Written for Writers Island prompt 'Reunion'
It wasn’t any old reunion. As reunions go it was more than a little different. Why? Because it was my friend Rosey’s reunion!
You see, she thought it would be nice to get together as many people as possible who’d had some influence over her colourful and not uneventful life. So, one Saturday in May a few of us, her current friends, got together at The Bicycle Arms to help her draw up a list. There she sat with a note pad in front of her and a pen in her hand, whilst we fired categories of acquaintances at her.
Could she still get in touch with her childhood friend? How about schoolmates from her very posh school, Roedean? A short but perfectly formed list was taking shape. How about people she’d worked with? Anyone from her time as a checkout girl at the superstore? She also thought it would be good to invite Lady Emilia Jameson and her husband Lord Somebody-or-Other Jameson. You may recall that she once ran a play group for posh toddlers at their posh stately home. Thinking about it, some of the kids would be ten or more years old by now. Perhaps she could invite some of them too. What about the staff at her Father’s car dealership? Not sure, they always felt she was a bit aloof being the privileged daughter of the boss, although Ted on the petrol pumps was always very friendly toward her.
She wondered if she should get in touch with Simon Pargitter Pratt. He was the blind date that she nearly got involved with a while back; it certainly was one of the funniest evenings we all spent together when he tried to impress her in front of a group of us! Probably not a good idea.
She said she would love to bring over a few of the people she worked with in Africa last year, but we suggested it simply wouldn’t be practical or given their financial plight, affordable. That just left the school she works at now as a classroom assistant. We delicately pointed out that the idea of a reunion is to bring together people from way back, not those she saw yesterday and would in all probability see again next Monday. But she insisted and started reeling off names. The names all sounded quite youngish, and before long we realised they were children’s names not teachers! She said she’d far rather spend an evening with them even if they did have to be home by seven thirty!
So there we had it. We left her to go back through the volumes of diaries and address books she keeps in a pile by her bed and hopefully entice as many people as possible to the village hall close to her parent’s home on the chosen Saturday in June. Sadly she got few replies, so she decided to change the venue to somewhere cheaper, and those who had accepted her invitation were given a new venue, Rosey’s allotment!
On the big day, the twenty sixth it was, I helped her get some food for the buffet from the local store. As most of the respondents were little people, the fare consisted largely of chocolate cakes and jelly, although given Rosey’s taste in party food I suspect the selection would have been pretty much the same if the guest were all to have been pensioners!
Anyway, about twenty five people, plus our group of friends, duly turned up in our party gear at about five in the evening. She’d decorated the shed with balloons and paper chains and set up her ghetto blaster in the corner. There were cases of chardonnay and quite a few bottles of Coke. It all felt quite festive. Of the adult gests, a couple were from her schooldays, and two were previous work colleagues. There was also someone that even Rosey didn’t know, we never did find out where she fitted in but we didn’t question it as she helped swell the numbers. She’d also got old Bert along; you may remember that he owned the allotment before Rosey took over. Quite what he made of the transformation I don’t know because he just sat there looking bemused in his chair until the nurse said it was time to wheel him home. We played party games and sang along to songs, and when the kids had gone home with their goodie-bags, those that remained sat on the floor chatting about the old times and downing Rosey’s wine well into the early hours of the morning.
As I said, it was an unusual reunion and certainly one we’ll never forget!