No Bra Required!

By: Nikki Ashton

Chapter 1


“Lucy, give me the bobble hat now! I mean it. I’ll slap you if you don’t hand it over!” Sarah reached across, and snatched at the bright green woolly hat which was pulled down firmly on Lucy Meadow’s head. “It even clashes with your hair!”

“Gingerist!” Lucy cried, frowning at her friend.

“You always say its Titian, so I can’t be a gingerist, can I?”

“Oh, leave me alone Sarah.” Lucy placed one hand on her head and flapped her other at Sarah’s arm. It had been two weeks and three days since Simon had gone, leaving Lucy feeling broken hearted, and she hadn’t been out of bed, or her bobble hat since.

*

It had been a normal Sunday in May, a late breakfast, an afternoon spent chilling out, Simon reading the papers and Lucy the latest frothy romance that she’d bought the day before. Suddenly, without any announcement, Simon threw the papers to one side, got up and left the lounge. At first, Lucy thought that he had gone to the bathroom or even, unusually for Simon, to make them a cup of tea, but when he didn’t re-appear after half an hour, she began to feel slightly irritated. Lucy decided to investigate. She found Simon searching through a drawer, throwing various pamphlets and papers onto the floor.

“Simon why on earth are you making such a mess?” Lucy asked Simon, placing a hand on his back.

“It’s got to be here somewhere. You’ll need it if the boiler breaks down.” He didn’t look up at Lucy but carried on searching.

“What, what will I need? Simon, please tell me what are you talking about.” Lucy shook her head, perturbed by his behaviour.

“If I’m not here, you’ll need the guarantee and service documents for the boiler.” He looked at Lucy with sadness etched across his face.

“What do you mean ‘if you’re not here’? You’re scaring me now, are you ill or something?” Lucy asked, pulling him into a hug.

Simon pushed her away. “No, Lucy, I’m not ill.” His head dropped, and he looked down at his feet that were scuffing the tiled floor. “I'm so sorry Luce, but I’m leaving you. I’ve met someone else, and I love her,” Simon blurted out as he turned and left the room.

Lucy clutched at her chest, fearing that her thudding heart was about to explode. She slid to the floor. “Simon, no you can’t,” she screamed. “Please, don't Simon, no. You don’t mean it. I know you don’t.” Bile rose in her throat, and a cold sweat enveloped her body. She scrambled to her feet and ran up the stairs. Simon was in their bedroom packing his clothes into a suitcase.

“It doesn’t matter Simon. I forgive you. You've made a mistake, and we can get over it.” She grabbed at the clothes in his suitcase, and started pulling them out, and throwing them onto the bed.

“Lucy, stop it!” Simon grabbed both her wrists and pushed her away. “It’s over. I'm sorry.”

“It can’t be. You can’t just throw five years of marriage away for some fling with someone you hardly know.” Fighting to catch her breath, tears rolled down Lucy’s face.

“It’s not a fling. I love her.” Simon paused and turned his face away from Lucy. “It’s Jenny from work. We've been seeing each other for a while and…well it’s got serious, so I’m sorry Lucy.”

“Her! You hate her, you said she was a cow. Please Simon, just give me another chance, I’ll do whatever it takes.” She grabbed his arms, her eyes pleading for him to change his mind.

Simon removed her hands and moved away. “She’s pregnant Lucy, so I’m sorry, there’s nothing you can do to make me change my mind.”

Lucy’s heart broke when he’d said he was leaving, but now it had been ripped from her chest and stamped on. She howled like an injured animal as she collapsed onto the bed. Simon simply continued packing, without even a glance, or any offer of comfort.

*

When Lucy and Simon married they had wanted to start a family as soon as possible, so eighteen months after their wedding, their daughter Lottie was born. She was a beautiful, chubby, baby, always smiling and very rarely crying and they both adored her. One terrible night, when Lottie was almost six months old, Lucy had gone to bed before Simon. She didn't look in on Lottie for fear of disturbing her, but an hour later was woken by the sound of Simon screaming. Lottie wouldn’t wake up. She didn't have an illness. Nothing went undetected. Lucy and Simon did nothing wrong; their beautiful baby girl was the victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.