The garden was alive with searching children. Every bush, every hedge, every plant was inspected, front, back and sideways. Thomas, with the naked Susan over his lap, was disturbed numerous times by inquisitive seekers. They all asked the same question and it wasn't "What are you doing?" it was "Have you seen Emily?"
Diane, Margaret, Lizzie, and Danielle, sat in the sun sipping wine and discussing their host and hostess, their comments were admiring, flattering, and they sensed the excitement amongst the children.
"Someone's organised a game for them, I expect" said Diane.
"I hope it's a safe game" said Margaret.
"Looks like they're playing hide and seek" said Lizzie.
"Don't normally see that much excitement playing hide and seek" said Diane.
"Perhaps they're searching for Paul?" said Danielle, and all the ladies laughed. Danielle hadn't meant this as a joke, but she was pleased that the ladies had found it funny.
"Am I an attractive woman?" asked Felicity, uncertainly.
"Well..." said Gary, rather taken aback by the question.
"You don't have to be polite, I know I'm not" said Felicity, sipping at her wine thoughtfully. She knew she was just being stupid and she didn't now know why she had asked the question.
"I'd say so" said Gary, boldly.
"You're just saying that" said Felicity, sceptically.
"No, no" said Gary "Look, Felicity, I've known you since we were young children together, I've always thought you were attractive."
"You obviously didn't think that when we were going out together - you dumped me" said Felicity "After a week!"
"Well... it wasn't... look there's a lot of different things to being attractive, and..." began Gary, embarrassedly.
"And I haven't got any of them" said Felicity. She was sorry she'd even started this conversation now.
"You were always a beautiful girl, and still are, as a woman I mean, but at that age, when you're thirteen, you're looking for a bit more than that" said Gary.
"Personality? So I haven't got an attractive personality?" asked Felicity.
"No, you have, I mean... I'm talking about years ago. A boy needs some... physical sort of... thing, and you weren't really... ready for that, that's all. So, at that age, you move on, looking for... whatever"
"You mean I wouldn't let you kiss me?" asked Felicity.
"Basically" said Gary "It's important at that age."
"It isn't important now then?" asked Felicity.
"Oh, well... Yes it is... It is important now" said Gary.
"So I'm still not attractive then" said Felicity.
Gary took a deep breath and looked around the room, hoping for an excuse to abandon Felicity and go and talk to someone else. He couldn't see Keith anywhere and he couldn't see the doctor anywhere either. He was without help.
"You are a beautiful woman, Felicity, no one could deny that, but maybe you're a little bit... severe" said Gary.
"Severe?" asked Felicity, frowning and looking upset.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Mr Double's Palisade
A MrDouble Production:
Changes last made on: Tuesday, August 07, 2018