Friends

01 January 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR


Wishing all my friends a Happy New Year
and
thank you for your company.

Here's hoping 2017 proves to be a good year for all of us

Let me tell you a story that I wrote a few years ago



It was the afternoon of New Year's Day. Gemma and Peter Swift were writing in their respective five-year diaries, given by Gemma's mother for Christmas. Both diaries were lockable and leather-bound: pink for Gemma, plain black for Peter, both with a silver key.

Last night's party was a great success, scribed Peter.
           
I've never been to such a boring do, noted Gemma.
           
Peter capped his pen and propelled himself from the table. 'Fancy a beer, Gem?'
           
'Don't scrape your chair,' snapped Gemma. 'You'll damage the carpet.'
           
'Was that a yes or a no,' enquired a grinning Peter, who wondered if she was still mad because the coal tit had scattered seeds on her precious new patio.
           
'It was a no. Thanks.' Gemma carried on writing.
           
'Brandy?'
           
'No, thanks.'
           
Peter fetched a can of lager from the fridge and returned to the dining room, sat directly opposite his wife. 'Writing about the party?' he asked, drawing his diary towards him.
           
'Not in detail.'
           
Peter picked up his pen. 'Me neither,' he said, beginning to write. Martin Wedgwood. What an opportunity. Stroke of luck meeting him in a casual setting. Made my approach less obvious. And what a wife. The black mini-skirt was a sensation.
           
STRUMPET, recorded Gemma in bold script, then added, but at least she wasn't boring like most of the females. She adjusted her reading glasses and tugged a strand of straight, mousy hair, remembering the time she'd spent in the early hours squinting in the mirror and brushing her hair into some kind of captivating style. But it was too straight and too fine to do anything with. The men were tedious too. All workaholics from the way they talked, and so uninteresting. She eyed her husband, who was sucking the end of his pen, staring into space. Searching for inspiration, she guessed, but he wouldn't have found any at last night's party.
           
Peter was thoughtful, wondering if any business would be forthcoming from the men he’d mingled with. The managing director of the knitwear company, for example, and the one from the printing firm who said he was disenchanted with his existing accountants. But his mind kept reverting to Martin Wedgwood who had taken his card and promised further talks. Now if that came to something, his managing partner would be delighted. Yes, it was a first-rate party.

Imperceptibly, Gemma shook her head. If only Peter hadn't raved so much about his work. There was nothing enthralling about the accountancy profession yet he went on and on to some guy in a flash tuxedo who could only shut him up by asking for his card. Julie was interested, of course. But she was interested in all the men. You could see her brain ticking over deciding who to lure … and when.
           
Boring, she wrote again, unable to think of a better adjective to describe the event. She supposed Peter would be recording his tête-à-tête with Julie, whom Gemma thought was the wife of someone important but couldn't remember who. It was surprising that her husband, whoever he was, didn't keep her under lock and key. It was most disconcerting the way she tossed her red hair and displayed long legs as if she was contending for Miss World. The mini-skirt barely covered her buttocks let alone her thighs. Gemma sighed and twisted round to extend her own legs, tilting her head to inspect them, and deciding they'd be shapelier if she lost a bit of weight.

Peter noticed Gemma's move and silently admired the focus of her scrutiny, recalling the way one greasy-looking party goer had gawked at her until he told him to lay off. Work or no work, he wasn't standing for that. Impulsively he pushed his diary to one side and leaned across the table to take Gemma's hand. He could smell the almond hand-cream she used, and the Shalimar behind her ears. 'It was a rare old party, eh, Gem?'
           
'Wonderful,' replied Gemma, not wanting to crush his admiration for the inebriated fools who posed as New Year revellers.
           
Peter released her hand and pushed his chair from the table. The lager can toppled and rolled backwards and forwards as he drew Gemma to her feet, he held her close and whispered, ‘Did I remember to wish you a Happy New Year?’

Gemma nodded, for once overlooking the likelihood of a ruined carpet.

‘And did I tell you there’s every chance of promotion if I land a major client after last night’s affair?’

Gemma shook her head.

‘And did I tell you it could mean a partnership if I continue to acquire new clients?’

Gemma gasped. ‘A partnership?’

Peter whirled her round. Tremendous party, don’t you think?’

‘Marvellous, my darling. Simply marvelous.’

16 comments:

Nasreen said...

Wishing you and your family a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Valerie said...

Thank you, Nasreen.

Ron said...

LOVED reading this one again, Valerie! Terrific ending!

Wishing you a VERY Happy 2017 New Year! And thank you for being such a loyal and longtime friend. You're friendship is greatly appreciated and cherished!

((((((((((((((((( YOU ))))))))))))))))))

Cheers and X


P.S. Tell Charlie I said, "Meow!" (Happy New Year)

Mac n' Janet said...

I quite enjoyed that, isn't it funny how 2 people can see the same thing so differently. Happy New Year

Geraldine said...

What a great story Val, I really enjoyed reading this. What fun and a perfect ending too.

I wish you a happy, hopeful 2017 !!

Hugs, G

Valerie said...

Good morning, Ron, and thank you for your good wishes and kind thoughts. I can only say 'it has been a pleasure'. Isn't it remarkable how friendships are formed by people who have never met? I Charlie your message and I swear he grinned at me!

Valerie said...

Mac n' Janet, Hi and thanks for visiting. I wrote the story a long time ago but it seemed appropriate to post it again. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.

Valerie said...

Geraldine, I must post some more stories for the benefit of those who like to read shorties and who haven't read them before. Thank you, I hope 2017 will be less fretful for my family.

Jenny Woolf said...

That is such a clever ending, Valerie - and something that is a good idea to remember in our own lives too. If I ever run into people I knew in the past, I so often find that their recollections are totally the opposite of mine, and what it really was is that they simply saw it from a different perspective. Good reason, I guess, to try and cultivate a glass half full approach!

Happy new year to you!

Valerie said...

Jenny, I am pleased you approved of the ending and you are right in your assessment. Time can change how we think as well as what we remember.


S. J. Qualls said...

I enjoyed your short story - yep, there are two sides to every story!

Wishing you the best in the coming year!

John said...

Happy New Year Valerie. loved the story.
John

Valerie said...

Thank you, John. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Valerie said...

SJQ, thank you and I'm pleased you enjoyed the story.

Katie Eggeman said...

It is fascinating that men and women can see the same thing so differently, Have a Happy New Year, Valerie!

Valerie said...

You too, Katie. Yes, I agree, and how quickly people can change their minds!