I finished unpacking everything from the trip and sat down on the couch to fuss with Miss Kitty – but I was interrupted by a knock on the front door.
“Hang on sweetie, I’ll be right back.”
With a sigh I left the couch and opened the door, to be greeted by the sight of Mrs Potter and a Tupperware container. Trying my best to stifle the laughter at the regimental figure she was imposing I cast an eye over her.
“Hey there, the boy scouts have already been round…I bought four boxes of their lovely confectionary just this morning.”
“Very funny young Miss Maclay…”
I smiled. “Come in Gladys.”
She stepped in – thrusting the container into my hands like the contents were still hot – I tried to quiet the audible ‘oof’ and stepped aside.
“Can I get you something to drink at all?”
She smiled as she surveyed our apartment, I was pretty sure she had been thinking of ways to get herself invited in ever since the ‘lizard men’ incident.
She turned to me, satisfied with her first glance around hallway and the living room. “Do you have any Earl Grey?” she said as she made herself comfortable on the couch. Miss Kitty hopped into her lap and curled up. ‘Traitor’ I thought to myself.
“I’m sure we have some. I’ll go look.” I said as I headed into the kitchen. “Do you take sugar...or sweeteners?”
I heard a wheeze of laughter from the living room. “No thank you dear…I’m sweet enough.” Once again I tried valiantly to suppress my laughter.
Somewhere in the back of the cupboard I knew there was Earl Grey. I prefer Ginseng myself – when I’m not packing away the coffee on a long night of research. But one terrifying evening, Willow’s mother stopped by to inspect out new living quarters and happened to bring a box with her.
But even the constant psychological assessment that Sheila Rosenberg could throw in my direction didn’t seem so bad when my current audience was Gladys Potter. As I drifted away and shivered at the thought of both of them being in the living room together, my favourite Rosenberg came bounding through the backdoor.
“Hey baby – you miss me?” she put her keys down on the counter.
I grinned. “Always…How was Buffy?”
Willow shrugged and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek. “She was good – and not a word that we brought Dawnie home more than slightly tarnished.”
She made her way over to the fridge in one fluid movement and pulled out a bottle of mineral water. Both of us leaned on opposite counters – she proceeded to take the top off the bottle and start drinking. She stopped in mid sip and looked at me then turned around to look behind her. She spun round looking pale faced and nearly choked on the first mouthful of her water.
“Oh goddess – Is my mother here?! ..H-how long has she been here?...has she been studying you again?!”
I smiled as Mrs Potter appeared in the kitchen doorway. “Hello Willow, young Tara here was kind enough to offer me a drink.”
Willow grimaced with her back to our unexpected guest and I bit the inside of my cheek to keep from howling with laughter.
“Hello Mrs Potter.” Willow said turning towards her. “What a pleasant surprise.”
“And she brought us some homemade cookies, Sweetie.”
Willow nodded her head slightly. “Well thank you, how thoughtful of you.”
Mrs Potter shifted about a little and smiled proudly. “Well you two are my favourite neighbors…I like to think I can keep up with you youngsters.”
“Imagine that.” Replied Willow.
“Hey Will – you should take these cookies into the living room with you…” I turned to Mrs Potter. “She just loves cookies…my own little cookie monster.”
As they both made their way from the kitchen I felt a pinch in my side, Willow gave me a sickeningly sweet smile as she took one of the cookies out of the container and shoved it whole into her mouth, then she proceeded into the living room after Mrs Potter.
After a few short moments and the sounds of obnoxiously loud crunching – I made my way into the other room with a tray of tea.
“Do you girls have company often?”
I raised a brow to the question – not exactly sure where it could be going.
“Well you have such a lovely tea set dear.” Mrs Potter said as she carefully brought the cup to her mouth…I almost expected a slurp but I figured the only person who would actually do that and purely for the fun of it was Willow.
I sat in the chair opposite and Willow shifted a little. “We have a friend who comes to visit sometimes…He’s from England…ya know the second Motherland of Tea and serious competitors in the Tea and scone consuming stakes…” Willow looked at me for rescue.
“The tea set was actually a present from another friend; she said it would be perfect for us ‘old couples’ and our entertaining.” I explained with a thoughtful smile.
Willow shifted again on the couch. “Humph…like she’s way older than both of us put together anyhow.”
I gave Willow a gentle yet disapproving look – Willow pouted in return before casting an evil grin my way.
“Tara, you really should try these cookies, they’re….yummy.” She said whilst rubbing her tummy for effect.
Mrs Potter looked at me with a triumphant smile and Willow stuck her tongue out. I was seriously thinking over the ‘wheat allergy’ excuse that Buffy so often reserved for Dawnie’s burnt offerings, but I knew Gladys Potter was no fool. Make no mistake Rosenberg…that visit from your Mother is coming sooner than you think!
Miss Kitty once again made herself comfortable on Mrs Potter’s lap and Willow scowled in disapproval.
“Beautiful cat you have girls…shame she molts s much.”
‘Shame it isn’t in her tea.’ I could hear Willow’s thoughts as clear as day and I hoped to the high Goddesses she hadn’t said it out loud!
Willow coughed politely and turned her attention to me. “So honey…how was the trip to the doctors?”
I looked at her a little puzzled. “The doctors?”
“Aww sweetie…no need to be shy…The Gynaecologist is never pleasant honey, but us girls have to look after ourselves.” Willow turned to Mrs Potter. “You know how it is for us modern girls having to look after ourselves.”
Mrs Potter visibly stiffened. She carefully removed Kitty from her lap and stood. “Well you girls obviously have things to discuss and I’ve got plenty of housework that needs my full attention….”
In a shot she was by the door. “…I’ll leave you to it.”
I watched her close the door behind her and turned to Willow, turning my head to the side with disapproval. “You know…that was very mean.”
A smirk sat their all proud and pronounced on Willow’s face. “And those cookies tasted like the bottom of a bird’s cage.”
I placed my cup down on the table…contemplating if Willow had actually tasted the bottom of a bird cage and if so ……why?! Then I crossed my arms in disinterest.
“I’m in for some serious butt kicking aren’t I?”
“Oooh you wish.” I said – trying my best not to crack into a smile. “And Will?...The Gynaecologist?...couldn’t you have picked something just a little more personal to lead with?”
“Well the more I though …’please excuse me...I have to go sort through Tara’s underwear, cos it’s so tiny I keep forgetting which pocket I put it in’ the dirtier it sounded.” Willow said before she slouched back into the couch.
I couldn’t stop the grin forming. “Oooh now that deserves an ass kicking.”
“Yay!” said Willow.