Friday, 10 November 2017

Spaghetti And Meatballs: The Sequel



Greetings Earthlings,

Another Friday has rolled around. They tend to do this. Predictably, right after Thursday and just before Saturday. Funny about that.


 Anyway, this means it's time to join in, yet again, with the fun that is called,  Friday Reflections. 

You may recall that I wrote a sweet little story last week, and ended with a teaser for a part two. Well, here is that promised finale. If you don't recall, you can read Part One here. 

I've also cleverly managed to weave in this week's prompt, which is: Heart's Content. Yep, I'm a genius. Or something.

Here is Part Two: 




SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS: THE SEQUEL







Have you ever had one of those weekends? You know the kind. You're really looking forward to it. You have it all planned. And what you're planning is, a whole lotta NOTHING. Yes, you can plan to do nothing. In fact, I take great pride in doing so.

Then, absolutely everything goes pear shaped. It's ridiculous. Until you realise, you actually quite like pears. Pears can be delicious. Look, I'm going somewhere with the pear analogy, stay with me.

First, my car was ruined. Then I was locked out of the house. In a robe. In the rain.

Which led to me eating spaghetti and meatballs with a handsome stranger. 

Mr Strong and Silent Enigmatic turned out to be surprisingly easy to chat with. I found myself loosening up. I was witty, charming and self-deprecating. He laughed in the right places, was courteous, kind and interesting. Oh, and he was also single, I discovered.

And then I ruined it. Evidently, I was much more exhausted from my hectic week than I'd realised. Next thing you know, after only one glass of wine, I was snoring on the couch. Classy. I was having a dream about an Italian dude with smouldering eyes. He was leaning in towards me and...

"Carolyn!" That accent.

 I was jolted awake to see those very eyes.

"Your sister is here with your spare key."

Oh, SHIT!

I stumbled outside, still half-asleep. There was Diana waving the key. Dressed head to toe as a dominatrix.

"You know what your problem is, sis? You need to get out more. Get a life. Make friends. Go on dates. HAVE SEX!"

Marco seemed to have adopted a permanently bemused expression. He hovered behind us, watching the exchange. I snatched the key.

"Couldn't you have changed?" I hissed.

"No." She smiled, completely unfazed. "But YOU definitely should. What in the living hell are you wearing?"

"It's a long story... I..."

But Diana was bored already. Vanilla and dull were so not her style. That was clear. To the entire neighbourhood.

"OK, gotta go!" She interrupted me." Can't stay and chat. I have someone waiting to whipped." She clattered to the driver's side of her car, adding in a stage whisper "By the way, he's HAWT. Go for it!"

I stood there flushed and flummoxed as she drove away.

"Your sister is... very interesting." Marco observed.

I laughed a little uneasily, not sure what to say. Then I shrugged. To hell with it.

"Her job is certainly unconventional, but she has a good heart." I figured if my sister had no shame about her lifestyle, then neither should I. Though we had one pact. Our mother must NEVER KNOW.

Not for the first time, I was thankful she had moved to Queensland after our dad passed away. The endless phone calls, texts and emails about our single states were draining, but at least we had a buffer zone.

"Well, thanks for everything." Now that I had a key and an escape route I was curiously reluctant to leave. Especially having no idea when I'd see him again.

"No problem," he replied. There was a pause while I waited, for what I don't know. Did I really think he was going to ask me out? That he would be so taken with me he'd want to see me again.

Maybe Mum and Di were right after all, I did need to get out more.

"Okay, well seeya." I sighed.

He nodded politely and headed back inside as the rain began to patter again.

The next day, my car was towed away. I washed and dried Wendy's clothes and waited until a respectable hour. I had to return them. It wouldn't hurt to fix my hair for once. And what about some lipstick? I mean, I hardly ever wore it, but why not? And what should I wear?

Wait a minute, you're just returning some clothes. Get over yourself. In the end I settled on jeans and a nice top. But I fixed my hair. A girl has to have some standards. Okay, a middle aged woman. So sue me.

"Carolyn!" Wendy greeted me like a long lost friend. "Come in. Excuse the mess! Vince has taken the girls to the park for a bit now that it's stopped raining. Thank God! They were like caged animals. Sorry about your car! Coffee?"

