A Year In France – Episode 42

Supplied © A Year In France illustration by Mandy Dixon

That evening Maddy was at her desk, about to finish work for the day before taking a shower and spending a couple of hours with Dannie and her parents.

Moira and Bruce, Dannie’s parents, had arrived yesterday for the weekend and Dannie had asked if she could cook them supper at the flat this evening.

“For you, too,” she’d said. “I want them to meet you and I can’t afford to take them out to a restaurant.”

Maddy had been happy to agree and had offered to provide the dessert.

“Just strawberries and cream. Nothing fancy, if that’s OK.”

Maddy took one last look at her e-mail box, hoping to see one from Luc in reply to the message she’d sent him earlier with some editing suggestions.

Nothing. Luc had told her he was busy with his day job for the next couple of days so she wasn’t really surprised at his lack of response.

Before she closed down the computer, she tried to Skype Julia, but the call went unanswered.

She’d heard Dannie rush in from work earlier and now she could hear her clattering around in the kitchen preparing supper.

“Need any help before I jump in the shower?” she asked, going into the kitchen.

Dannie shook her head.

“No, thanks, I think I’ve got everything under control. Oh, apart from setting the table.” She looked at Maddy hopefully.

“OK. I’ll shower and get ready, then I’ll do it. We’ve still got half an hour before your parents arrive,” Maddy said.

Moira and Bruce arrived full of grateful thanks towards Maddy and clutching a gift for her.

“We were that worried when Dannie told us about her guardian angel taking her in for free,” Moira said. “You hear such dreadful tales these days about youngsters being duped into things against their will, don’t you?

“But you really have been a guardian angel for our Dannie, so this is to say thank you.”

A bottle of her favourite perfume appeared as Maddy peeled away the gift-wrapping. Dannie had clearly seen her current bottle was almost empty.

“Thank you. It really wasn’t necessary but I’m touched,” she told them.

“Supper is ready,” Dannie said, placing a fish pie and a plate of vegetables on the table. “Dive in.”

The evening was going well and Dannie had just removed the remains of the main course and put the strawberries and cream on the table when the doorbell rang.

Maddie opened the front door.

“Hi. You must be Maddy. I’m Jason. Nice to meet you at last. So sorry to be late.”

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.