The sound of the doorbell was almost muffled by the giggles of the women in the Megan’s living room. Megan herself was in the kitchen, popping corks out of wine bottles and tipping packets of crisps into cereal bowls.
“Can someone get that please?” she yelled.
“I’ll get it, sweetie.” Craig was shrugging his shoulders into a jacket, picking up a set of car keys from the kitchen table, eager to make his escape before the party began.
He opened the door and frowned. Three young girls stood hopping on the step, long naked legs, frail summer sandals and short skirts and dresses in various shades of purple. The glitter of frost on the path sparkled in the lamplight.
“Hey, Mr Jacobson! Leaving so soon?”
He recognised Aimee Martin, one of Megan’s more trying pupils, who frequently waved from across the High Street on a Saturday morning. Megan would nestle down more firmly into the collar of her coat and drag him into the nearest shop, pretending she hadn’t heard Aimee’s shrill calls. He couldn’t imagine that Megan had invited Aimee and her friends.
“Come one girls!” He smiled, “You are way too young to even know who Donny Osmond is…let alone be fans.”
“Come on, Mr Jacobson,” Aimee mimicked his voice. “And they called it puppy love…” The girls crooned on the doorstep. “We are fulfilling the entry requirements. You have to let us in!” Aimee slid the shoulder of her dress from her shoulder revealing a purple bra strap. One of her friends lifted a lock of hair revealing a dainty pair of purple earrings.
It had been a stressful few months with a family illness, and then the death and funeral of Megan’s sister. It was Julie, Megan’s friend that had come up with the idea of the party to cheer Megan up. The television special “An Evening With Donny” was going to be aired tonight. The Donny fans in the neighbourhood, of whom there were quite a number, had gathered at the house, sporting all things purple.
He felt a touch on his shoulder and turned to see Megan. The lashings of purple makeup around her eyes did nothing to hide the surprise.
“You ask how much we need you….must we explain…” The girls broke into song again, surprisingly in tune, “We need you, Mrs Jacobson…like roses need rain…” They broke into a beautiful three part harmony.
“You ask how long I'll love you; I'll tell you true.” Megan sang the next line, holding the neck of a bottle of wine like a mike, striking up a pose.
“Until the twelfth of never, I'll still be loving you,” sang the crowd in the front room.
“OK…You’re in. But no wine! No mobile phones or texting. Absolutely no chewing gum! And no mocking the older generation.”
Craig stood to one side as the girls entered and made their way into the living room. Through the open door he could see them as they hugged the other guests. Some thirty years spanned the two generations.
“You want me to be your bouncer?” he asked Megan, lifting a single eye brow in an elegant arch. “I could turf them out for you if they get out of order.”
“Hold me close….never let me go…” The song wafted out of living room, through the open door and out into the garden. A cat sitting on the wall sprang to its feet, dropped down on to the grass and sloped away.
“Actually…I’m with the cat on this one…have fun! I tell you not to disturb the neighbours, but since most of them are in the house…”
The last thing he heard as he headed down the frosted path was Megan’s laughter, a sound Craig has not heard for such a long time. He smiled, almost tempted to turn back.
“Until the twelfth of never…I’ll still be loving you.” He sang the words softly as he walked to the car.
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