Sam an tha
"Out where?” Sam demanded carefully licking a trail of melted ice cream from the back of his hand.
“Gastro pub?” Julie suggested.
“Mehicarno!” Em put in.
“Sam?” Manda enquired.
“I could go for an Italian myself.”
“We're eating not going on the pull!” Em giggled.
“Eh?” Sam missed the joke
“Suits me.” Julie mentioned.
“We can go to that little place on the Bardley Road.” Mand proposed.
“That's that settled then.” Em concluded.
“Er how are we getting there?” Sam asked.
“Well if you lot buy me a tiramisu I'll drive” Mand offered.
“Done!” the others chorused.
The evening's entertainment decided on the discussion turned to more frivolous stuff – the local ‘talent', the rising price of feminine hygiene products and Sam's beachwear to name but a few topics. However a bit before five they decided to call it a day and head home to get ready for the evening. Mand's old Volvo would do the taxi bit about seven thirty so there would be no time to waste getting ready!
“Gods, you've caught the sun a bit Sam.” Em gasped seeing her friends back when they got back to the flat.
“Yeah, you got any after sun? My shoulders are quite sore.” Sam slipped a bikini strap off her shoulder.
“Um yeah, let me go look.”
‘Well,' Em thought to herself as she looked for the cream, ‘there's no hiding what you've been wearing today Sam!' there was a very distinct white outline of a shoulder strap no doubt duplicated and complemented elsewhere.
Mand tooted the horn again.
“There they are.” Julie noted.
“Bout time.” Her friend grumped.
“Sorree,” Em fawned, “Sam wanted me to do ‘her' hair.”
“Hi guys.” Sam added.
“Get in then.” Mand prompted.
They were still belting up when Stirling Mand set off.
“So what took so long?” Julie enquired.
“Well Sam here decided just as we were coming out that she wanted braids again and you know how cack handed she is.”
“I resemble that remark.” Sam almost giggled. Why after all these years she couldn't do braids properly, but hey, Em's a dab hand!
“You do look cute.” Julie noted, especially for a boy! In fact it's a pity you can't bottle it to sell!
It wasn't far to Bardley Road, too far to walk though; Mand was manoeuvring her tank into a parking spot in just under ten minutes.
“You sure its open?” Em asked.
“Nowhere is shut on Wednesdays.” Sam stated.
“Well it doesn't look very open to me.” Em persisted.
As they walked from the car the others had to agree even if they didn't voice their opinions. They were quickly at the door and much to their surprise, given appearances, found it opened by a swarthy young man in a dark suit.
“You're open.” Mand stated the obvious.
“Of course, for such beautiful laydeez we will always be open.”
“Creep.” Em whispered to Sam.
“Table for four?”
“Er please.” Julie agreed.
A quick glance around the room revealed that it was a slow night; it looked like they would have the restaurant to themselves.
“This a way please.”
Mr Swarthy led them to a table in the window, an old trick to encourage passing trade. Once they were seated he lit the candle in the middle of the table and stood back.
“My name is Gianno, I will be your waiter tonight, you would like drinks?”
“Yes please.” Sam beamed setting his braids a-jig.
“Coke for me,” Mand stated, “I'm driving.”
“A bottle of house white for the rest of us.” Julie requested.
For some reason Sam felt a little aggrieved by Julie's order, he rather fancied a Nasturo after being out in the sun all afternoon.
Gianno departed and one of his colleagues arrived in short order with menus.
“What you having Mand?” Em enquired.
“Dunno, not pizza.”
“I fancy Tagliatelle but like you always get so much.” Julie noted.
“I'll share if you want.” Em offered.
“We having starters?” Sam asked eyeing up the garlic mushrooms.
“Not for me, I won't have room for my pud.” Mand giggled.
“I might have a salad, I'm starved.” Julie told them.
“Here we go laydeez, uno Coca Cola and a bottle of house.” He poured three glasses of wine, hovering maybe a moment too long at Sam's shoulder. His accent was appalling; Sam was prepared to bet ‘Gianno' had never been to Italy in his life.
“Are you ready to order?”
“I'll have the penne de la mer.” Mand stated.
“Not for me thanks.”
“Er the garlic mushrooms, then Steak Diane.” Sam advised.
“Howa you like the steak?”
“Er medium please.”
“Like your back Sam!” Julie noted.
Gianno seemed to miss that exchange, “and you laydeez?”
“Can we split a Parma Tagliatelle?”
“We'll have that then and two chefs salads to start.”
Gianno headed off to place our order, returning moments later armed with cutlery and breadsticks.
When he had once again retired to his waiting colleagues Em chimed up, “what do you reckon?” and rolled her eyes towards the waiting waiters.
“Ew!” Mand grimaced.
“They're not that bad,” Julie chuckled, “what about you Sam, got the hots for our waiter?”
“Huh? What d'ya mean?”
“Well duh, curse of the blondes strikes again!” Mand giggled.
“I think she fancies Gianno.” Em threw in.
Sam blushed through her sunburn, so that's what they were on about.
Well that set the tone of conversation until their food arrived. For some reason she couldn't put a finger on Sam found herself squirming at the very thought of kissing a man of any kind, let alone an Italian waiter!
On the other hand the others were enjoying winding Sam up. Julie and Em in particular were like a pair of terriers; Mand was a bit more reserved although she joined in the teasing. The conversation barely faltered even when the food arrived although to Sam's relief the subject matter did stray from men to clothes. Clothes she could do, after all every girl loves clothes although why her own wardrobe was so meagre she couldn't really square in her head.
The first bottle of plonk didn't go beyond the starters, the second and third followed in fairly short order during the main course leaving Sam a little tiddly.
“You would like the dessert menu laydeez?” Gianno enquired as he cleared the debris.
“Please,” Mand grinned, “I've been looking forward to my pud.”
Mand ordered her tiramisu, Sam and Em ice cream and Julie settled for coffee. By the time they were done, the table candle was a mere stub and it was approaching eleven o'clock. The lack of custom had at least meant they weren't ‘chased' through their meal. They divvied up the bill, which considering the amount of wine consumed was remarkably reasonable – especially with student discount!
“Good bye luvverly laydeez, come back soon.”
“We just might.” Julie giggled.
Mand herded her slightly tipsy friends towards her Swedish behemoth, it's a good job someone was sober!
“So what're we doing now?” Em enquired.
“Bed.” Julie suggested.
“I'm kernackered too.” Sam admitted giving his itchy shoulders a quick rub through his cardi.
“Looks like it's an early night then.” Mand sighed.
“It's been a good night though.” Em mentioned.
It might've only been a ten minute drive back to Em's but Sam was nearly asleep when they got there.
“Come on sleepy head, let's get you to bed.”
“Whatever.” The day's events had really put Sam on the back foot and she barely paused to remove her skirt and top before flopping into bed. Em wasn't much more with it and soon the flat was vibrating to spasmodic drunken snoring.
Sam woke with a mouthful of hair, which she quickly discovered was attached to not her but Em's head.
“Morning luvver.” Em purred from somewhere below eyelevel.
Maddy Bell 24.06.08 © 2008
More of this tale soon! Watch this space!
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