Clem kept coming back to the same phrase over and over again: Many a true word spoken in jest.
She remembered how they’d pissed themselves that night in the pub. She’d only just started her new job and had sort of gravitated towards Sarah. She was confident, opinionated and about the funniest person she’d ever met. A session with her in the pub was like two hours of stand-up.
“You must have a death list!” Sarah had said. “I thought everyone did! A list of all those miserable sods, bitches, bastards, arseholes, tossbags, ball sacks and weirdos you’d like to give a little bit of a gentle nudge along to when it comes to their shuffling off this mortal coil.”
Clem confessed she didn’t have one.
“Oh come on! Seriously, it feels so good just writing it down. And then when it’s written down, it doesn’t niggle away to you anymore.”
So between them they scribbled down the list on the back of napkin. Everyone who had wronged her; everyone who had lied to her or stolen from her; everyone who had hurt her. Everyone who had just, you know, really got on her tits.
Nathan in accounts. Bloody Louise. Gaby for stealing Gavin. Gavin for being stolen. Marie at school. Donna at university. That dick on the Tube who’d knocked her over that morning.
It had felt good. Cathartic. She was purged.
And then she’d had to attend Nathan’s funeral. And Louise’s. And suddenly it wasn’t so funny.