Another writing class exercise, a scene with at least 5 characters how to introduce them without 'he said, she said' etc.
Not sure they each said enough.
The invitation had been sitting on the shelf behind the clock for well over a week. It had joined receipts, bills, letters from the bailiffs (that is a joke!) and dead spiders together with dust devils. It is my repository for things I want to ignore, or things I hope will go away.
I had almost forgotten it when the phone rang.
'You are going aren't you?'
A deathly silence was my answer to this.
'Fee, I can hear you breathing and unless it's one of those funny phone calls I know you're there. It's only one evening and it will be fun. Pleeese say yes.'
I should have known that the clock would not be my salvation, that Lorna would eventually track me down and make me agree to go.
Twenty five years since I'd left and some interfering busybody had used those infernal social media sites to track us all down and suggest that we meet up to celebrate a quarter of a century.
'So I'll see you there. The Mucky Duck, seven thirty on the tenth. It will be great to hear all the gossip.'
I had a week to decide what to wear, my usual jeans and sloppy top would not do and there was no time to hide the grey roots. So at seven forty, I didn't want to be the first there, on the tenth I was outside the Mucky Duck wearing a blouse that made me look old and a skirt that made me look fat. Just the impression I wanted to make!
I had no intention of going in on my own and was determined to wait till Lorna arrived when a long, sleek RED sports car pulled up alongside me. A tall, willowy figure extricated itself elegantly from the small space and then blew a kiss at the driver.
'A bientot darling!' The car purred away into the distance.
'It is isn't it? Fiona Marshall. I'd have known you anywhere.'
I would have given anything to escape from this vision of loveliness but she had me fast by the elbow and was urging me into the restaurant.
'We've got such a lot to catch up with. Twenty five years and you haven't changed a bit.'
She, Suzy, I can't remember her surname, must have lost at least ten stone and had all manner of cosmetic surgery.
'Caro, darling!' Suzy shrieked as she caught sight of another figure of beauty across the room.
'We'll catch up later Fiona my sweet.' She gave me an air kiss to each cheek and went to join the delectable Caro.
'I told you it would be fun.' Lorna had got my attention by giving me a good poke in the ribs, and to add insult to injury had given the gorgeous couple a wave.
'Now what do you think our esteemed head, if she were still alive, would think of two of her favourite 'gels' as she would have said, behaving in such a manner? And one of them head girl at that!'
I could feel myself beginning to thaw a little and a small glass of bubbles was what was needed to complete this. I went and collected a glass for each of us and when I got back to the table Lorna had been joined by a motley collection of 'old gels' with old being the correct description for some of them. I tried to get a glimpse of myself in the ornate, and tasteless, gold framed mirror in order to check whether I looked just as old but all I could see was the top of my head with its grey roots.
Lorna was deep in conversation with Ellie, I think it was Ellie although she did seem to have blossomed in all the wrong directions. The look of horror, together with the 'oo's and ahs' told me that Lorna was hearing some very juicy bits of gossip, which no doubt I would hear more about later, much embellished no doubt.
Somehow the two glasses of champagne had disappeared so I made my way to the bar to get a refill. I surveyed the room trying to put names to faces, or faces to half remembered names. A few people smiled and waved, obviously they were having the same memory problems as me and were reluctant to speak in case they got the name wrong.
'Theo has this darling red sports car. He has a dealership and is taking me to Italy on his next trip.' The voice booming across the room attracted much attention as no doubt it was meant to. Darling Caro nodded and smiled, opened her mouth to say something but the beautiful Suzy was too quick for her and had launched into a description of her high powered job.
Another glass of bubbles left me feeling quite mellow and ready to engage one of my ex school friends in conversation.
'Has life been good to you since we left those hallowed portals?'
'I'm sorry, I'm not sure...'
'It's Fee, Fiona Marshall!'
I waited for the look of recognition, which never came. Just a watery smile and an 'of course.'
So I gave up, got myself another drink and found a cosy corner to sit in. I watched and listened hearing all sorts of odd bits of conversation and felt really pleased that I had lost touch with most of those girls twenty of five years ago.