Monday, January 30, 2023

Granted, they tell you so



 Stu winced as he saw her come into the bakery. How did Kate know he worked here? He hadn't mentioned it. Hell, they hardly talked. He knew she was Shelly's friend. Although, he would have never imagined Kate being anyone's life partner. Not even Brad's.

Of course, he was nowhere in sight. She asked for a coffee and an Eccles. It was the last one.

"Aren't you going to ask?" She looked up at him as she bit into the fruit-filled puff pastry.

"About what?" Stu thought they might as well be strangers.

"Shell? Is she still with O.D.?" She wanted to know.

"Well, of course." Stu hugged himself. "Why wouldn't she?"

"Um, it'll never work out, you know," Kate sounded as if she'd be back wanting to be in her good graces, perhaps.

"Is that so?" He felt like keeping mum from Mia, but she'd get it out of him. No matter what. Somehow, life was different with Mia. He didn't want to say it, but maybe she brought out the best in him. "Maybe Odin is dear to our sweet Shelly, you know."

"Did he take her to the shore?" Kate wanted to know.

"Why would he?" Stu couldn't help but smile. "Not that I know of." He shook his head.

"They won't tie the knot." Kate was certain. 

Stu nodded. "What of it?" He knew here on this sunny cold morning he was conversing more than he had in ages, but the old miss who ran the shop was sure to scurry him somewhere. 

"I was to be married today," Kate said rather sadly.

Stu gave her a sigh and went to wait on a customer. He couldn't spend his whole day with somebody he wasn't even supposed to know.

Monday, January 23, 2023

When teatime is not enough ❤️

 


"Why is January so long?" Shelly practically wailed.

"Because it's winter," Mia shrugged with a sigh. Yes, it seemed sales were down for the month. The holidays were over.

"Precisely!" Shelly practically smashed her desk with her little fist. She meant business.

"But Valentine's day is coming?" Mia's smart smile was to the rescue.

"And?" Shelly smiled as if she needed a sure win for the holidays. "What do you propose?" After all, it was the two of them and she was certain tea would not help this brainstorm. "Maybe we need to go to the pub."

"I don't think so," Mia begged to differ. "We'll never get ahead, that way." After all, it might have been closing time at the bookshop, but it was a totally bad idea. "Weren't you on the boys' tails about this anyway?" Mia made herself comfortable in the hard chair across from Shelly's desk. "This is no time for a party, baby."

Shelly gave Mia a stiff upper chin. No one was to call her baby. No one. She was still the boss, wasn't she?

"I say we need a drink," she was adamant.

"No, we don't. We'll never get this sorted if we don't do it now." Mia gave her the eye. "Think about it, what do lovers need."

"Self-help books?" Shelly couldn't help but pull from her clouded consciousness.

"Possibly," Mia nodded as she smoothed down her sweater.

"Um, Colleen Hoover?" Shelly made a face of disgust.

"Oh, her books are already flying off the shelf." Mia shrugged. Shelly nodded. Mia mentioned Stu could make heart-shaped macarons. 

Shelly thought that would work. "And poetry mic night," Shelly said that would be a good lead into Valentine's day. Maybe they could put the love poetry books at half-price.

"I like it," Mia said she'd looked through the new romantic authors to display too. Finally, she asked about Brad and Kate. Were they on again?

"I haven't asked," Shelly didn't mean to be a snob, but she was certain Kate felt that way about her. "She is working. I bet he cheated on her. Why can't she get some balls like Miley Cyrus? You know like that new song of hers, Flowers."

"I don't think I've heard it?" Mia looked at her blankly.

"I guess we could have an anti-valentines day display, too." Shelly smiled at her effort to make February a good month, after all.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Cheap as we ever were



 "I just think it's shit," Stu gave Odin a look of distaste as he tied his sneakers again. They kept coming untied. They were both in their tracksuits and puffers. Really, he didn't want to go for a run anyway. "Why do you even listen to  her?" He was bitter about Shelly, but he knew better than to say what he exactly thought of her. Bitch.

