Playing Around

Playing Around by Gilda O'Neill Read Free Book Online

Book: Playing Around by Gilda O'Neill Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gilda O'Neill
Tags: Fiction, Chick lit, Romance, Twins, Family Saga, Women's Fiction, Relationships
relieved not to be part of whatever was going on.
    ‘What is it, Sonia? I’m busy.’
    Bobby thought it appropriate to make himself scarce, and disappeared into the outer office, where Bill and George sat in the comforting fug of old cigarette smoke and ripe language.
    ‘I wondered if I could have the Jag.’ Sonia paused for the briefest of moments, but long enough for David to notice. ‘With a driver,’ she continued. ‘I want to go shopping.’
    ‘What, fed up with the Mini already? Well, I suppose you must be; it’s all of two weeks old.’
    ‘David, don’t be so unkind. You know what it’s like trying to park in Kensington. And Monday-morning traffic is always dreadful.’
    ‘You’ve got a terrible life, you have, girl.’
    ‘Why are you being so grumpy?’
    ‘All right, don’t go on. I’ll send the motor round with Bobby.’
    ‘Bobby! But he’s such a thug.’
    ‘Sonia, I am a thug.’
    ‘No, darling, you are a businessman.’
    ‘Yeah. Yeah. So’s everyone in the property and import games these days.’
    ‘What?’
    ‘Nothing. Who d’you want me to send round? George? Bill?’ He waited. No reply. ‘Or how about Mikey?’
    ‘Mikey will be fine.’
    David could hear the triumphant smile in her phoney, poshed-up voice. ‘I bet he will,’ he sneered.
    ‘Sorry?’
    ‘You will be, sweetheart,’ he said, after he had put down the receiver.
    ‘What are you doing here, Squirt?’ Martin sank his teeth into the doorstep of hot, buttered toast that he held in one hand, and snatched his parka from the banister with the other. ‘Can’t stand the thought of going to work on this beautiful Monday morning?’ He grinned and winked at her.
    Angie blushed and concentrated on her feet. ‘Jackie had to come back for something,’ she mumbled.
    They both looked up the stairs as they heard Jackie wail in alarm. ‘Aw no, Mum, I can’t wear them! What’ll everyone think of me?’
    Then they heard Tilly Murray making soft, cajoling noises, and then Jackie responding with a despairing moan.
    Martin rolled his eyes. ‘Hark at the fashion plate.’ He checked through the folders in his canvas satchel and then slung it over his shoulder. ‘You know, Squirt, I don’t know why you two have stayed friends. You’re nothing like one another.’
    Angie managed a miserable little smile. She didn’t need Martin to tell her that.
    ‘You should have stayed on at school. Done your A levels and gone on to college like me. All Jackie’s ever interested in is what she looks like. She could never be bothered with school, but you’re different. You should use that brain of yours. Make something of yourself.’
    Angie was momentarily stunned; of course she should have stayed on at school. She knew that. Maybe she wouldn’t have made it as far as A levels, but she could have done her Os and got herself a better job than the dead-end, rubbishy one she had now. Unlike her friend, Angie had desperately wanted to do her GCEs, but her mum had insisted that she had to leave. Had to. Angie would never forget her words: ‘You’ve got to go out into the world. Learn how to make your own living. Learn how to look after yourself. No other bugger will.’ Ironic advice, considering her mum had hardly ever done a hand’s turn herself, but had preferred to live off her never-ending succession of boyfriends.
    But how did Martin know she had a brain? Know she was unhappy being a rotten filing clerk and rotten dogsbody in the head office of a rotten shipping and heating oil company? He wasn’t interested in her.
    Was he?
    Before Angie had a chance to think of something bright, or funny, or even simply sensible to say in reply, Martin gently ruffled her hair and was off out of the street door.
    Thank goodness she had got up an hour early to wash it this morning, and that her mum had left her hairdryer on the kitchen table. Her nan was right, her hair was nice when it was clean. Thick and shiny. And maybe Martin did care about her.

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