Helen and Frank, thought Bill as he took a cup from the supermarket’s self-service coffee machine and placed it onto the grate. Frank and Helen. He couldn’t believe it. His head was swimming. Bill pushed a few buttons on the touchscreen and coffee began to pour out of the nozzle and into the cup.
His wife, Helen. His wife of 20 years. How could she have done this? How could anyone do this? The machine finished filling the cup with coffee as Bill punctured the lid with a stirrer, then he gave the coffee a stir and pushed the lid into place on top.
His brother, Frank. The brother he’d known for as long as he’d been alive. 40-odd years. How could he have done this? How could anyone do this? Bill walked to the self-service checkout and pushed a few more buttons. £2.60 for a cup of coffee. Bloody rip off if you asked Bill, but he couldn’t wait until he got into the office. He rummaged in his pockets and dug out some change – a £2 coin, a 50p coin and a 20p coin. He placed each in turn into the slot.
Helen and Frank. How could human beings with the same compassion, the same morals and the same ethics as Bill do something so horrible as this? As disgusting as this? He’d never been more confused or upset or angry about anything in his life. What on Earth could possibly be worse than this?
The self-service checkout spat out his change: A 5p coin, a 2p coin and three pennies.