“Hurry up! I want to get to the club before all of the tables are taken. You know how I hate it when we don’t get a table.” Bianca paced back and forth in Kendra’s living room while Kendra struggled with the new make-up she’d bought. She was starting a new exciting life and she wanted a new exciting look. She’d even splurged on red leather boots that matched perfectly with a red lace vintage dress she’d bought at Oxfam. Black tights- and the look was perfect.
“Let me do your make-up, it will save us a lot of time,” Bianca said for the third time.
“No, I need to learn for myself,” Kendra insisted. The doorbell rang. “Can you get that?” Bianca left to answer the door and Kendra called after her. “I don’t know who would come around to a single woman’s house at 8 pm on a Saturday. Do they think I’m a loser or what?”
Someone called from the sitting room. “No, I don’t think you’re a loser.”
Kendra could hear it was her mother. Just the person she didn’t need right now. Besides the fact that her mother and Bianca didn’t like each other, her mother would not be pleased to see her putting make-up on. She was a throwback form the 1960s feminist movement – bras and make-up were a sell-out. Kendra hoped Bianca would find a way to keep her mother in the sitting room.
Before she could finish wishing, her mother came through the bedroom door. “Make-up Kendra? You’re beautiful as you are, you don’t need those animal tested chemicals all over your face.” She gave Bianca, who followed her into the bedroom, a look. “It’s you isn’t it? Why do you pollute my daughter’s mind like this?”
“Wearing make-up is not Satanism, Hy. You need to take a serious chill-pill,” Bianca said. She loved getting Kendra’s mother riled up. “Not all make-up is sprayed in puppies eyes, just some. I got her the non-puppy-blinding kind.”
“You are as funny as a heart attack, Bianca. Very very funny. It is not just that. Why must women be forced to live up to some unobtainable level of beauty? That is what make-up is selling them.”
“Because they want to get shagged once in awhile? Just a guess.”
“I’ve never worn make-up and Fred and I have a very active sexual life.”
Bianca put her hands in the air. “Okay, you win. I do not want to hear the intricate details of lovemaking between you and your toy-boy.”
Kendra snorted a laugh. To think of 55 year old Fred as her mother’s toy-boy was hilarious. They’d been together for 27 years, though Hy was ten years his senior.
“Mum what are you doing here? We’re just going out,” Kendra said.
Her mother sat down on the bed. “Well, Will’s mother called and told me everything so I thought you’d be upset and decided I’d come over and we’d have a girls’ night in.” She held up a basket. “I brought a picnic. Stir fried tofu and brown rice. And I brought the Woodstock DVD, I know how much you like it.”
“No, you like the Woodstock DVD. Sorry Mum, I have plans with Bianca.”
“And it is getting bloody late,” Bianca added. “Let’s shake a leg Kendra.”
Hyacinth stood up. “Well then I can see you’re fine about the baby and all so I will be on my way so you girls can do whatever it is you’re getting up to tonight.”
Kendra turned away from the mirror, one eye lined and mascara-ed the other still make-up-less giving her an odd unstable look. “What baby?”
“I thought you knew. Will’s mum said the reason he’s moving in with the poetess is because she’s pregnant. You didn’t know? I thought you said Will was around the other day and told you?”
“Told me? He told me they were moving in together and they were thinking of having a baby, not that they already were having one. What a coward!” Kendra turned back to the mirror. She picked up the eyeliner pencil and started back to work with a vengeance. “And she’s not a poetess. She’s just a weirdo!”
Bianca grabbed Kendra’s hand. “I think it’s time I do that. I can see you are in a Will rage again. You’ll soon poke your eye out.”
Kendra gave in and handed over the mascara brush. “He’s such a bloody coward! I can’t believe it. Why didn’t he just tell me the truth?”
Her mother sat back on the bed, pulled her legs up under her long Indian skirt, and dug out her tumbler of tofu and rice, which immediately filled the room with the scent of garlic and tahini. She took out chopsticks and got busy eating. “Well for once his mother is very pleased with him and that’s nice. She’s never had much faith in him. To be honest, she wasn’t sure he’d even be able to reproduce.”
“Mother!” Kendra said.
“Well, he really doesn’t seem to have much energy. Sexual intercourse is quite an energetic exercise. I’m just saying.” She went back to eating. “And she said he’s not that well endowed, if you know what I mean. Apparently it comes from the father’s side.”
“What do you care about Will really, Kendra?” Bianca said. “You’re done with him. Comparing Will and Asra is like comparing sand with the Himalayas.” She was already done with Kendra’s other eye and was now busy with her lips.
“Asra? That sounds very exotic. Who’s Asra?” Hy asked.