2. Georgia

Georgia glanced at the clock. 10:37. She turned away, delving into the conversation around her in order to try and distract herself from the clock. 10:38. Stop looking! She turned to listen to a joke and laughed politely even though she didn’t find it funny. 10:38. Still? Impossible! Stop looking at the clock! She decided to get up and get a drink. Sitting down, she repositioned herself so that she couldn’t see the clock any more. Despite that, she could feel the seconds dragging by, feel the impossibly slow ticking. She needed to look at the clock again, time must have passed by now. But she couldn’t look like she was looking, because that would seem like she wasn’t having fun and she was. At least, she would be if she wasn’t so eager to look at the clock. So she needed to do it subtly. Maybe she should stretch, then she could turn and make it seem like part of the stretch. But if she stretched, it would make everyone think she was tired or bored and stiff and they would get offended! Of course! She would whisper something in Tricia’s ear, turning around for secrecy and glancing at the clock!
         This, though, presented the whole new problem of what to whisper to Tricia. Whispering something random would just be bizarre, so it would have to be relevant either to the conversation or to something the two of them had discussed earlier. What had they had that long discussion about earlier? Perhaps suddenly whispering something about which variety of milk was superior would be inadvisable. So it looked like Georgia would have to start paying attention to the conversation around her. She’d been trying to do that since the beginning, it was just that the clock was so important! Maybe now that listening was helping her reach the clock, it would be easier.
         “… so I told him to shove it and I haven’t spoken to him since!” Mary was saying. Sad story, then? Georgia was trying to think of something relevant to whisper to Tricia when everyone started laughing. Oh, so it wasn’t sad. Ok, this time I’ll listen from the beginning.
         “The exact same thing happened to me and Georgia last week, didn’t it Georgia?” said Toby. Georgia was thrilled, if she was involved in the story, she would finally realise what this conversation was about. “Was that last week?” she wondered, quite cunningly, “I had forgotten all about it!” Toby laughed and Georgia realised that she wouldn’t actually have forgotten. Darn it, she thought, listen more closely next time!
         “Yeah right, Georgia. Of course you’ve forgotten about the cashier. Ugliest guy in the universe and he decides that our beauty queen here is good enough for him!” there was laughter from everyone else as Georgia remembered the incident at last.
         “But then when I ‘politely declined’ he decided to come on to Toby instead!” she offered, causing raucous laughter from the whole table, “he said he was up for either!”
         “As if that made him more appealing!” cried Toby, howling with laughter. Tricia turned and whispered in Georgia’s ear, “You didn’t tell me about this, Georgie!” Tricia hated to be left out of events, especially ones in Georgia’s life. Georgia saw her opportunity and took it; twisting round to whisper in Tricia’s ear while surreptitiously checking the clock.
         “Sorry, Trish! It must have slipped my mind! You’re lucky you weren’t there, though; you’d have been totally freaked out!”

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