Janine had been weeks finding the colours to finish the bird bath before Finn’s birthday. She wanted it perfect—he’d put so much work into the courtyard. Finally she’d found them in a warehouse in a suburb across town.
There was a shopping strip nearby. As she waited for coffee she fingered the precious tiles.
Glancing up she saw Finn coming out of a restaurant. Her first thought was to hide what she’d bought. Her second—what he was doing there—was part answered the next moment. Trini, one of her oldest friends, joined him on the footpath.
Later she wondered if she’d imagined some innocent reason they’d be lunching?
But when Trini slipped her arm through his Janine’s world crushed. She had no idea she could be so completely alone in an instant. What she knew of friendship and love disappeared and all certainty atomised.
The birdbath kept her going. She worked solidly for five nights on her ‘secret project’. Finn played along—fashioned an impression of domestic bliss out of his duplicity.
When the last tile was in place she took the hammer and turned it with brutal force onto the entwined stems in the middle of her design.
Then she placed a card on it that read, simply, for you, and drove through the night to another city.