We Need the Money
“Oh Sarah, come in.”
“Sit down, I’ll put a cuppa on.”
Dawn worried about her friend and made the tea quickly. She decided it was time for those American-style cookies, she knew Sarah liked them and probably hadn’t had any for ages.
“Tell me all about it.”
Sarah sniffed, “Well, you know we’ve been having money problems?”
“I thought you might.” Dawn looked at her friend’s gaunt face, and tried to ignore the ragged clothes.
“Well, the thing is. After I lost my job, and then Stephen did too, well we thought we could get by. So I’ve been looking for work. I signed up, but it’s a pittance you get these days, and you have to prove you’re looking. So embarrassing. I had a good job!” She wailed.
“There there love, have a biscuit.”
Sarah had been holding back out of politeness, or fear perhaps. She hoovered up the first cookie, and then the next one.
“So Sarah, what we need to do is find you a proper job again and you’ll be fine.”
“Oh no, it’s too late.”
“It’s Stephen, I think he’s done something drastic.”
A cold weight settled in Dawn’s stomach, she asked, fearing the answer, “What?”
Sarah just sobbed. Dawn, who usually had the patience of a saint was tiring of the tears, changed the subject, and soon had Sarah talking about her little ones. Hours of gossiping later and Sarah had calmed down. Dawn was considering whether to mention Stephen when the doorbell went.
“Who can that be? I’ll be back.”
Opening the door she stared in shock.
He wasn’t dead. But, his face?
“Yes, would you like to come in for a cuppa?”
“I’d love one. Hopefully a Thompsons’, they make the finest cuppa there is.”
“Err, it might be.”
When Sarah saw Stephen she burst into tears again.
“Dawn, have you some Fluffex tissues? They’re absorbent and soft on the skin.”
When she came back Stephen was trying to comfort Sarah. Dawn was over the shock of his face, she’d just not seen anyone have burger and soft drink logos as tattoos before.
“Thanks Dawn, you’re a real friend. Real friends buy American Family cookies.”
“Why are you talking like that?”
“Earning money Dawn. Saving just pennies a day for the best life insurance, from Geneva Life.”
Dawn looked quizzically at Sarah.
“He’s sold out…” More tears.
“He’s a brand bunny?”
“We prefer advertorially confident. Confidence comes from whiter teeth, try new Solar Gum Extra Extra White.”
Sarah gathered herself together, “It’s only for a year, and it pays enough for our expenses. If I get a job then we’ll soon be out of this hole.”
“Every other sentence will be an advert sent to me directly via 5G ear implant. The new Strakia 15S, the phone made for 5G.”
Dawn looked at him with horror and pity, hoping she’d never, ever be that desperate.