FIRST IMPRESSIONS by Sally Stackhouse
Hilda took one look at Gary and turned away quickly. What on earth was Claire thinking? To bring a young man home with all that stuff on his arms. Not only on his arms but up his neck as well and wearing a clashing vibrant flowered shirt – it just wasn’t done.
Oh no, if those were the ones he was proud to show off what on earth did he have hidden underneath his clothing? It didn’t bear thinking about. Hilda shuddered as she watched the two of them through the kitchen window. She would have to put her thinking cap on, ‘operation get rid of Gary’ must commence as soon as possible. She would not have somebody who looked like a drug dealer as her son-in-law, it just would not do!
The letter box clanged announcing the postman was pushing through letters. Hilda straightened her shoulders in preparation of the inevitable bills that would be laying on the door mat. There it was, the letter she’d been waiting for from her lawyer. She just hoped it was the news she’d was anticipating.
She put the letter, unopened, in her apron pocket. She didn’t want to be all hyped up or in the doldrums at the news it would contain. She would wait until after brunch. Such a new way of doing things but it’s what Claire requested when she asked if she could bring Gary home for a meal.
‘We don’t want to make it too fancy, mum,’ she’d said, ‘just a simple brunch will be fine.’
No help from her daughter with menu suggestions, so she opened her laptop and googled ‘brunch.’
Eventually she came up with something reasonably filling and pleasing to they eye. Sweet
pancakes, drizzled with that maple syrup stuff or if she couldn’t find that locally then Golden Syrup would have to do. She’d put the nice plates out, some fruit on the table and serve it with elderflower juice. There would be tea in the pot on the Aga keeping hot but she had a feeling this Gary would not notice the niceties of a well kept kitchen.
Claire and Gary were still being ‘playful’ in the garden, nudging and tickling each other – well that’s what Hilda would like to think they were doing, Claire knew they could be seen from the house so she would have some decorum, although her daughter had been brought up to be a free thinker along with having manners.
Hilda patted her hair, checked her face in the mirror and went to take off her apron when she remembered the letter.
Right, she thought, I have to know. With trembling fingers she slit the envelope and opened the letter. If her arthritis was better she would be dancing a jig right now. Her eyes sparkled, the auction had gone through and her great-aunt’s bequeath of an oil painting of a herd of cattle grazing in a field had sold for several thousands of pounds. They would now be out of debt, free of worry.
No money worries hanging over their heads, she didn’t even mind the look of Gary so much now.
Sitting at the table, eating the dreaded brunch, Gary made a lovely impression with his nice table manners and a well modulated voice, he pronounced all his words correctly, in fact he was quite well spoken.
Things were really looking up. Hilda smiled at Claire and gave her a small nod of approval.
Word count: 573