All of this while she kept moving and bustling to the kitchen. I glanced around. The mess didn't seem to much more than a lot of toys on the living room floor. I remembered those days with my three quite vividly. I'd been a young mum. Consequently, I had a 20 year old daughter, and the boys were 16 and 15, being only 18 months apart.  I was glad those toddler years were over.

"I just came to return your clothes and say thank you." I was glancing around for other reasons.

"You're so welcome!" Wendy handed me a coffee. "I'm glad my brother-in-law was here. We thought about leaving the girls with my mother but she was unwell and Marco wanted to baby-sit, so it all worked out beautifully. Sit down!" she motioned to the couch that was littered with toys. "If you can find somewhere to sit!"

I shoved some things over and sat. I sipped my coffee. Clearly Marco wasn't here. I should have taken more notice of his car.  Wendy chatted while I imagined  an alternative world, where, instead of the pile of ironing awaiting me, Marco and I were alone, eating spaghetti and meatballs and drinking wine to our heart's content.

Just like a scene out of The Bachelor or Bacherlorette. I blame my daughter. She forced me to watch such vapid programmes. Oh okay, she didn't have to try too hard. We both watched and made droll remarks, as if we were regulars on Gogglebox. It was fun. Note to self: do something about that getting out more thing.

Meanwhile, back to my imaginings. Beach side setting. I would be wearing a gown. This was a fantasy, so I'd be at least five kilos lighter. No, make that ten. My legs would be shaved. My hair and make-up perfect. And as for Marco. He was already perfect. A sexy cross between George Clooney and Mark Ruffalo. He'd be looking suave in a suit. He would...

"Carolyn?"

"Huh?" I was jolted out of my daydream. 

"I was just asking what you do," Wendy said. "Marco was asking so many questions about you, it made me realise how little we know about each other even though we're right next door!"

He did? YESSS. 

"I'm an office manager for a small legal firm," I replied. My job was so boring compared to my sister. And I preferred it that way. I wondered if Marco had mentioned her. I sipped my coffee. I was bursting to ask about him, but I didn't want to appear too obvious. He'd asked about me! That had to be a good sign, right?

By the time I left, we were firm friends in real life as well as Facebook . Only a matter of time until I crossed paths with Marco again.  Maybe I should speed up the process by inviting them all over for a dinner party?

I decided this was a brilliant plan. Except for one small thing. I don't cook. Unless you call shoving things in the oven cooking.

So I called my amazing caterer friend Gavin, who agreed to do it for mates rates. He's a great friend, and the only reason we aren't anything more is because he is very gay. Also, according to Gavin I have embarrassing taste in clothes and music. And I'm too messy... And the list goes on. Fair enough. We could never live together, but I adored Gavin. 
.
I scheduled the dinner party for a weekend the kids weren't there. Wendy had her mum babysitting the twins. It was all systems GO. 

Gavin arrived.

"Hello. I've been dumped. I don't want to talk about it. Don't worry. I'll get cooking." he swooped through to the kitchen. Oh dear. This wasn't good. Gavin was usually the dumper, not the dumpee. 


 I left him bustling away and went upstairs to get ready. This was fun! Why didn't I do this more often? Probably something to do with the days of maniacal cleaning that were necessary beforehand. Note to self: price a cleaner. 

The wine was chilled, music on - 80s vintage, much to Gavin's disgust - and I was in a fabulous mood when the doorbell rang.

"I brought some wine," Wendy handed me a bottle. More wine. Yay!

The were loud curses from the kitchen. Everyone politely pretended we hadn't heard them. 


Wendy began gushing about my place as I led them through to the open plan kitchen slash dining slash family room. 

Gavin's chopping now appeared to be frenetic. Hesitantly I introduced him to everyone.

"How are you? I was dumped today. I'm fine." he deadpanned. "Dinner will be served in half an hour." His eyes flitted to Marco. He raised an eyebrow at me. 


The first course was finally served when the front door opened and slammed. McKenzie stomped in. 

"He dumped me!"

"You too!" Gavin said. "Men are bastards." 


"Darling!" What happened?" I jumped up. "Everyone, this is my daughter, McKenzie." 

