The smell of bleach was so strong, you could bite it.
'Thanks for coming round.'
'Not a problem but I can't stop. I've got to go to back early, she's an orange slice in the school assembly.' Kim said, and then seeing a blank expression added, 'it's on healthy eating.'
'I need to ask you something and I want you to promise to tell me the answer. I won't be upset, but I want to know the truth.'
Kim's, stomach lurched, her friend knew. And worse she knew, she knew. Why didn't she tell her the moment she saw her husband pushing his tongue down another woman's throat? It was Iain's fault, she shouldn't have talked it over with him first. What the hell did he know about women? All that 'it's none of our business, she won't thank you and don't get involved.' She should have gone with her gut. Poor, poor Sophie, she thought as she watched her pull out gleaming glasses from the dish washer. She followed her into the lounge and put her coffee on the coaster.
'I don't know how to say it, but you're always been a good mate. I know you'll tell it to me straight.'
No Kim thought, don't say it, how the hell am I going to explain that it was a full six weeks ago that I saw your husband playing around. She put her coffee on a coaster and waited, she would tell the truth.
'Is there a smell in here?'
Kim was thrown off by the comment, 'yer what?'
'I can smell summat, but I can't track it down, it's driving me crazy.'
Kim looked at the highly polished furniture, she inhaled, furniture polish, frebreeze, carpet freshener and maybe the traces of a glade's scented candle.
'No I can't smell anything.' And then she caught it, 'hang on, there is something.'
They walked round the room slowly, sometimes it was stronger than others but impossible to locate a source. What could it be? A damp rag? It reminded her of something lingering in the washing basket.
Sophie searched in despair, 'I've even washed the curtains, nets everything, carpets have been done, I've looked behind all the furniture.'
Kim closed her eyes, thanked the lord that Sophie didn't ask her about her husband.
They found Squeak 2 curled up dead in the electric meter cupboard.
'Are you going to tell Bailey his hamster dead?' Kim asked.
'I can't I told him he died when he escaped, we buried an empty box.'
Sophie brought the bunch of flowers to the school gates.
'You silly thing, you didn't need to do that.' Kim said pleased.
'You're a good friend, do you know that? You know what they say it's a true friend that would tell you that you smell.' Sophie said quietly, 'I knew something was off, it was driving me crazy!'
Kim walked home in silence listening to the children chatter with half an ear. They were beautiful flowers, full of the soft heavy scent of freesias mixed in with the larger blooms, but even the sweet aroma couldn't hide the smell of a lie through omission.