“I tend to keep talking till somebody stops me.”
I realised I hadn’t had a holiday in a very long time, so I went to work the next day and asked for time off. My boss, a halloween-scary woman, moaned, muttered something in her native foreign under her breath, but said yes.
So I was back in the good books at home.
“At the weekend we need to go shopping for clothes.”
“Good. That’ll be different.”
“It will, Mr Sarcastic. Because normally it is the pointless pursuit of nice things that help me get compliments and make you look good with me on your arm. This time it is the need to have things to wear in another country. There is a difference you know”
“Oh right. I stand corrected.”
We finished work on the Wednesday and had Thursday off which meant we were out waiting for everywhere to open before nine o’clock.
We spent nearly three hours shopping and at the end, I resembled a pack mule.
“Is all this really necessary?” I thought it was a reasonable question as we sat for lunch. But she hit me with the menu.
“I can’t believe you asked me that.”
“I can’t believe it either.”
“I haven’t been away for so long and you would begrudge me the chance to buy some new clothes.”
“Yes dear. Sorry dear.”
I was dragging myself and the bags up to the flat, when someone jumped out in front of us.
“Hello. What are you doing later?”
“Well, nothing but…”
“You have to come to my birthday. It’s downstairs at about eight.”
And then they were gone. I just looked confused.
“But it’s his birthday. We should really go. You know Gary and Claudette would be really mad if we weren’t there.”
“I have been up since five o’clock and now you want me to go to a party tonight.”
“OK, OK. But we won’t stay too late. We both have to be up in the morning. We still have loads to sort out.”
“Fine, but we do have to go. It’s only downstairs.”
We were downstairs by eight o’clock. We walked into the bar and there was a sign advertising half price cocktails.
“You told me to think about the money. Its’ cheap drinks. Look how thoughtful I am being.”
By the time everyone arrived, she was on her third cocktail. It was really empty in there, apart from us, but the music was the kind she loved. She spent all her time on the dancefloor, coming back to check on me every half an hour or so. I was happy people watching.
But as the music carried on and people either spent more time dancing or less time making sense, I was beginning to flag.
I was so tired I had no idea what time it was but the next thing I knew, she was shouting in my ear.
“How could you fall asleep with your head on the speaker?” I had an imprint of the speaker on my cheek. “Why don’t you go to bed?”
“Do you mind?”
“No, of course not. You go home. I won’t be long, I’m just going to have another drink and then I will be up.”