Copyright© 2010 Angharad
All Rights Reserved.
I have been told I over analyse—I’m a scientist—or was until the population explosion caught up with me. Oh well, at least I won’t be lonely, will I?
Julie had asked if she could invite her friends round, and I had agreed, albeit with misgivings. She phoned them as soon as we got back and they agreed to come over that evening, especially when they found she was still Julie. I presume they wanted to see this bunch of loonies who aided and abetted her delusions.
We brought back several pizzas with us, and everyone tucked in—even I had a little bit, although they are to my mind a total con. If people want to eat Italian, why not pasta—at least that is real food, not this manhole cover with cheese on the top. The kids love this crap, and I had to speak to the boys who were shoving it down their gullets so fast they were in danger of choking themselves. We also had half a sack of cardboard boxes to recycle at the end of it, and the food wasn’t cheap—for the cost of that little lot, I could have done a whole roast leg of lamb with all the trimmings. I must be getting old.
Dessert or pudding, depending upon whence you come, was very simple—while they were all gorging on cardboard with its cheese and other toppings, I knocked up a quick fruit salad and some ice cream. I ate more of that than the fake Italian food.
All hands to the pumps, meant we cleared up before Julie’s guests arrived and we all sat down to have a cuppa or other drink when the doorbell rang.
I answered the door—I insisted, outside stood two young women about fifteen or sixteen, both wrapped up like Eskimos in fake fur coats and jeans and Ugli boots, their eyes heavily made up peering out from under Peruvian knitted hats and woolly scarves.
“Hello,” I said.
“We’ve come to see Jo—I mean Julie,” said the one correcting herself with help from a thump by her colleague—then they both started giggling.
“You’d better come in—Julie, your friends are here,” I called to the dining room.
Julie walked out to the hallway with a mixture of cockiness and nervousness, she laughed awkwardly when her friends came in. I told her they could use the dining room as Simon was watching the telly in the lounge.
I watched them go off giggling and went into the kitchen, warm from the Aga, and loaded the bread machine while I was out there. While that was working, I kept a wary eye on the dining room door to stop any unwarranted intrusions by the girls or the two boys.
Danny was kicking himself that he missed two dolly birds coming into the house and Billy was ribbing him about that. I called Danny and told him to knock on the door and ask if the girls wanted a drink to warm them up or even to cool them down. Judging by the giggling that was emanating from the dining room, the latter might have been more useful.
Of course Danny jumped at the chance to girl-watch—his hormones seemed to be early and in full working order. He came out from the room blushing but full of himself. “They want Coke, Auntie Cathy.”
“Okay, I’ll take some in.”
“No, I’ll do it, Auntie, I can see you’re busy.” Danny had suddenly become very thoughtful—or devious. I suspect the latter.
I poured out three glasses of cola and put some small bags of crisps and chocolate bars on a tray and told him to take it through. He needed two hands to open the door, so Billy dashed ahead of him and opened it, walking inside to let Danny in and to do his bit of talent spotting. I really smiled at their clumsy efforts to be discreetly nosy.
Of course, he wanted a drink and bag of crisps as well, so did Billy and I knew, three little maids from school would as soon as they saw the others with snacks. Within five minutes, my kitchen bore a full scale invasion, including Simon who came looking for a drink of some sort and a snack.
“Half an hour and you girls have to go to bed, an hour and you boys have to go.” This curfew warning was met with groans and cries of ‘not-fair’ much as I expected. I set up my laptop and opened my emails.
One was from a boy I knew at Sussex, what did he want, and how did he find me? I opened it with great caution in case it was a virus or other nasty—it wasn’t.
Hi Charlie, or is it Cathy now?
Remember me, we used to ride a bit together and talk about mammal ecology—you on dry land, me with seals and other marine mammals. I’ve got myself a slot at Southampton – starting after New Year. It would be good to see you again—though I suspect you might look a bit different if all the rumours I’ve heard are true—is that really you on Youtube? If so, what a cracker you turned out to be.
Be really good to meet up again, do you still cycle?
Let me know if you can make it.
PS I got your email addy via the mammal survey data.
His PS explained how he found me—a blast from the past. Here I am hiding things from my ‘children’ and up it pops to scare the living daylights out of me. Oh dear, what do I say? Maybe I’ll speak with Si before I answer it.
The email left me all of a twitter—not the online form, but a previous use of that word. I missed the time for the girl’s bedtime until Simon reminded me. When he came out to the kitchen I showed him the email.
“What do you want me to do, come with you?” he asked.
“That would be nice, Si.”
“Yeah, boring the pants off me while you two reminisce about old times. Nah, I think you’re probably safe to go—unless you want to invite him here, for dinner or something?”
“What?” I squeaked, “So he can see I run a small children’s home?”
Simon roared at this, “Yeah, Cameron’s Waifs and Strays.”
“Be serious, you big lump, is it a good idea—why can’t my past stay dead? None of them were interested in me while I was there.”
“I don’t know, he used to cycle with you, didn’t he?”
“Only when he couldn’t ride with anyone else, when I got a bit more serious and put in the miles, he tended to come even less, a real fair weather friend. I suspect he’s been put up to this by some of his mates—you know laugh at the freak stuff.”
“In which case, you go—get your hair done and whatever—buy yourself a new outfit, on me—and knock his eyes out. He won’t be laughing, he’ll be wanting to get his leg over—and if you want to wind him up a little feel free, I know I can trust you.”
“He might be married for all I know.”
“So, I’ll bet it isn’t to Megan Fox or Beyonce Knowles—in which case, you go ahead and show him what a fox you are.”
“Simon—I’m not sure I want to see him, let alone tease him.”
“He’s seen the clip on the net, so he already knows a bit about how you look, you look even better now.”
“What? I’m half a stone heavier.”
“Yeah, in all the right places,” he swatted my bum as he went out. “Girls—c’mon bedtime—your mother is on story duty tonight. C’mon, now please, put your toys away and up to bed—NOW.”
I followed them upstairs and read them a story, all the while thinking about my email. Part of me wanted to ignore it or reply, that I was too busy—another wanted to do just as Simon suggested, and see if I could make him mess his underpants without actually doing anything more than teasing him. Serve the bugger right.
When I got downstairs, Simon was sending the boys up—some days he’s actually quite the master of the house—others, he’s waste of time. The girls came out of the dining room.
“We have to go to catch our bus, thanks for the drinks an’ things, Lady Cathy.” The one who spoke was the blonder of the two, “You have a lovely house, such a big one.”
“Ah, it’s not mine, it’s my father’s—and which one are you, Michelle or Tracie?”
“What time is the bus?”
“Five minutes, if it runs.”
“Julie, get your coat on and go with the girls to the bus—if it isn’t here in by quarter past let me know.”
“Yes, Mummy,” she smirked at me, and I glared back, her two companions giggled.
Of course the bus didn’t run, so I had to de-ice the car and take them home. Actually, they weren’t too bad once they’d settled down. At least Julie had got her own jeans back, plus a sweat shirt and tee. It wasn’t much but it added to her meagre wardrobe.
On the way back we talked about the Curse of the Mummy, not the horror story, but her reference to me as such. I wasn’t comfortable with someone only ten years younger calling me mummy.
She started to sniff and apologised—then she started to sob. I knew I was being manipulated, but she got through my defences. I stopped the car in a lay-by. My eyes were moist as well—dammit.
“Okay, you can call me it for a while, if I still feel as uncomfortable then, you’ll have to stop—okay?”
“Thanks, Mummy, you’re so good to me.”
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