It was pouring when my writing friend and I met at La Noisette. Hot chocolate seemed almost as important as writing. We used Maeve Binchey’s The Copper Beech to trigger our free write exercises starting with “After tea…” My writing partner used an older couple stuck in a rut of always playing games and using the English version of tea as a meal. I wanted to know more about her characters, always a good sign.
After tea, they played games, not board games like Scrabble or Monopoly. They played power games. Trying to control her was Sandy’s specialty.
It would start with who would wash the cups. Sandy would talk about her dermatologist and her non-existent dish soap problem that caused rashes that never appeared. Anita gave her rubber gloves. Sandy would sigh and put them on.
“What movie should we see?” Sandy asked as she ran water into the sink.
Anita knew whatever she suggested Sandy would have a counter suggestion. “Give me a category.”
“Not a war movie,” Sandy said. They’d never gone to a war movie.
“James Bond?” Anita knew that would be rejected.
Sandy rinsed a cup.
“Musical?” Anita said not wanting to see a musical, which earned her an easy no. She wanted to see Lincoln. “Janice saw Lincoln. She didn’t like it.”
“Robin loved it,” Sandy said.
“He would. He’s a history buff,” Anita said. “But Janice said it wasn’t all that accurate.”
“Why don’t we check it out, “Sandy said.
Anita let out a long sigh. “I suppose.”
When Sandy went to get her coat, she pumped her arms and mouthed “yes.”