“Congratulations on your new home!”
“Thanks, Lindsey. Come on in, I’ll introduce you to everyone.”
Lindsey gazes around her as she enters Julie’s house, taking everything in. “May you create countless memories in your beautiful new abode,” she says with a smile.
Julie laughs, “I’m sure I will. Follow me!”
The women walk down the hallway and take a left into the dining room, where several people are already seated around a large, oak table.
“Everyone, this is Lindsey, Lindsey, this is everyone – Jim, Sue, Mo, Rita, Kyle, Pip, Alana.”
Lindsey nods at each stranger in turn. “You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends – I chose you!”
Some of the strangers frown at her, while others force smiles.
Julie gives an awkward giggle before excusing herself: “Just got to add the finishing touches to the starter – won’t be long.”
With that, Lindsey is left alone to navigate the introductions. She chooses a seat beside Jim and opposite Alana.
“Lovely to meet you, Lindsey,” Jim says. “I’m Julie’s cousin and Alana is my girlfriend. How do you know our Jules?”
“Through thick and thin, we’ve always been friends,” Lindsey says. “Here’s to many more years of friendship!”
Alana and Jim raise their eyebrows at each other across the table.
“You look familiar. Did you and Julie go to school together?” Jim asks.
“May every classmate become a friend,” says Lindsey. “May this school year be the best one yet.”
Julie enters the room laden down with plates of smoked salmon pate and toasted ciabatta. “Starters are here,” she says brightly, as she sets the dishes down in front of her guests.
“I thought you lost touch with all your high school mates, Julie?” Jim says.
“I did. Why?”
“Lindsey suggested you met in school?”
“No, we met at work years ago. We’ve both been through a few career changes since then, but we’ve stayed in touch, haven’t we Linds?”
Lindsey nods. “To the best of colleagues – we’re sorry to see you go! All the best in your new endeavour.”
Julie offers another nervous laugh.
“So…” Jim says, “what do you for a living now, Lindsey?”
Lindsey beams. “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Congratulations on your new career.”
The dinner party falls silent.
“Um, Lindsey is a greetings card writer,” Julie says. “And she’s very dedicated to her craft.”Follow Ellie Scott on WordPress.com