"And why do you do anything Mia tells you to do?" Odin shot back as he ran ahead. Stu only sighed as he tried his best to keep up.

"See, you're so out of shape," Odin reminded him as he looked back at Stu.

Stu winced and made a miserable face that he didn't like this, one little bit. His lungs were suffering from the cold. Or so he'd say.

"You know, I'd rather be at the pub watching a game," Stu was in a huff, perhaps out of breath. "I can't...can't  we just walk?" Of course, it was a bitter chill.

"Running will make you warmer," Odin ran in place as he waited. Stu kept an even lip and sped up to Odin who of course, took off again.

"Are you sure this wasn't your idea?" Stu squinted with a scowl. 

"Look, mate, you are just as low on funds as I am," Odin was running backward now along the little scenic stream that of course was only to be admired with the iron fence in front of it. It seemed the older kiddies who should have known better had been trespassing these last few years. Naturally, most were a bit tipsy and fell in. 

Stu looked at the landscape on the gray damp day. Honestly, it was depressing.

"Well, I'll make coffee," Stu decided. "Let's go in. Please?" So they turned back and went to Mia's flat.

"So you just call this home, do you?" Stu knew Odin had wanted to ask for ages.

"I suppose," he shrugged as he went to put in the grounds in the coffeemaker. He was definitely making this a strong trucker's brew. He grinned with delight as he took in the aroma of the Columbian coffee.

"Just supposing?" Odin looked at him as if he was the slacker he always knew he was.

"What of it?" Stu wasn't trying to be something he wasn't.

"Well, you look so settled, as of late?" Odin made it sound as if he was becoming a bore.

"Settled?" Stu smirked. "Is that what you call it? Before I know it we'll be reading BARBARIAN ALIEN and loving it."

"Is it any good?" Odin sat across from him at the dining table as he took a sip of the black coffee.

Stu only chuckled.

Monday, January 9, 2023

a dry start

 


Honestly, Shelly was at her wit's end. True, it was easy to move into the place. There was plenty of help. It was all so cozy and roomy. Yes, she loved how the sun shined in the morning through the livingroom window. So lovely to be close to friends..and yet..maybe not.

The boys were always at the pub. And guess who was always hungover? How in the world could she stop it?

"Look, we really need to have a dry January," she told Odin over toast and tea. Naturally, he looked as if his hair had been in a blender and the crust in his eyes barely let him crack them open.

"Well, Babe, it's a little late for that, don't you think?" He practically snorted over his tea and crunched on a piece of cheese toast.

"The month has hardly started," she insisted. "We can still have a dry January. It's what Oprah and her mates are doing?"

"Oprah?" Odin drew a scowl. Of course, his fist could hardly hold up his chin as he sat at the table so sluggish. "I had no idea she even drank."

"Precisely." She shot him a look and pressed a very even lip. "You don't need everyone to know. But they do, I am certain of it, down at your office. How do you expect to get ahead of the herd?"

He scrunched a face of disgust as if he didn't want to discuss it. 

"We need some rules," she told him. "Now that you see Stu every day, you have to think of something else to do than visit that damn pub."

"What do you suggest?" He looked at her funny, sitting across from her at the kitchen table. His long body stretched a bit too close and Shelly squirmed away. 

"You're still a bit foul for my liking, O.D." She festered a frown and shook her head. "There are many many reasons to have a dry year, you know."

"What?"

"Think about it?" Shelly glared back. "Alcohol makes you old. You are still so young. You two need to be active."

"What? We should be at the gym?"

"It's not free is it?" She told him they needed to get out and jog, maybe learn basketball, and even some football would suffice. "Alcohol cost, you know. Not just the body, but financially too."

She hadn't meant to preach about it, but it was true. "We just moved into a new place together. We need some goals. At least some rules. Especially, with you and Stu."

Odin just stared at her as if he really wasn't fond of any of these suggestions.