Are you on yet?
The message fell across the screen of the beaten up Nokia, just before Jenifer’s hazelnut eyes. She read it, before cramming the phone back into her clutch bag, and adjusting her feathered rose fascinator with two wavering hands. The message was from Adam. He had sent the message half an hour prior to her reading it, and was now slumped in a steam room at his local spa, wearing nothing but a pair of burgundy swim shorts.
It seemed strange to Jenifer to be back at Blenheim now the thickets had swollen into large, colourful masses of life down at the far end of the grand lawns. Now the trout fishers had returned for the spring, and were casting out in the low afternoon sunshine, at the Great lake. Around the far end of the water, the Great lake plummeted into white-capped cascades and into the waters of the Glyme, a small river which ran through the Palace’s grounds. The last time she had been here, in the deep winter, the trees had showed their twisted skeletons and the pathways boasted a thick covering of blackened, trodden leaves. A newly awoken lavender brushed at her bare knees as she walked towards the blue and white bandstand.
“She’s a week and ‘alf late.” Adam said to George, a friend and fellow builder, who appeared vaguely from the opposite side of the steam room.
“Fuck.” George said, as Adam ran his hand along his hot, hairless scalp, pouring a little cold water over the top of his head. “It’ll come good. You’ll be alright, mate.”
Adam laid down his back on the stone ledge, bringing his knees up, and closer to his chest, before knawing at a piece of dead skin on the top of his pink thumb.
“But what if she is?”
“Pregnant, you tit.” Adam’s dry lips cracked a little.
“Would she have it? You know the bird a bit better than me, Ad.”
Adam thumped the plastic wall of the room, causing the hundreds of droplets of condensed water which rested with a downward inevitability on the ceiling to gush across the entire room.
“Bastard.” George spat away warm driblets of water from the tops of his lips. A bearded man wearing black Speedo trunks came into the steam room, masked in the vapour which glowed within a blue light from the ceiling. Adam swivelled his legs around and placed his split, hardened heels on the ridged tile flooring, now sitting upright.
“I suppose I could take some care for it… If that was what had to be done. Y’know?” The stranger took a seat next to Adam.