“Oh, no!” I said.
“Too late,” I muttered, already plastering a plastic smile on my face.
“Hello, Janie, haven’t seen you ages! Mwah, mwah,” said Tabitha, barely planting air kisses feet away from my cheeks, not that I was leaning towards her to assist in any way.
“So wonderful to see you, darling,” she continued.
“How are you?” I said, never one to be downright rude but she does rub me up the completely upside of tomorrow.
“Darling, superb. I’ve had such divine hols. Must tell you all about it. Must come round and see my fantastibubble photos. Tarquin and I were desperate to get away what with all the... you know.” I didn’t know but again, didn’t like to be overtly rude, so I nodded and looked appropriately crestfallen, in what I hoped was some sort of empathetic gesture.
“How’s your little project going, Janie?” she said. She’d taken me off guard, although I daresay she’d seen something on the local news website.
“Not so little,” I said, trying to smile. Tabitha was always trying to put everybody down at school. What she did was really important but everyone else was... well, just really playing around and keeping themselves amused.
“I managed to secure funding for several venues and we provide these pop-up soup kitchens. It’s really helped out, especially during the winter,” I said. I was quite proud of what we’d done in the local community. The town’s shops had rallied round, helping to find space and cooking utensils. The whole thing had been a massive team effort.
“If you ever find yourself—.”
“Must dash!” she said, interrupting me. “See you again!” With that, she raced away. “Not if I see you first,” I muttered, speaking to the speech bubble she’d left hanging.