It is all happening so quickly. Zero to a hundred in less time than... Grace, in her panic, can't think of a single fast car. But she thinks of the colour red. Red cars are the fastest.
Peter is up and shouting. And she is sitting there stunned. She feels her eyelids blinking, like some sort of reset, like pressing Control ALT Delete.
The cafe comes into focus. Everyone's faces comes into focus. The way his voice, full of menace and anger, comes into focus.
Peter has lost his temper over something so trivial. So petty. So stupid.
She takes in a breath, reaches into her purse and pulls out some cash, cash reserved for rainy days, and places it on the table. The manager looks at it, smirks before snapping it from the table.
Peter is left fuming.
They walk home knowing they'll never be able to return.
Grace can feel the anger radiate off her boyfriend and all she can think of is, did she make a mistake moving in with him? Was this what being with Peter would be like? Was this one of those red flags?
Yes, he lost his job this morning. Lots of people lost their job today. “Mass redundancies” was the term used. Wasn't he thinking of quitting and finding something more challenging?
Okay, so they'll have to tighten their belts. Maybe put off having a baby. They had spoken in hush, conspiratorial voices.
By the time the bill arrived, they had a plan. They were going to be fine. Worst-case scenario, they could always move into her parents’ house.
Grace thought this would motivate him. But now fears it was what triggered him.
He inspected the bill line by line. And then, as quick as lightning, he exploded at anyone and everyone.