and he has told everyone at work that he got his suntan by lying in the back garden. This is just one big creep in giant letters.”
“Why don’t we send her a message and tell her that he’s had his comeuppance. I wish I had taken a photo of him. Let’s just hope she’s getting over him. He really isn’t worth any woman’s while.” Claudine felt more than satisfied with what she and Marlise had carried out.

Honoria opened her phone and saw she had a message from Liam. She wondered what his excuse was for having abandoned her on their holiday. The message was: ‘We’ve got Liam’s phone with your messages. The creep has received his comeuppance.’ There were no names. It didn’t matter, somehow or other Honoria had been avenged.

Liam awoke on the Saturday morning with a splitting headache. He had no idea of where he was. He got out of bed and looked out of the window, a woman was passing by with her children and screamed, “There’s an exhibitionist in the window of that flat.” In a short while the pavement outside the building was full of onlookers waiting hopefully for another look! You couldn’t pass a pin between them.
Claudine had locked the door, he had no key, and therefore couldn’t get out. He saw his car in the road and sat down on the bed in bewilderment. The estate agent was called and came round quickly and got in. He said to Liam, “ Sir, I think you have some explaining to do.”

Liam’s last humiliation for the day was to be escorted to the agent’s car wearing nothing more than a sheet.

The two perpetrators observed it all from Marlise’s bedroom window, both wearing huge grins on their faces.

© Copyright 2019 Georgina V Solly. All rights reserved.

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