FRIDAY's Snippet - The 3 Musketeers = Best Friends

Friday, 4 October 2013

They are like the muddley-puddley mad musketeers, but you'd never be without them:)
How are yours?

I reach for my mobile, intending to call Paige, but realise she probably won’t appreciate it as it’s so early on a Sunday morning – especially as she was out last night with Victoria.
Paige is one of my best friends from school, an urban warrior striding through life with purpose. She knows exactly what she wants and won’t let anything get in her way. Even the pittance she earns as a production assistant doesn’t deter her from her mission. It’s not if but when she will be a film producer. Paige has always been the leader of the pack. Even at school she was the one who organised charity events, from pensioners’ bingo to Sports Relief, extra-curricular theatre production, and all of our themed dance nights. She’s much more poised and self-assured than I am. She’s also straight-talking, no-nonsense (verging on brutal), but oh, so funny, smart and loyal. I love her to bits.
My other best friend is Victoria, a real high-flyer. She left university with a published educational book on economics used at A-level and was snapped up straight away by the corporate world. She works all hours with an educational board and an independent committee but relishes the challenge.
Together we are the three musketeers; whenever we’re lost we find each other and set ourselves up for the next stage of life. If I didn’t have them I think I would be locked up by now for abandoning a human being after asphyxiation by aftershave poisoning. Can’t believe I missed an evening out with my girls for … for a really shit time with Piers. Brilliant trade-off! Brilliant.
I go in through the back door, quietly settling myself in the office cum stockroom. I’m not meant to be in but I might as well do something useful. I’ll start on my admin and lighten the load – clearly nothing else is happening today.
Piers hasn’t even texted me. I expect he’s round Maggot’s congratulating her on a superb evening. He spends too much time there; come to think of it he spends more time with her than me.
Staring at the computer screen my mood is glum and my inbox is over-spilling with suppliers’ end-of-month bills. I take a minute to focus and get on with net-banking, systematically paying them off according to how large the amounts are. I’m pretty good with finance, just not my own, but Piers’s lifestyle is far too rich for my purse-strings and I don’t want to always rely on him for drinks, travel, taxis, food, rent, bills and polo charity events. It’s embarrassing, and no matter what you think of me, I do have some pride.
I complete my task and wander out to grab a coffee before the lunchtime rush begins. A few staff looked bewildered to see me, they smarten up their appearances accordingly.
I opt for a double espresso that should diminish the fog in my head.
I hear my name being called but I can’t decipher from where.
Again can’t see anyone.
‘Popsicle, you old tart!’
‘Jesus, Paige, where did you hatch from?’
‘I was just ordering eggs Benedict and a spicy bloody Mary from that fine example of masculinity!’
‘He’s gay.’
‘Yeah, but nice to look at!’
‘Yes, quite. What are you doing here?’
‘Hair of the dog! You missed a great night last night. Vicks sends her love, by the way.’
I don’t know why but I feel like crying. I give Paige a hug.
She gives me a strange look. ‘Hey, Popsicle, what’s wrong?’
‘The dinner party was awful.’
‘Want to drink a coffee somewhere we can talk?’
‘Lets nip out the back before the hordes get here.’
We take our cups, well, my tiny cup and her tall glass of celery appendages, and select the quiet leafy corner. Paige signals to Rupert that she’s moving – she still leers at him, even in the full knowledge he’s as queer as the fairies.
‘Sometimes looking can pep your ideas up, girl! You should try it.’
‘Piers has been a complete wanker for weeks so I don’t think a gay guy will do much for my ego, setting myself up for even more rejection.’
‘The man’s an idiot.’ Paige says dismissively. I know she doesn’t care much for Piers.
‘I have a proposal for you.’
‘Oh no, you haven’t switched teams, have you?’
‘Shut-up, Pops,’ she grins. ‘I’m off to Cannes next Sunday and I want you to come with me.’
‘Uh! I can’t go to Cannes.’
‘Yes you can.’
‘But Piers …’
‘Fuck Piers! You need a holiday.’
‘Won’t it cost lots and lots of money?’
‘That’s the beauty: someone’s just dropped out of the production team, the ticket is paid for, the accommodation is paid for, we’re sharing a room. You barely have to buy a croissant. Since this indie film gained momentum my offers for dinner and parties have been rife! So you don’t have any excuse now, do you, mousey wife?’
I grin. ‘Suppose not, dear.’
‘Right, glad we agree. You’ll need some sunny gear, though. The temperature down there is glorious so get those sexy bikinis out and bring a dressy outfit – we’ll have several, yes several, flash events to attend.’
After thirty minutes of Paige scoffing down eggs Benedict and me wolfing down a full English, we part company on the street; Paige en route to Oxford Street for some serious shopping and me to tweak the work roster.

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