‘Your washing-up is dreadful,’ said Suzy holding up a cereal bowl, flicking specks of dried cornflakes from the surface with her thumbnail.
Gordy smiled, leaned back in his seat, hands linked behind his head. He always looked relaxed, even when he had no right to. She pressed her nails into her palm but said nothing.
‘Well,’ he said, ‘maybe I should stop doing it then. Be left to things more befitting my skillset.’
‘What like? Drinking cheap lager and watching football all day?’ She couldn’t keep the snap from her voice.
He shrugged. ‘We all have areas where we excel.’
‘You are not getting out of washing-up.’
He closed his eyes, gave another slow shrug. ‘Then you’re gonna keep finding mucky plates.’
Suzy could cope with the grease smeared plates, the coffee tide marks round the tops of the mugs – because she was waiting. Waiting for the last item that would complete her collection.
Already tucked in her jewellery box was a receipt she’d found in Gordy’s pocket for a meal of lobster, champagne and truffles she had never tasted, the time stamp for precisely when he was supposedly in the office. There had been the perfume – too flowery for her, too modern for his mother – drifting from his suit, so filling the lounge with the scent of strange young women, Suzy kept turning suddenly, hoping to catch one in the corner of her eye. There had been strands of hair on the sofa – long and fair while her’s was cropped and dark – lengths of golden thread now spun round a pencil for safe keeping beside the restaurant receipt.
Still she waited for the last piece of evidence she was sure his own laziness would deliver. A glass, poorly washed, a lurid pink splash of lipstick on the rim.
And when she had that, she would claim her prize.