Three best friends, and their eventful final year at school...
The conversation re-convened as they were walking home from school later that afternoon. The rare heat of summer had them joining the queue to the coffee shop on the main road, in search of three iced lattes and some shade. Chloe and Louise headed outside to bag the table under the awning, away from the chaos inside.
“So while she queues in there,” Louise tilted her head towards the heaving shop inside. “Michael’s back. What do we do?”
Chloe shrugged. “There’s not a lot we can do. We picked her back up when he left before, and I guess we’ll just have to do it again.”
“Don’t you think we should tell her? Stop her from going back to him in the first place?” she asked, lowering her voice to an urgent hiss.
“She wouldn’t believe us if we told her now. We’d only be pushing her further towards him. We'll just have to keep an eye on things for now.” Chloe replied, suddenly plastering a bright smile over her frown as Jo appeared from inside. “That was quick!”
“Yeah, the card machine’s playing up, so they were asking people to pay cash where they could. There was only me, I jumped straight to the front of the line!” she said happily, putting their drinks down and collapsing into the available seat. Strands of her red hair clung to her neck as she tucked them behind her ears and sighed. “I’m so tired, and I managed to get sunburnt, even though I must be wearing an inch layer of sun cream!”
Chloe laughed, not daring to look at Louise. “We were just talking about maybe going to the Summer Fair tomorrow. You fancy it?”
“Sure, sounds like fun. We can do all the rides, try and win some prizes. And my Mum's doing her fortune teller stall again, so we can go and have our palms read, too. All the funds are going to charity, so it’s for a good cause.” She replied, giving a wink as she added “Don’t worry Chloe; we won’t make you go on the waltzers again. Not after last time.”
Chloe scowled, her own pale complexion glowing red with embarrassment. “I was ill once, you don’t need to keep going on about it! I was sooo embarrassed.”
“And that’s why we keep going on about it!” Jo laughed, giving her a nudge. “Lighten up, it’s all about facing your fears, right? Just maybe don’t eat breakfast before we leave. Better to play safe.”
She ducked as Chloe’s balled up napkin came flying towards her. As she did so, something behind her caught Louise’s eye. Standing in the clothes shop across the street, was Michael Smith himself. He was a babe, they had to admit that much. Brown slightly messy hair and hazel eyes paired with a cheeky smile and Italian heritage had served him well in that respect. The only problem was the Lothario attitude that went along with it.
Trying to catch Chloe’s eye without arousing suspicion in Jo, she raised her eyebrows and cleared her throat, twitching her head as much as she dared over in his direction.
“What’s up with you?” Chloe asked, not catching on. “You look like you’ve got a nervous twitch.”
“Just a bit of neck ache. I’m told really stretching your arms helps.” She replied, overly stretching her right arm and pointing to the clothes store. She realised that Chloe was too engrossed in her napkin brawl to notice, and resigned herself to what was inevitably going to happen next.
Of course, when someone is making overly dramatic movements, even if you’re several feet away, you’re going to notice it. In her desperate attempts to make Chloe realise and get Jo out of the way, she had unfortunately caught the attention of the very person she wanted to avoid.
Paying quickly for the new shirt he was buying, he pocketed the cute assistant's phone number, giving her his best smile as he left and headed over to them. Well, he thought, this is a little earlier than I wanted to have this meeting, but when the opportunity presents itself...
“Jo? I thought that was you!”
Please leave feedback, all welcome. More to Come! Penny x