... felt thankful for normality?
It's back to work as usual and I'm finishing up the cupcakes for Jack and Nathan's event at The Church - Jack has been helping me with them, and by helping he's been supplying me with food and just keeping me company. He likes watching me work and I don't mind it. I really enjoy his company, he's a funny guy and a great listener. We've been growing closer with the days in between my sister's arrival and the upcoming event. After the debacle in the hospital and my sister's true colours shining through, my parents almost denounced her but with my persuasive talking, I've had to reason with them. I also spoke to them about how I felt and they apologised profusely- like a miscarriage of justice, I was heavily compensated with hugs and kisses and they have invited me over to France when I have some time to spare. So, all is good in Fred-town.
I'm just finishing off a centrepiece I have secretly been working on, when Jack hasn't been keeping me company in the evenings, it's the picture that I had seen a couple of nights ago, the one that Jack had shown me. The centrepiece is entirely made of cupcakes, every single one is brought together to make an overall picture and its mainly to say thank you to Jack for being such a great guy. I'm still not sure as to what we are, are we friends or are we more? I'm at a loss, having been out of the dating game for so long and I'm scared of misreading his signals, err, just thinking about it is making me nervous. I have under an hour to finish this off, before I deliver it.
"That looks bloody brilliant, fuck, you must have spent ages on that," that's Nathan. He's Jack's brother, his response to the centrepiece as it's being put down at the event. Nathan resembles Jack a lot, I mistook him for being Jack at Sainsburys a few weeks ago, that's how I know him and know about this event. I try scanning for Jack but I don't notice about anywhere. And as if reading my thoughts, Nathan confirms that he's still at the studio organising pieces to go on display. As I finish setting up, I leave a few of my business cards lying around, wouldn't hurt to drum up more business and tell Nathan that I've got to go back to the shop to close up and will be back. He gives me a peck on the cheek and scoffs down a cupcake as a head for the door.
I get home eventually, shower and dress and it's only when I'm leaving to go to The Church, that my iPhone rings. It's my mum.
"Hi mum, how are you?"
There's hysterical crying on the other end and I can only fathom what this could mean.
"Mum, what's the matter?" I say, clutching the phone to my ear and dumping my clutch bag on the couch.
"It's your father, he's been knocked over... he's in surgery at the moment, oh Frederica, I don't know what to do," my mother is weeping down the phone.
"Okay mum, don't worry... I'm on my way, I'll book the next flight out. Text me the details of the hospital, I'm on my way," I hang up, dump my phone on the couch and run upstairs, crazily dumping clothes into my hand carry. I grab my phone and I'm out of the door within half an hour, fingers crossed for a flight... I hope my dad is okay.
"Jack, you have got to see this!" Nathan leads the way to the centrepiece where other people have congregated to admire the piece, "Bloody brilliant, don't you think?"
Jack's eyes focus on the cupcakes, "Amazing."
"She obviously put a lot of work into it, I mean look at our logo- it's the hardest mother fucker to draw but she bloody iced it, I swear we didn't ask for this right?" Nathan says.
"We didn't, it's very sweet of her that's for sure," Jack smiles to himself, "Where is she by the way?"
"She said she had to close up shop, go home but that she would be back," Nathan said, "Y'know women, might need to pamper one's self."
The evening wears on and Jack continues to look at his watch and his phone from time to time, but still Frederica doesn't show. He networks through the crowd of people, asking him the same old questions about sourcing out the wood, the textiles, where everything is made etc. The answers are spoken like a broken record, he smiles but this is the part of the business that he doesn't enjoy. After the clients start to dissipate, he sits down in one of the rocking chairs and pulls out his phone and notices the flashing 'textbox' message flashing on the screen. He clicks on it and notices it's just an update for his phone. He calls Frederica but she goes straight to voicemail and he hangs up. It's only an hour later, the cupcakes are packed up from the display after serious picture taking and they are given out to the staff. Jack bundles the samples in the back of the lorry, where the driver will deposit at the studio.
"What's up with you mate?" Nathan says smacking him on the shoulders, "You've been some lost puppy since you got here."
Jack remains quiet. He hates discussing his personal life with his brother, the last time he had made that mistake, they shared more then just blood, they shared his woman.
"I'm going for a walk, I'll see you later," Jack says, grabbing his coat and making his way out.
Minutes later, his feet have somewhat taken him to the doorstep of Frederica's house and he's reaching out to press the door bell when the door opens.
"Jack, what you doing here?" It's Charlotte, obviously making her way out.
"I've come to see Frederica, is she in?" Jack asks.
"I'm not sure, I've been here a while... come on in," Charlotte says and Jack steps in, seems everyone is in the lounge watching a movie and binging out.
Everyone waves him in and says hello and Charlotte asks, "Has anyone seen Frederica at all?"
It's Ronan who speaks up, "No, but she left me a text message on my phone... completely forgot to tell you guys, but she's had to take a flight out to Paris... she loves Paris, she's planning to set up a shop there, y'know expand the business and all..."
"So, she's gone to set up a shop?" Jack asks.
"No, she's gone over there because her father was involved in an accident."
"Is he alright?" asks Toni who stops mid-chip.
"Dunno, that's all she texted. Must have been pretty urgent if she had fly out... I mean, she's the only reliable daughter her parents have."
"Do you know when she's gonna get back?" Jack asks.
"No idea mate, no idea. Have you tried calling?" Ronan asks.
"It's going to voicemail," Jack says.
"She probably hasn't had a chance to put her phone on roaming," Charlotte chips in and ushers Jack to a seat and hands him a beer, "Don't worry, I'm sure she'll call you... what's the occasion anyway?"
"Nosey cow, our Lottie, always wants to know other people's business," teases Ronan.
Charlotte rolls her eyes at Ronan and looks at Jack for answers.
"Just wanted to see her," Jack replies simply.
"That's love for ya, L-O-V-E... love," Toni says with a mouth full.