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top chick

In blogopera on May 20, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Adele was the kind of woman about whom people would say, ‘And she’ll talk to anyone, do anything for you’. ‘Top chick,’ both men and women would agree. (That was, of course, back in the days when such words had been used, but you are right to think that such days have long since passed).

There was not a woman in the town who had not, after two too many drinks topped with ice and mixed with Coke, told Adele the types of things Adele would rather not know. Adele hid the secrets she had heard behind crude jokes and under energetic laughs.

She had seven bridesmaids dresses in her wardrobe, and they were the only dresses she owned. The story of why there is no eighth is one for another day. Adele had twice been Best Woman, a job for which she had dressed in a suit, but without the cummerbund or the bow tie.

She wore her grandmothers’ wedding ring on her left hand and lived only with her dogs of which there were always two and sometimes three (if someone was camping in a national park or taking long service leave). She drew the line at four. All of the dogs, even the visiting ones, slept in her bedroom but not on her bed.

Adele used her silence and the flick of an almost-smile to fuel the assumptions that people wanted to make. It was a trick she had learned from her mother before she had even turned ten. Her mother had also used tears, but this was a trick Adele never used.

Adele intended never to marry, a fact which may or may not be related to the missing eighth dress, but on New Year’s Eve when everyone was singing Auld Lang Syne she reminded herself that she was thirty two and it was time to have a child. It was no resolution. She had decided.

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