Angela sat at her table twiddling her thumbs. She’s late again, Angela thought, why does she keep setting times she can’t possibly keep?
Angela looked at her watch and then the clock over the bar. Perhaps it was the mojito, or three, but the clock appeared to be running backwards.
Angela waved her empty glass at the bartender and said, mojito, again, please.
Theresa appeared, as did the new mojito. Angela couldn’t help noticing that each one was slightly more expensive than the last.
You’re late, said Angela, sipping her mojito.
Theresa sat down and said, I was very clear when we arranged the meeting what the timescales would be and I have stuck to that schedule.
We agreed 4pm, said Angela, it’s almost 6.
I was very clear when we arranged…, began Theresa, before catching Angela’s expression.
Angela sat back, glaring at Theresa as she trailed off.
What would you like to drink? asked Angela, motioning to the bartender to come over.
What would you like me to have? asked Theresa.
Angela raised an eyebrow.
What do you want to have? Angela asked.
What to have, what to have… what should I have? asked Theresa.
You should have whatever you want to have, said Angela.
Make me an offer, said Theresa.
Angela placed her drink on the table with careful precision.
What? said Angela.
Make me an offer? cowered Theresa.
We’re talking about a drink. You decide what you want to drink and you order it, sighed Angela.
But I don’t know what I want to drink, said Theresa, on the edge of crying.
Oh for fu…, Angela began, we arranged to meet for drinks over a week ago. Surely you’ve had enough time to decide by now.
The thing is, Theresa replied, I didn’t actually want to come for drinks.
Then why are you here? Angela demanded.
Well my predecessor committed to it, so it would be against the will of the people not to come, stated Theresa.
You’re doing something you don’t want to do because someone else agreed to it? challenged Angela.
That’s right, whispered Theresa.
But you phoned me! exclaimed Angela.
I made a commitment to the people, so I’m here now, whimpered Theresa.
Okay, okay, as bizarre as that is, Angela pointed out, you did actually call me to arrange to meet for drinks. Last week. You’ve had a week to decide what you want.
Theresa looked up at the hovering bartender and said, I’ll have what she’s having.
Angela snorted. Are you sure? It might have a higher cost than you’re prepared to accept.
Oh I don’t know! Theresa wailed in despair. Please just order something for me so I can go home.
She’ll have a Bloody May, Angela commanded.
Don’t you mean a Bloody Mary? the bartender asked.
Angela looked at Theresa. I know what I meant, she said as the clock continued to run backwards.