Login   Sign Up 


Sunday Lunch

by Sarah Button 

Posted: 03 January 2009
Word Count: 2193
Summary: A mother surfs 'Face Book' to find her son's girlfriend and gets a shock.

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

[am]Sunday Lunch[/am]
2,185 words

Carol put the phone the down and breezed into the kitchen where Paul was preparing supper. ‘At last!’ she shouted excitedly, ‘Jacob’s bringing a girlfriend home, says he’d like to come for lunch on Sunday!’
‘Blime! Sunday lunch that’s rather formal isn’t it? exclaimed Paul. ‘Maybe it’s serious!’
‘Could be, he’s usually pub crawling with his mates on a Sunday, maybe, this is the one!’ said Carol excitedly.
‘Perhaps she’s pregnant.’ said Paul, but Carol wasn’t listening she was already deciding what to wear.
‘Well, I vote we don’t go over the top, a light lunch maybe, and let them escape to the pub afterwards,’ said Paul. ‘Who is she anyway?’
‘She’s called Camilla,’ said Carol nonchalantly, wondering whether her white shirt would go with her suede skirt.
‘Camilla! Is she posh?’ asked Paul as he piled spaghetti into bowls.
‘Well, I didn’t ask did I, not sure I could cope with all that toff stuff though’, said Carol pouring a glass of wine from the wine box, ‘All those Tory beliefs!’
‘You’re making assumptions’, said Paul grinning, ‘But we’d better be on our best behaviour just the same, don’t want to let Jacob down do we?’
Carol surveyed the small kitchen where they were about to eat. It was pretty ordinary really, just big enough for a small dining table and four chairs, it was a basic bog standard DIY warehouse fitted kitchen in ‘antique pine’, a window over the sink looked across the road to fishing boats tied up on the harbour wall beyond. Yes, that was what was special about their little house, it was close to the harbour.
Above them, just two bedrooms topped the terraced fisherman’s cottage. Neither Carol or Paul had aspired to grandeur, they liked their easy, relaxed jobs at the harbour where Paul ran the sailing school and Carol worked part-time. They lead an undemanding, though unexciting life together, and it was free of stress.
But, it had all got rather dull for Carol, who saw herself as rather down; but, she wasn’t out yet, she hankered for a bit more fun than the occasional evening at the pub which was all her middle-aged existence seemed to allow her these days.

After they had eaten, Paul stretched himself out on the sofa and disappeared into a book. Carol opened the laptop Paul had bought her for her birthday. For the past few weeks a friend at work had been showing her round the keyboard, left behind by information technology Carol hadn’t really bothered with computers and she still wasn’t sure if she’d take to them, which was why she hadn’t told Paul about the lessons; she’d wait ‘till she’d mastered spread sheets and databases; then surprise him.

It took her an hour or so to register on Facebook. Her sister, Emma, was always raving about it, she said it kept her up to date with her kids, though admitted that a lot of the time she felt a little like a voyeur, spying on her children’s lives.
Faced with writing her profile she realised just how dull her life had become, she also realised how easy it was to change; electronically at least. Giving herself a different – not false, identity she got creative; the new Carol was born; a travel writer with kudos amongst the heavyweight Sundays; her recent assignments in Cuba and Iceland. Her hobbies included paragliding and ice climbing, and of course sailing. In order to allow her new identity a touch of mystery, she posted in place of a shot of herself, a picture of Boadicea.
The new Carol was out there; living!
Was Jacob, and more intriguingly Camilla?
Carol remembered searching Jacob’s room for lost school books and dirty laundry when he was a kid and now she felt just as invasive as she checked him out on line. Jacob had many friends of course, and here she was; Camilla. Carol clicked on her profile and it read like something out of The Tatler; her father a society photographer and journalist, her mother a wedding planner; Ugh! thought Carol. Camilla had a brother who was a top lawyer with friends ‘in the know’ and her photo album rivalled the most outrageous paparazzi shots of brat pack society.
Camilla it seemed, was well travelled and unashamedly aristocratic and, oh dear! a bit of a porn star too. And her age – Thirty-nine! Oh Jacob! Carol wished, like finding a copy of Men Only under 12 year old Jacob’s bed, that she hadn’t looked.

