Guess Who I Pulled Last Night(9)

By: Nikki Ashton

Bets kicked Charlotte’s leg gently under the cover. “I hate that you know me so well. Okay so I’m scared of getting close to someone.”

Charlotte sighed and smiled gently at her friend. She knew why Bets found it hard to commit, because she had told her on the night of her mum’s funeral. Bets had only lost her dad two years previously, so it had been a long and difficult day for her, and drinking had seemed to be her only way of coping. That night, when everyone else had gone, a very drunk Bets let everything spill out to Charlotte. She told Charlotte that she was scared that if she let herself fall in love with someone that one day they would leave; she loved her parents dearly and felt that they had left her alone. It was easier not to fall in love and to leave them first. Charlotte tried to point out that life wasn’t always like that, and that surely Bets didn’t want to be lonely, but Bets said that she wasn’t lonely; she had Charlotte, Kerry and Alfred, who gave her unconditional love, and to fill up the rest of the time she had lots of men with no strings attached. “Besides,” she had said, “it’s easy to get a bloke to fancy you, but what if my parcel doesn’t quite match up to my packaging?”

Disturbing Charlotte from her thoughts, Bets suddenly threw off the duvet and jumped up from the sofa. She was restless with all this thinking and talking about Stuart. She didn’t like the fact that she thought about him a lot and couldn’t seem to dismiss him from her mind; well, she didn’t want to think about him anymore today. Because it made her head hurt.

“I’m bored, let’s go down to the Gander for a quick one,” she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror above the fire. “Maybe not, what shall we do instead?”

“Nothing,” said Charlotte lowering her feet to the floor, “because I’m going home now.”

“Oh, okay. I’ll see you on Wednesday then when you come for your leg wax.”

Charlotte grimaced. “Hmm, and don’t forget that we are going bowling that night with some of the girls who work for Paul. You are still coming aren’t you? Only Kerry has cried off, again.”

“Yes, I’ll be there I’ve not got anything else to do.”

“Well that’s because you haven’t really got any friends, other than me and Kerry.”

Bets licked her tongue out at Charlotte. “Very funny, so I’m a Billy no mates, but at least I can get myself a fella.”

“Bye darling,” said Charlotte sarcastically, “see you soon.”

And with that Bets was left alone, with only Alfred for company.

Charlotte was right in some respects, thought Bets; she didn’t have many friends. She knew a lot of people through her job as a beautician, but her really good friends she could count on one hand. She often wondered whether being an only child had something to do with not making friends easily - speaking her mind on several occasions was probably the most valid reason. Her mum often said it was good that Elizabeth was plain speaking; no one would ever be able to bully or walk all over her. Her dad on the other hand worried that she came across as being rude, which Bets secretly thought that she did most of the time.

Left alone in the flat she began to think about Stuart again and decided enough was enough, and that next time she saw him she would make her move; she was fed up of being alone and people feeling sorry for her. She was fed up of being invited to the Price’s or Kerry’s for Christmas lunch and having to pull her own cracker, and she was fed up of only being responsible for Alfred. She was ready for something more in her life. It was time to stop being scared and go for it. Bets had coped with the loss of her parents by working hard, and had turned a one roomed beauty salon above a greengrocer’s into a luxurious salon with three treatment rooms, a tanning room and a sauna. But now the business practically ran itself and she was lucky enough to have two honest and reliable girls working for her, so she didn’t have to work as hard as she had done over the last few years. Yes, she realised she was now at an age where she should think about moving her life on; but not today, maybe tomorrow when she didn’t feel quite so hung over.