Jemma Harrison had worked for Carmichaels for the last fifteen years; she had seen many customers come through the doors, from harassed mums, business men, pensioners to giggling school girls. The lady in the corner came at least once a month and had done so for a few years now, she was quiet but never entered into conversation. Most regular customers became friends, this lady always came in ordered the same coffee, then would take herself to the corner table and watch the world go by for half an hour. As she poured the coffee into the large cup she watched Annie discreetly, an attractive woman with long blond hair, and the bluest eyes that were warm and friendly. Sometimes, she looked so alone and sad, today she looked thoughtful.
The door suddenly flung open and a young couple came in laughing loudly at some personal joke, Jemma couldn’t help smiling at the pair as they found their way to a table. As they sat down she noticed the lady in the corner watching them as well but with a sad longing look. Taking the coffee and cake over to Annie, Jemma decided to introduce herself ‘treating yourself today’, Annie smiled and quietly said ‘yes’ nervously Jemma smiled ‘Im Jemma, its about time we introduced ourselves you have been coming here for ages’ Annie hadn’t had a friend in such a long time, she didn’t know how to hold a conversation, nervously she held onto her cup and squeeked ‘ its Annie, I’m Annie pleased to meet you’ smiling Jemma asked ‘do you live locally? I live in Worcester with my husband and two kids, Jamie and Shaun’ relaxing abit more Annie smiled ‘how old are your children, I have two Laura and Wayne, they are adults now but still live at home’ the two women chattered about their families until Jemma had to go and serve the young couple and an old lady who wanted to chat about her granddaughters new baby. Annie smiled to herself, today wasn’t turning out so bad after all, she had made a friend. Finishing her coffee and cake, she decided that she was going to get Simon a shirt; she was having one of those ‘what’s the point’ moments as she knew no matter what she got Simon he would criticise. Standing up, she gathered her things and waved shyly at Jemma ‘bye Annie, see you soon’
Walking down the high street, she walked into the nearest shop and grabbed a shirt. Looking at the time she quickly headed back to her car, passing a small newsagents she remembered she hadn’t got him a card, diving in she chose without much thought, a basic card with a car on it, Happy Birthday to my Husband it stated on the front. Annie looked at the card and suddenly realised how unhappy she was with her life, she could feel tears welling up and started to shake. Pulling herself together she took the card to the counter, a cheery man stood behind the counter sorting out papers into bags ready for the newspaper round. ‘Just the card love that’s 59p, do you want a lottery ticket it’s a massive rollover tonight 52 million what could you do with that eh!!’ a sudden urge hit Annie, why not, she might just be lucky, ‘I’ll have two please’ smiling broadly the newspaper man replied ‘that’s the ticket, do you want lucky dip or do you want to pick your own numbers’ Annie thought for a moment and decided ‘ two lucky dips will be fine thank you’ as the tickets were being printed out Annie found herself chanting please be a winner, please be a winner’.
The drive home was full of thoughts of winning and what she would do with the money. She certainly wouldn’t let Simon get hold of it, how could she hide it? Open an account under her maiden name; have to be away from here as Simon would find out. Laughing at herself she parked the car in the drive and back to reality. Sitting in the car and looking at her home, no not a home, a home is what Jemma had. Reluctantly she got out the car, put the key into the keyhole and walked in.