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Fast Fiction: Two Of A Kind

Its OK for a man and woman to get together to open and run a shop but what if each one of them is hiding a big secret?

Richard Mallinson tells a tale of surprise disclosure.

Rodney's talent was for football but after a serious injury he turned to gambling, at which he was useless. He ended up in the gutter and vowed 'never again'.

Luckily he met Isabel. Soon they opened a shop (with her money). They sold old furniture, which they didn't quite dare describe as antique.

All was going well until one of Rodney's pals came to the shop and talked about the old days - in front of Isabel.

'I didn't know you were a gambler, Rodney,' she said later.

'I'm not, I've stopped.'

'No ... you're still a gambler. It's like somebody stopping drinking but he's still an alcoholic. It takes only one lapse and then -'

'Are you trying to scare me?'

'No, I'm just being realistic'

*

'Where are you going?' she asked at lunchtime next day.

Oh, just up the street to post these letters . . . And then I'll probably take a stroll in the park.'

'What about eating?'

'I'll pick up a sandwich at the deli.'

'Don't be long, then. I'll take care of the shop for a while. We don't want to get into the habit of closing at lunchtimes, do we?'

*

'Don't tell me,' she said, when he finally arrived back. 'You've started again, haven't you? I can see it in your face. And now you won't be able to stop . . . Stay away from that till, damn you.'

'Hey,' he said, 'I'm nowhere near the flaming till.'

Then he said, 'Look, I think we ought to talk about this ... let's lock up now and go out for a few drinks . . . that's harmlesa.enough, isn't it?'

She stared at him. 'No, not for me it isn't,' she said.

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