John Cameron sat eating his breakfast at the kitchen table of the cramped apartment that he had called home for the last ten years. The apartment was on the fifth floor of a block of sixty identical dwellings, constructed by an unimaginative property developer twenty years before John had moved in. For the last five years he had shared the place with Sharon, but she’d left a week ago after being on the receiving end of one too many of John’s alcohol-infused violent outbursts.
Sharon had packed a bag and fled to the women’s shelter in the city. He’d been served with a court order telling him to stay away from her, which he hadn’t bothered reading. She’d always come back after a few weeks in the past. He’d thrown the envelope onto the table in the main living space, which was still littered with her stuff.
John told himself that, if things were different, he’d clean the place up for her expected return. It was too late to worry about that now.
John finished eating the poached eggs and toast he’d cooked for breakfast, and made himself a cup of tea. He looked at his watch. It was ten to seven. He realised he needed to get a move on. Today was the day of the appointment he wouldn’t be keeping, which meant he’d be in deep shit once he didn’t show up. Maybe it was just as well Sharon isn’t around, he thought, sipping hot tea from the cup. At least he wouldn’t have to explain to her why he needed to disappear or why certain men would be knocking on the door looking for him. Hopefully, she’d be safe where she was. She’d been one of the good things that had happened to him in life, and he was not happy that he had driven her away.
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