“Jesus”, Lorraine whispered. “He’s never done this before”. Her best friend Emma was acutely aware of the stares and mumbled exasperated sighs of the well to do diners. She could feel her carefully applied make up melt under the mortification.
The child’s fists were now pounding fruitlessly against the door, while hot drops of tears fell and little feet stamped.
Great, a live re-enactment of The Omen.
As hard as she had tried, Emma just couldn’t like the child. And now, no hope.
The sight of Lorraine frantically shaking her phone snapped Emma out of her thoughts. “Can I have your phone”, Lorraine said.
“My phone? Why?”
“My battery is nearly dead” and then almost in a whisper, “YouTube. It’ll keep him quiet. Please?”
Emma stared, horrified, at Lorraine’s battered smartphone. Had it been in a hit and run? The screen was a sea of fractured glass, the body was dented all over, and actual lumps of the plastic covering were missing. She couldn’t be sure, but there could have even been some teeth marks.
And now Lorraine wanted her to just hand over her brand new, top of the range smartphone, to the child.
Emma rummaged around in her giant, Michael Kors handbag for a few seconds. “Ah, I think I left it back at the house”, she said and quietly managed to put the phone on silent.
She looked up to find Lorraine staring at her. “You’re usually glued to that phone”.
“I must have left it in the car. I was listening to Spotify on the way up, and we took your car here”
An epic decibel level scream emanated from the child, and distracted Lorraine for a few seconds. Some hardened diners were attempting to carry on. Others just stared.
“Ah Lor, maybe we should just go? Come back another time?”
“No. Why would we leave? We’ve planned this for weeks. It’ll be fine. Absolutely fine.
Before Emma could answer, a young, petite blonde waitress appeared. “Table for two is it” she said in a clipped accent.
“Yes”, Lorraine said curtly “and a baby chair”. She picked up the miniature tantrum, held him horizontal to the ground against her hip, deftly avoided his little swinging kicks and followed the waitress.
Emma stood still and watched the spectacle move down the restaurant.
She had to get some child free friends.
Creative writing work from Louise Bunyan.