Lady Salinger-Wallis squealed with delight as she slipped down the artificial ski-slope. She wasn’t standing; she had fallen at the top of the slope trying to attach one of her skis which had become detached from her left foot as she was about to ski for the very first time. She slid head first, from top to bottom, and laughed all the way down.
At the bottom, she stood up, took off the other ski, dusted herself down, and declared to the couple of complete strangers who were milling around, “I think that’s enough skiing for this lifetime!” and hobbled over to the cafe for a hot chocolate. She’d banged her knee in the fall, but the ache had only just been realised.
Still laughing, she ordered her coffee (in the walk, she had changed her mind about the chocolate) and sat in a large leather sofa that looked out onto the slope. A low table was in front of her, and the waitress placed her coffee down on the table.
“Would you like anything else?” the waitress asked, with a kind smile.
“No thank you,” Lady Salinger-Wallis returned the smile, and raised the cup. She burned her lip on the blisteringly hot coffee, and gave out a quick “Ooh”. She laughed again. “I don’t suppose you have any painkillers, dear?” she joked, and tried to take another sip. And she burned her lip again. She rolled her eyes and the waitress returned to her counter.
Edward Hamilton rushed passed the viewing area, and saw Lady Salinger-Wallis dabbing her lip. She tilted her head to one side, and waved with the hand she was using. Edward walked into the coffee shop, and sat on the chair that was next to the sofa the Lady was using.
“Oh, sit here!” Lady Salinger-Wallis patted the empty space beside her, “I won’t bite.” She laughed once more. Lady S loved to laugh.
“Are you alright?” Edward asked, with grave concern. “I saw you fall at the top and couldn’t believe how you fell all of the way down.”
“I’m fine” Lady S replied. “I have a bruised knee. I never realised skiing was so much fun!”
“Maybe I should have suggested something else for today ma’am,” Edward was Lady Salinger-Wallis’ chauffeur, and was slightly concerned for his job. “Maybe someone of your age should have…” He realised he was speaking without thinking, and decided to say no more.
“Nonsense!” Lady S finally had a sip of her coffee. “I asked you to suggest something different for today, and you did. And, I’m only fifty, young man.” She never missed anything.
She delved into her shoulder bag to take out her mirror. When she saw her reflection, she roared with laughter once again. “Look at my hair – it’s all over the place!” Edward noticed that it wasn’t. Lady S noticed the waitress over her shoulder in the reflection in her mirror. Behind the counter, the waitress was standing still, staring, as though she was in a trance.
“Eddie,” Lady S looked at her receipt for her coffee, “Go and get yourself a coffee from Clancy over there, and stop worrying. Today is my birthday. Let’s have some fun!”