Thursday 7 March 2024

Champagne Ideas, Lemonade Pockets by Sarah Swatridge, Champagne

To Adele’s surprise she’d found a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge. It hadn’t been there yesterday, so Peter obviously had something to tell her. Clearly something worth celebrating!

Adele’s imagination started to work overtime. Life had been so dull and routine of late. How exciting to have some good news at long last. She wondered what it could be? If he’d won The Lottery, he’d have mentioned it already. Had Peter been promoted? Had he been given a pay rise?

She heard the front door open and rushed to greet him.

‘So, tell me?’ Adele asked as she threw her arms around him. ‘Why are we celebrating?’

‘Are we?’

‘There’s champagne in the fridge!’

‘Oh that,’ said Peter wincing. ‘Don’t get too excited. I won it in a raffle.’

‘Oh,’ said Adele flatly. ‘Is that tooth still bothering you?’

‘Yes, but now I’ve got a dental appointment.’

Adele busied herself making tea, Peter set the table.

‘You’re quiet. Is something wrong?’ he asked.

‘I didn’t realise how much I craved something positive.’

‘I know what you mean,’ he gave her a hug. ‘We could just open it.’

‘No. Let’s wait for an occasion. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, just something hopeful.’       

There didn’t seem to be anything on the horizon that would bring good fortune, but at least they were well prepared when their luck changed.

‘I’ll celebrate if my toothache has gone by the weekend,’ Peter rubbed his jaw.

Every time Adele opened the fridge, she saw the bottle of fizz, and decided to increase her efforts to get a permanent full-time job. She’d had enough of being a temp.  Then they could celebrate.

Toward the end of the week, she noticed building work going on in a shop that had been empty for some time. Maybe there would be a job opportunity there?

Peter’s toothache gradually worsened. Each night he kept them awake. They were both fed up with it by Friday, and irritable through lack of sleep.

As Adele made her way home after work on Friday, she noticed the old shop had a new sign, Nelson’s Champagne Bar.  She made a point of chatting to the workmen who were re-fitting the premises.

‘Are you looking for staff?’ she asked hopefully.

‘I couldn’t say,’ one of the men told her. ‘But if you want to leave your details, I’ll give them to the boss. He calls in most evenings.’

‘I’ll drop the information in on Monday. Have a good weekend.’

Adele spent her weekend updating her CV while Peter moped around feeling sorry for himself. He’d offered to sleep on the sofa and seemed a bit put out when Adele agreed it was a good idea.

‘I’m not feeling brilliant myself,’ she told him.

‘You can’t blame me. Toothache’s not catching.’

‘I think I’m just tired. Hopefully I’ll feel better after a good night’s sleep.’

‘Shall we curl up together and open the bottle?’ Peter asked.

‘I thought the dentist gave you antibiotics. You’re not meant to drink while you’re taking them. Let’s wait until you’re better, just to be on the safe side.’

‘You’re probably right,’ Peter conceded, ‘I’d forgotten about my tablets, but they are helping.’

Adele still wasn’t feeling great on Monday morning, but made sure she handed in her CV first thing, on her way to work. She watched the foreman put it on a pile of crates. She doubted whether the boss would ever get to read her carefully worded letter.

However, just as she was packing up for the day, her mobile buzzed and she was delighted to get a phone call inviting her for an interview the following afternoon. Perhaps things were beginning to look up after all? She was certainly feeling brighter as the day had worn on.

She decided not to mention her interview to Peter, just in case. Over the last six months since she’d been made redundant, she’d gone for numerous interviews but always, it seemed, came in second place.

The good news was, Peter’s toothache had gone, and he returned to their bedroom. Adele was pleased. She’d missed him.

‘I think we do have several things to celebrate,’ she told him that evening. ‘Your toothache’s better, thank goodness, and…’


‘Well, you have to laugh,’ she said as she faced Peter. ‘I’ve got a new job! A permanent, full time one.’

‘Excellent news!’ Peter pulled her into his arms and kissed her gently on the forehead. ‘Why are you laughing?’

‘My new job’s in a Champagne Bar that’s opening next month! I’ve got to learn all about champagne and cocktails, which includes tasting them.’

‘Well, we can start by opening this one,’ Peter said heading for the fridge.

‘Actually,’ Adele said, putting her hand firmly on the fridge door. ‘I’d rather if we kept it a little longer, maybe seven or eight months at least?’ Peter looked puzzled. ‘You remember I told you I wasn’t feeling too good?’ Peter nodded. ‘I felt dreadful again this morning so I went to the doctor. It turns out… I’m pregnant.’

Peter’s face changed from his look of concern into a huge grin.

‘Now that’s the best news ever,’ he said. ‘Come and sit down and let me fuss over you.’

‘I thought I ought to mention it to my new boss because it’s no use expecting me to drink champagne and cocktails, because obviously I’ll need to be sensible and look after the baby, our baby.’

‘And they still want you?’ Peter sounded as surprised as she was.

‘He wasn’t happy at first, but then thanked me for being honest,’ Adele told him. ‘Then suddenly, I had a light-bulb moment and I offered to specialise in Mocktails. No one ever volunteers to do that, so he was really pleased I actually wanted to sip Mocktails instead of Cocktails. He said I can start on Monday. Now I’ve got so much to look forward to – my new job and the baby. And I can’t wait to phone my Mum, I just wanted to tell you first… but the champagne will have to wait.’

About the author

Sarah Swatridge writes short stories for women’s magazines worldwide. She also writes novellas, usually with an historical theme, often Victorian, and has a growing number of large print books available in libraries and online.

Did you enjoy the story? Would you like to shout us a coffee? Half of what you pay goes to the writers and half towards supporting the project (web site maintenance, preparing the next Best of book etc.)

No comments:

Post a Comment