The Winner takes it all by Elle May ©
The April rain was beating down heavily onto the windowpane and Sadie stared out of the window, her eyes glazed over. She couldn’t believe the way things had turned out. She watched the cat in the garden for ages, slowly steadying her shoulders and preparing to pounce on the unsuspecting bird gaily nibbling away at the soggy bread. How that cat reminded her of Tamzin. That must be why they call nasty women ‘cats’ and bitchy women ‘catty’ she thought, although its seems unfair on our feline friends. She thought that they were the best of friends, they did everything together. They went shopping, clubbing and on holidays together. They saw each other every day and shared all their most innermost secrets and dreams. Now Tamzin had snatched it all away from her, she couldn’t believe it. Sadie’s stomach was turning over, her heart racing, legs shaking, still not believing the news she had heard. Why did she do it? She thought to herself. She knew that Tamzin really must have hated her to do something like this, why else would she do it? Not only had she got the job that Sadie so dearly wanted, but it meant she was closer to him, the man of her dreams.
Sadie was jolted back into reality with the telephone ringing. Let it ring, she thought. She didn’t care who it was; there was nothing that anybody could say that would make her feel better. Besides she didn’t want to speak to anyone. She couldn’t face them. She carried on watching the cat preparing to pounce on to the bird. That poor bird, Sadie thought, why don’t you fly off and bring back an army of crows to scare the cat away? It was just then that it dawned on her; she knew she identified with the bird as a victim, but she would prefer to identify with being successful. She thought about her life a great deal and knew that for far too long she had played the doormat to others, she felt she was a ‘joke’ amongst all their friends; the unsuspecting bird to preying cats, well not for any longer she thought, this bird had turned. She got out her notebook, and started to write, I’m not going to get mad, just even Tamzin Black, she thought and she started to plot.
The hot July sun seared through the window and gave Tamzin an intense warm glow. The sun didn’t shine much that year and it reflected the way she was feeling about life in general. This bitter feud with Sadie seemed to have been going on forever. It started out over something very trivial, it must have been when Tamzin forgot an arrangement they had made and Sadie got the wrong end of the stick, she had got the idea that Tamzin was out with James; as if! Thought Tamzin. The irony of all this was that she was trying to arrange a blind date between Sadie and James, how was she to know that on that particular night Sadie had arranged a surprise party for her, to celebrate her birthday. Tamzin knew that over the last few months’ things hadn’t got any better between them and it could only get worse. Sadie was now driving around in the car that Tamzin had always wanted; she had been saving hard for the rare classic car, the only one being sold in the area, which now thanks to Sadie she can never have. Tamzin winced as she thought about prize Sadie had won in her art class, the dream that both of them had shared for years. Tamzin had helped and supported Sadie in her quest, even though it was Tamzin who was the one always set for reaching that particular goal. Through their friendship, Tamzin had put aside her talent for art to support Sadie. Everyone knew that Tamzin was naturally gifted and it was only a matter of time before she would scoop all the awards. Despite this she willingly spent even more time helping Sadie and look how she had repaid her. Tamzin was seething inside. She felt so angry. Sadie had joined another Art class and managed to excel. Rumour had gone round about Sadie and the Art Teacher; Tamzin remembered her boast about her prowess and success with men. Good luck to them she thought. Perhaps that’s why James had asked her out instead.
Tamzin decided not to dwell on this anymore, the score was two all, so she thought it was time to win the return match. She thought about her brilliant job in the art gallery, which she wanted long before Sadie did, it was just that Sadie had verbalised her dream to everyone whilst Tamzin kept her childhood ambitions to herself. Sadie managed to split the group of friends they had shared, some backed Sadie, others sat on the fence and the rest were just plain two-faced using every opportunity to stir up trouble. Tamzin wasn’t going to admit defeat, she wasn’t the one in the wrong, no, she thought I shall now step up my campaign, after all she more than anyone knew all of Sadie’s dreams and of course her secrets.
Sadie stared disbelievingly at the letter; the glow on her face matched the autumn leaves. This is so embarrassing she thought, how could they do this to me? She thought about all of her friends, or ex ones now and how cruel the all were. Fancy writing her a letter to disown her – the sheer audacity of it, anyway they’re nothing special she thought indignantly. How could they have known what she did? It must have been Tamzin that told them. Sadie was a bit confused she truly believed that none of their friends ever had much to do with Tamzin; they were all Sadie’s friends to begin with. The two-faced cats Sadie thought and the only glow of satisfaction was that her new friends were from the next Town and never met the old ones. Wow I must have really got to Tamzin for her to do this she thought smugly. Sadie liked men, she couldn’t help herself and Tamzin was the only one to know that she had slept with some of her friend’s boyfriends, so what she thought was only a bit of fun actually turned into people being hurt by Tamzin. Sadie smiled at her new collection of art awards, they were beautiful and meant more than her old boring friendships. So the score was now three points to two in Tamzin’s favour but to win she knew exactly what to do. She knew what Tamzin feared the most and Sadie had nothing more to lose, yes she’d do it and stuff all the consequences.
Tamzin knew she had been foolish. She had acted on impulse through her own resentment and jealousy. Why did she let the cat out of the bag regarding Sadie’s dubious liaisons with Jane and Pip’s partners? They did already know, Pete and Josh came clean about their misdemeanours, but they still looked humiliated and she knew that Sadie wouldn’t’ believe the guys had the gall to own up. They had to really as Pete was caught in the act quite literally. Secrets and lies usually come out. Sadie had, as Tamzin dreaded, retaliated, true to form and wrote anonymously to the Art Gallery informing them that Tamzin’s qualifications aren’t quite the ones that she claimed she had. The Christmas break seemed one of the longest times that she would have to wait the outcome of the management’s decision. Her boss indicated to her that things should be alright as it was the gallery who had approached Tamzin in the first place and they were pleased with her work. But nevertheless, you can never be sure when it comes to these matters, particularly as Sadie has made a renewed attack on trying to fill Tamzin’s shoes, if she were to leave the gallery. Sadie had thrown her cap, or pants thought Tamzin well and truly at one of the leading business partners at the Gallery.
The past few months of bitter feuding had got out of hand. The group of friends they had both shared had all pledged support for Tamzin, but she knew all this had been at the cost of a good friendship, there was no going back for either of them. With all her friends around her she felt very lonely, but she knew Sadie wouldn’t be feeling the same, she wasn’t the type. The battle lines were drawn and this war between them was set to run and run. Sadie never seemed to share anyone’s joy; she would just make some bitchy comment if things weren’t going her way and just reinvent the truth.
Sadly, neither of them truly won. Tamzin always felt a strong prick of conscience each time she saw Jane and Pip, seeing their hurt and humiliation. Sadie was full of bravado even though she had lost the only true friend she had ever had. If only Sadie answered the telephone on that rainy April day when Tamzin was going to call a truce and let Sadie have the coveted gallery job maybe they might now have been friends rather than sworn enemies.