May 01, 2023

Mother In The Night (CH1)

            *Mother  In  The Night*
🔮Now a second drink had tumbled over their table at the club, but this spillage was managed better than the first one. With six drinks in between the first and this recent mishap, the daft clout who had staggered into their table and sent the glass flying was met with a chorus of 'idiot' until 'get us another and you can sit with us, then'  amended to welcomed forgiveness. The two women always seemed to choose the most awkwardly-situated table between the toilets and the bar. Perhaps purposefully.
   Beverly and Linda were regulars at Kentyre Social Club, a popular nitery suiting the older generation, and they always walked in with the persona of Queen Bee. For being women in their early fifties, their activity and drinking levels matched that of those twenty years younger. Cocktails slid down their throats as easy as alcopops did to the kids in the park, and they were up for nearly every dance, with nearly every man, who asked.
   It seemed to be the panacea to their otherwise mundane lives and as much as they enjoyed this sort of attention. Both single, they always drew the line at one night stands. One a mother and one a grandmother, they had to instill an amount of decorum no matter how fuzzy their heads became. Lest they be roasting under Ibiza sun a thousand miles away, rumours of anything remotely shameful would fly round their estate like wildfire, and with working jobs involving the public, it was important to keep your linen clean. So as much as they were enjoying capturing their long-gone youth, a youth capturing them simply wouldn't wash well.  Tonight's male company was at least within similar age range.
   While Beverly was up on the dance floor, swinging her flowy skirt as her male companion swung her to the music, Linda noticed her friend's phone persistently flashing; on picking it up, saw it was from a neighbour. Lest her house be on fire, it was evidently important; no neighbour calls you randomly at ten-past-twelve at night, she would have to disrupt the dance. Pulling her friend towards and into the toilets, she thrust her phone in her hand, waited nervously with her to the callback. If it was anything bad, surely her daughter at home would have called her? Shit - maybe the house was on fire!
   'It's Janice from across the street? Your daughter gave me your number and asked me to call you. I don't mean to alarm you, but I'm afraid your father's been rushed to hospital.'
   'What! ... When?'
   'Just now. Saskia found him on the floor not long after she got home. She tried to call you but her phone must have died while she was out. I'm ever so sorry.'  
   'I take it she's with him now?' 
   'Yes, yes, they left in the ambulance together.'
   'Uh, um ... I best get myself down there. Thank you, Janice.'
   'No problem.'  Janice put down her receiver. She was about to wish him well, but the old man was unconscious and given the blue light the second the ambulance turned the corner. It didn't look good.
   'Beverly!?' Linda shook her friend by the top of her arm, she was obviously in shock as she stared at her phone. 'Did I just hear your dad's in hospital?'
   'That stupid fucking girl!' Beverly raged, feeling her heart rate spiking. 'She was supposed to be home for half-ten, God knows how long my dad's been lying there.'
   'Jesus! We best get you going ... wait here.'  
   Linda ran back to their seats to grab their coats, leaving their companions sitting like lemons, with no goodbye, then rushed Beverly outside to the taxi rank. Luckily, one had just pulled up and Beverly tumbled into the back seat. Feeling crappy that she couldn't go with her as she had to let the babysitter get home, she at least had the comfort of knowing Saskia would be there.
   Poor old Leonard. She knew he wasn't doing so well these days, but didn't think he was quite ready for the knackers yard. And God help Saskia. Despite Linda knowing Beverly was enjoying meandering through the wilderness of middle age (as she herself was) sense would dictate that it was usually older women that couldn't stand the pace and opt for a shorter night out. But Beverly had the elixir of life attitude, maybe more so than her daughter. Surely tonight would have given her a reality check. Saskia would get it the neck for not being home at the time agreed to see him to bed. Maybe her Grampa wouldn't have hit the floor at all.