The shoes didn't fit. The whole point had been to get the shoes and they just didn't fit. Such a waste of time and effort.
Betty had always lorded it over Linda, her higher pay, her better clothes, her dates, her extra title at work, just everything. Linda hated Betty and felt justified in doing so.
In little ways Linda got some revenge, when Betty would brag about the rich man she had slept with the night before Linda would take her pen when she was away form her desk. It would give Linda satisfaction but Betty never noticed. Linda would think about it for days and smile, imagining Betty looking for the lost pen. Betty though would just pull another pen out of her drawer and not even give it a thought, pens were nothing to her.
One morning Betty was late to work, Linda had been there ten minutes early as normal, waiting. Betty had a key, Linda didn't. Linda stood by the door waiting, imagining that Betty had taken home a murderer from a night club and was now hanging over a bathtub like a side of beef, her life blood slow dripping down the drain. The thought made her smile and brightened her day.
Her smile remained fixed but her eyes had no trace of joy when Betty arrived. The office was small, two desks, Betty had her name on the door Linda had her name on the smaller desk. Both desks were cheap but Betty's was wood. Once at work the door remained open so Betty could see the people from other offices walk by, Linda closed it when Betty was out. Linda didn't want to see the others, she hated them all.
Betty had new shoes, they were very expensive so she made it a point to show them off to Linda. “Italian”, “perfect fit”, “feel so nice”, “cost as much as you make in a week”, all the hurtful things that just rolled off her hateful tongue. Linda imagined the gross things that tongue must have touched to get those shoes and smiled. Betty took that smile as friendly interest, Betty had never understood Linda and treated her like she would have treated anyone else.
Because Betty had been late to work and had spent so much time showing off her shoes she hadn't finished her work and had asked Linda to stay over with her. Linda agreed, she always agreed. Another pen vanished from Betty's desk.
The rest of the floor was empty, only Linda and Betty remained. Betty was holding up a leg moving her foot back and forth once again admiring her new shoes. Linda hit her in the back of the head with her desk lamp. Years of rage were in the blow. Her imagined injustices gave her the strength to hit over and over. Betty never noticed, the first blow had seen to that but Linda had a lot of pent up fury to work out. As the blows faded Linda felt exhausted but more at ease than she had in years. She sat back and enjoyed the feeling letting a warm glow wash over her, she so rarely experienced such joy.
With Betty shoved in a mail bag Linda tried on the shoes. They didn't fit. Linda pouted and gave the bag a kick.