Mondays

‘What you gawping out the window for?’ Silvia said as she plonked down her handbag on the staff room table.

‘The sky, it tricks you sometimes.’

‘Aww don’t make me wish I hadn’t asked.’ She began pulling out various-sized Tupperwares from her oversized handbag.

‘Makes you think you are like, abroad or something.’

Silvia’s hand froze mid-dive, ‘What do you mean?’

‘Like, it goes so solid and blue, so thick. It makes the houses look like paper cutouts.’ Molly’s hand rose and touched the glass in front of her, ‘It almost doesn’t look real.’

‘Oh here she goes.’ Her hand resumed its plummet and she rolled her eyes.

Molly turned towards her, ‘Have you never had that?’ She gestured to the view from the window as evidence, ‘Look, when sometimes it’s just so blue even grotty tiles on roofs actually look nice.’

Her back straightened as she tried to see more of the view, ‘I suppose, if it’s that nice weather it does make everything else look nice too.’

Molly span back round to the window, both hands up on the glass now as she peered out harder, ‘And you always think of sky that blue abroad, like in Greece or something. Where they have those little white houses going up a mountain, cutting into the sky.’ Her finger traced an imaginary village on the glass.

‘Alright, I’ll give you that,’ Silvia managed with a mouth full of boiled egg and ham. There looked like a small buffet had appeared on the table around her as different-sized Tupperwares surrounded her. One filled with boiled eggs and ham slices, some with diced celery, mixed seeds, mini quiches, grapes. ‘Come and sit down love and help me with all this. My eyes are bigger than my belly.’
As she sat down opposite Silvia, she grabbed the Tupperware with the grapes in and popped a few straight into her mouth. They weren’t quite ripe enough and the bitter juice flooded her mouth, making her cheeks suck in. ‘So, where would you be right now if you could be? Abroad like.’

‘Oh easy, Lanzarote,’ Silvia leaned back in her chair, ‘me and Ken love it so much we go twice a year.’

‘Why do you love it so much?’

‘Well, it’s just nice,’ she hesitated under the intense stare she was getting from Molly, ‘just right for us. How about you anyway?’

‘I’d go to Morocco.’

‘Oh that’s a bit, exotic.’ She reached over and grabbed the Tupperware with the grapes in, putting a few in her mouth.

‘Or Canada.’ Molly’s eyes widened.

‘That’s alight,’ she said through thin lips. ‘God these grapes are tart.’

‘Oh, no, no,’ Molly stood up and looked out towards the window, her hand raised pointing straight out into the blue, like she could see where she was going, ‘I’d go to Japan!’

Silvia laughed gently as she got up and emptied the grapes into the bin, ‘You can’t go everywhere.’

‘Just look out of the window, Silvia.’ She grabbed Silvia’s arm and pulled her over to the window. Both women stared out into the liquid blue. It was hypnotic. Molly sighed and put her arm around Silvia, ‘We could be anywhere right now.’

A shrill voice cut through the stillness and made them both jump, ‘Well you’re not. You’re here.’ Stuart stood near the table, clutching a clipboard. ‘What’s all this mess too?’ He pointed with his pen at the Tupperwares, looking utterly disgusted.

‘Ah, it’s only my lunch. I’ll be tidying it up.’

‘What were you doing anyway?’

They looked at each other and then back to Stuart. Molly ventured, ‘Just having a moment.’

He looked confused and angry at the same time like he’d not quite understood what he’d just heard. ‘Well stop having one. You should both be back on the shop floor.’

Silvia’s voice turned to treacle, ‘Of course, I’m so sorry it won’t happen again. We’ll just tidy up and be down in a jiffy.’

‘Fine, but make it quick. I’ll be putting this on your time sheets though.’ He looked down at his clipboard, making a note.

Once he’d gone, Silvia sat back down and made a start on the mini quiches, ‘Just ignore old numb nuts. He’s not really a people person.’

Molly looked uncomfortable. ‘But he’s the manager,’ she exclaimed.

She popped another mini quiche into her mouth, ‘Most aren’t, love. Unfortunately.’

Emma Swiatek

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