Sample Sunday - Sweet Dreams, Miss England

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          She was still puzzled by Shane’s plans to have them over, so she rang Jamie after dinner. She apologised for ringing the night before Chris’s birthday, but Jamie just laughed. He had gone out with friends. Nicky shook her head. She should have known. Chris took every opportunity to have a drink with his mates. Both women went through the details again for the next day, when Jamie noticed that there was something Nicky wanted to talk about.

          “What’s up, Nicky? I have a feeling something’s bothering you.”

          “You just know me too well, Jamie.” Nicky giggled.

          “This, in itself, is a huge accomplishment, you have to admit. Anyway, what’s up?”

          “It’s the holidays again. I’m sorry to bring it up before Chris’s birthday, but it’s really bothering me.”

          “I have noticed, but I really cannot understand why.”

          “Jamie, the reason we came back to London was that I was always on my own or with the kids. Shane was constantly somewhere else, and when he was at home, it felt like he wasn’t really.”

          “Nicky, perhaps he knows that, and just wants to have a good holiday.”

          “There’s something else.” Nicky was silent for a while and Jamie wasn’t really sure whether to push the issue or just wait for Nicky to keep on going.

          “What is it, Nicky?” Jamie finally asked carefully.

          “I’ve met someone. And I shouldn’t tell you, because nothing happened. I only met this person, but the thing is I cannot get him out of my mind.”

          Jamie was quiet.

          “Are you still there, Jamie? Please tell me you’re not going to give me a lecture or anything.”

          “I assume he’s from Ireland.”

          “Yes.”

          “Did you meet him in Dublin?”

          “Yes.” Nicky told Jamie the whole story about how she had met Daniel, but stopped short of the kiss. Jamie listened and absorbed each detail of the story unfolding in front of her. She had had no idea.

          “They invited me to come over again in two weeks for a festival, and I would love to go,” Nicky finished her story.

          “Wow, just let that all sink in first,” Jamie said.

          “I’m sorry, really sorry to dump this on you,” Nicky said timidly.

          “Ok, so you’re obviously having a great time with these folks and I’m sure we can look after the girls for that weekend if, and only if, you promise me not to do anything foolish with Daniel. But I still have no idea what’s that got to do with going to L.A.”

          “I don’t know either. I’m all confused. I suppose I can only think of the six months we spent there last year which was quite a debacle. I sometimes wonder if Shane likes the girls at all or whether he still loves me.”

          Jamie tried to console her best friend. She thought that Shane did indeed still love her otherwise he wouldn’t have wanted her to come over. He might still have some castings planned, but not each day. She asked Nicky for her word that she would look into it again and possibly see a travel agent to have a few trips organised for her stay in the U.S.

          “How about the weekend?” Nicky asked shyly.

          “You’re a dag, my best friend,” Jamie was laughing. “Yes, you can go to Dublin and, no, I will not tell a soul.”

          “Oh, I just love you, Jamie Carter.”

          Jamie grew serious. “Nicky, if I find out that you’re not sticking to the deal, trust me, you will be in deep trouble.”

          “I’ll be a good girl,” Nicky promised. “I’ll see you tomorrow, nice and early.”

          Nicky went to bed, very content to know she was going to Dublin again and, quite to her surprise, there was no apprehension and unsettling nerves, just sheer excitement in her.



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