She walks through the department store, Christmas music blaring out everywhere, heat radiating from people rushing past on last minute errands. Oh, no. Hot flush. She can feel the swelter rising inside her, pushing to break through her skin any moment now and sending her into a sodden mess with her clothes clinging onto her like the skin around a sausage.
Freda is striding away in front of her, pushing her bulk through the crowds, arms full of glossy shopping bags, chattering away and paying no attention to her friend’s struggles.
“You get what you pay for, Mary. You pay for quality, you get quality, that’s what I always say!” Freda’s words are bouncing around her like a knocked-over stack of loose tennis balls.
What am I doing here? she asks herself yet again, dodging the attention of one of the Barbie dolls attempting to sell her some ridiculously priced lipstick.
“Let’s go spend some money, Mary.” Freda had declared when the two ladies had met two hours earlier at the railway station for one of their shopping trips into Leeds. “Can we please this time keep to just one hour shopping and then go for a drink, Freda?” she had said with as much strength as she could gather in the face of the force that was Freda.
Freda had rolled her eyes at her. ”I don’t honestly know why I bother coming to Leeds with you. Come on, don’t be such a spoilsport.” And off she marched, impeccably coiffed head held high, towards her designer clothes heaven, Harvey Nichols.
Well, Mary’s had enough of it now. “Freda.” She watches as her companion heads for the perfume counter and quickens her step to reach her before the spray and sniff marathon is about to start. “Freda!” She grabs the other woman’s arm and finds herself staring into a face not far from resembling that of a sow having been restrained from throwing itself into a favourite mud pile. “I’m leaving. I can’t stand another minute of this.”
Not allowing Freda any time to retaliate, she turns on her heels and drives her way out of this hell hole.
Flushed pink but relieved she breathes in the cool Leeds City Centre air. Then, with a spring in her step, she sets off down Briggate towards Albion Place. Half of Lager here I come.
Thinking of all the times she’d given into Freda, not daring to challenge her overbearing friend, she feels like jumping up in the air with the feeling of pure freedom that is coursing through her now.
Sod Freda. Sod being a spoilsport. Sod quality.
Caren is a qualified and experienced digital copy & content writer with both a corporate and small business owner background. She runs KreativeInc Agency, a web design, development and content creation agency with her autistic son Callum Gamble.
She specialises in creating Inbound Marketing content for business websites and blogs. Using her expert knowledge, skills and personal experience in business development, personal improvement and autism, she crafts content that makes people take action. Her work is found in retail publications, professional websites, on her writer’s platform StoryBlog and more.
She is also an active advocate of neurodiversity in the workplace and co-founder of the NeuroPool network, neuropool.co.uk. Here, she is organising free educational workshops for employers on how to utilise the extraordinary talent found in people with autism, ADHD, dyspraxia and dyslexia within their business.
When she isn’t typing away on her keyboard or spreading her mission, you can see her having her nose buried in a book or hiking up and down the steep hills of the Yorkshire countryside with her husband, son and daughter.
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