Feeling inspired the next day Jacqui went into her studio in the back yard, and began to paint. First off she finished a painting she’d started a while ago, a spiritual painting. “Hmmmm” she thought to herself “not bad”. She decided to do a realism painting next and hummed a song as she painted. She was feeling much happier today and the smell of wet paint was like perfume to her senses.
After her painting spree she felt the need for coffee so headed to the Newcrest Coffee Shop and placed her order for a cappucino. She met Damian there and sat outside for a chat while she waited for her order.
“Hey guys, fancy meeting you here” says a familiar voice.
“Casey!” Damian says excitedly “How are you?”
“I’m great. Hey the rest of the gang are out the back, why don’t you come join us?”
“Jacqui” the shop assistant calls telling Jacqui that her coffee order is ready. She grabs it on her way through the shop, and sits out the back with Karen and Janne. The girls are deep in conversation when Jacqui sits down.
“He’s started smiling already” Karen is saying “and he’s dribbling a lot so I think he might be teething”.
“Oh that’s fun when they start teething” Jacqui joins in.
“Yeah nobody tells you how grumpy they get but you can’t blame the poor little tike” Karen replies.
The day slipped by as the conversations flowed freely. Jacqui is startled by her mobile phone ringing. It’s Dwayne. “Hey I’m at home, where are you? he asks.
“Oh gosh is it that time already?” Jacqui replies. “I’m at the coffee shop with the girls. Why don’t you come and join us?”
“Sure, I’ll be there in 10. Hey order us a croissant or something will you please? I’m hungry”.
“Sure no worries” Jacqui replied hanging up her phone and going inside to place the order.
When Dwayne arrives they head back outside and sit with the group again and continue the conversation.
After coffee and cakes someone suggests they all go to the gym to work off all those calories. The best gym is in Windenburg so they all head on over there and each finds a machine to work out on. Luckily it’s late and the place is virtually empty except for the boys – Franco, Tyler, Karim and Joel.
“Hey guys check this out” Dwayne says as he tries the biggest hill climb the machine can do.
“Cool, let me give it a go” says Franco on the machine next to Dwayne. He starts pushing buttons to make the platform rise.
“You watch you don’t fall off and injure yourself” scolds Jacqui knowing that Dwayne’s just showing off and will end up hurting himself.
Linda heads downstairs for a shower and comes up a short time later with just a towel wrapped around her.
“Hey Francooooo” she says as she walks over to him waving
“Hey babe” he says waving back and grinning with sarcasm
“Where are my clothes you smart ass?” Linda asks him.
“I don’t know honey, where are they? he says trying to keep a straight face….he can’t hide his guilt from her though. She knows him too well, so he gives her back her clothes and she goes back downstairs to get dressed.
Karim and Precious can’t keep their hands off each other…or rather their lips.
“Hey you two get a room” Linda says teasing them.
“You’re just jealous” Precious replies, kissing Karim again to stir Linda even more.
The next morning Jacqui is taking a stroll around the yard when she notices Damian walking past looking really sad. She runs over to him and places her hands on his arms “Damian, what’s wrong?” she asks him very concerned.
“It’s Ashley” he says sadly “She’s not doing too good and I’m worried that she will have to go into hospital soon. If that happens she may never come home again.”
“Oh I’m so sorry Damian. That’s awful” she tried to console him with a hug.
“I knew it would come one day” he tells Jacqui “but it’s happening faster than I expected and I guess I was a little bit in denial”.
“Yeah I can imagine. It’s a hard thing to deal with. Why don’t you come sit down and have a cuppa with me and we can talk a bit” Jacqui offers.
“That would be nice” Damian agrees and so they head inside while Jacqui makes some tea. They sit and chat for a bit.
“Thanks for that. It’s just what I needed” Damian says appreciatively “It’s nice to have some to talk to”.
“I’m afraid I can’t offer much help, but I’m always here if you want to talk. Hey fancy a game of Foosball to take your mind off things a bit?” Jacqui asks.
“Why not, although I’m sure you’ll be better at it than me” Damian says with a smile.
“Don’t bet on it, just because the boys have a table here doesn’t mean I get to play it” Jacqui replies.
They only get one game in and then Precious calls Jacqui’s phone.
“Hey we’re all gonna head to The Bluffs for a swim. Do you want to join us?” Precious asks.
“Ooh that sounds good” Jacqui replies. “Damian’s here, let me check with him.”
“Sure” Damian agrees when Jacqui asks him if he wants to go.
“We’ll meet you all there in about 20 minutes” Jacqui hangs up the phone and goes to pack her swimmers. They stop at Damian’s for a quick change of clothes and he grabs his swimmers, checks on Ashley who’s sleeping, and they head off. They meet the group at The Bluffs.
“Last one there’s a rotten egg” says Anna taking off to run to the pool as fast as she can.
Linda is the last one there. “Not fair…my asthma” she wheezes trying to catch her breath.
The group enjoys the cool water and they chatter and splash the afternoon away.
“Hey everyone, watch this” Anna yells from the top of the rocks before she dives in.
Linda laughs at her friend “Nice style there Anna” she jeers as Anna splashes into the water in a heap. The group laugh.
“Whoops” says Anna swimming over to the group “stuffed that one up” she says laughing.
“I’m getting all wrinkly” says Precious as she hops up onto the edge.
“Me too” says Damian laying down on the concrete to dry out a bit.
“I’m hungry” says Anna “anyone want a bbq? I bought some stuff with me” she says.
“Oh I don’t know. It’s getting late and Dwayne will be waiting for his dinner at home” Jacqui says with a bit of concern.
“Oh he’s a big boy” Linda replies. “He can get his own”
“True! Ok, yeah why not” Jacqui says. “I’ll just ring Dwayne and tell him I’ll be late home.”
Anna cooks up some steak on the bbq and adds some pre-made salad to everyone’s plate and they sit around the pool to eat.
After their meal they clean up and begin to pack up to head home.
“Where’s Janne?” Linda asks looking around for her friend. The group begin to search the area.
“Found her” yells Karen from the opposite side of the pool. Poor Janne was tired and she’d curled up on a nearby rock and fallen asleep.