As Noni, walked past cafes filled with local workers, rugged up against the early spring chill, buying their lunches.
On her return to work, she thought about the meet up at the cafe with Ellie. It would have been good to catch up and discuss what they had been doing over the past five years, since high school. They both attended the Catholic Secondary School, but it was clear that Ellie had been more successful than Noni. Noni had passed her 11 plus and was given a scholarship, the only way she would be able to attend such a prestigious secondary school, with such upper class school mates.
* * *
“Hey Noni, we need some more A4 paper in the copier room!” one of the art department team called after her as she walked past them to her desk.
“Just a minute,”
“Hey Noni, have you run off the copies for the Red project?”
“Yep, just about to finish that now.” She sighed, and thought it would take her a lot longer than five years to get to the editorial department. She was far too smart for this job, but she needed to begin somewhere, so what if she had a degree in literature, instead she is the photocopy monkey. Unlike her colleagues form school, she didn’t have the necessary breeding and contacts to get ahead in her life, in the same way they did. She recalled how embarrassing it was for her at school when her colleagues went on school trips to the continent, skiing or on archeological digs and she couldn’t, feigning she was ill or there was a death in the family. Or going to the social events dressed in old clothes, not the latest fashion that the others wore, and being noticed for it! She admired Ellie and her gang, they were so cool, their lives so effortless. They didn’t have a drunkard mother at home, in a one bedroom flat in Pimlico. No running to catch the wrong bus home, checking, before she got off, so no-one saw her alight in the council estate area. I bet they even had staff to prepare their meals for them, unlike her, getting up to a sink-full of take away containers and empty cupboards with nothing for breakfast, her mother passed out on the lounge beside a couple of bottles of wine.
“Hey Noni, Noni?”
She turned to see Billy, one of the guys on the set department trying to get her attention. “Must be interesting watching the photocopier spit out paper!” he joked.
“Yeah! That’s why I finished four years at university!”
“Hey sorry, just I was calling you for a while. How are the copies coming out?”
“Here they are” Noni pulled his copies from the pile beside her.
“Oh, great, they’re perfect. Hey what kind of name is Noni? Is it Norwegian or something?”
“No, it’s Australian!”
“Oh, is your family from Australia?”
“No, but mum loved watching the soaps and apparently Noni was an Australian actress who was in a few shows and movies. She seemed to think that if we lived in Australia our lives would be better! She said that saying my name cheered her up because it sounded like sunshine!”
“Yeah, I think I can hear the sunshine!!”
“Ha, you must be the only one, everyone else heard nincompoop!”
“No, you’re not a nincompoop! Too smart for that!” he smiled at her, she remembered he had those nice eyes, and when he smiled they shone. “How bout lunch in say half an hour?”
“Ahh, no, I’ve already been out for lunch, early.”
“Ok, rain check then?” Billy persisted.
“Yep, sure.” Noni replied, turning back to her photocopying.
* * *
It was dark outside the small waiting room window, there were rain drops falling down the pane of glass, blocking the view of the roof tops from earlier in the day. Ellie sighed, her bum aching from sitting on the plastic covered lounge chairs. Why did she have to do the night time duty? Just because she was the only other person with no kids at home?
Emma had gone to welcome her children home from school and get dinner ready for her husband. Ellie had agreed to stay, what else could she say, and she had hoped to see the handsome surgeon again but no sightings as yet.
She wandered over to the automatic dispenser, feeling hungry but not hungry enough for the junk food for sale.
“Oh, hey! I don’t think you’re going to find anything too edible in there, unless you’re into plastic!”
Ellie turned around to see the handsome surgeon, now in jeans and t-shirt, standing before her.
“Oh hi, yeah, I was thinking I wasn’t that hungry! Any news on Kate?”
“Oh, yeah, I wanted to check you had heard the latest before I finished my shift.” He did a flourish as if to explain his civilian clothes, “we’ve moved her to ICU, we’re still not happy with her BP and vitals, so you won’t be able to see her tonight, I’m afraid. She’s not responsive, but she is stable. Tonight will be the tester and if she makes it through in a stable condition, I reckon she has a good chance of making it through.”
“Oh, ah,” Ellie was lost for words, “I’d best call Emma, she was planning to drop by tonight.
“Yeah, I think it best you guys get some rest, it could be a long day tomorrow.”
“Ok,” Ellie began to pull her phone from her Birkin.
“Ah, sorry, you can’t make calls in here” he pointed to the ‘no phones’ sign.
Ellie sighed, what was it with these medics, she had been making calls all afternoon and no one had had a cardiac, well, at least she hadn’t heard about anyone having one! “Yeah, I’ll head out now and give her a call!”
“No worries, I’m heading out myself now, I’ll walk you down, make sure you don’t try to make any sneaky phone calls on the way!”
Ellie gave him an incredulous look, “You’re joking aren’t you?”
“Yeah, I have an ulterior motive, I’m heading out to our local for dinner with some mates and their other halves, you look pretty hungry, do you want to join us??”
“Yeah, sure.” Ellie gushed, “I can call on the way, I guess, there’s not much point in hanging around?”
“Yeah as I said, she’ll be in ICU all night and best that you guys rest for tomorrow.”