‘What we having for lunch on Sunday then, are we out to impress?’ shouted Paul the following morning as he pulled on a fleece and grabbed his kit bag ready to leave for work.
Carol couldn’t answer – not seriously anyway; how on earth she was going to impress the middle-aged, over-sexed daughter of an Earl and, did she really want to?
‘Ummm, haven’t given it a lot of thought, sorry love,’ Carol lied; she would have to keep shtum about Facebook, she couldn’t begin to tell Paul what she’d discovered.
‘We’ll talk about it this evening’, shouted Paul as he left, ‘See you later.’

Carol had an hour or so to herself before she joined Paul at work. She opened her lap-top and logged on. No-one had sent her any messages and no-one wanted to be her friend.
Jacob said, ‘She’s gone to work wearing my boxers!’
Camilla said, ‘And he’s gone to work wearing my thong!’
Carol clicked on her profile and added Cave Diving to her list of hobbies before logging out.

‘You never did say what we’re having for lunch on Sunday,’ asked Paul.
‘Thought I’d do traditional, roast or something.’ said Carol, still unsure what to do.
‘Sounds a bit formal, we do want it to be relaxed don’t we?’ asked Paul.
‘Think it’s probably the safest option though, can’t go wrong really, unless she’s veggie.’ Carol caught an imaginary glance of Camilla’s pornographic antics and decided she couldn’t possibly have an aversion to meat.
‘Perhaps you should check, yes, ring Jacob and ask, maybe get a bit more information about her too, forewarned is forearmed.’ said Paul giggling.
Carol was forewarned and far from forearmed, but she called Jacob anyway.
He gave nothing away, ‘She eats anything,’ he said, and then told Carol not to make a big thing of it – keep it casual. Casual, huh! thought Carol.

After supper as Paul happily immersed himself in a sailing epic, Carol opened her laptop. Still no messages or friends.
Camilla said, ‘Photo shoot a hoot!’
Jacob said, ‘You didn’t need your thong then?’
It seemed that Camilla’s life was spent careering from one film studio to another clutching a Gucci handbag and a bottle of champagne.
She went back to her profile and after some thought changed her picture. Che Guevara, yes, he’ll do! Then she added Base Jumping to her list of hobbies.

Paul was quite animate on Friday evening, he even did a bit of house work. He was looking forward to impressing Camilla with sailing anecdotes and had already rehearsed an invitation to the club for a spot dinghy sailing the following Sunday.
Carol however, was nervous, just plain nervous. How on earth was she supposed to make conversation with an aging aristocratic porn star? What did porn stars eat? Sushi and oysters probably. What do they talk about, the family silver, black leather, weekends in Wiltshire, bondage and bestiality, the boxing day hunt, Botox?

‘We could go for a stroll on the beach after lunch, maybe pop in the Turks Head, what do you think?’ Paul was full of innocent bon homie and had convinced himself that the fruit of his loins was about to embark on a life of marital bliss – with a lovely girl called Camilla.

Carol tried to take her mind off Sunday Lunch, the closer it got the more scared she became.
She opened her lap-top and logged on. Still no messages for her, no-one had written on her wall, or ‘poked’ her.
Camilla said, ‘I’m scared, I’m meeting the parents!’
Jacob said, ‘Don’t worry, they’re quite cool for old people.’
Old people, old people! I’m only six years older than her! Carol changed her profile, knocking five years came off her age, and added a couple of countries to her travelogue, but before logging out awarded herself a degree in philosophy.
That Camilla may be ‘scared’, was rather comforting, Sunday lunch came back into her thoughts.

The shopping list had been the cause of a bit of angst between Carol and Paul. Paul had Camilla all packaged up as an English rose, delicate, well mannered, sophisticated and terribly clever. Carol had her wrapped up too; tough, heavily made up, politically aggressive as well as terribly clever.
Paul was up for blowing the budget on pheasant, stilton and claret at Waitrose.
Carol toyed with expensive Champagne with Red Bull chasers followed by a dozen oysters, and for pudding, something yucky covered in whipped cream. But, in the end she mooched off to Tesco for a free-range chicken and some organic veg. Nice, safe, save-the-planet, good for the conscience food, but Carol was having trouble with hers.

