I purposely made all of today’s appointments within walking distance of the office, that way I wouldn’t have to worry about what to do with my car after I’d had a few glasses of champagne at lunch. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember this when I was picking out what to wear today and that is why I now have red raw toes from wearing my sky high Kurt Geiger heels on the walk to work. I remember finding these shoes in John Lewis’s end of season sale last week and just managing to squish my feet into them then but I was convinced that it was because my feet were swollen from the 10 viewings I had carried out that morning. I had also convinced myself that if I lost the stone I had planned to lose last year, then my feet would be slimmer and they would definitely fit. I don’t know what happens to me when I am shoe shopping it’s like all common sense leaves my brain as soon as I enter the shop door.
By the time I get into work, Maeve, the cleaner has nearly finished and is spritzing Les’ desk with polish, when I tap on the glass door. Maeve’s a lovely old girl; she must be in her mid-60’s now and I’m sure she is a grandma to about a hundred children. She has cleaned the office ever since Les started the business eighteen years ago and even Les isn’t sure how many grandchildren she has, but he agrees with me, it must be close to a hundred.
Maeve looks up from the desk with a smile and strolls towards me to open the door.
‘Morning dear, my goodness those heels are high, they are no good for you, you know. If I’d have known how painful bunions can be I would have never of worn them. Made by the devil I’m sure, bunions and heels, both of them. Must be the devil’s creation!’
Oh and one thing you must know about Maeve is that she loves to chat. Most mornings I try to arrive just before she starts, that way I can be on the phone by the time she gets in and avoid one of her never ending conversations. I must admit, sometimes I call my voicemail and pretend to be talking to someone important just to appear busy. However this morning I have Kurt Geiger to blame for being late and therefore arriving at prime chat time.
‘So this morning my Daughter-In-Law calls and Freddie, the little terror, has chicken pox! Can I come over at half 8 to pick him up as he can’t go to school?’
Every morning Maeve has a new story about one of the ‘little terrors’ and today is no different, I can’t even get a ‘Good Morning’ in before the story starts.
‘Well no madam I cannot because I will be at work at that time and straight after I am meeting Helen for our Friday hot cross buns at Marco’s. But apparently she has a deadline today and cannot take another day off work. Well I said to my David, when her and our Richard said they were going to have children, I said, they will have to make sacrifices and her secretary job should have been the first sacrifice. My David agreed, of course he did, but he has gone to pick up little Freddie and bring him back to ours for me. I suppose I will have to stop at Boots and pick up some Sudocrem for the poor little mite. I have had to tell Helen that I can’t make it to Marco’s because of grandchildren issues. Well thankfully she understands, she’s got three herself, but her husband died. Did I tell you that? I’m sure I have. So she’s all alone, so I have to make time for her. You’d do the same wouldn’t you? It must be hard.’
By this time I’ve already made my way across to my desk, turned my PC on, logged in and opened up my emails, so when there’s a break in the conversation it takes me a while to acknowledge that Maeve is looking at me waiting for my response.
‘Well… Yes… Must be hard…’ I learnt this trick from my Dad. If you aren’t listening to someone properly just repeat the last three words the person you are talking to has said. My Dad says it’s the secret to his thirty-year marriage with Mum. All I know is, it’s saved my bacon hundreds of time.
The trick seems to have worked as she starts up again, god this woman is like a machine. ‘Yes but my daughter-in-law just doesn’t get it does she. You know she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and she doesn’t care who knows it….’
Maeve’s voice blurs into the background as I fumble around in my new DKNY bag. I spotted this beauty when I was buying the Kurt Geiger heels in the sale, well the bag wasn’t in the sale but they matched the shoes. Plus with the money I saved on the shoes, the bag was practically free. I feel for the black leather of my diary cover and place it on the desk, then with the gold ribbon I open at today’s date. My eyes scroll past Lou’s handwritten birthday message then to 08:00 Morning meeting (My turn to get breakfast!)
‘…so that’s why I missed my over 50s keep fit class last week, and it probably won’t be the last time. Kayleigh, the instructor, she reminds me of you actually very pretty. She has long brown hair like you too and slim like you. Well anyway but she will only put up with so much, there’s a waiting list to get on that class, you know?’
I quickly find a gap in Maeve’s speech, ‘Oh I’m sure it will be fine Maeve, don’t worry. Do you want anything from Marco’s, I need to get breakfast for the guys.’
I look at my watch, 07:58 shit, they will be here any minute.
‘Oh no thank you Dear, I’m going to cook eggs and soldiers for little Freddie when I get in. No doubt David will want some too, I should probably go to Sainsbury’s on the way home…’
‘Ok be back soon,’ I interrupt.
I am out of the door as quick as my sore feet can bear, the last thing I need is to get involved in another tête-à-tête with her.
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Dialogue (dailypost.wordpress.com)