For those who missed Chapter One or for those who have forgotten, click here.
Lizzie was not excited about this evening. She hated it when Sally went ahead and organised and got excited about things without her. The original reason for the "Alfresco" (stupid word) dinner was, she knew, to make her feel better about the wedding that took place this morning. As much as Lizzie told Sally she was "completely over" Simon, Sally never really believed her. For goodness sake she had moved on, Maddie was welcome to him and as heartbroken as she was when the engagement was called off, she knew that their marriage would not have lasted. She had found herself going along on the whole engagement and wedding vibe train because everyone was so excited about it and it was the "right time" to settle down. Simon was weak - full stop - and although one of the most handsome men she had ever met, his ability in the sack did not match his looks. Sad but true. Lizzie knew it was for the best and good luck to Maddie.
This was not to say that she did give him a thought this morning. Not in a romantic way at all, she thought about the church and Maddie walking down the aisle. She wondered what type of dress Maddie had chosen and what Simon was thinking. She wondered if Simon had thought of her at all, she hoped so and she hoped he felt a pang of guilt and then another stronger pang (a pain would be good too) of disappointment that he had messed up with her. Lizzie smiled to herself as she thought these nasty thoughts. She did not feel bad thinking bad and vain thoughts and consoled herself that if nothing else, she was honest (and beautiful).
So, she supposed she would have to get ready for this dinner party. The whole week she had heard every detail of what was planned, what stuffing would be in the chicken, where Sally was moving the table to and what champagne she had chilling. Sally was excitable, which was strange because Sally was always so much in control. She heard that Peta was bringing her wonderful bloody lemon roulade. Whoopee, bloody doo!! Paul and Peta - their names had to both begin with a "P" - perfect, pleasant, polite, precious and at the same time painful and predictable. Lizzie was convinced that the baby would either be Paxton for a boy (or maybe Pembroke - Paul's house at boarding school) or Paige for a girl. Perfect Peta who did everything at the right time and in the right way. As much as Lizzie had hoped that Peta would become fat and frumpy during her pregnancy, Peta had disappointed her and was perfectly pregnant (could she be anything else?).
Now what should she wear? Tim was going to be there (and on his own). Tim was Sally's brother and they grew up on the same block in Rondebosch. He was like a brother to Lizzie as well (she only had one, much older sister). Sally had recently confided in her that Tim was thinking of proposing to Cassie. Lizzie knew that Sally was not too happy about her darling brother's choice of partner but she could not help but like Cassie. Cassie took no prisoners and called things as she saw it. She ate little and drank too much. She swore like a sailor and got away with it. She could party all night and perform on stage the following day. Lizzie could see exactly why, when Cassie was in town their usual crowd of friends did not see much of Tim. Tim was totally besotted with her. Cassie was different. A dancer with long, flaming red curls. Tall and lithe (but flat chested). Lizzie often imagined them in bed together. She could not help it. Two weeks after her break up with Simon, Lizzie and Tim found themselves thrown together after a long night out on the town. Lizzie was expecting a simple, clumsy, one night of passion (after drinking a bit too much) with someone who she cared for, was comfortable with and knew very well. This was not to be. This liaison knocked the wind out of Lizzie's sails. It was a five month non-stop roller coaster of amazing sex. How they managed it, she did not know and eventually they both had to take stock of the situation and decided it was time to stop before one of them got hurt (emotionally and physically). While all her friends were worried about her being sad and reclusive, she was spending every non-working moment with Tim (in bed and other places). It was strange that they could stop it as suddenly as they did and even stranger that they could slot straight back into how things were before. When thinking about Tim, Lizzie often thought that she should put pen to paper and document their five month marathon together. It would make an incredible read and she would love to shock the hell out of her book club girls and her friends. She could just imagine Peta's face!!
Sally was the only one who knew of their "fling" (that is an odd word but it was not an "affair" or a "relationship"). Tim had made them both promise that they would never let "the others" know. That was typical of Tim and she did not mind keeping it secret. She was good like that (with secrets) and she was honest (and beautiful).
Her clothes were now scattered all over her bed. She knew that Sally would dress up (she always did) and would probably wear the new dress that Sandy had sewn for her. She had not seen it yet but if what Sandy wore was anything to go by, Lizzie was not expecting much. That was being mean, Sandy was apparently a very good seamstress and Sally had a great body, so it would be great. Lizzie just wished that Sally would splash out and spend money on herself sometimes. She certainly earned enough and most definitely more than what Lizzie got working in sales for a wine farm in Stellenbosch. Lizzie loved designer clothes and spent a fortune on her wardrobe (her job required that). Eventually she decided on her new faded designer jeans and a completely plain white t-shirt. It was suggestive enough but not too "in your face" or in the "take me, I'm a bargain" kind-of way. (Cassie often used that expression and Lizzie loved it). She knew that simple outfit, although it did take time to choose, would look great and "effortless" on her. She knew that Sue (Graham's 20-something bimbo) would have spent the entire day having her hair and nails done. She knew that Sandy would look like the ageing hippie she was. She knew that perfectly pregnant Peta, although always stunning would be no competition. Cassie and her never ending long legs was out of the country, so no worries there. This left Sally, who had planned the evening for weeks and had a new dress to wear. She would look great, Sally always did but for Lizzie she was never a threat.
Lizzie knew what men liked and her decision to go with the understated sexy look was made. She poured herself a glass of wine as she ran herself an extra deep bath. As she sank into the milky water she thought to herself "So, Lizzie, who is it going to be tonight, Tim or Seamus?". She wondered why on earth she had been so upset and irritated earlier about this party. It was going to be very interesting, in fact it was going to be awesome.