 "Some bullshit about needing space." 

"Maybe it's for the best." It wasn't the time for me to admit I hadn't particularly liked her boyfriend. They'd probably make up, and then where would I be? 

"HA!" Gavin scoffed.

McKenzie burst into tears. "He's broken my heart! I'll never get over it." 


"Maybe we can talk about this later..." 

"FUCK!" Gavin bolted to the oven just in time. Our main course had narrowly escaped ruin. 

"I couldn't eat anything right now," blubbered McKenzie. "But I'll take some wine." She poured a generous glass. 

Marco and Vincent exchanged glances while I  stood there awkwardly. I had pictured a civilised and sophisticated dinner party. Trust my overly dramatic daughter to disrupt things.

Gavin served the main courses amid more lamenting over the general hopelessness of all men, straight or gay.

"Present company excepted, of course!"

The doorbell trilled. What next?

"Excuse me." I hurried down the hall.

"Surprise!"

"MUM!" I was stunned. What was she DOING here?

"You're always saying you'll visit and don't, so I thought I'd surprise you. Well, aren't you going to invite me in?"

I had a choice? I seriously considered slamming the door, but she bustled in and immediately began telling me how to live my life. 


"You've put on weight! What are you eating? Do you have guests? I heard what happened from your sister and I agree with her. Sweetheart, you just need to HAVE SEX!" The last two words reverberated around the room as an unexpected silence descended. 

"Nan!" McKenzie jumped up to hug her grandmother. "You really DO, Mum." she said. 

"Haha," I managed a weak laugh "enough about that."

I introduced my mother. Marco had that same bemused expression he seemed to adopt around me. When I caught his eye, I thought I saw his lips twitch. I needed more wine. Oh well, what could go wrong now? 


It was supposed to be a rhetorical question. But the doorbell rang. This was ridiculous!

"Diana!" Or should I say, Mistress Delphine. 


"I need your shower. Mine's bung. You owe me one!" 

"Okay, but before you go in there you should know..."

It was too late. She'd barged in, without waiting for a reply. OH. MY. GOD. 

"MUM!"

"What...? Who...?" There was a gasp of recognition. "DIANA?!"


With that, my mother fainted. 

That was how my dignified, elegant dinner party ended. My guests made a hasty exit.

"You obviously have a lot on your plate." Wendy said. 


The next few weeks were a blur. I was busy with work and the boys. My mother had imploded. She was all  set to move back to Sydney, convinced that her daughters were degenerates.

It took every ounce of my energy to get her back on a plane. Diana was predictably unrepentant. McKenzie had gotten back together with the unsuitable boyfriend. Even Gavin had moved on, judging from his Facebook posts. 

And I was still very single.

Marco was in Italy. He'd gone back to visit family. Wendy wasn't sure when he'd be back. My beach side visions had vanished. What was a girl to do? Well, for one thing, I was finally going to have that quiet weekend. A bubble bath. A bottle of wine. You know the drill. 

I relaxed into the tub and the doorbell rang. I threw on my trusty old robe. It was probably McKenzie. She often forgot her key. I flung open the door. 

There were those eyes. The ones that could go straight from smouldering to bemused. Either way, they were hypnotic. 

"Marco!"

"Hello Carolyn. I'm looking after the girls again and I have A LOT of spaghetti and meatballs. Would you like to help me eat them?"

"Love to!" 


I stepped outside to go with him, under the spell of those eyes. Then we both began laughing. I'd locked myself out wearing my robe. 



THE END.




 So there you have it. A tad corny, but whatever. It was fun to write. And I will continue to write to my heart's content. (See what I did there?) Even if it's corny. 


What do you like to do to your heart's content? 

Reactions:

6 comments:

  1. Corny, but funny. Too much fun. Hey, it's your story, so write away!!

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  2. Haha yep, it took my mind off the fact that I have to have a tooth extraction next Wednesday for a bit, so that's something. Thanks for reading!

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  3. Ha, it was fun reading your story, crony. I liked the pace you kept through out and the kind of cathartic ending.

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  4. Wow! Such a great piece of writing, Ness. It was so fun reading it. Keep your thoughts flowing unimpeded. ;)

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the kind words :)

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