A Sunday excerpt from Passionfruit & Poetry. On sale until 28th February for $1.99 on Amazon
Jeanie Baker’s fingers tightened on the tiny black apron with the frill of white lace. No way. Nothing this side of hell would make her wear it. It belonged in a French porn movie, not in Oldbridge. Not in a café serving coffee, cake and sympathy to the small rural community. Groping around her back she wrenched off the offending scrap of material, screwed it into a very tight ball, and flung it at the coffee machine.
“I’m not wearing it, Gran. Not for you, not for anyone.” Expecting a complaint, she shot a sideways glance at her grandmother.
“But sweetheart, it suits the café. Our ambience. They are here to film, to take photographs, and they’ve come especially because of the style of the place.”
Rolling her eyes, Jeanie laughed. “I’m not wearing it. And that’s that. They’ll just have to put up with me the way I am and besides you told me it was the location they were interested in and that’s why they’re here. Not to photograph us.”
If only her grandmother could be just a little more ordinary, a little less out there. She loved the café with its quirky décor and old movie posters and was more than happy to help in anyway she could. After all, she certainly owed her grandmother more than she could ever repay, but she drew the line at making a spectacle of herself. She belonged in the background, taking care of the day to day running of the place not dressing up like some model, pretending to be something she knew she could never be.
“I suppose you’re right, but I think you’re ten times prettier than the motley crew out there.” Norma peered out through the window of the Café Cinématique. “Emaciated, that’s what they are.”
Over the top of her grandmother’s curly white hair, Jeanie stared the odd assortment of bodies and vehicles spilling out across the footpath. People movers and four-wheel drives, cameras, and lighting filled every available space as far as she could see. All for a magazine shoot to showcase the latest range of outlandish city chic.
“Oh!” Norma’s floury fingernail tapped the window and she turned. “There’s the makeup crew and they’re setting up shop across the road in front of the library. I bet poor old Wilma will be having a heart attack.”
Within the space of half an hour, the empty street had filled and was crawling with activity, even busier than the days before they diverted the highway around the town. Unbelievable! Then again maybe this wasn't such a bad idea if it improved the café's turnover. It would be nice, just for once to be able to make the mortgage payments.
“Gran, I think I owe you an apology. I don’t think your idea was a silly as it sounded.”
“And which particular idea was that, my darling?” Norma’s eyes twinkled as she turned around and Jeanie recognised the self-satisfied smile on her lined face.
“You know very well.”
“Yes, but I like to hear it. It’s not every day I get praise from my favourite granddaughter.”
“Only granddaughter.” Jeanie paused and stared straight into her familiar eyes. “It was a brilliant idea to list the café on the Locations-R-Us website. If we become a popular location it will mean more people coming into the café. You’ve put us on the map.” Jeanie put her arm around her grandmother’s shoulder and hugged her tight. “However, there’s just one problem – I am categorically not dressing up like some French waitress from a seedy porn movie. Not for you. Not for the Café Cinématique. Not for anyone. They've got models to do that.”