We didn’t usually bother to dress up when we went to the Youth Club. Jeans and jumpers were the order of the day. But that night was different. I’d come straight from having tea with an old friend of Mum’s; very ‘old-school’ she was — in fact she’d been a school teacher before she retired. Wearing my new blouse of cascading lace ruffles and a pleated skirt, I felt a bit over-dressed to be honest. But then Ted walked in and suddenly I was glad I’d made the effort. Not that he came near me all evening, but I caught him watching me several times.
We were getting our coats at the end of the evening when I felt a sharp tug at my shoulder.
“Keep still,” said a voice in my ear, “we seem to be tangled up.”I spun round and found my face inches from Ted’s; his arm was stretched across my shoulder at a strange angle. He frowned at me. “I said keep still. Turn round again.”
“What are you doing?”
“I’m not doing anything! My watch buckle’s caught in your blouse.”
I twisted round further to look over my shoulder. He sighed and shuffled after me, trying to unhook himself. We must have looked like two dogs chasing each other’s tails. Suddenly, with a tearing sound, his arm pulled away, trailing a steamer of lace from his watch strap. There was a moment of deafening silence before I grabbed my coat and ran from the hall in tears.
I never did wear that blouse again. But I never threw it away either.
Elizabeth Ducie was a successful international manufacturing consultant, when she decided to give it all up and start telling lies for a living instead.
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