'The King of Cliche' by Alison Wassell
You never can tell what’s around the corner. This was one of his favourite sayings. He had a lot of sayings. Cliché was his first language. His life was what he made it. Educated at the School of Hard Knocks, he graduated from the University of Life. He was knocked down. He rose like a phoenix from the ashes. Illness struck. He retaliated with a Positive Mental Attitude. He put up a brave fight. He won.
He sneered at those who accepted the hand they were dealt. He punched above his weight, and won the girl of his dreams. He had beaten the odds. He popped the question. She said yes. She would have been a fool not to. He was worth a bob or two, although he said it himself. And so what, if he was no oil painting? Beauty was in the eye of the beholder.
They were married on a beach, somewhere hot, with only a few close friends there to witness the happy event. She was not so much a blushing bride as a beetroot one. She had caught the sun, he said, trying to be kind. He made a speech that night, although no-one was listening. His cup was overflowing with happiness, he said. Secretly, he was already beginning to doubt this. She repelled him slightly, with her purple, blotchy body. But he had no well-worn phrases with which to express this, so he said nothing.
They retired to the bridal suite. Mellow and fuzzy with too much wine, they clumsily consummated their love. Carelessly entwined, they fell asleep. Fate smiled, although not on them. She smiled at the unattended candle, and the gently billowing curtain. This was what she had intended all along. You never can tell what’s around the corner.