Catching Cherry Out

By Lynn Keller

Lynn has been writing short stories for about 10 years. She’s managed about 6 so maybe they are not as short as she thought!

The tickets had taken several hours on the phone to finally secure and a rash decision had been made. Monday night it would have to be - we’d work out the practicalities somehow.

So, the practicalities…even if I managed to leave work at 3.30, it was going be 4 hours minimum - too late!  I was going to have to do something I’d never done before (or since) - take a sickie!  What if I was spotted? A wig - that would do it, and sunglasses and I’d wear something I would never normally be seen in. Problem solved by a dress (usually reserved for smear tests), tights (shudder!), shoes with high heels (borrowed) a chenille cardigan (Lord help me!) Mick Jagger had better be worth it!

So Monday morning, phone call made, lie told. Stomach bug - something I’d eaten - need to sleep - planning file on desk - should be straightforward - phone if there’s a problem (please don’t, I won’t be here, that would be another lie (didn’t hear it, must have been asleep)).

The Rolling Stones did their thing. The atmosphere was tangible, the volume filled Wembley Arena and even the crappy plastic seats and sawdust on the floor- left over from the Sheepdog trials at the Horse of the Year Show - were forgivable. The wig was a mistake. Apart from looking ridiculous, the nylon strands made me sweat to soaking point and the scalp rash it left behind was itchy for days. Wearing sunglasses at a concert was also a questionable choice. It’s pretty dark anyway, and let’s be honest, you just look a bit of a twat trying to be cool. But, the fear of being caught was the overpowering thought so the wig, sunglasses and the tights (don’t get me started on the tights), stayed.

The other thing that stayed was the fear of being found out, forever expecting someone to have seen me and expose me. The only way out of that would be another lie. And what if I exposed myself by talking about it or talking about my scabby head? This was hell!

The final straw came 2 days later. Cherry was a lovely lady, a part-time colleague with one major fault that drove us all mad. She would lie about anything and everything though had an amazing knack of never beinh caught out. She arrived at work on the Wednesday and announced in the staff room what an amazing night she’d had on Monday at Wembley, seeing the Rolling Stones. Her highlight was being ‘pulled out of the audience by Jagger onto the stage’. This never happened - I was there! I knew it wasn't true and there was absolutely nothing I could do or say to expose her whopping, great lie.