‘Thought you’d have found some tweed and silk’, joked Paul as lunchtime approached on Sunday. Carol was wearing jeans and an old fleece. Paul had gone to some trouble and actually ironed a shirt. Carol couldn’t remember him owning a Viyella check and suspected it was a sneaky purchase.
‘Have to admit it’, he said brushing down his chinos, ‘I’m nervous.’
He’s nervous! thought Carol, she looked at Paul in all his fatherly concern and felt ashamed of herself, but there was no time to dwell on guilt.
‘They’re here!’ shouted Paul as he ran to the door excitedly. Carol, couldn’t move, she had been grounded by fear; fear of Paul’s disappointment.

Jacob walked into the kitchen followed by a pretty girl wearing a floral dress. A blonde bob framed a fair and perfect complexion, she wore little make up and carried a bunch of flowers which she shyly presented to Carol. Paul was beaming. Carol was stunned. Thirty-nine? No, never!
Carol took the flowers graciously and winced. Where was the vamped up sex object from Mayfair?
Carol felt duped, the English Rose she’d just met didn’t look as though she’d know one end of a dildo from the other and she certainly didn’t look the kind of woman to wear a thong; this was definitely a big knickers girl.
Paul poured chilled white wine for himself and Jacob, The Rose asked for mineral water. Carol poured herself an extremely large gin and tonic, then added more gin.

Paul stood at the head of the table and carved the chicken with pride. The gin had gone to Carol’s head and she felt a little tipsy.
‘Mrs. Dixon?’ asked The Rose.
‘Oh, call me Carol please.’ said Carol feeling very uncomfortable indeed.
‘Thank you,’ said The Rose, who seemed to echo Carol’s nervousness. ‘Carol, I’d love to know more about your travels, Cuba, that sounds fascinating.
Paul and Jacob looked at each other with incredulity. Paul put his cutlery down, took a large swig from his wine glass and stared with bewilderment at his wife. ‘Carol, Cuba?’ he asked softly.
‘Mum, when did you go to Cuba?’ asked Jacob wondering if his mother was hiding a secret past.
‘It says on your Facebook profile..’ as The Rose’s sentence trailed off she realised she’d said something wrong.
Carol went pale as the blood drained from her face and into her boots, where the weight of it was unbearable, she felt as if someone had tied a cannon ball to her feet and dropped her into the deepest ocean. She wished they had.
‘Mum, you’re on Facebook? I thought you hated computers!’ exclaimed Jacob.
‘Seems your mum is a bit of a dark house?’ said The Rose playfully before realising she’d overdone it.
But Carol, weighted by embarrassment and goaded by the gin attempted defence, ‘And you, Miss Porn....’
‘Pauls jaw dropped as he glared first at his wife, then at The Rose before settling on Jacob, adopting an expression of pleading exasperation.

Jacob observed everyone’s shocked expression, then laughed. He outstretched his arms towards his new girlfriend. ‘Meet Jenny Cartwright aged twenty-four,’ he announced, ‘PhD student, her thesis; ‘The role of Fantasy in the lives of middle aged women.’ AKA Lady Camilla Hamilton, porn star supreme – aged thirty-nine.’

The cannon ball released Carol and as she shot to the surface she rose from the table like a leaping dolphin. Throwing her arms into the air she removed her fleece, revealing a red tee shirt emblazoned with the black silhouette of Che Guevara. She opened her handbag and retrieved a bulging paper wallet and threw it on the table, it landed in front of Paul. ‘Open it,’ she demanded.
Paul did as he was told. Two tickets to Cuba flopped on the table.

Jenny stared at a grinning Carol with a certain amount of awe; she might just have to do a tad more research.

Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

juliekins27 at 16:39 on 10 August 2010  Report this post
it's the first story i have read on line and have only joined today. It was good to read, as I'm struggling to write a short story of 1000 words as the last part of a creative writing course I have been taking yonks to do.
I found it quite entertaining. a bit corny in parts but quite believable.

To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .