Two 25 year old women are standing at a pre-school fence waiting to pick up their children. Beyond the fence is a small play ground with a patch of green grass.
Each knows the other from high school, one was popular, and one was not.
Looking surreptitiously at each other, these are the impression’s formulating in there minds.
It is the first day of Kindergarten, so it is the first time she has seen the other woman since high school.
Looking her over from head to toe, she thinks:
Same old Wendy Thatcher, tall, skinny, long blonde wavy hair that always looks like it is laced with diamonds or some other gem, dressed in a nice pair of black pants with a seem so sharp down each leg, that they could possibly slice an apple in half. Her blouse is a soft white laced cotton. She looks perfect, like she always did.
I bet she married some lawyer or doctor, someone with money, a Mrs Montague or perhaps Lady Montague.
She always has this unflustered air about her, I bet she’s one of these mothers who says ‘there, there’ or ‘don’t bite mummy because it hurts’ as the blood from the bite oozes down her arm.
Yep, same old Wendy Thatcher, the most popular girl in school.
It’s not that I envy her, in fact I don’t, I have always felt a little sorry for her.
It feels as if her life was something forced, to maintain an air of superiority.
She always looked like she was missing out on a childhood and it still looks like she is missing out on life now.
Wendy Catches Laura looking and smiles a taut smile.
Laura looks away.
Wendy sees Laura Fielding looking at her and that old feeling rose up again in her throat, the one where she is a child again and can feel the judgment of everyone looking at her.
I bet she’s got a rough life; she looks tired, a little over weight and more than a little unkempt, her jeans have seen better days and her T’Shirt has an old faded Kiss (Kizz) transfer on it. I’m sure its the same one she wore at school.
She probably lives with some loser… who makes her laugh and buys her nice things.
I have always envied Laura, she never let life get in the way of a good time. Sure she dropped a few days from school, sometimes misbehaved in class and always had a note, forged most likely, from her mother excusing her from physical education. But she lived life while life was still there for the living.
I wish that I was as brave as Laura.
She always acknowledged my existence, unlike so many others at school.
Yes, I do envy Laura for living life.
Laura’s eyes catch hers and she smiles in her direction making Wendy’s day.
Wendy smiled back.
The children come out of class.
Laura straps her child into the back seat of the car.
Two other children arrive at the car from the primary school next door and get in also.
Laura drives away.
Wendy walks her little girl to the bus stop and catches the bus back to the family home.
Leaving her daughter with her mother, she changes into her work uniform and races to catch the bus so she can begin her night shift at Hungry Jacks.
She is a single mother who still lives at home, who is still dominated by those childhood forces that have been sucking the life out of her ever since she can remember.
Laura’s sits on the lounge for a little while as her children tell her all about their day.
She then leaves them to play outside for an hour while she prepares dinner.
Her auto electrician husband pulls up after work at the home they are paying off.
The children play with dad for an hour, eat, bath, then mum and dad tuck them in with a bedtime story.
Wendy arrives home on the last bus for the night, to a dark and quiet house.
She lets herself in, removes her coat and puts the kettle on.
She tip toes down the hall to hers and her daughter’s room, sits on the bed and watches her daughter sleep.
It is the only time she gets to share with her daughter.
When the kettle boils, she sits in the dark and drinks a hot cup of coffee as she looks up at the clock. It is 12.30am
She rinses her cup, gets ready for bed and quietly slips in next to her daughter, all in the dark.
Tomorrow she will do it all again.