Miranda hummed as she got ready; she was eager to meet her friends for their usual cuppa and cake in Nancy’s Tea Room; bursting to the gills really and couldn’t wait to get there and give them the low down. Finally deciding on her mint and white dress, M&S of course, with matching cardigan, silk buttons fastened to the waist to empathise her slim waist she slipped into white kid heels smoothed the imaginary line down her sheer tights; she was ready.
As it was a beautiful summer’s day she decided to walk instead of taking the Mercedes; always had trouble parking in the narrow street and it was just as far to walk if she parked in the corner car park to get to the tearoom. The sun shone Miranda gazed around her as she tip tapped on the pavement; her shoes were rubbing her heel, she thought would she go home to change them but glancing at her gold wristwatch she realised there was no time so persevered. Each step became agony and she was glad to see the gaily patterned flags of the tea room fluttering in the gentle wind.
She peered through the corner of the window to see who was there or was she first; she hoped so she liked to be so she could pick the head of the table overlooking the huge mirror that gave the room’s full attention. Good; no one else had arrived yet; The room was busy with a faint chatter and trills of soft laughter. Many of the tables already full; waitresses bustling from table to table smiled a greeting, as she sauntered through to her table. Miranda always booked in advance these days with the virus still around. She had been lucky so far and didn’t want to chance catching anything. She sat and quietly glanced around the room to see who was in with whom? A large elegantly dressed buxom lady, stopped in mid bite of a large cream meringue; as her eyes caught sight of Miranda’s smirk; who turned her head and continued to enjoy her treat whilst her companion, a thin weedy, purple shirted gentleman tucked into his custard slice with gusto.
A flutter of noise caught her attention as her three friends entered the room; busy chatting they continued to walk over with a wave or two at people they knew as they passed. Miranda scowled; trust them to make a fuss, she smiled widely as they reached the table and bent to kiss her cheek.
Sabrina pecked her face, trying not to smudge her thickly painted red lips, whilst moving away as quickly as she could. Miranda’s perfume was a little over powering, not her usual, she mused.
Theresa puckered vivid lilac lips to Miranda and kissed the air; before sitting opposite her. She slipped her flimsy Lurex shawl from her shoulders and handed it to the waitress stood by the table with a whispered thanks darling.
Alison wrapped huge pink manicured hands around Miranda’s and kissed her ear, she struggled into the chair that was wedged by the mirror’s pillar and with a heavy sigh, sat.
The waitress hovered over the table whilst they chose their usual confectionary and pots of Earl Grey tea; each considering, if it would be impolite to have two; but refrained.
Miranda glanced around the table, her smile encompassed them, ‘hello darlings have you had a good week? Any news today, she hoped not as her head would explode soon if she could not share hers. But being polite she waited, as usual, to be last so as they had her full attention.
‘Well David has been rather a bore this week; he’s having it off with his new secretary, Glenda? I think her name is; trying to be subtle about it but of course not. I soon touched him into place though, he won’t be singing in the choir for a while.’ Alison remarked off handily. They burst into laughter at the thought of weedy David, who in his prime of life at Fifty five, thought he was a god with the women; but in reality, they only used him to get up the ladder in the office once Alison found out; which she always did.
‘Mines been away all week on business; again, ‘Theresa mumbled, a mouthful of delicious pastry in her mouth. ‘So he’s bound to up to something but no word yet; until he comes back and lets the cat out of the bag.’ Another gurgle of laughter escaped the girl’s mouths, they knew of Henry’s antics away on business from old; he wouldn’t be the same if he didn’t these days, Theresa had told them, and it spices up their love life for at least a week, when he comes back.
Sabrina took out a lace handkerchief and politely wiped her eyes, before she took a deep breath and whispered, ‘Tim’s got a boyfriend, a black, afro haired boyfriend, a huge, hunky, muscular boyfriend; God I’m so jealous...’ Mouths agape they were all agog at the thought; knowing that he was leaning to the other side and Sabrina had accepted the situation; to hear Sabrina was jealous he must be something to look at. Green eyed they sat and sipped their Earl Grey tea in silence, each pondering what they would do, if it was them.
Miranda beckoned a passing waitress to order another pot of tea each with an assortment of fancies; she thought they needed more substance today, after the revelations already; hoping that her news would be the icing on the cake. An awkward silence ensued; whilst the buxom waitress pushed the sweet trolley to the table, Miranda nodded; to leave the delicacies there, she replaced their tea cups and full tea pots with a smile before leaving them to enjoy.
The room had quietened after the lunchtime rush; quite a few tables were empty and were busily relayed for the next onslaught of guests. After a few minutes she put her empty cup on the saucer, pushed the half empty tea trolley to the side and looked around at the faces surrounding her reminded her of puppets dangling from a string in a Punch and Judy show.
A burst of delight escaped her lips as she smiled her face beaming, as if she had hit the jackpot in the Lottery,’ well my dears, I so hope my news will brighten your day, after the rotten week you seem to have had.’ She gently laid a hand on her flat stomach. Three pairs of eyes stared intently at her face theirs, hidden behind a sudden mask, she could not read.
I’m pregnant! I am having a baby’; ‘ashen faces, turned to reddened; each afraid to speak, as to ‘who was the father?’