Time Up

Author: Mike Healy

Katy let the tears flow as she strapped the watch on her right wrist for the last time. Six weeks now since she had first taken to wearing it and she still found the gold plated clasp awkward. She covered the Cartier with the sleeve of her chiffon blouse, wiped her eyes, and returned the ornate box to Luke’s sock drawer.
‘I know you‘ll never forgive me, but I just had to have it. It’s the real thing you know, not a crappy replica.‘ That’s what Luke had said when he brought the watch home for the first time, sporting it like a trophy. Back from another business trip to Paris.
‘A real bargain, we’re being ripped off in this country you know.’
Katy had forgiven him and loved him all the more for his impetuous nature. After all that’s what had attracted her to darling Luke in the first place.
She heard Beata failing to negotiate the half landing with the Hoover and called down,
‘Just the drawing room please Bee, you can do the bedrooms tomorrow. Charlie’s calling later, we don’t want to trigger her allergies….. and don’t forget to do behind the chaise longue.’
Katy dabbed her cheeks with a scented tissue, checked her hair in the slide-robe mirror and went down to the kitchen to sort out the steak knives.
* * *
Charlotte, Katy’s younger sister had been so supportive throughout the dark days of Luke‘s funeral. She had flown from Milan within hours of the fatal accident, breaking catwalk contracts, to comfort the inconsolable Katy. She had handled all the arrangements, dealing with the priest ant the undertaker capably and discretely. And she had sobbed ever so bitterly at the graveside.

‘Driving just a tad too fast I‘m afraid,’ the kindly Sergeant from Catford had informed Katy when he came to her with the tragic news. ‘Lost control and hit a tree.’ And later at the wake. ‘I am so very sorry for your loss. He was extremely popular at the tennis club you know, his volley was feared by all.’
Luke had died instantly.
The Volvo was a write-off.
The watch survived unscathed.
* * *
Six weeks later when the watch stopped working, Katy took it to Samson’s on Lewisham High Street. The tall, surprisingly young, jeweller carried the precious timepiece to his cubby-hole at the back of the shop, ’just needs cleaning I’d say,‘ and returned within minutes.
‘Doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it, Going full steam ahead now.’ He handed the watch to Katy. ‘Nice watch this, sold as part of a set, special edition.’
‘What do you mean,’ Katy said, ’by a set?
‘Special edition like I said. Look, the markings just behind the lug proves it came from this shop. The companion for this, smaller and neater,’ flashing an appraising smile at Katy, ‘the ‘’Santos Dumont Mini’’ is in the Ladies Collection. I remember now, how could I forget, we don’t get too many gorgeous models in here. Local girl made good, what was her name now, Charlene? Cheryl? Charlotte-- that’s it. Anyway she bought the set, had the gent’s

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  • Reviewed by Toby Klein Greenwald  on  June 27th, 2011

    This is a well done, shorter (and more modern)literary expression of the theme in Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace". In addition, as a teacher, I appreciate the fact that it leaves the end open, which enables me to say to the class, "How would you end the story?" There is a bit of a giveaway of the theme in the words, "And she had sobbed ever so bitterly at the graveside." One knows at that point that something's coming...I would also suggest having the students expand upon the histories and personalities of the characters, i.e., if they had to write this as a 3-5,000 word story, what would they add? Sorry for thinking like a teacher! It also makes just for good short reading, with no strings attached!

  • Reviewed by 1  on  November 13th, 2013


  • Reviewed by 1  on  November 13th, 2013


  • Reviewed by -1'  on  November 13th, 2013


  • Reviewed by 1  on  November 13th, 2013


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