The gym coffee shop with its large windows overlooking the tennis courts and the grassed landscape beyond, always seemed like a haven after a hard workout and the three friends took up their usual place in the far corner where, despite the bright lights and what appeared to be the badminton club meeting taking place around the bar, they felt the space was their own.
“I’ll order, what would you like?” said Louisa “The Lattes are rather fattening, I think I’ll have black coffee.”
“You always have black coffee.” Said Kina.
She had long since given up trying to fathom Louisa’s need to draw attention to her weight obsession and now viewed it with amusement.
“No, you got them last time and there’s a massive queue,” said Torri as she rushed up to join them, her wet hair still dripping, “I’ll get them and you two chat.” Torri took the opportunity to assess the talent in the queue, there was a nice looking guy just two in front of her, check out the hand she thought no, no ring, slowly she appraised him from feet to top of frame in a way that he couldn’t help but notice, the climax of the appraisal was a stunning smile.
Torri returned with a mobile number, the coffee and the usual choice of things to dip in it, she picked up the chocolate covered Rocky Road with its requisite topping of marshmallows and dunked it in her latte. Louisa looked on with horror and not a little jealousy, if she would only admit it.
“Torri you’ll regret that, have an apple from the bowl on the bar, they’re free.”
“An apple just won’t cut it, I’m eating out of stress, I’m visiting my mum this weekend.”
“Oh, well chomp away.” Said Kina understanding only too well the pressure and guilt that could be laid at a daughter’s door.
“I thought you two weren’t speaking,” said Louisa “how did the change of heart come about?”
“She phoned and in a rash moment I didn’t screen my calls, she apologised for accusing me of being selfish, and whilst I was doing the ‘it’s ok.’ I found I had agreed to Sunday lunch.”
“Family is important, where would we be otherwise?” asks Kina
“But I want to have my life not the one she has mapped out for me with Mr Perfect….she would happily let me settle for Mr Imperfect, if we had, at least, two kids.”
“I thought you liked Kids.” Said Kina.
“I do but I want to choose when to have them and who with, I’m not that sure I want to be married – ever.”
“You have to settle down at some time, look at me, all the while I was at university I said I would choose my own husband but now, I know my parents will make a better choice than I will and it’s the right time.”
“She just wants grandchildren, it’s not about me at all, sometimes I feel like one of her precious spaniels waiting for breeding.”
“Surely,” said Kina, “she wants you to be happy?”
“I am happy, I have plenty of dates, I choose to sleep with whoever I want and I’m not burdened with a man at 19 who will bore me to tears and drive me to breeding dogs and gardening by the time I’m 27. I want fun.”
They each took a sip of their coffee and Torri reached for another Rocky Road, raising a challenging, well shaped, eyebrow at Louisa. Torri knew she was lucky, she had a body made for fun, full breasts on a slim frame, gently flaring hips that swayed provocatively. The trips to the gym were more about her social life and a chance to blow off steam than any need to loose calories.