They were both scared of spiders; the way their grasping legs searched forward particularly set his spine dancing, but Gavin was the one who usually removed them from their house.
After realising that they were soulmates Sarah and he had moved in together six months previous and he’d been quite busy from the get go. He was sure there must be a nest hidden somewhere in the walls, but hadn’t found it yet.
The onset of flu had gifted him the chance of a night off.
Though, even as he sat up in bed, with snot running out of his nostrils, as if a gunge tank had emptied into his heavy head, he still wasn’t sure that his other half was going to take up her side of the reigns.
She held the spider catcher, which was in fact a five litre mineral water bottle, as if was about to explode in her grasp.
‘You’re not gonna do it, are you?’ He asked her slowly; desperately trying to pronounce his n’s through the congestion.
‘Yes,’ she told him testily. ‘It’s just…you know…what if it jumps?’
‘It won’t. You’ve seen me do it a hundred times, love. Just put the hole over the spider and when it runs in slam on the lid. If you leave the bottle at the top of the stairs I’ll let it out in the morning.’
She nodded; her wide eyes not leaving the middle of the bedroom wall where the spider clung.
‘What if I miss and kill it?’ She whispered.
‘No, I mean, what if I killed it? Wouldn’t it be easier?’
‘No,’ he told her flatly.
He didn’t believe in killing creatures, unless they came with a pepper sauce, and he wasn’t going to start eating spiders just to make her feel better.
‘Oh, alright,’ she conceded, as she edged the bottle towards the innocent creature.
Within a moment she was wearing a look of triumph, and he could sniff his way back to sleep, as the lid tightened on the little, scurrying captive.
‘I knew you could do it,’ he told her as he turned over and shuffled into the pillow.
Later on Gavin awoke to an empty bed. He groaned at the fever damp covers that stuck like cold compresses to his skin, before peering at his phone and seeing that it was two in the morning.
After blowing his nose and clearing his throat of the mucus that had rested on his chest, he heard the sound of a voice trying not to be heard.
He frowned as he pushed himself out of bed and shuffled into his slippers and gown.
It sounded like Sarah was sniggering.
He tiptoed across the bedroom carpet before slowly opening the door to the landing.
What he saw froze him to the spot.
Because, there in front of him stood his wife-to-be with the bottle in her hands.
‘Can’t go anywhere now, can you, you little shit,’ he heard his wife whispering with cold menace to the trapped spider, as she battered it against the inside of the plastic bottle.
‘Sarah!’ Gavin exclaimed, with total disgust.
‘Well,’ she shrugged. ‘Who’s to say it feels, anyway?’
They never did get married.
Last he heard she’d joined the police force, but only lasted a month. After that it was anyone’s guess.